Christ calls us to come and follow. We don’t get the whole picture in one sitting. It’s what we want, but it’s not his way. Continue reading “Slow walk to maturity — filling our minds with Christ”
Coming through Hebrews 11 and as we turn into the main point of Hebrews 12, I can hear the author of Hebrews fairly shouting: “Quit being so lazy in your faith!” Continue reading “By faith”
Christmas is that powerful reminder that an event that goes completely unnoticed by the world raises up what is eternal. Long after Caesar Augustus. Long after Herod. There is still the Kingdom of God. Continue reading “Turns out the Church will be just fine”
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. — Heb. 10:23
We can forget what we have in Christ. We can be distracted from the promises. We can be attacked by the enemy, who wants us to fail in the promises given. The call is to PERSEVERE. “Getting” a promise isn’t the same as gaining a promise. Gaining a promise isn’t the same as holding on to victory. The enemy still wants to steal.
Every day, be reminded of his great and precious promises. Every day, give thanks. Every day, lay out those claims of God and be refreshed in HIS provision. The enemy wants you to forget. Be reminded of the great and precious promises… and GRIP THEM with tenacity! The enemy wants to steal. Jesus wants to pour out his abundance.
Stay reminded every day of the gifts and promises given to you!
We need the tie of generations in the faith because each generation can demonstration the depth of faith that is possible. We can observe that in the generations that came before. We can learn from them.
When we demonstrate the depth of faith, a faith that cannot be shaken, and demonstrate the faithfulness of God, we can then explain that to the next generation.
Two things are needed:
1. This generation (and insert yourself and that particular generation here) needs to demonstrate that to the next generation, and then help explain that to the next generation.
That means, get to know someone younger and INVEST in them. They want the opportunity, even if they don’t know how to say it.
I meet with younger students and work to pour into them the incredible faithfulness of God. When they’re ready to go win China NOW for Jesus, I remind them of the long walk of obedience in the same direction that needs to be the foundation of their lives.
It’s work. I learn to communicate better. I learn to listen better. I don’t always get it right. But I work at it.
2. The generation coming up needs to listen.
Watch and observe. Don’t just ask questions and wait for the “fill in the blank response.”
I have a spiritual father I meet with from time to time and I don’t ask ONE question. I just let him talk. Whatever God is guiding him in that day is what I want to hear. There are times I have a specific question, but I’ve watched him over the years. I have learned from his example over the years. I don’t always need to have a question.
Let’s observe from one another the faithfulness of God. We will then find that ANCHOR for our soul that carries us on in the journey with Christ.
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 6:17-20)
Abraham passed this soul anchor on to the next generations. We have this soul anchor passed to us. Let us be so anchored to Christ that we can faithfully demonstrate the beauty and power of the Kingdom to the next generation.
If there is one thing I try to maintain in communicating the gospel, it’s this: following Christ isn’t for the lazy. We keep making it too “easy” to think about being a part of a church, or being a “Christian,” but we aren’t doing people any good in making Jesus a friend to “hang out” with and have a good time.
Hebrews tells us a different story. By the time you get to the end of Chapter 10, you read sentences like:
“It’s scary to fall into the hands of the living God!” (v. 31, Common English Bible)
“But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed.” (v. 39, CEB)
This is not for faint of heart!
And this is the question that truly needs to be asked of us as the people of God from time to time: What sort of people are we?
Are we driving people to an emotional experience so Jesus is just your buddy you “hang” with?
Are we allowing people to think they can hang out with cool friends in a place called “church” that looks more like a coffee shop for an hour, then get back to their “other lives?”
What sort of people are we?
Do we know the FAITH of Christ in our lives? Do we know the cost of following Christ?
33 Sometimes you were exposed to insults and abuse in public. Other times you became partners with those who were treated that way.(CEB)
The need for our lives as believers is to understand we’re not here for the fabulous lattes. We are here because of a fabulous Savior who call us to endurance (v. 36).
Let us not be people who shrink back. Let us be the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved (v. 39).
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, (Heb. 6:19, NIV)
The call of Hebrews is the call to press on. It is the call to grow up. We need a maturity in our faith that moves us beyond the foundation that is set. We have a bad habit in American Christianity of rehashing the basics and making it sound “mature.” We need to understand the basics that are set in our lives and build up.
The call of Hebrews is to move beyond the laziness of not growing up and get into life that is powerful and truly free. It is a life anchored by the very promise of God. The writer of Hebrews describes this as our “soul anchor.” What God has promised, and what Christ has done, is sure. Grasp the hope that is in front of you (v. 18) and move on to maturity.
Be “imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12, NET Bible).
We don’t have a weak salvation. We don’t have a weak faith delivered to us. We have an anchor. There is no need to walk in fear of “losing God” when that anchor is right in front of us. The need of the hour is to move on in maturity in Christ. The need of the hour is to BUILD on the fundamentals of our faith, not keep digging up the foundation and planting it again and calling that “maturity.” It’s not maturity. It’s laziness.
The call is to grow in faith. Learn the Kingdom. Walk in the vast power and knowledge of the Kingdom. Find yourself swept away in the power of the Spirit! Let that anchor hold you firm, and then get out on those ocean waves and see what the Spirit can really do in your life.
As I read through Hebrews and meditate in certain spots, I am seeing the answer to a particular question. The question/ concern in the letter seems to be the concern of drifting away.
The consistent answer I am finding as I read is this: give yourself to one holy pursuit.
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. (Heb. 4:12-13, NET Bible)
The LIVING Word of God, Christ himself, has his gaze on us. Our inner rebellion, our hardness of heart, our stubborn refusal to heed the call of the Kingdom obedience may miss the gaze of others. It does miss the gaze of the Savior.
While it is TODAY, hear the call of the Spirit. Do NOT walk away from the power of the Kingdom of God. Do NOT fall into the temptation of living for your own glory, satisfying your life with the smallness of self-satisfaction. Today, hear his voice. Hear the call of a powerful King longing to have you serve in his amazing Kingdom. It is HIS Kingdom, not yours. You have to surrender. But it is a beautiful life of surrender.
This is your TODAY. Hear he call.