September 19, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Do you have children? I have two great kids that I get the privilege of being a father to. My boy Hudson is 2 1/2 years old and full of life. He asks me more questions than I could ever have answers to. Then there is Julianna, my sweet little 3 month old daughter who stole my heart from day one. One of my favorite things about being a dad is watching my children change and grow. It is especially fun now that I have two at different ages because I get to watch development happen at two different stages at the same time. My son is potty trained, feeds himself, can count to ten and can say most of his ABC’s. My daughter on the other hand is learning to hold her head up, smile, make noises and drinks only milk. It gives me hope that one day both of my children will be mature and independent. What would I do if Hudson was still at the exact same stage as Julianna? I would feel like I had failed as a dad or that Hudson had something wrong with him.

In today’s passage the author of Hebrews is scolding the believers for being dull of hearing (5:11) and needing someone to teach them again of the basic principles of the word (5:12). They couldn’t handle solid food yet but needed spiritual milk. The believers had become sluggish in their faith (v.6:12). It doesn’t mean that they hadn’t served the Lord to some degree but they were now beginning to rest and coast. They had forgotten about the treasure that they had been given through Jesus and their motivation became about their own comforts.

I wonder how many reading this today have been saved through Jesus Christ and invested in by a pastor or discipler and are still drinking milk. The goal of discipleship is not so that you would grow in knowledge but that your knowledge of Christ would produce maturity and a resolve to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

Posted by: Chad Wiles

September 16, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 3:1-6

We Are The Presence Of God, In The World

Jesus is greater than Moses.   That’s our theme. Moses is definitely regarded with great respect for his faithfulness to God, but Jesus is worthy of far greater honor. Moses was God’s servant and was faithful in God’s house, but Jesus is God’s Son and the builder of God’s house. “God’s house” is a picture that speaks of the family of God, which, in the New Testament, is clearly referring to the church. In verse 6 it says, “And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” This verse means that we are the church, in his family, if we He has truly saved us. This is evidenced by us enduring in our relationship with God until the end. I think one of the most interesting things about verse 6, is that it says, “we ARE His house.” Not, “we live in His house,” or “we meet at His house,” but, we “ARE His house.”

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

In the Old Testament the Tabernacle and the Temple were places that signified God’s presence among His people. These places were seen as the places that God met with His people, showed Himself to His people, and dwelt with His people.

In the New Testament the church replaces these places. BUT, the difference is, a new form of “building” does not replace these “buildings”. The Tabernacle and the Temple are replaced by…PEOPLE! Believers are the church. God’s presence and God’s dwelling place is inside His people. When we come to know Jesus, the Holy Spirit indwells us.

What does this mean for our lives? It means that if you know Jesus, YOU are the very presence of God, in a godless world. YOU ARE His house. He dwells in you. And so, as you go to work, class, the movies, the mall, on vacation, or anywhere else, you carry with you the presence of God. People should see God in you. They should feel God’s presence when you’re around. They should know God is active in the lives of His people when you’re near. I think this should change how we view our conversations, our friendships, and our daily activities. So ponder on this question as you think how God wants to use this truth in your life:

Does your presence resemble God’s presence when you spend time with the people in your life?

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

September 15, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 2

The author of Hebrews warns the Jewish Christians to pay close attention to the Gospel and how tempting it will be to drift away from it (v. 1). The Jews had been caught up in the law and a messiah who would physically save them for so long that it would’ve been easy for them to look past the superiority of their fulfilled messiah, Jesus Christ and the new kingdom that He was ushering in through them. He then talks about the importance of realizing what it meant for God to come down to earth as a human being (v. 7-8) and how we’re even lower on the totem pole than angels but only for this life because the salvation that Jesus offers is only for us (v. 16) and we don’t want to miss out on the importance of this Gospel message.

This chapter is important because like the Jewish Christians at this time, it can be easy for us to miss the Gospel message right in front of us. A lot of us want to live the Christian life or want our kids, families and friends to benefit from it but we ignore the power that brings that life change to it. We can even get caught up in religious things like the Christian Jews did (emphasis on law, angels, etc.) but unless it’s rooted in the important message of Jesus Christ as that fulfilled Messiah who sacrificed His life for us on the cross to pay the due penalty of our sins and then raised Himself from the grave to prove that He alone has the power of sin, satan and death, then it’s not much of a Christian life or message. Jesus is the founder of salvation and if the Jewish Christians can forget that when they were anticipating their messiah for so long, it’s just as easy for us to forget it. So don’t let Sundays, Connect Group nights and your daily devotions pass by without cherishing the reason for God’s Word and the power behind your life change.

Posted by: Erik Koliser

September 14, 2015

Today you should read: Hebrews 1

I am so excited to start this new book with you all. Hebrews is one of my favorite books of the Bible.  Have you ever wondered why the old testament is so important and how it connects with the new?
Hebrews helps us connect many of those dots. In fact, the very beginning of this books refers to the old testament and connects it with the new. Another important aspect of this book is that it gives us several different angles of Jesus and how he is connected to and foreshadowed in the old testament. We see, in today’s chapter, that Jesus is compared to the two main messengers of the old testament, angels and prophets. He is said to be greater than them both in glory and importance. As we read through Hebrews together I want to leave us with 2 thoughts, one from our reading today and one to keep with you throughout this book:

For today: God has spoken to us through Jesus, listen.

Jesus is called the “Word” for a reason. He is God’s final word and authority. He is, to us, God explained, God with us. He creates, sustains, teaches, guides and leads us. We can know Him, trust Him and have a relationship with Him, the God of the universe. So, today, listen to and for His voice and His leading.

For this book: Jesus is everything to us

As you will see, Jesus is compared to and is a type of many different people and things. Melchizedek, angels, prophets, Moses, Rest, and the High priest just to name a few. What we will find out in Hebrews
is that everything points to and is about Jesus. Enjoy.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd