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Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews’

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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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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“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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but god_tThere are two words that, when joined together in the pages of the Bible, absolutely change everything — “but God.”

These are the words in The Word that cause you to lean forward and look deeper.  The reality of these words is the longing of our lives.  When we find ourselves in impossible situations, we know we have become prime candidates for a “but God” moment.

The following is a “but God” list that I pray strengthens your faith and gives you courage as you take the next step.

  • Gen 8:1 (NIV)  But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
  • Gen 31:42 (NIV)  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.
  • Gen 41:16 (NIV) “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
  • Gen 45:7-8 (NIV)  But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.  He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
  • Gen 50:19 (NIV)  But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
  • Judges 15:18-19 (NAS) Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”  But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived.
  • 2 Chronicles 25:8 (NCV)  You can make yourself strong for war, but God will defeat you. He has the power to help you or to defeat you.
  • Psalm 49:13-15 (NIV) This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Selah  Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them . . . But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.
  • Psalm 73:26 (NIV) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
  • Psalm 75:6-7 (NAS) For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.
  • Jeremiah 50:33-34 (NCV) The people of Israel and Judah are slaves.  The enemy took them as prisoners and won’t let them go.  But God is strong and will buy them back.  His name is the Lord All-Powerful.
  • Matthew 19:25-26 (NCV) When Jesus’ followers heard this, they were very surprised and asked, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “This is something people cannot do, but God can do all things.”
  • Luke 12:18-21 (NIV) “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
  • Luke 16:15 (NIV) He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
  • John 1:12-13 (NAS)  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • John 1:18 (NIV) No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,  who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
  • Acts 2:23-24 (NIV) This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
  • Acts 3:14-15 (NIV) You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.  You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
  • Acts 10:28 (NIV) He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.”
  • Acts 10:39-40 (NIV) “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.”
  • Acts 13:29-30 (NIV) When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead…
  • Acts 26:21-22 (NCV) This is why the Jews took me and were trying to kill me in the Temple.  But God has helped me, and so I stand here today, telling all people, small and great, what I have seen.
  • Romans 5:7-8 (NIV) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 5:21 (NCV) Sin once used death to rule us, but God gave people more of his grace so that grace could rule by making people right with him. And this brings life forever through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Romans 6:23 (NCV) When people sin, they earn what sin pays—death. But God gives us a free gift—life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 8:3 (NCV) The law was without power, because the law was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son to earth with the same human life that others use for sin. By sending his Son to be an offering to pay for sin, God used a human life to destroy sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 (NIV) Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV) However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NIV) I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 (NIV) But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:37-38 (NIV) When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NCV) We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living.  We are persecuted, but God does not leave us.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NCV) Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (NIV) For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.  But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…
  • Galatians 1:13-15 (NCV) You have heard about my past life in the Jewish religion. I attacked the church of God and tried to destroy it.  I was becoming a leader in the Jewish religion, doing better than most other Jews of my age. I tried harder than anyone else to follow the teachings handed down by our ancestors.  But God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born.
  • Galatians 3:18 (NIV) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
  • Galatians 3:20 (NIV) A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
  • Ephesians 2:3-5 (NAS) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…
  • Philippians 2:27 (NIV) Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
  • Hebrews 3:3-4 (NIV) Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
  • Hebrews 5:5 (NIV) So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest.  But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
  • 2 Peter 3:12-13 (NCV) When that day comes, the skies will be destroyed with fire, and everything in them will melt with heat.  But God made a promise to us, and we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth where goodness lives.

What “but” do you need from God today?

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