Hope for today: meditate on the Word

HopeThis 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. Joshua 1:8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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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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

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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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

 

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

Hope for today: encouraged and united

HopeMy goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. Colossians 2:2-5

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

milk or solid food

Hebrews 5.11-14

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

As we continue to seek God’s face as we read the Book of Hebrews, we come to the instruction and warning above. I thought I would go ahead and post the Scriptures and give you opportunity to read and make comment if so led by the Lord.

I apologize for my sudden absence…it is kind of hard to cough, sneeze, feel like a wet dish rag and type. 🙂  I will have a comment or two just as soon as the Lord permits.

heb-5-13-14

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: being content

Hope…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:11b-13

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

do not harden your heart

Hebrews 3-8

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
    on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test
    and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known My ways.’
11 As I swore in My wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.  Hebrews 3:7-19

May I just begin by saying how loving, gracious, and merciful the Lord is for showing us righteousness versus wickedness, wisdom versus foolishness, right versus wrong, love versus hate, obedience versus disobedience and rebellion, faith versus fear…He so lovingly and graciously reveals Truth and warns us of the consequences of choosing to live opposite of His righteous standard.

There are various warnings throughout the Bible and Hebrews 3:7-11 is an example of such. The writer begins with “if you hear His voice.” It would be good 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

To hear the voice of God and not repent and choose not to commit your heart to the Lord that you know is real, that you intellectually agree exists is to harden your heart and will bring God’s judgment. To say this in a different way, to know that God is real and love your sin and self more than the God who loves you, created you and gave His Son for you is dangerous. To say this another way, to place your trust in self or any other “g”od is sin and rebellion that is due a wage. The Lord warns us not to do this for an hard heart reaps the wage “For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23).” Look at verse 11, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’

In these verses, the Holy Spirit gives a warning along with an illustration to make His point. It is interesting that the is word for word the same as David uses in Psalm 95:7-11 and it is just as instructive today.

We know the story of the Israelites being in Egyptian bondage and how the Lord heard their cry from heaven, was concerned, and chose Moses as His tool to deliver them from the cruel heart and hand of Pharaoh. The Israelites were great recipients of the grace and mercy of God but instead of drawing near and trusting God, once out of Egypt and in the wilderness they became a stiff-necked, obstinate, rebellious people (Exodus 32:9). After all the Lord had did for the Israelites- all the signs and wonders, the every revelation of His love, power, provision, defense, and care, the Israelites did not trust His goodness and their unbelieving hearts caused them to be murmurers instead of worshipers. 

As a result, God was angry and paid the wage their sin and rebellion demanded. The Israelites were judged and all but two of the original Israelites who left Egypt died in the wilderness. In verse 10, the Lord declared this to be an issue of their hearts, ‘always going astray. As a result, “they shall not enter my rest.”

Oh my, what a Word for a world, a nation, a people, a person who shakes their fist at God. He who has spiritual eyes can see hard hearts all around us today. The Lord warns in 2 Timothy 3:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7-8

Oh Heavenly Father, thank You for Your loving warnings of grace and mercy. We pray for repentance in the hearts of the people, including our own. Search us, O God, and know our hearts! Try us and know our thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Galatians 6.7

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: a Friend

HopeOne who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior