We need to be willing to endure “hostility from sinners” (Heb. 12:3), and endure the chastening of God so we can finish the race set before us and be partakers of God’s holiness (Heb. 12:10). Next, in chapter 12, the writer gives a pep talk as a coach would talk to a sports team who is tired, discouraged and feels like giving up; verses 12 and 13 from the Message translation read, “So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!” People who have faith in God continue to run with diligence when things are difficult. In sports, when a team feels like there is no hope of winning, they let discouragement and tiredness rule them. What do your recent actions say about your faith?
Often covetousness is from not recognizing that God is with us to take care of our every need. Hebrews 13:5-6 says “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU." So we may boldly say: "THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?"” When we really know that God is with us and will make sure we have everything we need, it frees us not to have to worry or care about those things. We will be free to seek the kingdom and His righteousness, knowing all things will be added to us.
Aaron and the Levitical priesthood only served a “copy and shadow of the heavenly things,” but Jesus has “a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (See Hebrews 8:5-6). In the Tabernacle and the Temple, the High Priest entered into the Most Holy place only once a year to atone for the people’s sins; “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest” (See Heb. 9:8). “But this Man (Jesus Christ), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God;” “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (See Hebrews 10:12 & 14) We can all now have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19). Thank you Lord Jesus for Your sacrifice at the cross; You alone have made the way for us to dwell with God and have eternal life.
Who is this Jesus really? (The Jewish audience that the book of Hebrews is written to needs to answer this question.) They are suffering persecution for their faith which they never suffered while practicing Judaism. Now the writer of the book of Hebrews takes his audience through an explanation of who this Jesus really is to give them the courage to live a life of faith.
In Hebrews 1:3 the writer begins by saying that Jesus is the brightness of the glory of God and the “express image of His person” Look at the verse in the Amplified version… “He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.”
Jesus Christ isn't only the High Priest forever “according to the order of Melchizedek,” He is the One who became the sacrifice of sins for the whole world.
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We can come before the throne of God (the throne of grace) with confidence (boldness) because of what Jesus has done. We can obtain all the grace and mercy we need through Jesus Christ.
Considering what a great salvation we have been given, we must “not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan
Wednesdays - Bible Study - 7-8:15 pm
Sundays - Prayer - 6 pm (7 pm on Dec. 10)
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