Seeing Our Hope Fulfilled

Hope & Faith

Image via Wikipedia

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. – Hebrews 6:10-11

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in life? I think most of us have at one point or another. What is our normal response when we feel this way? We tend to draw back and think all that we have been involved in has been for nothing. We want to make a difference, but maybe feel that we are just spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere.

God tells us not to give up. Everything that we have done for him and others is remembered by him. He will not forget the times you and he have spent together in quiet times, hectic times and celebratory times. Every time we have shown love to another, it’s written on God’s heart. God promises that if we hold on, we will see the hope we have in its fullness.

Prayer: Blessings to you, Lord, as you show us the way we should live and remember everything we do for you and your people. I pray that I can walk in confidence today knowing that I will see my hope fulfilled. Amen

Faith Tip: Feeling discouraged today? Take that discouragement to the cross and exchange it for the promise of God.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Christmas gift wrapped in furoshiki style (Vie...

Image via Wikipedia

So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God‘s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect. – Hebrews 7:27 The Message

Caring for a house is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing cycle that never ends during life. There are housekeeping tasks, outside tasks, and the periodic house structure care. I love the thought of a mansion waiting for us in heaven. Since it is perfect, that means it doesn’t need upkeep … right?

As walking tabernacles of God, our house gets dirty. This dirt, sin, is unholy and keeps us from entering heaven, so God provided high priests that took care of the sin problem. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a lasting solution. Time and time again, sacrifices had to be made to purify the high priest first and then the rest of the people.

Then came the greatest Christmas gift ever … Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross took care of the dirt in our lives once and for all for those who call on his name. There is power, healing and love at the cross for us. Unwrap the gift again as you spend time with your Savior.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for healing us completely from sin. I pray that your gift refreshes my soul every day knowing of your great love for me. Amen

Faith Tip: As you wrap gifts for others that will in time wear out, remember the eternal gift given to you with great love from Jesus.

The Sharpness of the Word

My Armory: Chef's, Boning, Utility Knives

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

A gift of knives for Christmas proved to assist in making the cutting of fruits and vegetables much easier as the blades were new and sharp. As I sliced onions, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, meats and other food, I felt somewhat like a chef on TV who seems to breeze through the cutting process. Sharpness is important to preparation of a meal.

The Word of God is sharp. Not only that, but it is active. We are being prepared to do kingdom work. We are the food being prepared and Jesus is the meal. As God, the master chef, cuts away the portions we don’t need such as pride, envy, jealousy and other disposable characteristics, he also adds wonderful flavorings such as love, mercy, and grace.

The great feast is being prepared. We need to allow the chef to work on us through Scripture so that we can taste good like Jesus (Psalm 34:8). Together, we will make a wonderful meal that will glorify God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your Word. I pray that I let it work inside of me to prepare me for your great feast. Amen

Faith Tip: Read God’s Word and allow it to work and prepare you for great things.

Walking your faith

Walking

“[Faith in Action] Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Action is a response. When we are hungry, we eat. When we are tired, we sleep. When we are sad, we cry. When we see someone who needs help, we go to help them. We would be surprised by all the actions we have during our day.

Faith in action is responding to what we don’t see, but definitely feel. The call God gives us to act allows us to exercise our faith muscles into action. If those muscles are weak, we may not respond to the call. But taking those baby steps of faith out for a nice walk will build the muscles up and keep us in good spiritual shape.

The assurance comes out of the relationship we have with God. As we communicate with the Lord, we grow in our knowledge of who he is and what he focuses on. Following God is following hope being assured that his promises are true … even those we can’t see.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the opportunities I have to take my faith out for a walk. I am assured by your love and that gives me great hope. Amen

Faith Tip: Faith muscles feeling a little weak? Take them out for a walk and see what God will do through you.

I need you…

Black Hole in the universe

Image via Wikipedia

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:12-13

Have you ever been excited about something, and then after awhile, the thrill is gone? We turn from it in search of something new and exciting. There is a hole in each of our souls that needs to be filled. It is always hungry until we find the one thing that will satisfy it always. God is the only one that can meet that craving need. When we try to satisfy it in other ways, the hunger returns again.

God knows that is the pattern many of us have in searching for fulfillment and has provided a way to keep us strong and excited in him. God gave us each other. We need one another to keep moving in the right direction. We encourage one another through our words and actions. The impact of others makes a difference in our lives. God’s word is expressed through them as well as God’s love.

Prayer: Lord, you have blessed me with people in my life that make a difference. I pray that I can make a difference in other’s lives. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider who you have encouraged lately? Who has encouraged you? Praise God!

Easy Access

The Holy Place of the Biblical Tabernacle; ill...

Image via Wikipedia

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. (Hebrews 9:1-4)

God always provides, doesn’t he? In the Old Testament, there was a need to worship God as the Isrealites traveled in the desert for 40 years. God provided the Tabernacle. It was a location for God’s presence to be felt and worshiped. It had meaning in every detail. God also had restrictions on who could enter because of his holiness. The people would gather outside of the tent to worship God. The priests would do their ministry in the first room, but the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place once a year to offer sacrifices for himself and the people. This met their need at that time, but it wasn’t enough.

Then Jesus came. In being the one true sacrifice for all sin, as he died on the cross the curtain was ripped in two in the Tabernacle showing access to all to come into the Most Holy Place, because the need to be cleansed from sin for all was fulfilled once and for all. We are now Tabernacles that walk and talk because the Holy Spirit was put in us for the purpose of God to reside in each one of us. God wants to be with us. He wants us to have full access to him.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that I can come to you with confidence knowing your great love for me and that you are a God that listens and acts. I pray that I never take that wonderful gift for granted. Amen.

Faith tip: Take a look of all that had to be done for the creation of and ministering in the Tabernacle, and compare it to our access of God today. Give God thanks!

Only one way

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Image via Wikipedia

And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared:

   “You are a priest forever,
   in the order of Melchizedek.”

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:15-19)

Mary looked longingly at the new car her neighbor just purchased. She wondered how she did it. She works part time, but is that enough for her and her husband to afford a new car? Mary thought of her own car in comparison and knew hers was less. How great it must feel to get behind the wheel of a new car, she thought. She sighed and went back to her work.

Coveting is one of those commandments we are not to do. Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of breaking one of the laws or another. That is why in Hebrews it says that the law was weak and useless, because it did not make us perfect. The law does show us how imperfect we are and how much we need our high priest, Jesus, to make us perfect. It was by his death on the cross that we are made holy. There is no other way. We live a better hope because of Jesus drawing us closer to God. That’s something to praise about today!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the laws of Moses you have established to show us how we should live. Forgive us for the times we fall short. Thank you for the grace and mercy you give us through Jesus. Amen

Faith Tip: Reflect on the true gift of the cross. Hold a cross in your hand or draw a cross and meditate on its meaning.