Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and since we are at Hebrews 7:25 and since I am still giving God thanks “uttermost” will be our focus on today! May you worship and give our God thanks! What a glorious God He is!Uttermost 8

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…Titus 3:4-6Uttermost 10

 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17Uttermost 11

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34

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For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

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And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. John3 :17Uttermost 6

For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:28Uttermost 3

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.1 John 4:10

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But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

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Acts 4.12

 

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Hope for today: do not repay evil

HopeFinally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  1 Peter 3:10-12

 

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Hope for today: live at peace

Hope

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

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Hope for today: consider others

Hope

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Romans 12 14:16

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the need for understanding…

Hebrews 5.14

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14

Blessings today and thanks so much for your prayers, thoughts, and encouragement. God has been faithful and I am healed and renewed. I pray all is well with you.

Hebrews 5:11, We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand” presents a question for each of us: “How is your spiritual development coming along? How is your understanding? Are you seeking God, meditating upon His Word day and night?”

Verse 11 speaks of a very sad condition for any true believer for God tells us in Proverbs 4:7,  “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” This passage encourages us to never tire of seeking understanding and wisdom from the Lord. The ESV translates Hebrews 5:11 to say, About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Dull of hearing…you know, when we no longer want to read our Bibles, when we do so out of duty rather than fellowship and thirst, when we have no idea what we just read…we just know we fulfilled the law and did it, when we blame the preacher and say we got nothing, and the Sunday School teacher is always just off…you know, when we no longer hide the Word in our hearts, when the Word is no longer sweet to our taste-sweeter than the honeycomb, when we would rather spend our time listening to the world’s rhetoric than the Word.

Another reason this condition is sad is because the writer of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit, has truth to impart but the dullness of hearing makes it hard for the Word to penetrate the hearer’s heart and thereby faith is not increased and transformation slowed. It is a side effect of embracing dullness. The condition get worst because in reality, there is no stand still in Kingdom living. We either grow or backslide depending on our response to the Word. We should always remember that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). 

Dullness of hearing is a symptom and when we know this is the place we are spiritually, it is time to seek help by falling on knees before the Lord, confessing our sin of dullness, repent and asking the Lord to cleanse our hearts, open His Word to our hearts, and our hearts to His Words.

We need to have attitude of the Thessalonians,

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for You are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Psalm 119.103

Psalm 119.18

 

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday! Hebrews 7:25, “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them,” has long been one of my favorite verses. The verse has always spoke to the sufficiency of the Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect God. Today, we are blessed to read the Word and quotes regarding this blessed verse. May you be blessed indeed as you give glory to the One who paid it all, our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ!Uttermost3Uttermost 13Uttermost 8Uttermost 11Uttermost 12uttermost-2.jpguttermost-1.jpgUttermost 2Uttermost 9Uttermost 5Uttermost 15Uttermost 16Uttermost 6

 

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THE High Priest!

Hebrews 5.8

So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
As He also says in another place:
“You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek”; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. Hebrews 5:5-11

The Holy Spirit wants us to understand that Jesus did not begin His priestly role on His own but that He was in fact called by God. We find two quotes from Scripture to support this truth:

I will tell of the decree: the Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Psalm 2:7

The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever  after the order of Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:4

Jesus is a Priest forever and of a special order. Why is Jesus greater than the the Old Testament Levitical priest which God ordained? Because Aaron and every priest after him died and someone succeeded them. Jesus was not a priest of Aaron’s order for He died but resurrected. His sacrifice of Himself was acceptable to the Father.

Jesus was not of the order of Aaron but of the order of Melchizedek. We will learn more of Melchizedek in chapter 7 but he was both priest and King and was a picture of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is High Priest and King forever.

The Holy Spirit gives witness that Jesus offered Himself as the Lamb sacrificed for man’s sin, defeating every enemy as He resurrected from the dead. Despite being God’s Son  Jesus was called to suffer and learned the meaning of obedience to the fullest degree through that suffering. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” 

“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. 25 Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a High Priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:23-28).”

I wanted to highlight some key words and phrases in the Scripture above but every word of it is important and gives the blessing of joy with thanksgiving…so I just encourage you to read it slowly and talk to THE High Priest as you do! O what a Savior!

Hebrews 7.24Hebrews 7.25Hebrews 7.28

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the high priest

Hebrews 5.1

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
Hebrews 5:1-4

We continue in the Book of Hebrews to know that Jesus is the Superior One. Superior to angels, prophets, Moses, and now the priesthood of the Old Testament including Aaron, the high priest. Can  you imagine what shock and righteous indignation some of the Jews was experiencing that Jesus would be declared to be greater than Moses, Aaron and the Old Covenant? First, Moses and now you want us to believe that Jesus is greater than the Levitical Priesthood and Aaron?

In the Old Testament, it was the role of the high priest to represent God before man and man before God. For many of the Jews Hebrews 4:14, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” needed a little more explanation.

As I have stated before, I am no theologian or Christian apologetist but I have read that the Levitical priesthood had 24 different ranks of priests. The writer of Hebrews will use Hebrews 5:1 through 10:39 to give that explanation so the Jews [and us] will receive the Truth of Jesus being the Holy, Righteous, Pure and Prefect Mediator between God and man. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6a).”

The Holy Spirit begins with helping us to understand that the Old Testament priest were men who although chosen and called by God were sinners in need of mediation themselves.  The priests had to make sacrifice for their own sin before they could offer sacrifices on the behalf of the people.

I believe these Scriptures to be so very important for us…we take so much for granted including the access we enjoy to God. Just pause and give it thought…just suppose you were not able to call out to the Father right now and have the blessed assurance that He heard your cry, that you had to take your cause to another man who would take it to the Lord for you after he makes sacrtifice for his own sin…how alarming that would be!

Our access to the Father was paid for by the blood of Jesus and may the Lord forgive us for taking His amazing grace and gift for granted, for not spending time to meditate upon the perfect sacrifice given by our Loving High Priest, for not bowing before the Living God with a heart overflowing with love and thanks, for choosing gods of our own making instead of the One True and Living God who has chosen us and paid our sin debt so we could enter in the Presence of the Holy God!

Isn’t it amazing grace that Jesus would be both the sacrifice and the Mediator!?! Oh, what a Savior!

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The throne of grace

Hebrews 4.16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

These verses are so refreshing, so encouraging, and so very hopeful. They are like a breath of fresh air in the midst of so much turmoil and pain. There is hope…promised hope guaranteed by God Himself.

The hope of a High Priest who is able to identify with our weaknesses and struggles, who  has been tempted in every respect as we are and yet without sin. Do you see it?

The blessing, the benefit of holding fast to our confession and confidence (3:6)? There is a Throne of Grace and our Loving Savior sits on that Throne to minister mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. You just have to excuse me because this is a “Shout-now, Hallelujah!”

Tell me who is it that does not mercy (not giving us what we deserve) and grace (giving us what we don’t deserve) as we work out our salvation in fear and trembling? As true believers, we are given the great privilege of running to Jesus without fear of rejection or judgment but with confidence in His compassion for His own. He says bring it all right here, every weight, every sin, every trial, every hurt, every need, every care…cast it all right here for I care for you (1 Peter 5:12). Be still and know that I Am God (Psalm 46:10)!

It is a promise not to reject or chastise us but to pour out grace upon grace (John 1:16). “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16).” God is able. Nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17, Luke 18:27). He has promised to meet our need, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).”

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in His love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm46.10

Zeph 3.17

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God’s rest

Confidence 12

Psalm 62

3 although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” … Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:3b,4,6-10

The writer of Hebrews looks back through history to share in regards to rest to help us find understanding:

  1. Creation-verse 3b, from the foundation of the world-verse 4: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” We see the Sovereign Creator God who created the world and initiate rest. From the foundation of the world, it has been the Father’s will that His children find rest, peace, joy and fellowship in Him. There can be no true rest without fellowship with God.
  2. The time of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness: The Jews who received the good news message of forgiveness, salvation, joy and rest in the Lord blocked the manifestation of it due to rebellion, unbelief, and disobedience. Remember The Lord speaking to Moses, “The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…(Exodus 3:7-8).”
  3. The time of Joshua, verse 8: For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.” God used Joshua to give the Israelites some manner of rest- rest from the enemies of this land but not ultimate rest from the enemy of man’s soul and death. God spoke about a greater day!
  4. Today – the Day of God’s Salvation: verse 7: again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” As we discussed in an earlier post, Today is the day of salvation. The Day of God’s grace.
  5. A Sabbath rest for God’s people, verse 9-10: So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,  for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

These verses show us God’s plan for His people to rest in Him from the creation of the world. It is exciting to know that even the events in the Garden of Eden does not have power to circumvent God’s plan for His children to rest in Him forever.

We will not know God’s rest in its fullness until heaven but what comfort it brings to look forward to the day described in Revelation 21:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

Just can’t wait for that day! “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Revelation 14:13

It is the final Sabbath rest of salvation in the very Presence of the Lord. But the question remains, what about rest for today, in the midst of the nitty, gritty life before heaven. We hear the Lord’s great invitation of Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” and again in 1 Peter 5:7, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.Rest is found in the dying of self and living for God- His plan, His purpose, His way! Love overflowing into obedience gives sweet rest. It is not a work of our own doing or any type legalism.

It is makes no difference if rest remains needed for right now or the future, rest is found in the completed work of Jesus at the cross and in His resurrection three days later. It is by believing that we enter into God rest (salvation) and it is by obeying by faith and surrendering to His will that God’s rest that we realize the fullness of His rest. No wonder the Psalmist declared,

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62:5-7

 O, what a privilege to be His child and enter His rest!

Confidence

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