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Category Archives: Biblical

God is Worthy of Praise

18You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20(For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”) 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! 26At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;29for indeed our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:18-29, NRSV)

Have we listened to the words the prophets spoke? Have we heard what God is doing and going to do, and have we heard them and believed them?

And if we haven’t believed the voice from the earth will we believe the voice that proclaims these same things from heaven?

But no matter God is a God that we should praise in all circumstances. Because the promises that God has given us will not be shaken. They will not fall away, regardless of what happens, we can trust in the promises of our God and for that reason alone God should be praised.

So praise God in any and all circumstances and know that he is worthy of praise!

 

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Do Not Grow Weary

7Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. 16See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears. (Hebrews 12:7-17, NRSV)

God does not put us into circumstance but can work in and through all things to help us grow into closer and deeper disciples of Him, just as our parents helped us learn from our mistakes, and helped us learn how to be productive members of society, God fashions us through the things that happen in our lives to be better spreaders of His grace, mercy, and love.

God works in and through all things for good, so that we might better spread His kingdom.

Are you ready to be a better grace spreader?

 

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Running the Race of Faith

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children— “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; 6for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” (Hebrews 12:1-6, NRSV)

Live Cross-Eyed!

I still remember the shirt that said, “Live Cross-Eyed” on it with a cross and this verse, well part of this verse, Hebrews 12:2. In the version used on the shirt, which I am not sure now which one that was, it was translated, fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author, and perfector of our faith. Be cross-eyed in that all you see is the cross or the cross is the focus of what you see. Because Jesus was the one who created our faith and perfected it in his death on the cross.

Another way I have said this is to make sure that you see the back of Jesus’ head, if you look him in the eyes you are in the wrong place. We need to follow Jesus where He leads us and look to Him to show us how.

So are you focused on the cross or your own comforts?

 

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Faith in Waiting for the Promises

13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV)

Life is not about where we came from but where we are going. It is about why we are alive now on this journey and where our destination will be.

None of these, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, saw the promised land. They only knew the promise and saw it from a distance but never obtained it. Yet they lived their lives in a way that showed the trust they had for God.

They lived so that others would be drawn to the love they knew God has for them. Notice not had but has, because they are with God, as we will be. Life is not about making sure we don’t screw up so we make it. Life is about giving God’s love to others as God gave it to us.

Trust the promise and give it away like it doesn’t belong to you, because it doesn’t. God is giving it to you to use and help the world see God’s love.  So know the promise is true and trust it and live like you want to see everyone there.

 

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The Faith of Abraham

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:8-12, NRSV)

Abraham followed where God was telling him to go even though he really didn’t know where he was going. He knew God would never leave him and would always be there to guide him. Abraham understood he may not get it, but he trusted the promise of a land and a family. And Abraham believed this promise even though he was old enough that he should not have children. Even that being the truth, he knew the promise of God was stronger than that.

Do we trust the promise of God enough to leave everything behind and follow where God leads us even not knowing the way or where we will wind up? Can you faithfully do what God is leading you to do even when you don’t understand it, or know what is coming?

God promised a land and a family to all of us. Are you ready to trust the promise more than anything else?

Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Issac all did along with countless others, are you ready to be counted with the faithful?

 

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Faith Connects us to God

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. 4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith. 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” 13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 11:1-16, 12:1-2, NRSV)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

When we think we know what the outcome will be, it is our own doing and our own making.

Hebrews 11 tells us of all of the times when people were led by God to something they could not see yet but believed what was told them by God. Noah didn’t see the rain or the flooding but built the boat. Abraham didn’t see the child or the new land, but he believed he would be a father and would have a new place to call home. Jacob and Isaac believe this too. As well as Sarah. and all of these died without receiving the promise! They didn’t see it in their lifetime! What makes us think we are more important or special than them to get to see it?

God wants us to follow in faith, knowing that the promise is true, not always knowing what is going to happen and accepting that and following where He leads us. Because His ways are better than ours.

I am reminded with this passage of the beginning to the movie, My Sisters Keeper  If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans…

 

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Made Pure Because of Christ

13Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. (1 Peter 1:13-21, NRSV)

Do not hold to your old ways but be made different by Christ. Do live life as you had looking out for yourself first, but look out for others first and know that by doing this you will show them the love that Christ gave to you and Christ, in turn, will refill your cup.

Because if we are filled with Christ we can not live the old life we had been living for the old has gone away and the new has come. That is what life in Christ does, it changes us to look at the other first.

Are you filled with the spirit and guided by His love to give grace and mercy to all of the world?

Do you live a new life in Christ?

 

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