RSS

Category Archives: Hebrews

My God is…the builder of all things Hebrews 3:3-4

Hebrews 3:3-4 – Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor building-a-housethan the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)

What deserves more honor? 

Just this morning I heard a story on the news (about making it legal to have cameras in the Supreme Court). They were saying how the Justices enjoyed their anonymity. One Justice mentioned how she was walking down the street in front of the Supreme Court and a gentleman asked her to take his photo. Just him. He didn’t know she was one of the Supreme Court Justices. If he had, wouldn’t he have wanted to be in the picture with her than having her take his picture?

Yesterday my son made a really good catch in his baseball game. It was one of those catches no one (maybe not even he) thought he would catch. It was a really great play, but it wasn’t the play itself that I was impressed with, it was the one who made the play.

Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses

For the Jews, Moses was a big deal. He’s still a big deal, but for them he was a really really big deal. God had used him as the deliverer of the Israelites. He was an archetype, or a representation of the one who would come  to deliver all people from sin and death. What was meant to be evidence that Jesus was the Messiah became a stumbling block for many Jews at the time of Jesus. They had a hard time putting anyone above Moses.

Just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

Pretend you are going to see a special showing of your all time favorite movie. You know, the one with your favorite all time actor. Now pretend you’ve got VIP passes and are getting the royal treatment. Red carpet, paparazzi flashing shots of you, and of course special seating. Just before you get into the theater, Your favorite actor appears. He asks if you would like to forgo the movie and go to dinner with him at his favorite restaurant, his treat. Which would you choose? I know I would choose dinner. Even though the other is an awesome event, meeting the person who made the movie is a bigger deal. You can see the movie on DVD, but you may not meet the actor again.

For the Jews at the time of Jesus, it was pretty hard to choose Jesus over the VIP passes. They knew they already had it good, so why ruin a good thing and change their plans? They didn’t get that the feast they would have with Jesus would far outweigh the special treatment they would get from their peers and acquaintances.

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

A house can be beautiful, amazing even, but the amazing thing is that someone thought of it, and was able to carry it through. The builder is given the accolades, not the house. If you want a house that is really spectacular, you have to find a builder who is capable of creating such a home. Without that builder, you wouldn’t be as sure of getting a great house.

If you know the name Béla Károlyi, you can maybe understand this a little more. He’s a famous gymnastics coach (remember Mary Lou Retton?). He coached many Olympic athletes. If you were one of his gymnasts, you may get some accolades (OK, a lot if you’re winning medals). Who was usually the first person a gymnast would hug we she is done? Her coach. Why, because she knows without him, she wouldn’t be as great a gymnast.

Psalm 150:6 

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”  No matter what we do, no matter how important we feel, our successes begin with God. He is the builder of all things. That’s why everything that breathes should praise the Lord. He is the builder of them. He’s the one who thought you up, drew the blueprints and erected the amazing person that is you. He deserves the praise for all of your accomplishments. Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Who is your builder?

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My God is…not going to forsake me Hebrews 13:5

Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has ford-escort-5-9-13said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Keep your lives free from the love of money

This phrase is so counter to our culture. We are told by every commercial and ever advertisement that we want more. We see what our neighbors have, and we are tempted to go out and get something just as nice or better. We don’t want to be left out. We don’t want to miss something that might make us happy. As humans we’re always searching for something to fill a void inside. But we will never be able to fill that void, the yearning for something more on our own. We need Christ.

Each of us has our own things that make us crave for more. Mine is food. I’m sure there are others, but that’s my main one. When I feel empty in side, I’m tempted to eat. I want to fill the void. Others may use alcohol, shopping, people or sex to try to make that empty feeling go away. But there is truly only one thing that fill that void – Jesus Christ. With Jesus Christ, we can find satisfaction and peace that surpasses all human understanding. Here’s something to try, ask someone you know who has a lot of money, works all the time and always has the new gadget, what they need to be happy. They may very likely give you a thing or object that they feel will fill that need. Or maybe they’ll say the name of a person. And that’s very nice, isn’t it? But the truth is other people are going to fail you. You’ll love them, and they may not always treat you well. We can’t rely on others to be the source of our contentment.

Be content with what you have

Yesterday my husband called and told me that our old escort had bitten the dust. We had resurrected this car once before with a “new’ used engine. Now that engine had also failed. We knew we had to let go of that car. It was going nowhere. We sold it to the junk yard, they towed it away as we lamented the passing of a car that has traveled with us for 15 years. They boys were brought home from the hospital in that car. It was a sad day. Now we’re left with one car that is 19 years old. I don’t know how much longer that one will last. But it doesn’t look good.

My mom and dad are kindly bringing us a car in September, but between now and then we need another car. Here’s where I need to be content. It’s hard to go to a car lot and not wish you could have all the bells and whistles. I start to make a list of what I really want.

  • OnStar System
  • Center console with power outlet
  • Touch Screen controls
  • Good sound system (to play music from my iPhone)
  • GPS Navigation System
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows etc
  • It has to be cute too!

Ok, that’s the short list, but it gives you an idea that my warped, commercial influenced mind is more interested in what the car can do for me than how it drives. The struggle will now become balancing what we need (good gas mileage, reliable, etc) with what I want (haven’t even considered what my husband wants yet).

I will never leave you or forsake you

The truth is, I don’t need to worry about all those features. I don’t need to feel I got ripped off if I don’t get exactly what I want. I know that the Lord is with me in everything I do. He will not leave me or forsake me. I can trust Him with everything that’s going on in my life. I know that the Lord will provide us with a car. It may not be my dream car, but we’ll have something that works decently and gets us through to September (or longer).

Definition of FORSAKE 

: to renounce or turn away from entirely

God will not turn away from me. Even though my problems may seem small or insignificant, and I might doubt that the Lord is interested in my car woes, the truth is He won’t turn away from me. I can trust Him with the big things as well as the small things. So as we go out and look at cars and decide which car is going to be best for us, whether it be a new car, used or no car at all, I trust that the Lord can use this all for His glory. He’s got my back and we’re going to trust Him every step of the way (I hope). May the Lord help us keep our focus on Him.

Are you content?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…a consuming fire Hebrews 12:28-29

Hebrews 12:28-29 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and Flames so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

What a blessing it is to know that the kingdom of God will endure. We don’t have to worry that it won’t be there when we die, or that someday it will cease to exist. God is eternal, and his kingdom cannot be shaken. Nothing, not one thing, in all of time will be able to destroy the Kingdom of God. The devil for a time will try, but we know he has lost the war. God is almighty and has overcome the devil.

Let us be thankful

When someone does something nice for you, do you thank them? I’m not always as good at this as I would like. To be honest, I’m kind of ashamed of it. Who takes the brunt of that? Maybe my boys who are so kind to me and never refuse bringing me popcorn or tea. They’re not argumentative or defiant. They’re agreeable young men. I sometimes take their kindnesses for granted. I don’t always use the good manners my mother gave me. They deserve my thanks. If I am capable of forgetting to thank my sons who daily do amazing sacraficial things for me, how much more awful is it that I sometimes forget to thank my Lord and savior Jesus for his true sacrifice for my eternal life. Not only do I not say it often enough, I also don’t act grateful. I become selfish, unkind, impatient with Him. I don’t always act as He would call me to act. I don’t always treat others better than myself, and I don’t always put Him at the center of my life. Let us be thankful. Let us cast off our old ways and focus on the Lord!

Worship God acceptably with reverence and awe

Why do we have the traditions we do in our church? I think most of them are to help with this action, so that we might worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. I want to get better at this and not get too comfortable. I want things to not become rote or commonplace, but that I remember why I am worshiping, and more importantly Who I am worshiping. I want to show my Lord reverence and awe. I want to do that by putting Him first in my life. Lord help me do this, please.

God is a consuming fire

When we allow the Lord to be the center of our lives, He is an all consuming fire. He burns out the old cobwebs. He adds excitement and change that we would otherwise not embrace. God is amazing and has so much planned for us. In a Bible study I’m doing, (The Calling: Living a life of significance) it mentioned that sometimes we ask for silver when God wants to give us gold. When we put God at the center of our lives, as He is an all consuming fire and fills every nook and cranny of our heart, we will find the excitement of having God in charge. Having Him burn away the junk that gets in the way of our relationship with Him so that new life might grow in our hearts. When there is a fire in the wilderness, it can be devastating  It can look as if everything that was good is gone, but after some time, new life grows, stronger and healthier than before. May I be refined by the all consuming fire of God.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

My God is…not ashamed Hebrews 2:10-12

Hebrews 2:10-12 – 

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everythinggail-jill exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.  Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;

 in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

 

Do you have siblings? 

I have an older sister. In my mind, she was perfect (I say was, because now I know it was only in my mind! 🙂 – Love you Gail). She was beautiful, smart, funny and kind (most of the time). But I’m pretty sure I drove her crazy. I was the typical little sister, wanting to be wherever she was, doing whatever she was and following her wherever she went. I was annoying. Worse than that, many times, I’m sure I was embarrassing. Hard to believe, right? I was only a few years behind her in school, so that meant even in high school, I could embarrass my sister. Now however, we’re more likely to join forces and try to embarrass our children.

Are you ashamed of someone?

Have you ever been ashamed of someone? Maybe it’s your outspoken racist uncle, your politically uninformed but loud friend, or your doting mother? Maybe it’s your screaming child during church, shopping or pretty much anywhere.

Definition of ASHAMED

a : feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace
  b : feeling inferior or unworthy
2: restrained by anticipation of shame
Why do we get embarrassed or ashamed? 
I’m no expert, so take it for what it’s worth, but I think we get ashamed, because we feel embarrassed by what we or someone else has done. Usually in order to be ashamed of someone or something, we have to feel that it has some sort of reflection on us. We feel like the other person is hurting our reputation as a fun loving, accepting, patient, kind and entertaining person. We don’t want to have our friends or family putting out the wrong impression of us (though to be honest we’re probably doing a pretty good job on our own).
So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Why is that a big deal? Do you know how often we must say or do something that could potentially hurt God’s reputation? Maybe it’s just me, but I can think of quite a few times just recently I haven’t been a good reflection of the Lord. Maybe it’s when I used words that are not very becoming. Maybe it’s when I was selfish and took the last banana without a thought for anyone else. Maybe it was when I yelled at my children, not because of anything they did, but because I was in a mood. Worse yet, maybe I’m not giving glory to God because I’m not showing others love. I think too often I wimp out on caring for others, encouraging others and going the extra mile. I put my needs first. When I say “needs” I use that term loosely. For me I may be choosing a nap, watching TV or playing games on Facebook over doing what I know in my heart would be a better reflection of the Glory of the Lord.
Here’s the Good News!
Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. If we were in high school with Him, He would let us sit at His table. He cares about us, and isn’t afraid to let it show, even when we’re not very lovable. His love is not conditional on our love for others. It is not conditional on anything we do outside of having faith in Him. All He wants from us is for us to believe in His promises and grow in our relationship with Him. We don’t have to be afraid to wave to Him in the hallway, He will acknowledge us. We know He will always welcome us with open arms. We are so blessed to have our God as our Brother, one who is not ashamed, but has washed away all that could bring us shame. He saved us from our shameful behavior so that we would not have the full consequences of our sins. God is good!
Are you ashamed of Him? 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Hebrews, My God is not ashamed

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…disciplining Hebrews 12:4-13

Hebrews 12:4-13

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you disciplining-daughtercompletely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Who likes to be disciplined?

I know, you do, don’t you! I’m sure when you were a child and your parents disciplined you, you said, “Thank you mom and dad for not letting me go to my friends party. I really needed to learn a lesson about respecting you more.” RIGHT! I don’t think any of us respond that way in the moment, but it is true that sometimes we can see the wisdom in our parent’s discipline.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Truth be told,only parents who don’t care about their children ignore their responsibility to discipline. God loves us so much that He is willing to discipline us. God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him, and sometimes we need redirection at least and full on discipline at the most. When we struggle with a sin, we can find ourselves replacing God as the most important thing in our lives. Problem is, when that happens we can get off track and end up someplace neither of us wanted it to end up.

God’s discipline is perfect
Our parents did their best. Sometimes they got that discipline thing just right. Other times, they over punished, or maybe let us get away with something that later became harmful. Our Earthly parents sometimes discipline out of frustration and anger instead of out of loving care. God always gets it right. He knows how much, when, and how it is best delivered. God’s discipline is always in our best interest. He never has his own agenda, except to have a closer, stronger relationship with you minus our distractions.

Now do you like discipline?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Hebrews, My God is disciplining

 

Tags: , ,

My God is…rebuking Hebrews 12:5-6

Hebrews 12:5-6 Dad disciplining son

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 

Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you

Have you ever been rebuked? Told that your behavior is unacceptable?  This will probably not come as a surprise, but I have. When I was growing up, I think rebuking was my parents favorite form of punishment. My best friend growing up used to get in trouble all the time. She didn’t have to do much wrong to get grounded. I would do the same or worse and only get a talking to. She asked me one time, “Why don’t you do more wrong? All your parents do is talk to you as punishment.” I explained to her that I didn’t want to have to find out what was after the talking to. I listened to my parents, because I guess I knew they could have done much worse than talking to me, and I think the thing that was most difficult for me with the “talking to” I received is that my parents showed their disappointment in my behavior. I loved my parents and wanted to please them, so a talking to was all it took, I guess. Also my mom didn’t like to ground us, because that meant she would have to ruin her life staying home to make sure we obeyed the grounding. She didn’t want to be grounded because we did something wrong.

Why do parents discipline their children? 

I’m sure we’ve all seen the kids who have been raised with no discipline. I guess not all parents discipline well, but most parents have certain things that do matter to them, and if their responsible at all they make an effort to properly discipline their children. Do they do it so other people will think they’re good parents? Maybe, but I think the real motivation is love. They love their children and want to help their children grow up and be able to live fulfilling lives without getting in a lot of trouble they can’t get out of on their own.

God disciplines us. 

In the same way that loving parents discipline us, the Lord disciplines us, and the verse above tells us how we should respond to that disciplining. ” do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” So if you’re going through something right now, and you feel like the Lord is neglecting you, punishing you or abandoning you, know that He still loves you. He hasn’t changed. He is consistent. His love for you does mean that sometimes we have to face the consequences of our sins. Sometimes we have to face things that don’t seem fair. But God does not abandon us, but loves us like His children. Sometimes letting us learn small lessons so we don’t have to face the bigger ones, and sometimes facing the bigger ones because the smaller ones haven’t gotten through to us. He takes no pleasure in our pain, but does know what is necessary for our growth in our faith in Him.

He loves us. 

No matter what is going on in your life, you can cling to the fatherly love of your Lord. He cares about you more than you care about yourself. Turn to Him for your refuge, strength and fair discipline.

Have you been rebuked?

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Hebrews, My God is Rebuking

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

My God is…not unjust Hebrews 6:9-11

Hebrews 6:9-11 – Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 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, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

Getting discouraged while doing good

Has it ever happened to you? Have you been in a meeting, come up with an idea, and because you came up with it, you’re now the implementor as well. Sometimes that’s good, but sometimes you have an idea, but you’re not the one with the gifts to get the job done. This can be very discouraging. Sometimes you think you’ve been given a great idea or way to spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through a Bible Study, discussion, event or maybe even a game night, but no one shows. You put a lot of work in, but it all seems for not.

God is not unjust

The verse above is very encouraging to me. I think of the times I have helped someone, only to have them complain about how I helped later. Or maybe I helped out at the church, and no one even noticed. Sure that’s probably a selfish attitude, but it’s also not true. Someone did notice. This verse from Hebrews reminds us that God notices, “He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

He will not forget the love you have shown Him

Sometimes we want the person we helped to value our help as much as we value our own time. We might think to ourselves, I could have been getting the grocery shopping done, or been getting a pedicure, instead I’m helping this ungrateful person. But here is where we need to remember who we’re really serving. God will not forget the love you have shown him. In the verse above it tells us we show God our love as we have helped His people and continue to help them. As one of my dear friends from Bible study would say, “Serve them with love.” She has said this when she knew we were talking about people we found hard to love and to serve. I loved the phrase already, but coupled with the reminder from Hebrews that we’re showing God love through helping others makes that a little sweeter in the mouth. I can serve them with love, because of His love for me and my love for Him. God makes serving others with love possible.

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end

We are called to show others love no matter what. We are to be diligent in doing good for others until our very last hour. Why? “So that what you hope for may be fully realized.” Our good works and love shown for others doesn’t get us to heaven, but it is a sign that we love our Lord above all else, and believing in God is the saving Grace we desire.

Can you serve them with love?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Hebrews, My God is not unjust

 

Tags: , , , ,