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

Hope for today: The Lord is the everlasting God

Hope28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to Him who has no might He increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

God made the promise

hebrews-6-13-14.jpg

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:13-15

The writer of Hebrews ends Chapter 6 assuring the true believer of his/her salvation and the need to rely on faith.

He begins with God’s main promise to Abraham. It can be found in Genesis 12:1-3,

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country,
your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,

    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

This promise was a long time coming and along this journey of life Abraham experienced several failures and sin. He lied about his wife being his sister not once, but twice (Genesis 12:11-13, Genesis 20:1-2,5). He and Sarah plotted their own plan for an heir and Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:1-15), both Abraham and Sarah laughed at God and God heard them (Genesis 17:17, Genesis 18:10-12). And yet God did not step away from His promises and Isaac was born.

Many of God’s promises are not based on our getting it right but on His faithfulness. 2 Timothy 2:13 declares, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” I like the Amplified translation, If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

We know that later on God gave Abraham these instructions, Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” The next morning, Abraham packed up and he, two servants, and His only son headed to Mount Moriah.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

In verse 15-18 above, God swears to Abraham that He will fulfill all of His promises. God had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself and since God promises our salvation, we can be assured that no matter the situation, “God is not a man that He should lie, or the son of man that He should repent. Don’t waver, don’t become sluggish, be faithful, wait on the Lord in faith for you shall receive the promise.

Hebrews 11.1a

Numbers 23.19

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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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Hope for today: the Lord is close

HopeThe Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hebrews 6

Hebrews 6

Blessings today! All praises to God as we continue on in the Book of Hebrews. Today, we read Hebrews 6 asking God to open His Word to our hearts and our hearts to His Word. Tomorrow, we will seek the Lord for understanding and application. Thanks for walking this journey with me!

Hebrews 6 (NKJV)

The Peril of Not Progressing

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

A Better Estimate

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

God’s Infallible Purpose in Christ

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6.19

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

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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

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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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Hope for today: live at peace

Hope

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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