7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! — 2 Cor. 3:7-11 NIV
When God called Moses to Mt. Sinai to give him the commandments, He had Moses tell the Israelites that they could not come near or touch the mountain. Anyone who did so would be put to death. The whole mountain was covered with a thick cloud as God descended to the top of the mountain to speak with Moses. God and His glory were covered with the cloud so that Moses could not see God. It was, as though, God spoke to him through a veil. This veil protected Moses because no one could see the face of God and live. It was a foreshadowing of the veil that covered the Most Holy Place in the temple. So the law and the commandments came with the glory of God. Under sentence of death, the people could not touch the mountain so they could not approach God directly. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn apart from top to bottom. The resurrection of Jesus ushered in righteousness and grace. When He ascended to heaven, He was restored to His position with all of its glory for eternity. We no longer need a Moses or a priest to approach God for us, we are invited to come before the throne of God in all its glory and make known our requests. It is our privilege and our ministry to bring the Living Word that came with surpassing, eternal glory to a lost and dying world.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:15, 16 KJV
6 So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. .—1 Peter 1:6-8 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation.
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT
So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.
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)
God is waiting to show you the way.
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.
1 Finally, we couldn’t stand it any longer. We decided to stay in Athens by ourselves 2 and send our friend Timothy to you. He works with us as God’s servant and preaches the good news about Christ. We wanted him to make you strong in your faith and to encourage you. 3 We didn’t want any of you to be discouraged by all these troubles. You knew we would have to suffer, 4 because when we were with you, we told you this would happen. And we did suffer, as you well know. 5 At last, when I could not wait any longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I hoped that Satan had not tempted you and made all our work useless-1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (CEV)
God is waiting to show you the way.
As Paul shows us here, it is our responsibility to encourage new converts. Their hearts are tender toward God and ready to receive instruction in His Word. We must be consistent in mentoring new converts. They are eager to learn more and if we leave them in a vacuum, satan will step in and use the persecution to discourage them from God’s work. While we want them to know about God’s love, we must also be sure they understand that offenses will come. God allows those things to happen in our lives for our benefit. He already knows what our response will be, but He allows them so that we know how much we have grown spiritually. We must pray and study so that we, like Paul, can learn to be content in all situations. In good times and bad times, we must never allow our faith to waver.