God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 21 - Hebrews 1-6: Focus on Jesus, the Only One Worthy of Our Focus

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 1-6

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Jesus is greater than all that came before Him. The writer of Hebrews wanted us to see the different things Jesus is superior to.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God spoke through Jesus who rules next to Him forever. We must hold this Message: Jesus released us from the fear of death.
Jesus is the centerpiece of our beliefs. Listen and obey Him! That is the only way to get His ever-renewing Promise of Rest.
God chose Jesus because He humbled Himself to set everyone's relationships right.
This sounds complicated because you won't listen! Nothing can be done for a person who turns their back on God.
God made a Promise to Abraham and backed it with His unshakable Word. We hope to never let go of that Promise.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God spoke through Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews is contrasting Jesus with what many people replaced Him with. Today's reading looked at angels, Moses (the Law), and the high priest. God spoke through Jesus because He was greater than all of these: exalted (unlike the angels), gives rest (unlike the Law), and was perfect (unlike the high priests). Jesus deserves to be the focus of our faith because He is greater than any other focus we could have.

Jesus is in charge of setting our relationships right.

This is important for two reasons: 1) We need not look anywhere else to set our relationship right with God; and 2) we need not try to figure out who has their relationship right with God or not. The second is the most important because, as I alluded to yesterday, it frees us from having to make public proclamations of who is "saved" and who is not. If a person asks you, only answer if they are willing to do an honest self-examination.

Our biggest problem is not listening.

We are in good company, though. No entire group has ever fully listened to God—even the people God took out of Egypt eventually lost faith in Him. The writer has to repeatedly remind them that we must listen to join in the Promise. Listen to God and receive the Promises!
It is this problem that leads churches and preachers to preach the same topics over and over again. Because people do not listen, the congregation cannot get beyond the elementary doctrines. Let's not be that way! We should be people who get beyond convincing people to have faith in God to set things right and talk strategy to join Him in setting things right!

If a person experiences God's Goodness and still turns their backs to Him, there is nothing left for God to do.

This section scared me growing up. I was afraid I would be baptized, make a mistake, and God would punish me for eternity. That isn't what this means at all. If we realize that it is another example of people hearing God and rejecting Him as mentioned earlier, we understand that the reason there is no hope for this person is because God has given the person everything He has and the person rejected it. What does God have left to give? He gave Jesus! It is similar to a farmer who tills, fertilizes, and irrigates the crop on a plot of land only to have it grow weeds. We can't blame the farmer for that sorry land. He did everything he could to make it grow. We should not blame God for people tasting and seeing Jesus and rejecting Him to their own peril.

Are you ready to get beyond lessons on how to trust in God to set things right and help other Chosen People set things right?

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