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Throughout Hebrews, but especially in chapter 9, we see that the superiority in Jesus Christ; the New Covenant is compared to the Old Covenant, the Book of Law. The author highlights that Jesus’ sacrifice was once and done unlike the weekly sacrifices that the Aaronic priest were making. It’s also significance to recognize that the New Covenant is faultless due to the fact that it was dependent on God not man. The Old Covenant depended on man’s obedience to the law. If he obeyed, he was blessed. If he disobeyed, he was killed. Jesus’ sacrifice was beyond this concept.

Hebrews 9:22 “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” With sin comes, a need for blood. When Adam and Eve sinned, God had animals killed so that Adam and Eve could be clothed. There are consequences for our actions. But what does God want? In summary of Hebrews 10: 5-7, I think God is saying, your purpose is not to apologize for your mistakes but to do the will of God.

Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”  If you’re not spending time with God, going to church, reading your bible, blogging about scripture or fellowshipping with other Christians, you might consider this a challenge to you. I pray for you now and ask that God direct each of you closer to Him.

Amen.

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Hebrews 6:1 sums up my feelings right now. “So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding.” I am so sick of weak sermons, weak application of faith, surface level prayer. By the way, I’m talking about myself. Hebrews 1:9 says, “You love what is right and hate what is wrong.” I don’t always do this and I hate it.

Instead I should write Romans 7:15-20 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

However, I do not want to solely blame satan. I make a choice daily. Unfortunately, I drift away sometimes (Hebrews 2:1). But what can I do to correct this?

Answer:

1. Cling to him and never stop trusting (Hebrews 4:14)

2. Enter his place of rest (Hebrews 4:3)

3. Make sure that our own hearts are not evil and unbelieving (Hebrews 3:12)

4. Warn each other daily (Hebrews 3:13)

5. Keep up our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ (Hebrews 3:6)

6. Listen carefully to the truth (Hebrews 2:1)

7. Allow the Word to expose us for what we are (Hebrews 4:12)

8. Learn obedience from the things we suffer (Hebrews 5:8)

9. Train yourself [with spiritual disciplines] (Hebrews 5:14)

10. Rely on God’s promise and oath (Hebrews 6:18)

Restitution by definition means reparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification. In chapter 22, the word is referenced several times. Mostly, the examples relate to livestock and their death. While I read this, I began to ask myself the question, “What does restitution look like in my life?” Am I providing restitution to God for his loss, damage, injury and death on the cross? Am I even attempting to live a life that could be confused for restitution? Yes I know that his death was restitution for me, for my sins. I know I should freely accept this but I also know that He did not intend that I accept it and live by my own accord. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” May I add to this that Jesus died for us, can I now live for him? Living for him is my restitution.

Exodus 15:26 “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on Egypt, for I am the Lord who heals you.”

The relationship that is described here brings me comfort. I read this and know that God’s intentions are not to harm me but to provide healing and redemption (salvation). That is what He longs for. Yes He might test me but He’ll never tempt me.

Exodus 16:4b “I will test and see whether they follow my instructions.”

The Lord wants us to rely on him. This testing is meant for that. I know that I rely on my own plans because they are completely known to me where as the Lord’s plan requires faith. While my plan seems to be more neatly laid out, it fails. I should never get upset with God for not revealing his perfect plan.

Exodus 16:8b “You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

When I get frustrated, I look for anyone and everyone to vent, gossip or complain to. I need to realize this as an offense against God and maybe I won’t do it as often.

 

“And that you may know that I am the Lord.” //Exodus 10:2

Everything that God did for the Israelites in Egypt (plagues, signs, miracles) was all simply to show the Israelites that He is Lord.  My atheist friends read this and think God is simply showing off to prove how great He is. As if he derives some sadistic pleasure from revealing to us how unlike Him we are.

But in reality, God dazzles the Israelites (and even us today) to make Himself known to us.  And not just for us to know that He is an abstract deity in the sky, but that He is a God that took on flesh…flesh in the form of Christ.  He is the God that invites us into constant communion with Himself.  If God is the source of all that is good, lovely, and perfect; it is not selfish for wanting us to know Him and His power, but in reality, is the most loving and selfless act that can be imagined.

ch. 8 v. 15
“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

This is definitely a good reminder for everyone. We should not allow the ways of this world allow us to grow. War, greed, cynicism, legality, and hate should not be the catalyst of our growth. The influence of our national government (Ceasar’s/ Obama’s (?) empire) and our church (not Church) government (Pharisee/ church lady empire) should not preclude positive and worthwhile growth in Christ.

Man, It was good to get back into the Word. I think we forget how much the gospel can penetrate our lives if we open up the Bible and let it soak into our bones. This past week I had the opportunity to share with a “friend” that Jesus said that it is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. (Mark 2:17). He told me that he was quite the sinner and that church would not let him in. My quick rebuttal was that the more sin you have the more you need Jesus. More sin, more attendance in church. More sin, more time in prayer. More sin, more worshipping God. More sin, more reading scripture. I will have minimal contact with this person going forward but I want to pray for him and introduce him to Jesus if I can. Jesus is a cool guy. I think they’d get along.

Jesus said in Mark 3:34, “Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” My question to myself is, am I a good brother? This is the nice way to ask, am I doing God’s will? I do not want to think that I already got my ticket to the dance (heaven) and now I can relax. I recently heard that 95% of church-goers will never lead another to Christ. Sad…

What are you guys’ thoughts on demons? Jesus is doing all sorts of exorcisms in these first few chapters.

Are there still demons possessing humans?

Has Satan stopped using this method all together?

Were they never demons, but were physical or mental health ailments? (not to cheapen Jesus’ ability to heal)

Go.

ch. 4 v. 18-19

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever read that verse properly. I always looked as the seeds of the first and second examples as leading to the same end – death. That’s not the whole pictures. The end result must be fruitfulness, which only the third example leads to. The issue of the second one is not the roots. It has the strong base that the first one lacked, but it lacks the ability to produce fruit like the third.

I’m always so critical of my parents garden. When I was growing up, they had a gorgeous garden that snaked around our 1 acre. Day lilies, herbs, trees, shrubs, everything. But over the past 20ish years, the flowers have been replaced with tall grass that my dad mows over. The plants are still there, but the lily blooms are missing.

It might be time for some weeding.

Psalm 122:1 “I rejoice with those who said to me,  Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Check this out. It’s pretty simple but has an amazing truth within it. David writes this others were encouraging him to go to the house of the LORD. I am picturing David being pretty distant at this point. Maybe he had not read his bible in a few weeks/months, he is has been watching some stuff that he should not have been, drinking too much, sexing inappropriately, etc.  He catches the scent of pure delight from fellow believers. Their passion/love for the Lord is contagious. Those fellow believers were not asking David to go on a mission trip or sell all of his belongings. He simply said would you like to go to the church and praise God with us?  For David, going to the temple to worship allowed him to find fulfillment and gladness. Praise God for He uses common activities to bring us close to Him.