The Best Promises!

Scripture reading for October 24th:  Hebrews 8

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 8: 6, 10-12 “But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.  . . . This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.  I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be My people.  No longer will a man teach his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  

Our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, is also mediator of a new and better covenant.  The Old Covenant was written on tablets of stone and brought revelation of man’s sinfulness.  This new covenant is written on the hearts of His people.  They are adopted in to God’s family!  All sin and wickedness is forgiven and on top of that, God will not even remember those sins!

Observations for over-comers:  Believers are new creations, adopted into God’s family and freed from condemnation, sin, and guilt through faith in Jesus Christ!  What Good News we have to share!  “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call on You!”  Psalm 86:5

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Our Great High Priest!

Scripture reading for October 21st:  Hebrews 7

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 7: 23-26  “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood.  Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.  Such a High Priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”

Levitical priests were appointed by men and served until their deaths.  When they went before God, they needed a sacrifice for their own sins as well as the sins of the people they represented.  But Jesus Christ became a priest after the order of Melchizedek based on several amazing truths.  He was appointed a Priest forever by God’s oath, not by men.  He could serve as a permanent Priest because of His endless life, being raised from the dead.  He offered Himself, His body and blood, as the atonement sufficient to pay the penalty of the sins of all mankind and He sat down, His work of salvation finished once for all!

Observations for over-comers:  Jesus Christ, our High Priest, meets every need we have or will ever have.  He alone can save us completely!  “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind:  “You are a Priest forever, in the Order of Melchizedek.””  (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:17)

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Don’t become lazy!

Scripture reading for October 20th:  Hebrews 6

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 6:10-12  “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.  We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

The writer of Hebrews reminds us of God’s promise to reward His faithful people with an eternal inheritance in His presence.  The Hebrew believers had been a blessing to God’s people and were showing God’s love through faithful service.  They were commended for this but also reminded not to become lazy in their service of their Lord.  Perseverance in faith and patience would be required to actually receive this inheritance.

Observations for over-comers:  Our flesh tends towards laziness and distractions from sincerely serving Jesus and His body the church.  We must guard against laziness by maintaining active faith and perseverance.  “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.”  (Proverbs 19:15)


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The importance of reverent submission!

Scripture reading for October 19th:  Hebrews 5

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 5:7-10  “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”  

Jesus’ life, death and resurrection stand as a beacon light for those who by faith chose to follow Him.  Jesus was a man of prayer–not just superficial prayer, but intense focused prayer.  He prayed to know and submit to the Father’s will and purposes, even suffering.  He was God’s Son, but was asked by His Father to suffer death on behalf of sinful mankind.  His reverent submission to His Father’s will is instructive for all who follow Him.  He is the source of eternal salvation to all who reverently submit to Him and obey His word!

Observations for over-comers:  Through Christ, we who believe have become sons of God, adopted into His family.  We also learn obedience and reverent submission to His will, even if it means suffering!  “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.”  (Psalm 119:71)

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Daily encouragement needed!

Scripture reading for October 17th:  Hebrews 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 3:12-14  “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”

 The pressures of sin, our flesh and fallen angels can sometimes drag believers back into the world and away from trusting in Christ.  Our heart is the ground that must be defended and kept soft to receive truth and encouragement.  Believers need to be careful of sin’s deceitfulness and a hardening of our hearts and turning away from God.  Encouragement by other believers should be occurring on a daily basis.  One day Jesus Christ will appear and only those who are standing firm will be ready to go with Him!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers watch over each other and encourage each other to stand firm and confident in their faith.  “Above all else, guard you heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

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Jesus shared our humanity!

Scripture reading for October 14th:  Hebrews 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 2:14-18  “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  For surely it is not angels He helps,  but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”  

Jesus was God in the flesh.  He shared our humanity and felt and understood what it is like to be tempted and to suffer.  He had a real human body and real feelings and emotions.  He suffered temptation just like we did but in contrast to us, He did not yield to temptation.  His goal was to fulfill the Law by perfect obedience so that He could die in our place and cover our sins with His perfect blood!  He is able to help His brothers in their sufferings and temptation because He identified with them!  Praise the Lord!

Observations for  over-comers:  God met our deepest need by sending His own Son in a human body.  Jesus Christ perfectly kept God’s law after being tempted and suffering like us and offered His own body and blood to cover our sin!  “I will declare Your Name to My brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing Your praises.”  (Psalm 22:22) (Hebrews 2:12)

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Jesus–God’s final Word!

Scripture reading for October 13th:  Hebrews 1

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 1:1-3  “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.”

God, the Father, is a God who is active in the creation and spoke by revelation to man.  In earlier times God spoke through the prophets.  Prophets were anointed men and women who spoke as God spoke to them through direct conversation, visions, or dreams.  But the writer of Hebrews declares that God’s final Words come from His own Son, Jesus Christ!  In fact, He is the Word made flesh and is the embodiment of God’s nature and glory.  His Son sustains all creation and the universe by His Word!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers recognize God’s Son as God’s revelation of Himself to us in these last days and are sustained by His powerful Word!  “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise Your Name for Your love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.”  (Psalm 138:2)


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Actively share your faith!

Scripture reading for October 12th:  Philemon

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Philemon 3-7  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

Paul wrote this short letter to a friend, Philemon, who had a run-away slave that was now a believer and a helper of Paul as he was imprisoned.  Paul wrote to appeal to Philemon to do what was right by this new convert whom Paul considered a “son”.  Paul commended Philemon and his friends for their faith and love for all the saints.  It gave Paul joy to know that his friend was refreshing the hearts of fellow-believers.  Paul especially encouraged Philemon and prayed that he would be active in sharing his faith.  This would bring a fuller understanding to his own life of God’s great gift and His heart of love for all men.

Observations for over-comers:  Faith and love are key ingredients in the lives of over-comers.  Faith and love energize evangelism and evangelism grows our faith and love!  “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  (Proverbs 11:25)



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Thank God for His Mercy!

Scripture reading for October 11th:  Titus 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Titus 3:4-7  “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

We all have pasts that we are not proud of.  They are marked by sin and disobedience along with the broken relationships that that brings with it.  But God, who is rich in mercy, showed His kindness and love to us through revealing His Son, Jesus Christ!  Jesus saved us by washing our souls with His own blood and giving us the gift of eternal life!  We are now new creations in Christ and heirs of the promises of God our Father!  We have gone from the rags of sin’s clothing to the riches of God’s mercy!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers live in a state of constant thankfulness for God’s mercy.  Out of this thankfulness, we can live productive lives of obedience and bring glory to God.  “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and heavens.  He has raised up for His people a horn, the praise of all His saints, of Israel, the people close to His heart.”  (Psalm 148:13-14)

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