Category Archives: Hebrews

2 Kings 22; Hebrews 4; Joel 1; Psalms 140,141

Sin is ugly. It’s awful, messy, destructive, painful, and dark. And, we usually recognize that, in other people. Recognizing sin in ourselves is sometimes a little trickier.

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.

2 Kings 22:11 ESV

While we all have sinned and will sin, the issue is not necessarily the sin, but the recognition of it and response to it. When Josiah’s eyes were opened to the sin of their nation, he did not waste a minute to repent and mourn the sin that was disrupting their relationship with God.

This is a common refrain throughout the Old Testament. While many generations got it wrong, there were also many that got it right. When the law or a prophet exposed sin, it broke those that were truly seeking God.

Not a quick, “Oh, God, please help me be better in this area.” Or, “Lord, I know that I haven’t been as good as I could be, but . . .”

We need to repent. Yes, Jesus already paid for it. No, our salvation isn’t lost because we sinned, again. But, we cannot gloss over the pain caused by sin, the gravity of ignoring God’s commands for righteous living.

Consecrate a fast;
    call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
    and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to the Lord.

Joel 1:14 ESV

It has been a while since I sat down with a pen and paper and asked God to show me areas in my life that needed to change. Temptation that I was slipping too close to. Habits that were blinding me to sin. It is as I let Him strip those sins away, that I find a fresh wind in my walk with Him.

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV

I don’t approach Him with confidence because of anything that I have done, but standing firmly on His sacrifice, His grace, His justice.

Lord, open my eyes to any sin that is lying unrecognized in my heart. Help me see it, confess it as such, and turn from it. May Your mercy flood in fresh waves over me as I set out energized, and unburdened by any wrong thoughts, words, or actions. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Numbers 14; Psalm 50; Isaiah 3-4; Hebrews 11

I found this prayer filled with expectation and promise – how much of the character of God is revealed here – I marvel at His leading and guiding and blessing.

So now, Lord, I pray, show us your power and do what you promised when you said, ‘I, the Lord, am not easily angered, and I show great love and faithfulness and forgive sin and rebellion. Yet I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.’ And now, Lord, according to the greatness of your unchanging love, forgive, I pray, the sin of these people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”  But because my servant Caleb has a different attitude and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land which he explored, and his descendants will possess the land. – Numbers 14:17-19, 24 GNT

I am invited to pray, to engage God, to ask Him to be part of my life and all that is in it.

Call to me when trouble comes;
I will save you,
and you will praise me. – Psalm 50:15 GNT

I pray that I might acknowledge my absolute dependence on God for it matters to Him.

No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 GNT

Why do I pray? My faith says, “God wants to talk with me.” I will continue in prayer because of my faith. What do I believe when I approach God in prayer? I hope it shows Him how much I trust Him.

Father, I am amazed at just how personal You want to be in my life. You want to show Your power and You want to fulfill Your promises. You want me to enjoy and look forward to the blessings You have in store for me. You desire that I come to You with my sin for You want to reveal Your willingness to forgive. Lord, when it comes to sin, I find myself in trouble everyday and yet, it gives me cause to come to You and be faithful in meeting with You. Thank you for saving me, thank you for allowing me the opportunity of praising You. I know that without the help of the Holy Spirit I could not have the faith I need to walk this walk with You. I can feel His presence inviting me to seek You and follow You. I am so glad You will never leave me. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Numbers 12,13; Psalms 49; Isaiah 2; Hebrews 10

But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let us go up at once and take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”  But the other  men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them, they are stronger than we are !” Numbers 13:30-31 NLT 

Caleb was standing up for what he believed.  His trust was rooted in God alone.  This is convicting for me…when I think about times that I’ve let comparison and self-doubt rob me of my purpose. And cloud my vision.  Just like the Israelites, I’ve made decisions based on my limited perspective. And not on the promises of God’s word.

“Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches…But as for me, God will redeem my life.  He will snatch me from the power of the grave.  So don’t be dimayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid.  For when they die, they take nothing with them.  Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.  In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success.” Psalms 49:5, 15-18 NLT

Am I investing in eternity?

“Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures.  Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.  Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.  So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low-do not forgive them.  Idols will completely disappear. On that day of judgement they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship.”  Isaiah 2:7-20  NLT

Anything I put before God is an idol.  What am I letting control me? What am I relying on, instead of God?

“Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terribble suffering.  Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.  So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.  Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will.  Then you will receive all that he has promised.  “For in just in a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.  And my righteous ones will live by faith.” Hebrews 10:32-38 NLT

In my bible study group we were grappling with the question, “Why do we have to suffer?” Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go through hard trials.  Even though, I know that God will use them to increase my faith…to bring me closer to Him…to strengthen my prayer life…to help someone else.  In the middle of my pain, I can get frustrated and weary.  When I start to lose hope, I have to remember God’s promises. And I am thankful for others who can lead me back to Him. 

Dear Father, Thank you for loving me despite my fear, doubts and questions.  For always meeting me where I am.  For being a Good Father.  Help me to surrender my idols to you.  Thank you for suffering for me on the cross, so that I can have the hope of heaven. I love you.  Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Numbers 5; Psalm 39; Song of Songs 3; Hebrews 3

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.” (Ps 39:4-5 NLT)

The older I’ve gotten, the faster time seems to go. When I was young and raising a family, I never really thought about how quickly life passes. I pull out the pictures. First steps, first day of school, soccer teams, high school graduation, weddings, and now grandchildren. Where did the years go? Precious years with precious memories. Thank you, Lord, for every one of the memories. You have blessed me more than I can stand. I am overwhelmed by your goodness. There have been hard, painful years but I never walked through one day without you. Even before I knew you, you were drawing me to you. I pray to live the rest of my days praising you and telling others of your great love for each of us.

We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you. (Ps 39:6-7 NLT)

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I let busyness get in the way of spending time with you. Even the most difficult days are easier to bear when we’ve spent time together. Nothing in this world has eternal value like the love I get from you and pass on to others. How do I love well unless you’ve loved me first? How do I give to others when I’ve not stopped to let you fill me first? Every day you wait for me. Your word directs my steps, encourages me, imparts knowledge, and wraps around me like a warm blanket. It is in you I put my hope.

12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 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. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Heb 3:12-14 NLT)

Thank you for the sisters in Christ who do life with me. They love me enough to cheer me on, but to also quickly point out and warn me when they see me heading in the wrong direction. Often they see the enemy at work when I do not. If I’m believing lies, they tell me the truth. They listen and do not judge. They encourage me to press on, to trust God, to serve others, and to overcome fear. You have used them mightily in my life and I am so grateful.

Lord, I know each day brings me closer to coming home. My days are numbered. I pray in Jesus name to make the most of each one. I pray to encourage those who need courage, listen to those who need to share, and cheerfully give to others out of the abundance of all you’ve given me. Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Ezekiel 24-26; Hebrews 13

then you will know that I am the Lord God (Ez 24:24 ESV)

they will know that I am the Lord (Ez 24:27 ESV)

Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ez 25:5b ESV)

Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ez 25:7 ESV)

(and on, and on)

God makes His commands clear, along with judgements for disobedience and blessings for obedience.

Israel, and other nations, live however they please.

God judges.

Then, they know that He is the Lord.

He has standards. He defines truth, goodness, justice, right and wrong. And, He holds us to those expectations.

As the New Testament roles along and we now have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the expectations are higher and more complete:

Love continually

show hospitality

Remember prisoners

honor marriage

don’t love money

be content  (Hebrews 13:1-5 ESV)

Jesus is the same, then and now. And, His expectation of us to live out our faith and trust in Him remains as it did for the people of Israel, although some of the commands are slightly adapted for a personal religion on a church community as opposed to the nation of Israel.

It is not for me to live as I please. Each day I am to take up my cross and follow Him. Gather people around you to pray for one another that we all may “have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” (Hebrews 13:18).

Dear God, thank you for communicating with love and clarity for thousands of years. Thank you for forgiving when I come to You, repentant of my failings. Help me again, today and every day to live with a clear conscience, acting honorably as You have instructed. May my life be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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