September 29, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 11:1-22

When we read or hear about the characters in the Old Testament, we hear about all of the great things that they did for the Lord and how they are heroes in their personal stories. Often we will associate them with the good things that they did but forget the faith behind their actions. In fact, if that faith weren’t there, they wouldn’t be able to do any of the amazing stuff that we hear about on Sunday mornings or read about in our daily devotions. Today’s scripture in Hebrews points to the true hero behind their lives and it’s their faith in their upcoming savior messiah. Just look at the OT Characters on the list below:

  • Abel
  • Enoch
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Sarah
  • Isaac
  • Jacob
  • Joseph

Each one of them would not be able to do what they were known for (and mentioned in this chapter) without vs. 1 happening.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. | Hebrews 11:1 ESV

This means that on his own ability, Abel would’ve offered a selfish sinful sacrifice like his brother. Enoch couldn’t have prevented his own death on his own. Noah didn’t build an ark because he was righteous on his own but because He ultimately trusted God. Abraham was not obedient because He was good but because he had faith in where God was sending him. His descendants didn’t multiply because they deserved it but because they trusted in the same God as their Father did. Through out this list we see great men and women who did great things for God but it wasn’t because they were great themselves. They had great faith in a faithful covenant keeping God. As a church we can do great things with that type of faith. It’s faith that not only saves us but sustains us and God uses that same faith today. Church, what do you need to start living out in faith?

Posted by: Erik Koliser

September 28, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 10:19-39

This is truly one of my favorite passages in the Bible! Let’s walk through it together today…

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

Remember how things were before the cross? When you sinned you had to go to the priest and offer a blood sacrifice. He would make atonement for your sin before God for you. Once a year he would go into the “Holy of Holies” and offer atonement for his sin and for all the people. You weren’t welcome there in the presence of God. Matter of fact – you would die instantly if you went in there. But after the cross – Jesus changed everything! The curtain blocking the “Holy of Holies” was ripped and now you and I can BOLDLY enter heaven’s Most Holy Place – all because of the blood of Jesus! AMEN AND AMEN.

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Want to ponder a convicting question? If we have that freedom now – to go BOLDLY into God’s presence and ask Him whatever we want – why don’t we? Why do we struggle so much with prayer? With taking that few minutes each day to meet with the Creator face to face?

Since we can now enter boldly into God’s presence and meet with Him directly – one-on-one…

  • We should fully trust Him (v.23) – not constantly wondering if He’s able or present – fully trust Him in is goodness.
  • We should be a catalyst to others to follow Him (v.24) – our lives should motivate others to love and serve Him.
  • We should faithfully worship Him (v.25) – not allowing things to get in the way of church – but attending more and more often as His return draws nearer.

Just a quick note… verse 26 confuses so many people. It makes some believe that we can lose that precious gift of salvation that God gave to us. Never interpret in the dark what is clear in the light. Verses like 1 John 5:13, John 10:28-29, John 3:16-17 and many more make clear that God’s gift of salvation is forever. So what does this mean? A person who has heard the glorious Gospel and met Jesus – then returns to a life of sin away from Him has one of two possibilities… 1. They never knew Jesus in the first place (many people put on an act) 2. God is at work in their lives to draw them back (you may not see it or understand it – but He does). Remember you don’t know the end of their story…

Either way – God is the judge – it’s between Him and them:

It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

So, because of the cross, you have the privilege to enter into God’s presence! Have you today? Will you?

Posted by: Tim Parsons

September 26, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 10:1-18

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

Before sin entered into the world all of what God had made was seen as good. Once sin entered into the world nothing was good any longer and no sacrifice could fix what sin caused. The sacrifices of animals was only a foreshadowing of the sacrifice that was going to be required to make everything right before the Lord. We needed a messiah or a new Adam to start things over and make things new.

That leads us to Christ.

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (v.10)

Jesus, much like God in Genesis, demonstrates that his sacrifice was sufficient and good by sitting down at the right hand of God. His sacrifice is what we can trust in for our salvation and no sacrifice of bulls, obedience, church attendance, quite time or service can ever replace the gospel. God does not want your sacrifice he wants your worship.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

September 25, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 9:11-28

Perfection is something many of us strive for. I am not a fatalistic perfectionist, but I definitely have some of those tendencies. This was true in my athletic pursuits as a kid: I wanted to throw the perfect spiral, have the perfect form-tackle and to bowl with the perfect hook. It was also (and still can be) true of musical endeavors, always striving to be the best.

As you and I both know, we set ourselves up for quite a letdown when we aspire to any kind of perfection. In this marred, sin-stained world, it just isn’t attainable for us. While we aim high, we can’t help being reminded of our limits. And the greater issue deals with eternity: since we cannot be perfect, we cannot make our own way back to God. So how can we, as flawed and broken people, enter into God’s Heaven?

Through God’s blameless Son, Jesus Christ.

That is what chapter 9 of Hebrews is all about: Jesus Christ is the perfect High Priest and Sacrificial Lamb who died for us. Because of His perfection, He was able to bear all of our imperfections on a horrid cross. Through His death, imperfect people like us can be made right in God’s eyes once again. What an overwhelming thought! For this to be true, though, you must confess Jesus as the Lord & Savior of your life. That’s the only way His sacrifice can be applied to you.

Two questions to consider today:
1) Are you a perfectionist? (In what ways?)
2) Does this chapter help you remove the handcuffs of perfectionism?

Posted by: Todd Thomas