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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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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The Word!

Psalm 119.160

Blessings today! We continue in a focus on “The Word of God” with Scripture and quotes from Tozer and others. Be blessed this day!

Word 21
The Word 1
Word 20
The Word 2

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 11

word-22.png
The Word 3
word-19.png
The Word 4

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

Word 3
The Word 5
Word 18
The Word 6

 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Word 5
The Word 7
Word 16
The Word 8

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. John 1:1-4

word-16.jpg
The Word 9
Word 9
The Word 11

He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20

Word 7
The Word 12
Word 8
The Word 13

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Numbers 23:19

Psalm.133

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Mind renewal…

Romans 12.2

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2a ESV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:2a NIV

“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes].” (Romans 12:2a)

Our Sunday School lessons this quarter are focused around “God’s Urgent Call.” So far, we have looked at specific individuals and the life lessons we can learn from their responses to the assignments God gave them. Eventually, we will study God’s call to specific action on our part. The call to witness, the call to obedience, the call to shine like the stars, etc. AND the call to transformation…”transformation by the renewing of your mind.”

No matter what your Bible translation preference may be, for the most part there is no change in the words used, “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Let’s face it, each person God created has a mind and the One who created us knows that our minds have been impacted by sin and need to renewed by His Spirit and Word.

I am reminded of the principle that states “salvation is the miracle of the moment, sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” This is what Paul was saying in Philippians 2:12b, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” When we accept Jesus and our Lord and Savior, the setting apart to and for God begins and setting apart from sin, evil and the enemy begins as well with our participating in this work.

The Lord is so gracious to call us to transformation from that old man mind (thinking) to the renewed mind (thinking) in Christ. He gave us our minds and now compels to use them for His glory. Is this not what the Lord speaks through Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:20, Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. Let your thinking align with the Word of God. It is light and it is truth; it will not change.

Mind renewal doesn’t just happen with one quick zap but is much like tenderizing a piece of meat…poke it, soak it, cook it, chew it, digest it. In other words, as God said in Isaiah 1:18, “come let us reason together.” Let there be many Selah, pause and ponder, moments of talking to God, asking questions, praying for understanding and wisdom. In fact, not moments but meditating upon the Word both day and night. Joshua 1:8 says it like this, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.Romans says it in a nutshell, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The transformation takes place in the moving of the Word from the head to the heart. God promised in Ezekiel 36:26, And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

What an awesome grace of God, to be instructed by His Spirit and Word…the living Wordfrom the One, True and Living God! We cannot instruct the Lord and our finite minds pale in comparison to His infinite knowledge and wisdom but the verses above encourage us to be transformed in our minds and therefore align our hearts and minds- thoughts, beliefs, actions so we no longer conform to this world but to His mind, will, ways, purposes and plans.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.  Psalm 19:7-11

Oh my, what a great privilege – all for His glory!

Psalm 1.2-3

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: the Lord teaches and directs

Hope17 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Isaiah 48:17-18

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: who has known the mind of the Lord?

Hope

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: teach me

Hope

10 I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way [revealed by] Your decrees as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. Psalm 119:10-15

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: God is my strength

Hope

25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
 27 Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all Your deeds. Psalm 73:25-28

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: words of the wise

Hope17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the LordI have made them known to you today, even to you. Proverbs 22:17-19

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior