Monthly Archives: July 2019

God’s Promises are Certain

13When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” 15And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. 19We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13-20, NRSV)

God swore to Abraham by himself and on himself. We as humans sometimes do not take the word of others as truth and ask them to swear an oath on something greater than themselves.

But through God we are given a sure and certain hope and a promise that is sure.

So don’t swear by anything and know that God’s promise is firm. A solid foundation on which to build our lives.


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In the Garden of Gethsemane

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? (Matthew 26:36-40, NRSV)

What would you do if Jesus told you to wait with him and pray with him? Could you pray for an hour without falling asleep?

I remember being on a spiritual retreat as a member of the group putting the retreat on before I became a pastor and having the honor of being in the chapel and praying for the men who were first time people on the retreat were hearing a talk for about an hour and a half and being able to pray for the man speaking and all of those hearing his message. It was so powerful to lift them all to God.

But doesn’t God ask us to do this every day? And how often do we fall asleep on God?

Can you stay awake for God?


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Jesus Prays for Us

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; 3and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; 6as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” 7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:1-10, NRSV)

Jesus is our great high priest and was given to us by God to show us how to live and to worship God.

But in doing this Jesus needs for us to be like high priests to others. We need to be the person that shows the world what it is to live like Christ. To give up worrying about yourself and seek the needs of the other first. We are to show the love that God has given us to the world that needs to see God’s love.

Are you ready to think of the other first over yourself?


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Jesus is our High Priest

14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, NRSV)

We can and should live boldly in the love that God has given us. You see Jesus came and made a way for us. He didn’t just stay in heaven but became one of us so He could understand what we go through.

He became one of us to know our struggles and to understand our trials. Jesus knows what we go through. Jesus understands our pain and our hurt. He understands what we go through every day. He can sympathize with us. So we should live boldly as He did and show the love of God to all.


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Jesus Came to Serve

35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35-45, NRSV)

Power. It gets to all of us. We want it and we will do whatever we have to to get it and keep it.

James and John asked for something they had no clue what they were asking. Because power corrupts. Control is something we all need to let go of and allow God to have. You see because when we think we control anything in our lives we are fooling ourselves and making God laugh.

Why do we want things we have no idea what it will lead to or what it will bring, why can we not just rely on God and know that God will never let us down?


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Jesus is Raised up by Lowering Himself

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NRSV)

Jesus is God and could have called an army of angels to His defense at any point during His time here on earth with us. But He didn’t because He knew He had to show us how to live. He did not see His place to exploit His power but to align Himself with the powerless. So He emptied Himself and became like one of us and humbled Himself to death, death on the cursed tree.

Jesus gave up everything to know what our lives were like and He lowered himself to the place of criminal to understand us.

And by doing this He was raised up for all to see. And through this, He created a way for us to be connected to the creator.

So humble yourself and share the love that God has given you.


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Servants of God

15What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.20When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:15-23, NRSV)

Should we sin because we know when we sin we get grace? No! We get grace regardless. We do not need to remove our selves from God’s presence through sin to get more grace.

But we are either a slave to sin or to righteousness?

So who is your master?

God or sin?


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Set Free From Sin

7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:7-14, NRSV)

We are freed in Christ from any hold that sin has or had over us. We have died with Christ and know that because we have died with Him we will be raised with Him.

We have won the battle over death, and while our physical bodies may pass from this world we will live forever with Christ in the Kingdom of our Father!

So live your life in the light of God’s love now and share that grace with all of the world.


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We share in Christ’s Death and New Life

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:1-6, NRSV)

Christ was raised from the dead so we might walk in newness of life.

Jesus died so that you might have a new life. One that is filled with grace and love from God. Not one without hardships or always easy, but one that is filled with Grace and Love.

We no longer have to be a slave to sin but can live in the mercy of a relationship with our creator.

We have died with Christ and are raised anew to a life of love and grace to share with the world.

So walk in the newness of life through Jesus!


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The Family of Jesus

46While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50, NRSV)

Who is a brother or sister to Christ? Anyone who does the will of God. If you do the will of God then you are a part of Christ’s family.

Blood does not make a brother or sister but trust in the one true God and loving God and loving your neighbor.

That is the will of God.


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