Hope for today: far more abundantly

HopeNow to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Jesus, a Priest forever

Hebrews 7.21

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

“You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 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 7:11-28

Hebrews 7.25a

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Show diligence

Hebrews 6.11-12

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

I just love the little tidbits, reminders like the one above that we find in the Book of Hebrews. God reminding us not to put our salvation, our relationship with Him on automatic but we are to work out (not for) our salvation.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose.” Philippians 2:13-14

It reminds me of the saying, “Salvation is the miracle of the moment, sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” The Lord desires that we be diligent in seeking Him, knowing Him in greater ways, that we love Him with our all in all-so much that obedience is the overflow of that love. The Lord warns us to not be sluggish but rather to strain forward and press on to to the full assurance of hope until the end.”

There is encouragement to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The Holy Bible is full of people of faith and I pray that you have some saints of God walking in faith and perseverance with you who do the same. Certainly, Hebrews 11 puts many of the people on faith on display. I will post Hebrews 11 as my Sunday post. But this I know, diligence is not possible without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word nor is it possible without prayer. I thank God for these gracious gifts…and this warning. 🙂

Hebrews 11.6

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Fruit, Thorns and Thistles

Hebrews 6.7

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Hebrews 6:7-8

What a great lesson here…it describes two fields:

  1. Land that drinks the rain that often falls on it…drinks the heavenly gifts as described in verses 4 and 5. The land represents people…so people who have seen and heard the light, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the Word of God, tasted the powers of the age to come and brings forth vegetation (fruit)…fruit that is of use and nourishes those for whom the ground was tilled and the seed planted. This person will receive the blessings of God.
  2. Land that does not produce fruit but instead thorns and thistles. Thorns and thistles do not produce anything but more thorns and thistles. They are dangerous to all who come in contact with them. They are worthless and close to being cursed. Their refusal to drink the heavenly gifts prevent them from producing life in the field. Thorns and thistles will be burned.

A field or land is proven out by the fruit it bears and so it with believers.
We are privileged to possess the heavenly gifts of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, The Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit. The Land Owner has expectation that the recipients of the His gifts will produce fruit as a display of His glory. This Kingdom principle is taught throughout the New Testament.

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  Matthew 7:15-20

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:18:23

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

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. Galatians 5:22-25

John 15.16

Thank You, Father for choosing me! You could have made another choice. Help me by Your Spirit and Your Word to bear lasting fruit that brings You glory! In Jesus Name, I pray! Amen!

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: peace of mind and heart

Hope“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
John 14:27-29

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

For it is impossible…

hebrews-6-4a.jpg

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.” Hebrews 6:4-8 ESV

We see the seriousness of the Book of Hebrews once again as we look at Chapter 6, verses 4 – 8. It would be wise to recall that it is generally agreed that the book is written primarily to Jews who fall into 3 groups.

  • Jewish believers – true Christians who have left Judaism and received Christ as Lord and Savior
  • Jews who have intellectual agreement but have never committed their lives to Christ, never acted on what they know
  • Jews who have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ but made absolutely no response at all

Why do I read these verses and hear satan asking the “did God really say” question all over again? Yes, God did. It is impossible…let’s read it again in a different translation.

“For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing.
But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.” Hebrews 6:4-8 NIV

Yes, there is a hardening of the heart from which there is no return. Once again, the Lord is telling us that it is a dangerous thing to be enlightened, to experience the good things of heaven, to share in the Holy Spirit, to taste the goodness of God’s Word, the power of the age to come and turn away from the Living God! It is a dangerous thing to reject the drawing of the Lord unto Himself.

“It is impossible” to bring these people back to repentance. 1 John 2:19 tells us that these people were never true believers, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. They were not plucked from the Lord’s hand for it would be impossible to do so as Jesus declared, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28).

The enemy’s deceit is very real and we can deceive ourselves but never the Lord. The day of reckoning will come…it so much better and such a great privilege to move from danger to the One who safely keeps His own.

“8who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.” Jude 24-25

john-14-6.jpg

 

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today!

Hope

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 13:2-3

 

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Wisdom Wednesday

Discernment 12

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and God continues to speak to us about our need for discernment. I pray the following Scriptures and images will be a blessing to you! Discernment 2

Discernment 1

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10

Discernment 11

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14

Discernment 4

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

Discernment 10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7Discernment 9

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

discernment-13.jpg

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2ti mothy 3:16-17Discernment 14

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Discernment 5

discernment-3.jpg

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Discernment 6

Discernment 8

2 Tim 2.15

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you ought to be teachers

Hebrews 5.12

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 5:12-14

The writer of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit, tells the Jews that they should be able to share the truth of God’s Word, to teach others the unsearchable truth of Jesus Christ…instead of teaching they needed to be taught. We see this same type writing in Hebrews 6:

“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2

These teachings are foundational to the Christian faith. You should have a sure and certain faith about these basic teachings, so much so that you could teach them to others and yet…you keep sipping on the bottle. Isn’t it time for at least some junior food…at least a vegetable or two? I would really like to teach you about the priesthood, Melchizedek, a better covenant…but you are not able to chew and digest.

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).”  The mature have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. This is the by product of training in the Word. We pray, we study, we meditate day and night, we hide the Word in our hearts, develop discernment, and we apply it to our lives with joy. The spirit man becomes strong and we are able to  move from glory to glory.

It is hard to read these Scriptures and not give thought to current surveys that report large numbers of people claim to be Christians and when these numbers are drilled down many do not believe in the virgin birth, heaven, hell, Jesus walked the heart, the resurrection. etc. God has so much more but He is too wise to build upon a shaky foundations. Let a man examine himself to see if he is in the faith.

Maturity in Christ requires “constant use and training in the Word of God.”

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  John 17:17

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:26

2 Timothy 2.15

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: test the spirits

HopeDear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:1-4

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior