Got Milk? Need Meat?

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.–Hebrews 5:11-14 (NLT)
​When it​ comes to the Scriptures, I am learning not to say “I have learned” but rather that “I am learning”. Every time I think I have “learned” something, the Holy Spirit opens up more of the Scripture. Sometimes I wander if I will ever get out of kindergarten. But we all have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. That is a good start, but we have to build from there. The basics of God’s Word is the plan of salvation. Paul is saying there is more to our relationship with Jesus than that. After we have accepted Jesus and our salvation is secure, it is time to start to study Scripture and develop habits that will help us to mature in our walk with Jesus. Meditating on God’s Word, prayer and time alone with God is how we grow. The world is our classroom and the Holy Spirit is our instructor. We can take the short route to the Promised Land by studying and being obedient or we can be like the children of Israel and spend 40 years making the trip. And, remember, of all of those that spent 40 years making the trip, only two actually got to enter into that rest we have been reading about in Hebrews.
Post 07-20-14

Jesus-The Perfect Sacrifice-Anointed and Appointed

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

5 In the same way, the Anointed One, our Liberating King, didn’t call Himself but was appointed to His priestly office by God, who said to Him, ​You are My Son.
Today I have become Your Father,
6 and who also says elsewhere,​ You are a priest forever—​ in the honored order of Melchizedek.​(Read Genesis 14:18-21 for more​ on Melchizedek)
7 When Jesus was on the earth, a man of flesh and blood, He offered up prayers and pleas, groans and tears to the One who could save Him from death. He was heard because He approached God with reverence. 8 Although He was a Son, Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. 9 And once He was perfected through that suffering He became the way of eternal salvation for all those who hear and follow Him,​ ​10 for God appointed Him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.–Hebrews 5:5-10 (The Voice)
​–
​As a​ man, Jesus had no authority to take the office of our High Priest. But because he was obedient, even to death on a cross, God appointed Christ Jesus as our High Priest. He was tempted and suffered just as any human would, but He resisted the fleshly urge to sin. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for the “cup” to be removed from Him. His prayer was not that He would be spared physical pain and physical death. The “cup” He wanted removed was His separation from the Father. He knew that while the sins of all other humans was poured on Him at the cross, He would be separated from His Father. Sin always separates us from God. But because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, now when God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. Because of that perfect sacrifice, we will never be separated from God again. To reject us, after we have accepted Jesus and been cleansed in His blood, would be to reject Jesus Himself.
Post 07-19-14

We Must BE Reconciled to God

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1​ Remember what I said earlier about the role of the high priest, even the ones chosen by human beings? The job of every high priest is reconciliation: approaching God on behalf of others and offering Him gifts and sacrifices to repair the damage caused by our sins against God and each other. 2 The high priest should have compassion for those who are ignorant of the faith and those who fall out of the faith because he also has wrestled with human weakness, 3 and so the priest must offer sacrifices both for his sins and for those of the people. 4 The office of high priest and the honor that goes along with it isn’t one that someone just takes. One must be set aside, called by God, just as God called Aaron, the brother of Moses.–Hebrews 5:1-4 (The Voice)
​God​ appointed Aaron, the brother of Moses, to be the first high priest of the Jewish nation. After Moses followed God’s instructions in anointing Aaron and his sons, Aaron was then able to offer the prescribed sacrifices to God, Everything offered had to be without blemish or the sacrifice was not acceptable. These were offered on the altar and when they were offered properly, God would accept them as a sweet smelling sacrifice and forgive the sins of the people. Aaron understood the weakness of the people and their inability to refrain from disobedience. He suffered from the same weakness. (Read Exodus 32 for that story). So he could have empathy and compassion on the people as he offered the sacrifices for both his and their sins. This was a temporary fix that God allowed until a true sacrifice could be given.There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, Since sin came into the world through the disobedience of the first man, Adam, complete permanent remission of sin would have to wait on the sacrifice of a perfect man.
Post 07-18-14

Christ is Our High Priest

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

14 We need to hold on to our declaration of faith: We have a superior chief priest who has gone through the heavens. That person is Jesus, the Son of God. 15 We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin. 16 So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.–Hebrews 4:14-16 (GW)
​In the ​Old Testament, the priests were chosen from the tribe of Levi, but Jesus is from the lineage of the tribe of Judah. The Levitical priests gave temporary sacrifices that had to be repeated over and over. They even gave sacrifices for “unknown” sins, just in case somebody had missed one. But Jesus came into our world and suffered the same temptations we go through. He did this without sinning, but having suffered through those, he can empathize with our weaknesses. He became the perfect and last sacrifice necessary for sin. After suffering death on the cross, He was made our High Priest and now stands at the right hand of God interceding for us. No more sacrifice is necessary, we just need to accept His forgiveness and live a life modeled after His life here on earth. We will stumlbe and fall, but He is there to pick us up.
Post 07-16-14

No Body or No Thing Can Hide From God

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

12 God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him.​ ​–Hebrews 4: 12​, 13​ (GW)
We are told in the first chapter of John that “the Word became human and dwelt among us”. That Word was and is Jesus Christ. He is still alive and active. He stands at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. His Holy Spirit searches our hearts and minds and knows our very thoughts. We can all “talk the talk” but only each of us and God know whether or not we are “walking the walk”.
27 All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God’s people.–Romans 8:27 (CEV)
​He knows our thoughts and judges our intentions. We cannot fool Him, we cannot hide our thoughts from Him and we cannot physically hide from Him. He sees all, hears all, and knows all about us. And one day, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” that He is Lord. We can do it now and spend an eternity with Him or we can wait until judgment day and spend an eternity in hell. Jesus wants everyone to go to heaven, but He knows that not every one will choose to go. The choice is ours.
Post 07-16-14

Take My Yoke Upon You

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

6 However, some people enter that place of rest. Those who heard the Good News in the past did not enter God’s place of rest because they did not obey God. 7 So God set another day. That day is today. Many years after your ancestors failed to enter that place of rest God spoke about it through David in the passage already quoted: “If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn.” 8 If Joshua had given the people rest, God would not have spoken about another day. 9 Therefore, a time of rest and worship exists for God’s people. 10 Those who entered his place of rest also rested from their work as God did from his. 11 So we must make every effort to enter that place of rest. Then no one will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey.–Hebrews 4:6-11 (GW)
​When I read this passage in Hebrews, I am reminded of what Jesus promised us if we would listen and obey Him.
28 “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.29 Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves 30 because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”–Matthew 11:28-30 (GW)
If we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He will help us carry our burdens and we find that those things we once considered heavy and burdensome are not a load at all. What Jesus wants us to learn from Him is that He wants to fight our battles for us. If we allow Him to do that, then we will find the peace He promised us and we can have a little, tiny bit of heaven right here on earth. The place of rest is abiding in Jesus Christ. Abide with Him, dine with Him, worship Him, praise Him and rejoice with Him in the victories!
Post 07-15-14

Accept the Truth–We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 Now, since God has left us the promise that we may enter his rest, let us be very careful so none of you will fail to enter. 2 The Good News was preached to us just as it was to them. But the teaching they heard did not help them, because they heard it but did not accept it with faith. 3 We who have believed are able to enter and have God’s rest. As God has said,
“I was angry and made a promise,
‘They will never enter my rest.’” Psalm 95:11
But God’s work was finished from the time he made the world. 4 In the Scriptures he talked about the seventh day of the week: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the Scripture God said, “They will never enter my rest.”–Hebrews 4:1-5 (NCV)

​In​ Exodus, when God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, His plan was that they would enter into a land of milk and honey. They would eat crops they had not planted, drink water from wells they did not dig, and live in houses they did not build. In other words, God had prepared a place of rest for them. Because they were stubborn and refused to believe that God could and would deliver them, they disobeyed again and again. God became angry at their disobedience and refused to allow any of that generation to enter into the land of Canaan except for Joshua and Caleb. These two men had shown faith in God when all others refused to believe, thus they were allowed to enter into the land of rest. God’s plan was for man to work six days and then rest, just as He set the example in His acts of creation. His plan is for us to enter a period of rest when we leave this earth and then to reign with Him forever. But for us to enter that land of rest, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Just as God showed grace to those in the Old Testament who believed, He shows us grace through faith. The difference being that He was the perfect sacrifice forever and there is now no need for another sacrifice of any sort. As believers, our place in the land of rest is assured by the blood of Jesus.
Post 07-14-14

We Must Remain Faithful and Encourage Each Other

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

12 Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. 14 After all, we will remain Christ’s partners only if we continue to hold on to our original confidence until the end.15 Scripture says,
“If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn.
Don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled.”
16 Who heard God and rebelled? All those whom Moses led out of Egypt rebelled. 17 With whom was God angry for 40 years? He was angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. 18 Who did God swear would never enter his place of rest? He was talking about those who didn’t obey him. 19 So we see that they couldn’t enter his place of rest because they didn’t believe.-Hebrews 3:12-19 (GW)
​God​ is a God of love. But we must never forget that He is also a jealous God.
14 Don’t worship any other god, because I, the Lord, the Jealous One, am a jealous God.–Exodus 34:14 (NCV)

​When​ we rebel and refuse to accept God and His plan of salvation, He becomes angry and His wrath can be as dreadful as His love is wonderful. We don’t hear about the wrath of God from churches much anymore. But we must always understand that God is a jealous and a wrathful** God to those who refuse to believe in Him and His Son, Jesus. Once we are saved, we do not have to fear the wrath of an angry God. That, however, does not give us free rein to do whatever we please.
So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? 2 No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin?–Romans 6:1 (NCV)
We won’t lose our salvation or be turned away from heaven, but God does discipline His children.
8 If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children.–Hebrews 12:8 (NCV)
​So​ we should strive to live a Holy lifestyle on a daily basis and encourage others to do the same. Then, our lives will be filled with joy and we can live in anticipation of the day that Jesus takes us home to be with Him forever!!
** You might want to read Johnathan Edward’s famous sermon: “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God”.
Post 07-13-14

Don’t Be Rebellious and Stubborn (No Rest for the Wicked)

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

7 As the Holy Spirit says,
“If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn.
8 Don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled
and tested me in the desert.
​9 That is where they tested me.
10 although they had seen what I had done for 40 years.
That is why I was angry with those people. So I said,
‘Their hearts continue to stray,
and they have not learned my ways.’
11 So I angrily took a solemn oath
that they would never enter my place of rest.”–Hebrews 3:7-11 (GW)

​We​ should always be obedient and have a teachable spirit. If we become stubborn and rebellious, God will not be able to use us in His plan and He will remove us from the position He has allowed us to hold, just as He removed Saul from being king of Israel.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.”–1 Samuel 15:23 (KJ21)
God sees an unteachable spirit as stubborn and rebellious and compares it to sin and idolatry. We must allow God to replace our stubborn, straying hearts of stone with hearts of teachable flesh and He will write His name upon those hearts of flesh. Then He will be our God and we will be His people.(Read Jeremiah 31:32-34). Then we will learn His ways and walk with Him into that land of rest.
Post 07-12-14

We Are God’s Household

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling. So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith. 2 Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was faithful when he served in God’s house. 3 Jesus deserves more praise than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is praised more than the house. 4 After all, every house has a builder, but the builder of everything is God. 5 Moses was a faithful servant in God’s household. He told the people what God would say in the future. 6 But Christ is a faithful son in charge of God’s household. We are his household if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have.–Hebrews 3:1-6 (GW)
​We​ must keep our minds and our eyes focused on Jesus, He and He, alone, is our example to follow. Jesus is the author and the completion of our faith. He is faithful to God always. There are times when we stumble and fall, but Jesus picks us up and carries us until we are able to walk with Him again. We are the church built on Christ the foundation. We are the body and Christ is the head. The builder and the head should be praised and glorified. That is our duty to glorify God at all times. We are His household and we can boast of nothing in and of ourselves, but we can point to Jesus, our Redeemer and be proud of the confidence we have because of His faithfulness.
Post 07-11-14