Category Archives: Hebrews

Numbers 3-5; Hebrews 12

It is really hard to see discipline as an act of love. Harder for a child and I remember those days, but as an adult I could really relate. As a grandparent, I cringe when my grandchildren get discplined – I love them, but somehow not as much as their parents do. The word “discipline” has to be couched these days as more and more of our culture and the best psychology theories out there seem to take a negative view of it as face value.

There is a bit more freedom using the word when we talk in context about God, and our definition is more in line with consecration as opposed to condemnation. Remember His command for us to be holy.

I need to read Hebrews 12:5-11 very carefully.

No matter what happens I am a child of God. He has a covenant with me and part of that covenant means that He corrects me when I go off on my own. He will not let me fall away. If I persevere in my walk with Him it is not because of my strength to be faithful, but rather because of God’s strength to hold me in His hand.

Here is the thought that just sticks out – “the Lord discplines the one He loves.” It is possible to read this as – if I am not disciplined then I am not a child of God.

That is keeping it real, but let’s agree to consider these points that seem to make sense out of the outcomes of discipline:

  • I will stay on the straight and narrow path and I can because I am strengthened by grace.
  • I will see the fruit of peace and see that in my relationship with others.
  • I will look forward to seeing His holiness and my strength in putting off apostasy.
  • I will choose to walk in the way that is right, pleasing to God and I will accept discipline and be trained by it in order to be a man after God’s own heart.

Father, these words are rather easy to write, they flow from my heart. However, it is a different story when it comes to living them. I write them as an offering to You so that by saying them out loud You know that I want to be accountable to them. I know I am inviting You to discipline me and I know I can trust You to do so in love. I know You know that is difficult for me, especially because of my relationship with my earthly father. But if I know anything, I know You love me. That matters most. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Leviticus 26-27; Psalm 112; Hebrews 10

Hope.

The mere word stirs up a warm emotion and thoughts of a bright future. However, for hope to even exist, so must the situations that require it. I don’t feel the lure of hope on a sunny day when the kids are obedient and the house is clean and everyone loves dinner and my to-do list is getting taken care of and a friendly text pops up on my phone.

When my teenager gets in a car accident, when a friend loses their battle against cancer, when the dog pees on the floor, when dinner sets off the smoke alarm, when ordinary life is just making my bone-weary. That is when hope shines. That is when it lifts our chin and points us heavenward to remind us that this world is not our home. Without the messy world I might completely miss my need for hope.

 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Hebrew 10:35-36 ESV

Even that hope, that confidence, is in itself a reward. So many people go through life hopeless. The very fact that we have hope hints to our faith in God. As I trust and obey and walk in His footsteps, hope secures my path.

He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Psalm 112:7 ESV

A reward that we can share with others, shine into their lives. The peace I have passes understanding, not because it necessarily brings more peace to my surroundings, but because it gives me more peace in the midst of my surroundings. Bad news will come. Hard days are inevitable. And, in their midst my heart can stand firm, because my hope is elsewhere.

11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.

Leviticus 26:11-12 ESV

We have hope because God walks with us. I sometimes catch myself praying for God to be with me or someone else in a particular situation. I have been reminded recently that I don’t really need to pray for what I already have. I might pray for that presence to be felt or to bring some blessing along with it, but God is already with us, always. Sometimes I need that reminder that He is there, and this is a case where the prayer might change the pray-er more than anything else.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Hebrews 10:39

(And, after this verse comes the great Hall of Faith chapter – the list of those that didn’t shrink back). I’m counted among the faithful. Surely not because of any strength of my own. The very fact that I believe and hope is a gift from God not of works. This beautiful truth pushes me to press on. He has strengthened my weak knees, lifted my weary arms, raised my fearful focus to His face, and solidified my steps on the rocky path ahead. Hope in the midst of the hurting world.

Dear Lord, thank you for hope. Thank you even for the reasons to hope that press in on us from every side, for these challenges that make our hope all the more obvious and necessary. Continue to help me live as one with hope, attracting those around me to this flame of faith you have given. Thank you for lifting me up when everything else pulls me down. I love you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Leviticus 1-3; Psalm 27; Hebrews 2

I like looking at the Old Testament sacrifices – they symbolise thanksgiving, loyal fulfillment of covenant engagements to God, and that loving trust which will call on Him in the day of trouble. This is what God looks for from me. God is love and desires my love and delights in seeing expressions of self -forgetting and self-sacrificing service in which love reveals itself. This is to God even as food is to me. Love cannot be satisfied except with love returned.

“Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any of you brings an offering to the Lord from the livestock, you[a] may bring your offering from the herd or the flock.

“If his gift is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to bring an unblemished male. He must bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting so that he[b] may be accepted by the Lord. He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering so it can be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. – Leviticus 1:2-4 HCSB

My need for the infinitie love of God cannot be met by me alone. The sacrificial offering illustrated that I am a sinful person who has fallen away from perfect love. The self offering of love of Jesus, from the Father, on behalf of sinners like me, became a reality. It was a Divine love because it was the supreme expression of the perfect love of Jesus to His Father in total obiedience to die on the cross.

I have asked one thing from the Lord;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the Lord
and seeking Him in His temple. – Psalm 27:4 HCSB

And so the law is full of love and the duties of the law is love and love fulfills the law. Sin is now designed and employed for the maintenance of love and therefore obedience to the law and the reign of love in my life are different but the same. One of the most sublime lessons of the law is the fact that God is love.

But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone—crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering in death.

For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God—all things exist for Him and through Him—should make the source[d] of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father.[e] That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. – Hebrews 2:9-11 HSCB

The love and grace of God – the supreme proof of those are furnished at the cross. Love is not me loving God but rather God loving me and sending His Son to take my punishment for turning my back on God.

Father, thank You for loving me. Help me reveal Your love to others by loving them. Amen

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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1 Chronicles 11-12; Hebrews 13; Amos 7; Luke 2

I have been challenged to pray for many things today. Prayer is what is in the background, the foundation, of what others see in my action, my character.

David grew stronger and stronger, because the Lord Almighty was with him. – 1 Chronicles 11:9 GNT

Others may see me strong but it is only because I walk with God and He with me.

Issachar: 200 leaders, together with the men under their command (these leaders knew what Israel should do and the best time to do it). – 1 Chronicles 12:32 GNT

I want to be seen as a leader – someone who knows what should be done and the best time to do it. I pray for this to be part of my life.

Even so, I cannot forgot about the greatest power of all – love.

Keep on loving one another as Christians. Hebrews 13:1 GNT

While I was still a sinner, God love me and sent Jesus to take my place when it came to being punished for my sins. I pray to extend the same grace that I have been given.

I love the opportunity of praying for I know that I have been invited to participate in the plans of God.

In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign Lord, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!”

The Lord changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.” – Amos 7:2-3 GNT

What if I did not pray or did not pray with passion? So much rests on me praying.

Anna would have agreed on this.

There was a very old prophet, a widow named Anna, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for only seven years and was now eighty-four years old.[a] She never left the Temple; day and night she worshiped God, fasting and praying. – Luke 2:36-37 GNT

What a walk of devotion. A woman who might have had every right to be bitter but even as a very old woman she had not lost hope. I believe, at the end of the day, it was because she was a woman of worship and prayer.

So much to pray about today.

Father, I look forward to our times together. I know the strength that others see in me comes from me spending time with You. I count on You as my leader in order for You to help me lead others as they count on me to know the what and when of things that need to be done. In the business of life, let me never forget to love the body of Christ. Let me never forget that praying matters. Let me walk a life of worshp and prayer so that my life counts and that I may be faithful in my walk with You. Thank You.

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1 Chron.9,10; Heb.12; Amos 6; Luke 1:39-80

“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting , Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:39-45 NLT

I think on Mary and Elizabeth’s friendship. Mary couldn’t wait to tell Elizabeth her news. Mary knew she was a friend who would encourage her and spur her on in her faith. There was no sign of jealously. I can see a deep trust between them. Is this why she hurried to see her? Who are the friends that I can’t wait to tell what God is doing in my life? Or ask to walk with me during hard times?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT

Who am I running my race with? It’s so easy to isolate myself. To forget that God has called me to be in community with others. Who am I encouraging and building up?

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 NLT

Dear Father, help me to be like Mary and not hesitate when you call me. Give me strength and courage. Thank you for the friends that you have given me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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