We must pay close attention

hebrews 2.1

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Hebrews 2:1-4

Most of us reading this blog know the guide for reading Scripture concerning the word, “therefore.”  Whenever you see the word “therefore,” go back and see what it is there for. I cannot recall a time that this guide has failed to bring me clarification and knowledge…and so it with this second chapter of Hebrews which begins with the word “therefore.” Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it (Hebrews 2:1).

So let’s quickly go back to Hebrews 1 which we read on yesterday and see what the therefore is there for. Through the opening chapter of Hebrews the Lord reveals truth about Jesus and I pray that one truth that penetrated every heart is that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is superior to angels, superior to any man, and superior to creation for He is indeed the Creator.

Surely, as we read John 1:1-4, 14 came to our hearts.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I must share that ‘bullet point’ is my middle name. When studying or teaching, bullet points really help me with my own clarity. I pray that as we read and chewed on yesterday that we were able to hear God as He revealed the following things about Jesus, the Son of God (bullet points):

  • God appointed Jesus the heir of all things (vs. 2)
  • Jesus created the world  (vs. 2)
  • Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God (vs. 3)
  • Jesus is the exact imprint of the Father’s nature (vs. 3)
  • Jesus upholds the universe by the word of His power (vs. 3)
  • Jesus made purification for sins (vs. 3)
  • Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (vs. 3)
  • Jesus is much superior to angels (vs. 4)
  • Jesus inherited a name that is more excellent than angels (vs. 4)
  • Jesus is worshiped by angels (vs. 6)
  • Jesus is God (vs. 8)
  • Jesus’ throne will last forever (vs. 8)
  • Jesus laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of His hands (vs. 10)
  • Jesus remains and will remain the same (vs. 12)
  • Jesus’ years will have no end (vs. 12)

This one chapter of the Word of God that reveals Jesus as the Son of God and the Superior One is a “Shout now – HALLELUJAH!” Rejoice! Rejoice!

We move on after receiving this Truth to hear God begin Chapter 2 with “therefore”…because you have received this revelation of Truth, we [you] must pay much closer attention to what we [you] have heard, lest we [you] drift away from it.

My, my, my! What a Word in due season for the people of God. Therefore pay much closer attention to what you have heard FROM ME.  You say but I am paying attention, God says pay much closer attention (2:1).  Listen carefully. Observe My Word. Focus. Meditate on MY Word day and night. Treasure my Word. Be washed by My Word. Be transformed by My Word. Display My Word.

I have spoken by My Son… not social media, not the world system, not CNN, not FOX, not the President, not the pundits, not your IRA, not sister girl, not your guy, not the world’s wisdom, not even your own thoughts..BUT PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT I HAVE SPOKEN. but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (1.2).” “And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Luke 8:8).”

Then He gives the reason why and the reason is actually a warning, lest we drift away from it (vs. 1).” Some already have drifted away…the cure is the same as the prevention, pay much closer attention to what you have heard from the Son of God!

Father, You are Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect! Thank you for opening our eyes to see Jesus as the Son of God. Please help us to hold true to You and Your Word, to pay close attention to the Words Jesus spoke, help us not to drift away but be found faithful, treasuring Your Word more than silver or gold. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Colossians 2.3

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Jesus, the Superior One

Hebrews 1.3

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature,
and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. 1:3a

I love the Book of Hebrews as I find it gives us a glorious, beautiful glimpse of Jesus, a wonderful, beautiful understanding of the Old Testament, our need for a Savior and why Jesus came to dwell among us. I don’t know why we as believers do not study this book any more than we do (other than Chapter 11, the faith chapter) but it is so full of the revelation of Jesus found through meditative pause and ponder moments. Hebrews is like a good piece of meat. It should be slowly chewed. marinated in the Spirit and served with other delicious Words of the Holy Bible. Today, the Lord offers Chapter 1 just to give us a taste and the encouragement to chew and allow His Spirit to have His way with releasing knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. 

Hebrews 1 (ESV)

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”?

Or again,

“I will be to him a father,
    and he shall be to me a son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,
    and his ministers a flame of fire.”

But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
    the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

10 And,

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
    and your years will have no end.”

13 And to which of the angels has he ever said,

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Hebrews-1.10

SelahFather, Blessed is Your Name. You are great and greatly to be praised! Glory, honor, and majesty belong to You! We are hungry for Your Word, we are hungry for communion and fellowship with You, We are thirsty for Your Spirit ruling and abiding in us. Open Your Word to our hearts and open our hearts to Your Beautiful, Wonderful Word! We want to see Jesus! Open our eyes that we might see, glimpses of truth You have for us; place in our hearts the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set us free.
In the Name of Jesus, Amen!

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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the new has come

2 Corinthians 5.17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

As my husband and I are aging, we have come to an agreement in regards to a very important aspect of life. We are working to get rid of the clutter. He especially likes this in regards to my closet. The agreement is that we will always purchase what we need, sometimes purchase what we want, BUT no matter the reason for the purchase, when something new comes in, something old must go out. 

I was thinking about this agreement the other day as it really applies to everything, not just clothes… but… e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!.  SSSSssssooooo on Saturday, I purchased a new crock pot because I wanted a bigger one. It really wasn’t a need for there was nothing wrong with the old one. I just used it for a very tasty beef roast with all the trimmings. Despite the fact that it really hasn’t been used that much, according to our agreement the old has to leave. On my way home with my new pot, I wondered how long it would take for my husband to ask my plans for the old one.

I made it all the way through un-boxing and cleaning the new one and then I heard the question. What are you going to do with old one? In my husband’s mind, there is absolutely no reason for me to hold on to the old and his expectation is that I give thought to how I will carry out my end of the agreement. The old has to leave this house. 🙂

In my thinking and smiling about this agreement between my husband and I, the Lord reminded me that we are in agreement as well in His being my Lord and Savior and that He has expectations of me as well. You see, this Holy, Righteous and Loving God has been so faithful in His end of the agreement. He revealed and drew me unto Himself, gave me a measure of faith, fed me His Word, brought be to repentance, forgave my sins, saved my soul and therefore reconciled me to Himself and therefore made me a new creation. At that time, He declared me to be justified by faith and made this declaration regarding my life, The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

The Lord gave His Son so that we could have eternal (John 3:16) and abundant life, life to the full (John 10:10). In order to realize this new abundant, full life, the Lord has given us the new, His Holy Word and Holy Spirit. He has commanded that since we have the new, the old must leave our house. 

Just like my husband knows that my natural inclination might be to try to hold on and find reason to keep that old crock pot, the Lord knows that the natural man will want to hold on to the old man. The Lord wants us to understand that we are not that person any longer but rather, new creatures in Christ and He expects our participation in getting rid of the old. He speaks through Ephesians 6:22-32:

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 6:22-32

SSSsssooo I told my husband about this post prior to pushing it out since I have his name all in it and asked if he was okay with it. He said, “I am okay with it but when will you be getting rid of the crock pot?” I am thinking the Lord is asking the same question, when will you be getting rid of ___________.  Now the good news is that if I tell my husband, I need your help and he will gladly give it to me. He is most interested in the old being gone. 

Our God will do the same, multiple times over. He is more than willing to help us get rid of those old man tendencies…all we have to do is ask. Blessed is His Holy Name!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15

1-john-5-14.jpg

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Had my fill…

Matthew 5.6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Have you ever just come to your end with someone or a situation and found yourself saying, “I’m fed up?” Perhaps it is a person who is like a thorn, no matter how you try, no matter what you do, there is always something. Perhaps it is some dynamic within the home or family. Or that work situation that just won’t get any better. You find yourself talking to yourself, to others, even to God saying, “I have had my fill, done.” Been there, done that.

May I share that when this is me, God usually sends me a Word that says, “really? Fed up, had your fill, done? It’s because you are allowing your flesh on your plate. You’re eating from the wrong plate. Let’s get that cleaned off your plate, fill it properly, and walk through again.” My response: “Oh Lord, really?”

He says, “Yes, let’s go through it again and see if it is any different when you walk in My Word and Spirit.” Then He will take me to Galatians 5. 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

In other words, the Lord tells me that in that moment “you’re full of yourself.” I will let you know when you are done and it certainly isn’t when you are filled with flesh instead of My Word and Spirit. You’re in no condition to make those decisions right now. Wisdom is needed and your flesh cannot give it to you. “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding (Proverbs 4:6-7)”

He is so loving and gracious to give me a greater invitation, the Bread that gives life to the all of life.  

John 6.35

Come to My table, eat of Me and allow me to clean your plate. You belong to My family and My table is always full- eat… drink… and find satisfaction. Bring all the struggles right here, leave them here, eat…drink…I will truly fill you and you will find the nutrition, strength, and peace you need. Now…eat from My Word, drink of My Spirit and rely on Me and go walk in My sufficient grace. You’re not done, I Am your God and I work all things together for good for those who love Me and are called according to My purpose.

Yea, Lord! All Your ways are perfect! I feel like going on!

2 Samuel 22.31

Matthew 4.4

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Hope for today: kindness and love appeared

Hope 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. Titus 3:4-7

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Wisdom Wednesday

psalm95_6-7

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday! As we have discussed ‘love’ and ‘the kiss’ over the past days, I am mindful of the humility that the Lord calls us to as believers in Christ. The good news is Jesus gave His life and His Spirit lives in every true believer that this would be true for our lives and His glory! SSSSSssssoooo so Scriptures today and tomorrow on humility. Blessings to each of you and with so many options, I thank you for including BHM is your day! To God alone be all glory!

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:20

Humility 1
Humility 1
Humility 32
Humility 2

He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

Humility 21
Humility 3

For the Lord takes delight in his people;
    He crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4

Humility 3
Humility 4

For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

Humility 9
Humility 6
Humility 18
Humility 7

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Humility 35
Humility 8
Humility 36
Humility 9

Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:7-10

humility-19.png
Humility 10

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Humility 31
Humility 11
Humility 33
Humility 12

Daniel 4.37

An honest answer

Proverbs 24.26

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Proverbs 24.26

The above verse was our focus for Bible Study on Wednesday. It is another extreme expression designed to make a point. This verse gives us a great visual for the words that come from our hearts and out of mouths.

Proverbs 15:23 was used to build upon the passage, A man has joy in giving an appropriate answer, and how good and delightful is a word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!

A kiss should be a delight, pleasant, and bring joy to the one who gives and receives it. The lips of the believer should do the same. When our mouths open, it should be like a kiss. Words that have value that others will honor because the words are full of true wisdom, thoughtful, respectful, gentle, fair and yet honest. We speak truth in love understanding that Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and the Life. He said to the Father, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth (John17:17).”

Proverbs 15:23 speaks of a word in season…the right word at the right time is like a kiss on the lips, pleasant and delightful. This doesn’t mean the hard conversations do not take place. In fact, it says just the opposite. Honest conversation spoken with love and gentleness will bring blessing, benefit, and increase.

There are times in marriage, friendship, work, community and even church relationships that we have all been kissed with honest conversation. We are not always so grateful at the time but over time the Spirit, the Word, humility, meditation, and conviction helps us to understand that yes, we did receive a pleasant and delightful kiss. 

The tongue of the righteous is like precious silver, greatly valued (Proverbs 10:20a) and the lips of the righteous feed and guide many (Proverb 10:21a).”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

Such a blessed and wonderful illustration from the Word of life. It is one I ask God to keep with me? My prayer is that the Lord will guard my heart and lips so that those I encounter at home and in the marketplace of life will be kissed to the glory of God!

Proverbs 25.11

THINK

Proverbs 15.23

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: who has an ear should listen

Hope

“Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise. Revelation 2:7

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Helping by prayer…

2 Corin 1.10-11

10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11

So yes, the suffering is real but Paul knows who is his very present Deliverer. The One who is able to save and protect. He had a great understanding of Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

In fact, the following is what he had to say when in a Roman prison writing to the Philippians. He was willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

What I believe God would have us see in both the Corinthians and Philippians Scriptures on today is the the role of prayer in deliverance. We often say, ‘if only I could do something or I don’t know how to help.” These verses tell us the effectiveness of prayer and James 5:16 declares that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Paul is giving testimony to this truth!

The wonderful thing is that we do not have to know name or need. There are some things that are needed because we are on the battlefield for the Lord: wisdom, anointing, discernment, protection, sound doctrine, open doors, language barriers, strength, courage…and of course, we pray specific needs when we know them. The principle here is straight from Scripture, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:18).”

We don’t even have to leave our homes to be found faithful! 🙂 Come on, let’s get on with it, let’s strengthen our brothers and sisters through fervent and effectual prayer!

Ephesians 6.18

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Comfort others…

2 Corinthians 1.4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

The Sovereign God, who is always doing more than one thing at a time, has purpose in trouble, disappointment, and suffering. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Comfort that He expects us to use to comfort others.

Isn’t it comforting just to know that God gives comfort/encouragement to us with the expectation that we will pass it on…that the heartache, tears, inner pain does have purpose? Paul says in verse 6, If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” Let’s see, I am distressed and one reason for the distress is your comfort and salvation. I then find comfort and that is for your comfort as well and will produce patient endurance when it is your season to suffer. What a great God, in it all He is training us to be instruments of comfort or comforters for others. 

It really is the grace of transformation at work here. The taking on of the character and nature of God. Remember verse 1, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  The Father of our Lord Jesus who is the image of the Father, and the Holy Spirit as described in John 14:26, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

We look at Paul’s list of troubles and know that his life experiences gave him much need of comfort.

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

Certainly, there would be need for much comfort, encouragement, and strengthening as Paul labored for the Lord. Therefore, he would have much comfort, encouragement, and strengthening to pass along.

I belief that while we could agree that none of us have experienced Paul’s exact life, we could all look back over our lives and know that there have been and perhaps even right now, seasons of receiving the comfort, encourage, and strength that only God gives. This should cause us to bow with thanks and praise for how God used His servants to help us through, to bring us a due Word in season, to pray for us, meet our needs, to just be there.

I am reminded of Hebrews 12:15a, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” With this in mind, may we commit to the Lord as His instruments of grace of comfort, encouragement and strength in the Name of Jesus to the glory of God and the blessing and benefit of His people!

Isaiah 51.12a

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