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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I will extol the Lord…

Psalm 111.1

Psalm 111 (NIV)
Praise the Lord.
I will extol the Lord with all my heart
 in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.

Psalm 111.2
Glorious and majestic are His deeds,

    and His righteousness endures forever.
He has caused His wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear Him;
    He remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown His people the power of His works,
    giving them the lands of other nations.
Psalm 111.4The works of His hands are faithful and just;
    all His precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
Psalm 111.3He provided redemption for His people;
    He ordained His covenant forever—
    holy and awesome is His name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow His precepts have good understanding.
    To Him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111.10

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The kiss

Proverbs 24.26a

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Proverbs 24.26

As we have been discussing ‘loving one another,’ the image of a kiss comes right up into the conversation because it is love to offer ‘words that are full of true wisdom, thoughtful, respectful, gentle, fair and yet honest.’

Jesus said,  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).”  I saw the image below and thought that it helps us to see “the kiss” that pleases God. 

The kiss

So let us remember Philippians 2:12-13 and know that with God all things are possible.

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 in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

1 Thes 2.13-14

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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

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Hope for today: wisdom from above

Hope

13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. James 3:13-18

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Set your heart…

Colossians 3.2

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

Just a few more days and the last of school will be here! In my mind, the last day of school is the official start of summer. While just the thought of summer is exciting, it also comes with a warning: don’t get so caught up in the activities and fun of summer that you leave Jesus behind.

You know how we are, we wear our busy badges with such pride…and the activities of summer give all the more reason why we need to not be busy but “set our minds on things above.” Otherwise, the pressing needs of the spouse, children, neighbors, friends and our busy pride will take over our lives…and hearts. With vacations to plan, cook-outs to host and attend, sports, day trip here, day trip there, Vacation Bible School, swimming lessons, family reunions, day camp, softball, exercise, and walks…and before we know it every minute is spent and there has been no worship, no time alone with God, every prayer is on the run, and I am oh so glad that I can still remember the 23rd Psalm from when I was a child. 

Our loving Father gives us the key to a beautiful, wonderful summer, “SET your hearts on things above.” On purpose, deliberately, with determination point your mind and heart towards the things of heaven each and every day. Wake up giving Him praise and glory instead of mentally reviewing the many lists. Wake up declaring that this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and glad in it. Spend time alone in prayer and The Word and then talk with Jesus all day long. Be careful to make first things, first and allow the blessings flow from His Presence.!

For some of us just the thought of a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day is pretty refreshing. But the Lord offers something better:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…Acts 3:19.”
Times of refreshing…Times of refreshing…Times of refreshing!

First things first, what an absolutely beautiful summer it’s going to be!

acts-3-19

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: bless, do not curse

Hope14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Romans 12:14-16

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: Your unfailing love…

HopeLet me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to You to hide me.
10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.
May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
11 For the glory of Your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of Your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12 In Your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am Your servant. Psalm 143:8-12

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Honor marriage

exodus-20-14“You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:14

As we give thought to God’s command to honor our marriages, I immediately think of the serpent speaking to Eve, surely God did not say. As believers we must cast down his lies and invitation with the Word of God. Yes, God did For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith (1 John 5:3-4).

The commandments of God are always for His glory, our blessing protection, and benefit. The enemy never includes in his invitations that his whispers are always meant to kill, steal, destroy, and devour.

As I have been in prayer regarding this command, seeking the Lord in regards to what He would like to say through this blog He brought me to several images which I have placed below…and then the Word of God.

marriage

1-cor-13_4-7

hebrews-13-4

exodus-20-14

Matthew 5:27–28
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NLT)

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies … (KJV)

Matthew 19:9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (KJV)

Matthew 5:31–32
“You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.” (NLT)

1 Corinthians 7:2
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 12:21
And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. (KJV)

Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness … (KJV)

Ephesians 5:3–5
 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (ESV)

Colossians 3:5
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (NKJV)

1 Thessalonians 4:3–4
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour… (KJV)

Hebrews 13:4
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. (NLT)

hebrews-13-4 

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