A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Yes, I know this is not Sunday – LOL!  I’m interrupting this Friday the 13th, which is typically seen as the worst day you can possibly have, to bring you some GOOD NEWS!  But first, let’s review a few things that historians have claimed:

They claim that Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of Knowledge on Friday the 13th.  They also say that the great flood began on Friday the 13th.  And finally, the builders of the Tower of Babel started their work on – you guessed it – Friday the 13th.  And what about the New Testament?  Well, it’s notable that there were 13 people present for Christ’s Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the day before Jesus was crucified on Good Friday.  Now – was that a Friday the 13th?  I think not.

One Friday the 13th, I was watching a telecast of a sermon by Joseph Prince.  I don’t like to say I have a favorite TV preacher, but I enjoy listening to him.  He interjects interesting facts – and on this Friday the 13th, I was not disappointed.  Let’s take another look at this verse in Hebrews:

Let us go forth therefore unto HIM outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  – Hebrews 13:13

Well, the obvious thing is that this is the 13th Chapter and the 13th verse.  Joseph Prince also pointed out that there are 13 words in this verse – but wait, it gets better.  The word in the center of this verse is HIM.  I l LOVE THAT!!!  So, what is that take away?  If we have HIM, do we have to dread Friday the 13th as the world does?  NO!  No, we do not!  

I vowed that I would point this out to everyone here on the blog the next time we have a Friday that falls on the 13th.  I want to promote the positivity that belonging to Christ brings!  He brings His children joy, peace, love, and all the fruits of His Spirit.  Lucinda wrote a neat poem about Hebrews 13:13.  I know you’ll like it!

I wasn’t able to find the sermon by Joseph Prince, but Hebrews 13:13 means even more to me since I saw this sermon.  I hope you will watch with receptive hearts and minds.

So…  let’s keep the positive side of Friday the 13th in mind, and throw away the other stuff.  Oh, I do want to leave you with something that I think is HI-larious!  Frankly, this is what comes to mind when I think of Friday the 13th:

Isn’t that funny???  I’m rollin’!!!  😀

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HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

HEBREWS 10 16 & 17 ON 10 16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love. 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 10:10 ON 10/10

TL HEBREWS 10 10 ON 10 10

We have been made holy through the single offering of Jesus Christ’s body – Hebrews 10:10

Am I holy because of anything I say or do?  NO!  Anything I am or strive to be is because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.  My holiness is all about Him and has nothing to do with me.  Whatever is in my heart which is holy, or whatever influences are brought to bear upon me to make me holy, is all to be traced to the fact that Christ became obedient unto death, and was willing to offer His body as a sacrifice for my sin.

AN ADDED GIFT

Some denominations refer to being holy as being “sanctified” or they call it “second blessing holiness”.  When God makes someone holy, it means that the person belongs to God in a special way.  He separates them from other people, for Himself.

It’s God’s will (desire, plan) for people to be holy.  In Hebrews 10:10, these people were once God’s enemies.  They did many wrong and evil things against Him.  But now God has saved (rescued) them, so they have become His people.  He has separated them so that they belong to Him in a special way.

In biblical times the sacrifice of animals made God’s house holy.  Then a better a more glorious sacrifice has made God’s people holy.  Of course that sacrifice was the death of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  He carried out God’s will to make His people holy.

Animal sacrifices happened often.  The priests’ work was never complete or perfect.  Because of the single complete and perfect sacrifice of Christ, we live in a state of grace and mercy.

The sacrifice of Christ makes unholy people holy.  Because of Christ’s death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, we are separated and belong to God in a special way.

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I’m so glad I’m one of Jesus’ sheep, aren’t you?  Baa…  😉

HEBREWS 12:28 ON 12/28

HEBREWS 12 28 ON 12 28

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 12:28

When I read that passage of scripture, I thought, “Wow – what a great New Year’s Resolution!”  I mean, what could be better than to resolve to be more thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe???

It seems to me that once the proper emphasis is put on all that, everything else will fall into its rightful place.  You may think that sounds too good to be true, but don’t dismiss my theory so quickly.

When our hearts and minds are on Christ instead of our problems, we are fully trusting Him to work it all out, right?  So, if we’re trusting the Lord to take care of the day-to-day, then it will all fall into place, right?

If we could just do that one thing, it would be the best resolution because by our act of faith we are letting Christ know that we trust Him for everything.  Well, you don’t think I chose the book of Hebrews just because I wanted to tell the joke about coffee, did you?  You do know that the man is supposed to make the coffee in the household – because the Bible says He Brews…  yeah – ok.  Talking Tom likes coffee…

Anyway…  what a great reminder that we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable!  It’s not made by human hands.  We sure can’t say that about this place, can we?  I hear bad news almost daily that makes me wonder how much longer things will stay together.  But the kingdom of God is solid and eternal.  It is where we are headed, so we need to realize that we are children of the living God and start giving Him all the glory and honor and praise He deserves.  Let’s find the awe in awesome again.

We are not abandoned.  We are not orphans.  We are more than conquerors in Jesus’ name.  Let’s go into 2014 with praise for God on our lips and a testimony in our heart to share with those who need to hear it.  😀