Category: Hebrews

Worship God–obey leaders!

Scripture reading for October 31st:  Hebrews 13

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 13:15-17  “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess His name.  And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work may be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”  

Worship is a powerful response of faith that centers our souls on an omnipotent and loving God.  It enables us to do good works and help others no matter how hostile the environment.  God is worthy of our praises and is pleased by good works done through faith.  Obedience to leaders and joyful submissions to their authority provides a protective covering over us and our families.  These leaders have been placed by God to help you and watch over you.

Observations for over-comers:  Worship involves praising God with our lips and doing good deeds by obeying the word of God and following the Holy Spirit.  “He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.”  (Proverbs 19:16)

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Holiness is key to seeing the Lord!

Scripture reading for October 28th:  Hebrews 12

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 12:14-16  “Make every effort to live at peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”

Being a Christ-follower in a hostile world requires effort and focus.  The enemy of our soul, Satan, is always at work to distract or destroy believers.  A common tactic is through conflict and the failure to forgive others.  Unforgiveness can lead to a bitter root that divides people from each other and ultimately from God.  Sexual immorality is another common trap of the flesh that leads to defilement and possible loss of inheritance in God’s kingdom.  Esau is mentioned because of his failure to value spiritual inheritance.  He lost it through his careless appetite!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers are focused on seeing the Lord when He comes and rely on God’s grace to keep them in holiness.  “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure hear, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. . . .Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.”  (Psalm 24:4,6)

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Faith and pleasing God!

Scripture reading for October 27th:  Hebrews 11

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 11:1-3,6  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.   .  . . And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  

God is invisible to sinful man.  Because of sin, mankind has been cut off from beholding God for his own good and well-being.   Sin cannot exist in the holiness of God’s glorious presence.  But those who have had a relationship with God since Adam have come to Him by faith.  They trust and are certain of God’s person and goodness.  They believe that God created the visible world out of nothing at His own command.  They understand that God is good and will reward those that believe although they cannot visibly see Him.

Observations for over-comers:  Our faith will be rewarded eternal life and beholding God face to face in His glory!  “Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.”  . . . “But,” He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.”  (Exodus 33:18, 20)

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Don’t insult the Spirit of Grace!

Scripture reading for October 26th:  Hebrews 10

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 10:26-30  “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”  

It is a dangerous thing to sin willfully after you know God’s will and and have the Holy Spirit living in you.  Under the old covenant, there was no sacrifice that could be made for willfully breaking God’s law.  Several of the laws had the penalty of death–idolatry, murder and adultery.  Under the New Covenant with grace through faith, the writer of Hebrews warns of more severe punishment for those the trample on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and insult the Spirit of grace.  This warning was meant to help believers maintain a holy fear and respect for God’s amazing grace!

Observations for over-comers:  Knowledge brings responsibility to fear God and appreciate the Spirit of Grace!  “But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people.  Because he has despised the Lord’s word and broken His commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.”  (Numbers 15:30-31)

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Once for All!

Scripture reading for October 25th:  Hebrews 9

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 9:22, 26-29  “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. . . .  . .  But now He (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation of those who are waiting for Him.” 

The Old Testament picture of an innocent animal being sacrificed and the blood sprinkled on the altar or mercy seat was meant to illustrate the need for cleansing sinners with blood.  The soul that sins must die because the penalty for sin–breaking God’s law–is death.  All sin leads to death.  But God, rich in mercy, chose to send His only begotten Son to live as a perfect man and offer His own body and blood–once for all!  Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again for those who have trusted in Him.

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ and His final sacrifice for the sins of those who repent and believe!  “Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household. . . . .He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull’s blood:  He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.”  (Leviticus 16:11, 15)

 

 

 

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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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