Growing Up in the Spirit

even-smaller-bug-light1

And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. — Hebrews 6:3 NLT

Paul is again emphasizing that even new Christians should understand that salvation requires repentance, which is more than turning away from sin, it is also turning to something new and that is Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in God. We know that we should be baptized as an outward representation of what we believe in our hearts. It is symbolic of dying to sin and our fleshly desires and being resurrected to a new life in Jesus. We understand that after the resurrection, some will go on to eternal life with Jesus and others to eternal life in hell. What we need now is to understand what Jesus wants us to do until the time of our physical death. He wants us to follow His example and lead a lifestyle that draws others to Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us “into all truth”.  ​ If we following His leading, we will grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-30-2017

Grow Up, Move Out, and Take the Land!

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.   — Hebrews 5:14


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 wonder 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 an 11 day trip
​.  And, remember, of all of those that spent 40 years making the trip, only two actually got to enter into

​ the Promised Land. Let us choose to be like Joshua and Caleb.  God has prepared us to take the land and it is time to move out.
 
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” ​ — Numbers 13:30


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 4-29-2017

Chosen and Qualified by God Himself

even-smaller-bug-light1

In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. — Hebrews 5:9 NLT

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.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-28-2017

Reconciled Through Perfection

even-smaller-bug-light1

​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: ​ – Hebrews 5:1a The Voice
 
Hebrews 5:1-4 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, Jesus Christ.
 
Hebrews 10:11-18 The VOICE


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-27-2017

Hold On! – He’s Coming!

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. — Hebrews 4:16 NLT
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 stumble and fall, but He is there to ​ intercede for us, encourage us and​ pick us up.
 
Romans 8:31-34 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-26-2017

You Just Can’t Hide It!

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.  ​ – Hebrews 4:13 NLT


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”.

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.
 
10 ​ But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
​– Jeremiah 17:10 NLT​


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-25-2017

Enter In Through Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

 So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.

–Hebrews 4:9 NLT


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.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-24-2017

We Must Encourage Each Other

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. — Hebrews 3:13 NLT

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. We won’t lose our salvation or be turned away from heaven, but God does discipline His children. 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!!

Johnathan Edwards – “Sinners In The Hand Of An Angry God”


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-23-2017

Keep A Teachable Heart

even-smaller-bug-light1

    don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled,
    when they tested me in the wilderness.  — Hebrews 3:8 NLT
 

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. Then we will learn His ways and walk with Him into that land of rest.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

 

Focus on Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest — Hebrews 3:1 NLT

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.

13 If we are unfaithful,  he remains faithful,  for he cannot deny who he is.

 — 2 Timothy 2:13 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-21-2017