Everyone dreams of living an extraordinary life, of being an extraordinary person. But, when the moment comes to put on those extraordinary shoes and walk that extraordinary path, we often find ourselves shrinking back.
We second guess. We self-examine. We sell ourselves short.
The greatest enemy of the extraordinary is fear. We fear the cost of the extraordinary life. We doubt whether or not we are the right person for the extraordinary job. We wonder if God will pull through for us if we really step out on that extraordinary limb.
In Hebrews chapter 11, we see a beautiful picture of the courage necessary to embrace the extraordinary.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. — Hebrews 11:23 (NIV)
It is my sincere prayer that you will find the grace to see the extraordinary in your life and pursue it unafraid. God is doing the extraordinary all around you, and He is inviting you to participate with Him.
- In your church.
- In your spouse.
- In your children.
- Through your gifts.
- Through your passions.
- Through your prayers.
- At your workplace.
- In You.
May you see by faith that you are living no ordinary life, and may you be not afraid.
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I’ve never been accused of being a vegetarian, but I have been eating a lot more salad since studying the book of Hebrews. The primary ingredient of this spiritual feast has been the “let us” that can be harvested from virtually every page of Hebrews.
The author of Hebrews did two things amazingly well. First, he or she brought glory to our King Jesus through the powerful comparisons that prove Jesus to be superior to anything in all creation. Second, he or she knew how to inspire readers to action.
Over and again we are confronted with challenges of how to live our lives in light of the glorious King we serve and the marvelous covenant we have with God.
Below, I present to you a Hebrews Salad, which is a collection of the “let us” gleaned from the letter of Hebrews.
- Hebrews 4:1 (NIV) Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
- Hebrews 4:11 (NIV) Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
- Hebrews 4:14 (NIV) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
- Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Hebrews 6:1-3 (NIV) Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
- Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
- Hebrews 10:23 (NIV) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
- Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
- Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
- Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Hebrews 12:28 (NIV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
- Hebrews 13:12-14 (NIV) And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
- Hebrews 13:15 (NIV) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.
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Posted in Christianity, Church, Concerts, Personal Growth, Worship, tagged Church, concert, EFC, Emmanuel Fellowship, Growth, Stretch, Sweetwater, The City Harmonic, Worship on April 11, 2011|
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In the midst of all of the loud music, bright lights, and excitement of yesterday’s worship service and evening concert with The City Harmonic, one testimony brought the entire day’s activities into perspective.
A young man caught me after the concert and said, “Pastor Eric, this was a breakthrough day for me.” He then went on to describe the freedom he experienced to lift his hands and celebrate as a worshipper.
“This was a breakthrough day for me.” Amen. Amen. Amen!
Those are the words a minister lives to hear. All of the planning, all of the prayer, all of the work is focused toward this one beautiful goal — spiritual breakthrough and growth in the lives of the ones we love.
I believe this young man’s personal observations were an accurate assessment of what we experienced as a church body yesterday. It was a day of breakthrough as we were stretched in many areas. From attendance, to sound quality, to lighting effects (I didn’t know our lights could do the things they did!), to the teamwork it took to make it all come together, we were stretched to reach out to new levels of breakthrough.
As pastor of Emmanuel Fellowship Church, I am blessed and overjoyed by where God has brought us as a congregation, and days like yesterday invite me to dream of where God is taking us as we continue to follow Him in this grand adventure.
As I laid my happy/sleepy head down on my pillow last night, I found myself in agreement with the words of my friend, “This was a breakthrough day for me.”
I pray it was for you as well.
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Posted in Christianity, Emmanuel Fellowship Church, Jesus, Sermons, tagged Angels, Better, Church, Churches, Hebrews, Jesus, Moses, New Covenant, Old Covenant, Sermons, Sweetwater, Texas on April 7, 2011|
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I sure don’t want to come across as spiritually egotistical, but my Lord is amazing. Everything about Jesus is wonderful. My life is better because of Him — and I believe yours could be too!
The book of Hebrews paints some beautiful pictures of the majesty and superiority of Jesus. Here’s a collection of verses I simply title “Jesus is Better.”
- So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. — Hebrews 1:4 (NIV)
- (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. — Hebrews 7:19 (NIV)
- Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. — Hebrews 7:22 (NIV)
- But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. — Hebrews 8:6 (NIV)
- It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. — Hebrews 9:23 (NIV)
- You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. — Hebrews 10:34 (NIV)
- Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. — Hebrews 11:16 (NIV)
- Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. — Hebrews 11:35 (NIV)
- God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. — Hebrews 11:40 (NIV)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ fill you with hope. May you come to know how much better life can be when you yield the throne of your heart to Jesus. And may your day of discovery come soon!
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Posted in Christianity, Jesus, Sermons, Worship, tagged City Harmonic, concert, Consider, Emmanuel Fellowship, Faith, Hebrews, Jesus, Sermons on April 4, 2011|
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“So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do.” Hebrews 3:1-2 (The Message)
As you take a good hard look at Jesus this week, I invite you to review these blog posts to renew the wow factor in your heart of the amazing love of our amazing King!
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