Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 6:13-20

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:

I will indeed bless you,
and I will greatly multiply you.

And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath,  so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.  We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.  Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Promises.  When God makes a promise, He delivers.  He is always faithful to deliver.  We may have to wait for His timing but God is faithful.  We see here in Hebrews the writer talk about God’s promise to Abraham.  God’s promise was fulfilled in full to Abraham.  Likewise, when Jesus came, God’s promise of redemption was fulfilled.  And someday Jesus will return just like was promised.

Whether you are going through a season of waiting (like I am) or you’re about to enter that time, remember God’s promises.  Remember God’s faithfulness.  We have a hope in Jesus.  We have an anchor that secures our faith.  Let us continue to trust and be faithful in the wait and trust in the promises that God has given to us.

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Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 11:8-10

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”

We all would love to know what is in store for us, what the future holds.  But sometimes God wants us to simply trust and follow Him.  Abraham is a great example of this.  He was told by God to go to a place that God had prepared for him.  But God didn’t tell Abraham where it was or how long it would take to get there.  God simply told Abraham to go and to have faith.  Abraham did just that.  He trusted God and picked up his life and followed God.

There may be seasons of life where it seems like there is no direction.  That there is no place of rest.  But God is faithful.  God is good.  And for those that follow Him, He has a place for us.  We have to keep following and keep trusting Him.

This week, let us remember God’s faithfulness to us as we continue to follow Him.  Let us remember that He is for our good.  And let us be like Abraham and follow God wherever He leads us.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)

It has been said that one constant in life is that everything changes.  Circumstances change.  We change.  As time goes by, things change.  However, one thing that doesn’t change is Jesus.  He never changes.  We can trust that He will always be there.  That He will always be faithful.  That He will always be true to His word.  In this season of Thanksgiving, that is something to truly be thankful for.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 11:13-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”  (Hebrews 11:13-16)

These verses are a part of the “Hall of Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11.  It is in the middle of the chapter and is kind of an aside to the description of the the heroes of faith in the Old Testament.  Those in the Old Testament lived by faith of the hope that was to come.  That hope was fulfilled in Jesus.  They didn’t get to see that hope fulfilled on Earth in their lifetime but they trusted God and had faith.

Let us have that kind of faith.  Let us trust in that kind of hope.  We serve the same God.  Let us remember that our home is not here and now but that God is preparing a home for us together with Him.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 12:1-2

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

This is a well known section of the book of Hebrews.  These verses follow an entire chapter that features men and women who exhibited great faith in the Old Testament.  The writer of Hebrews highlights the faith that these people showed and that they endured to the end.  This was a point throughout the letter that he wanted to convey to his readers, to endure by faith to the end.

In these verses, we are encouraged to keep running the race of life with endurance.  We have the testimony and encouragement of those who have come before us.  More importantly, we have Jesus.  He is the founder (the beginning) of our faith and he’s the perfecter (the ending) of our faith.  His work on the cross allows us the access to come to the Father and to have a renewed relationship with Him.

This week, when things are tough and feeling bogged down, remember Jesus and focus on Him.  Keep running the race, keep fighting the fight, keep following after Him.  Let us run the race that is set before us and let us run with endurance.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 10:11-18

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
    and write them on their minds,”

then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10:11-18

Back in the times of the Old Testament, the means for which people could be forgiven of their sins was for a sacrifice to take place.  This involved a priest offering up sacrifices (first for himself, then for the people) as a means for atonement for the sins the people had committed.  However, these sacrifices were only a temporary solution.  The people would sin again and the need for more sacrifices to cover those sins meant there needed to be more sacrifices.

However, when Jesus came, He was the perfect sacrifice and perfect high priest.  He led a sinless life so there was no need for sacrifices for himself to make things right because they were already right.  When He gave His life, it meant now there was an opportunity for people to have a restored relationship with God.  And Jesus only had to die on the cross once, there is no need for Him to do it again.  His act on behalf of us covers us completely.  All we have to do is accept the free gift of grace that is given to us because He paid the price for us.

We do not have to worry about trying to make sacrifices to please God, Jesus has already done it for us.  That is a blessing to rest on today and everyday.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 9:11-15

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”  Hebrews 9:11-15

Not only is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of a mediator for our sins on our behalf, but He is also the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of the perfect sacrifice for atonement for our sins.  In old testament times, the high priest would sacrifice an animal to atone for the sins of the people.  This was only a temporary solution to the problem.  People would keep on sinning and there was the need for more sacrifices to cover those sins.  However, when Jesus came to Earth, he was the perfect sacrifice because He lived a sinless life.  So not only was His sacrifice able to cover our sins, He was the perfect High Priest to offer the sacrifice because He didn’t need to atone for Himself before offering.

We are able to receive the promise of eternal life, of a restored relationship with God, because of Jesus and what He’s done for us.  It is a gift that is freely offered to us.  Let us rejoice and accept this gift and live our lives for Him, not because we have to but because we want to.