Hope for today: Trust in the Lord

Hope

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Melchizedek the Priest

Hebrews 7.1

This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.  This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.Hebrews 7:1-10

The writer of Hebrews continues to explain the superiority of Jesus as He focuses on Jesus as our Great High Priest. This is necessary because the Jews were well familiar with Aaron’s priesthood and the tribe of Levi.

We need to set the Scripture in context by reading Genesis 14:17-24:

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a tithe of all.

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

Some facts about Melchizedek according to Hebrews 7:1-10:

  • He was both king and priest (while Aaron was the first Levitical priest, Aaron was a priest only- not king). Melchizedek was not of the Levitical order, he was the priest of the Most High God – verse 1
  • His name means “king of righteousness” then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
  • His family history – The Old Testament record did not record his father or mother, his genealogy, date of birth or death…in this way, he is like the Son of God
  • He receive tithes and blessed Abraham- Abraham gave him tithes,This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.” Abraham acknowledged the authority Melchizedek by giving the tithe and Melchizedek blessed Abraham, And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.
  • Aaron and the tribe of Levi were not yet known, they were “in the loins of Abraham.” When Abraham acknowledged the greatness of Melchizedek, he did it for the future generations as well. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

And yet Jesus is Superior to Abraham and Melchizedek…Praise God!

hebrews-7-9.png

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Be diligent

Hebrews 4.11
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:11-12

The writer once again gives instruction with a warning…be diligent: pay close attention to entering the rest of the Lord…take earnest heed and drift not away.

Pay attention to the Word of God, believe it and enter into the rest of the Lord by faith.

This is one of those, “don’t get it confused” warnings. The Lord warns that His Word has the power to penetrate the heart of man. The Word will let us know if we are people of faith. Why pay attention to the Word? Because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).” This is why 2 Corinthians 13:5 warns us, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

The test is administered by the Spirit of God according to the Word of God. The Word reveals sin and unbelief. The Psalmists cried out to the Lord:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

The following verses from Matthew’s Gospel comes to my mind and heart:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22-23

Every man breathing has reason to be diligent to enter the rest of the Lord as He hears, applies, and obeys the Word of God. Trust in not automatic. It must be properly fed, cared for, and lived out. Let us not neglect our salvation, our Savior, His Word or His Spirit.

Psalm 139.23-24

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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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the promise still stands

Exodus 33.14

“Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened…. 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 4:1-2,9-10


The writer of Hebrews teaches us in regards to rest. I googled the word, “rest” and here is the definition that touches the many aspects of rest as pertinent to our discussion:

  1. a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

  2. freedom from activity or labor, a state of motionlessness or inactivity

  3. repose of death

  4. a place for resting or lodging

  5. peace of mind or spirit

  6. free of anxieties

We can look at the above definitions through the Word and Spirit and realize that there is spiritual meaning. So let me ask you, are you in need of rest? When you look at the definition, what is your need? Are you so busy that a ceasing of activity would just be a flat out blessing, no questions ask? Is the thought of dying just more than you can stand? You know, I don’t want to talk about it and you certainly cannot attend a funeral? Perhaps you are suffering from anxiety, the weight of the world is resting on you? What in the world is happening, we are certainly spiraling downward, when will it ever stop? Is life just overwhelming and it feels like your circumstances are just hopeless? Are there hidden tears and silent fears? Are you saying to yourself, peace, I just need peace, I need for my mind to just shut down, it is beating me to death?

The good news is: God has the answer. He assures us in Hebrews 4:1, “the promise of entering His rest still stands.” It doesn’t matter what type rest you are in need of…whether it is the rest from the fear of death, rest from the toils of this world, rest for your mind and soul, even rest from fear. God has the answer and it is in Him alone. In fact, in these Scriptures the Lord us to fear is not entering His rest (verse 1, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

How do we enter His rest irregardless of the need, whether  it is salvation, peace, strength, joy, etc.? It is entered into by faith and faith alone.

“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The rest of salvation which brings with it the rest from the rest. 🙂 Verse 12, “bestowing His riches on all who call on Him.”

Hebrews 11.1

 

Matthew 11.28

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Hope for today: wait for the Lord

HopeWait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.

Psalm 27:14 AMP

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

entering His rest

Hebrews 4

“…since a promise remains of entering His rest…”
Hebrews 4

Blessings today! We are moving forward in the Book of Hebrews and I pray you will join me in reading Hebrews 4. I am asking the LORD to open His Word to our hearts  and our hearts to His Word. I can on speak for one person and that is myself but I would not be an instrument of God’s glory if I did not share the great joy and peace I have in knowing that He is the Sovereign and that there is rest in Him. In the midst of the turmoil and chaos of this world, rest is available. I give testimony of His goodness and faithfulness to allow my soul to find rest in Him alone.

May Hebrews 4 be a blessings to your soul and we will begin to discuss on tomorrow.

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:

“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’”

although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

The Word Discovers Our Condition

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Our Compassionate High Priest

14 Seeing then that 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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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The Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 22-13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Revelation 22:13

On Sunday, I posted Revelation 22 as an encouragement of worshiping the True and Living God. Today, I was in need of a boost and the Lord took me right back to Revelation 22. Right back to verse 13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

He is right here with me pouring out words of encouragement, “I AM” in every situation. I Am Sovereign, the Potentate, the Creator, the Author, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent. Do you think that I am not aware? I AM Abba Father, why is your soul cast down? I AM the Lifter of your head, Keeper of your soul, your very present Help in this time, your Refuge and Strength…enter in for I AM Immanuel, God with us [you].

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:7-11).”

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8

Yea, Lord, now I can lay down and sleep for my soul finds rest in you alone! Praise, honor and glory belong to You! Amen and Amen!

Psalm 62.5

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Hope for today: my heart trusts in Him

Hope

Praise be to the Lord,  for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Psalm 28:6-9

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Hope for today: The Good Shepherd

HopeThe Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever. Psalm 23

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