Archive for : November, 2019

11/14/19: Hebrews 11:32 – 12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17

In our Sunday Bible Class we have been discussing living life with less fear and more faith (based on Max Lucado’s 2009 book.)

In today’s reading the inspired writer of Psalms repeats what we have discussed – those who trust in the Lord are secure and their fears can certainly be lessened if we seek and have faith in His will.

Psalm 112: Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

11/13/19: Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 27:13

Hebrews 1117 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. 23 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. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

The verses are part of the listing of “heroes of faith.”  And did you notice an important element for us today?   While the faith of a parent could not be “given” to their children or progeny their example of living in faith was critical.

This is certainly a daily challenge for all of us.

 

11/12/19: Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

I had always considered this verse the “definition” of faith but after reading several commentaries I agree that, as commentator Dr. Thomas Constable wrote, “Hebrews 11:1 describes faith rather than defining it.

And what a description!  In Greek the word for “confidence” is  “hypostasis” which means “that which has foundation, is firm; that which has actual existence; a substance, real being.”  This says to me that faith is the absolute basis and foundation of how our daily lives as believers should be lived.

 

 

11/11/19: Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13

Having played a lot of sports I realize how devastating it can be to a sports team when a teammate is unable to play due to an injury or other priority.  First, the missing teammate is often left behind while the team travels and the athlete loses the opportunity to join in the comradery of not only playing the game but in just being a member of a team with a common goal.

Secondly, the team will miss the individual and the unique talents they bring to the entire group of players.  Every position, every skill  is vital assembling a winning team.

Just reflect a minute or two — how much more does this reality apply to the Body of Believers?

Hebrews 10: 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching

11/10/19: Hebrews 10:1-17; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 27:12

I do not know about you but I had never considered myself to be “holy.”  In fact I felt that if someone called me “holy” they were being sacrilegious & trying to give me an honor I did not deserve.  Then, after listening to excellent teachers and doing some reading on my own I came to realize that being “holy” is a gift that applies not only to me but to all believers.

The Greek word for “holy” is “hagios” which means “different, set apart.  Believers are “holy” as we are to be different from the world and set-apart for God’s use.  And what is it that makes us “holy?”

Hebrews 10First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11/9/19: Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11

Psalm 10723 Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.

As you were reading Psalm 107:23-31 did the story sound familiar?  How about Mark 4:35-41 when the disciples awakened Jesus and he calmed a “tempest,” leaving the sea “completely calm.”

I find it interesting that in both cases we see the men on the boat “cry out” to the Lord.  To me this is a reminder that we should never delay in calling to Jesus for help in our lives — and not waiting until the seas are rough but calling out every day.

 

 

11/8/19: Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10

Hebrews 9This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

When I read the section from Hebrew 9 today I was reminded of the intricacy of the sacrifices required under the “old Law.”  And the final two verses highlighted to me God’s grace in establishing the redemption we have through the holy Body and Blood of His Son.   We serve a graceful God and need to always be thankful.

 

 

11/7/19: Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9

I found it interesting that today’s reading included passages from Psalm 106 that traced the history of the nation of Israel.   It is certainly important that as believers we read this history for God’s plan of salvation flows through each page.  Plus by studying the Old Testament we have a fuller understanding of the New Testament.

Then, as we read Hebrews today we see the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises made to all mankind — the new covenant established through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the Christ – His one and only Son.  We are blessed to have received this covenant via God’s love and God’s grace.

Hebrews 8:  But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

Hebrews 8: 1By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

11/6/19: Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6

Proverbs 27:  Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,  but who can stand before jealousy?

The wisdom of this little verse caught my eye today.  Anger is often directed “outwardly” towards another person(s.)  But anger is most often a rapid-fire emotion and will calm quickly.  Not so jealously  … jealously is inwardly directed, self-centered  and long-lasting.  Jealously destroys relations but also destroys the person.  I am reminded of the following quote from author William Penn:

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but torment to themselves.”

 

 

 

11/5/19: Hebrews 7:1-17: Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3

As you are reading were you thinking a thought that I was — “Why is there so much focus on this Melchizedek?”   It may be a bit difficult for us to understand because we are not Jews and are not immersed into Jewish history as were the first century Jewish converts.

Jewish converts were being tempted to return to Judaism with it’s concepts of High Priests and sacrifices presented through the lineage of Aaron.  So, the author of Hebrews is highlighting to them that well before the “priesthood” was officially established through Aaron a greater priesthood had existed in Melchizedek who was even  recognized by their patriarch Abraham.

The author inspired by the Holy Spirit than makes the utmost point that Jesus, like Melchizedek is superior to the priesthood they knew:

Hebrews 7:  27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

 

 

 

11/4/19: Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2

Personally, sometimes I may need to be reminded of the immensity of the power and authority of God.  As I read today’s passage from Psalm several expression caught my eye and heart.  The expressions were the action verbs expressing what the Lord had done for Israel.  No  external help was needed — He just did:

He called down …   He sent …  the Lord made  … He turned …  He spoke …  He struck …

 

11/3/19: Hebrews 5:1-14; Psalm 105:1-15; Proverbs 26:28

Hebrews 5:  11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Once again we see scripture warn against the danger of being a “lazy believer.”  It is so very easy to skip a day of Bible reading … and then to skip two … and then to just stop reading.  In our physical lives maturing is a daily evolutionary process taking years.  But each day we are physically maturing although it may be imperceptible. .

Each day that we read and study we are maturing, again, maybe so slowly as to not be obvious, but we are growing!

11/2/19: Hebrews 4:1-16; Psalm 104:24-35; Proverbs 26:27

Hebrews 4There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

If you are like me when I think of the noun “rest” I think of “not working” and taking it easy for awhile.  Coffman provides a much clearer explanation of the “rest” referenced here.  And this type of “rest” is much more appealing than just stopping work — and, even better, this type of rest is eternal!

“Rest” in the usage at this place is a much more varied and extensive thing than merely entering Canaan, for it is a concept that is made to stand for all the spiritual and eternal rewards of faith. The Christian rest includes rest in Christ, as procured by taking his yoke and learning of him, rest from the labors of life , and rest with the Lord in heaven throughout all eternity; …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/1/19: Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalm 104:1-23; Proverbs 26:24-26

Hebrews 3:  He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 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. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

I had never really considered myself as God’s house.  But in reflecting on the description a thought entered my mind.

We have our physical houses to “live or dwell in.”  And since we are God’s “house” does than not make us fully capable of having the Holy Spirit “dwell” in us?

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?