September 24, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 9:1-10

Hebrews 9 gives us a brief description of worship regulations and how God forgave sin under the first covenant. To read a more in depth description of this process take some time to read Exodus chapters 25-30 today. God instructed His people to build a tabernacle. This tabernacle was made up two distinct areas, or rooms. An outer room called “the Holy Place.” This room was entered into regularly by the priests to carry out their ministry (v.6). As well as an inner room called “the Most Holy Place.” This room was separated from the outer room by a large curtain (Exodus 26:31-33) and was only entered one time per year by the High Priest who made an offering of atonement for his sins and the sins of the people of Israel.

One important detail that I want to bring out today from this passage comes from verse 7. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the High Priest only entered the Most Holy Place once per year, and never without blood. In this case it was the blood of a lamb or another animal without blemish or defect. Tomorrow as we read on in chapter 9 we will see that the shedding of blood is required by God for the forgiveness of sins (v.22). The blood was sprinkled on the atonement cover of the Ark of the Covenant and the sins of the people were forgiven. But, this was only a temporary forgiveness through an insufficient sacrifice in a tabernacle made by man.

So, how does that apply to us today? Under the new covenant which Jesus established, He is a more perfect tabernacle than the one built by the Israelites in the OT. Jesus is a more perfect High Priest than the one who entered the Most Holy Place once per year to make atonement for the sins of the people. Jesus’ blood is sufficient to cleanse us from ALL our sins and unrighteousness, once and for all, not just temporarily like the animal sacrifices in the first covenant system. In short, Jesus is everything we need to be made right with God and live a Godly life. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection we can boldly come before God knowing that our High Priest (Jesus) has made atonement for our sins and has redeemed us back and made us righteous in God’s sight.

Spend some time today and praise Jesus for His blood that was shed for you. Praise Him for the new covenant through Christ which provided grace upon grace for everyone who would place their faith in Jesus.

Posted by: Matt Mofield

September 23, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 8:1-13

A New and Better Covenant

Newer isn’t always better.  True. But in this case it is. In this passage, we clearly see two covenants. The old is obsolete. The new is far greater.

What does this mean? From our passage today, we see that God made a covenant with His people before Jesus. This “bond” between God and His people was founded on certain values that God set-up. These “rules” governed the relationship. However, the old covenant (Mosaic covenant) showed people the moral law, yet was not set-up to cover people’s sins. It wasn’t set-up to make people right in God’s sight.

So, God made a new covenant. Except this “bond” was founded on the work of His Son, Jesus! Grace! Mercy! Covering of sin! The power to change! The power to save! This love was/is only conditional upon the finished work of His Son Jesus, so this covenant is permanent, because Jesus finished His work on the cross.

In this case, newer is better. Much, much better.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

Verse 10 of our passage says,

“For this is the covenant …

I will put my laws into their minds,

and write them on their hearts…”

In this new covenant, God doesn’t give us a rulebook outside of ourselves to obey and use to change ourselves. No, if we have come into a relationship with Jesus, He puts the things of God in our hearts. He changes us, not from the outside in, but from the inside out!

When we enter into this bond, God begins to change us. He writes His law on our hearts. He shows us what is good and what is evil. His Spirit convicts us, and guides us. His Word takes root in our minds and hearts, and it produces fruit. This relationship that we have with God is not stagnant. It is purifying our heart!

Here’s a question we can ask ourselves, today:

Now that I am in this new covenant with God, what more does He want to do in my heart? How else does my heart need to change?

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

September 22, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 7

This is a heavy chapter with a lot to talk about. Let’s do some rapid fire overview and touch on some key points and then land on the overall theme here.

  1. Melchizedek, who is he?

We have little knowledge of who this guy was. In fact, all we really have is the account in Genesis 14:18-20 where he meets, blesses and receives tithe from Abram and the prophecy in Psalm 110:4 that Jesus would be a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Then we have the writer of Hebrews explaining to us here who he was and what he represents as an Old Testament Messianic figure. That’s it. As to who he was exactly and answering what the writer of Hebrews says about him in today’s reading is both debatable and much too long for us to discuss today.

  1. Here, we see the law being set aside for the new, better covenant in Jesus

Even though the law was set and God had put into place a Levitical priesthood through Aaron, he had already made provision, beforehand, to have another priesthood in place that would represent the priesthood that Jesus would come from. As is the case in many places throughout the bible, we see a stark contrast between the old and new covenants, between the old law and the law of grace we have in Jesus.

  1. Big point: Jesus is our high priest

This is such a great picture for us, one of my favorites. We read in verse 25 that He is able to save us forever and to intercede with God on our behalf. What an awesome picture. Jesus, everyday, stands before God and says, “Look at him or her, they are mine. I have purchased them for you. They are forgiven. I have paid their debt. Their sins are washed away.” If that isn’t a picture to get you through your day I don’t know what is.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

September 21, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 6:13-20

Thank you so much for the overwhelming responses to our writing of JumpStart. Your stories were moving and encouraging. Hebrews is a book of wisdom and challenge. Aren’t you glad we serve a God that we can completely trust? We can trust a God that:

  • Is eternal

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28

  • Is consistent

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

  • Is good

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

 Verse 18-20 of today’s reading says:

God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

God is Truth

I love these verses! God has given us His Oath and His Promise. And because of these things we can run to Him for refuge. He is a safe place.   We can trust Him! He is immutable (unchanging) and it is impossible for Him to lie. To do so would force Him to stop being God. Satan however, is a liar and the father of liars. (John 8:44)

We have Confidence

We can have great confidence in Him and hold to the Hope that is found in Him. That hope is strong and it’s trustworthy. It’s an anchor for our souls. This confidence leads us through the curtain into God’s presence. We can go because Jesus has gone before us. He’s the perfect High Priest.

Do you trust Him? Fully lean on Him in times of trouble and prosperity. He’s dependable and you can trust in Him.

Posted by: Tim Parsons