Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking for a Bumper Crop

Hebrews 6-Part 3
For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.            Hebrews 6:7-8  NAS


When I was a child, my dad plowed up a spot behind the house with the tractor and plow. After the ground was tilled up, he changed the plow to another piece of machinery for fertilizing. I sat on the back of it, watching the fertilizer drop into the freshly dug rows, going around and around, up and down the rows. It was sure a faster and easier way to prepare the garden spot for planting. (My job was to let him know when the fertilizer stopped coming out.) We had a big fruitful garden that year, due to plenty of rain. Of course, Mom canned and froze most of it for the winter. After everything was harvested, Dad burned the empty, dried plants and stalks.
Do you see the comparison with our verses?

We are the ground on which the Grace of God falls to water the seeds of His Word. It refreshes and brings forth spiritual fruit, a blessing useful to others. Do I let God's Word take seed in my heart, grow, and become fruitful to share with others? Am I soaking up His grace, then producing fruit of the Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23 gives us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

David Guzik said, "God is looking for what grows in us after He blesses us, especially what grows in terms of maturity."

I am looking for a  bumper crop this year. How about you?


Verse 8 can be put this way: Land that bears nothing but weeds and brush is worthless and "in the end will be burned." (Shepherd's Notes)

Along my road, I see thistles, ragweed, and briers out in some fields. These are of no profit to the farmer who grazes cattle. They only take away from the grass  production to feed the cattle. So the farmer will probably burn up the useless plants.
It sounds like the Lord removes the useless ones not producing spiritual fruit. I don't want to be in that group.


Soak up God's grace and Spirit as they fall upon me.

Honor the Lord Jesus as I bear spiritual fruit.

Live a Spirit controlled life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

As Easy as Falling off a Horse

Hebrews 6-Part 2
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Hebrews 6:4-6 NIV


In the very beginning of this discussion, I wish to say that I believe that one cannot loose their salvation. Thus, once save, always saved, is my view point of these specific verses. Can I show you why?
A key word in verses 4-6 is impossible, which means "that cannot be done." (King James Dictionary)
What is impossible in these verses? It's impossible to bring some people back to repentance.
Who are these people?
  • They've been enlightened (brought to the light). (verse 4)
  • They've tasted of the heavenly gift (salvation). (verse 4)
  • They've shared shared in the Holy Spirit. (verse 4)
  • They've tasted the goodness of the Word of God. (verse 5)
  • They've experienced the powers of the coming age (world to come). (verse 5)
From the view that a person can't loose their salvation, as describing the person above, there is no need to go indepth. It is impossible for that person described above to need salvation again. However, in my readings I have found other views.
Shepherd's Notes says it this way, "Salvation is from first to last a work of God that cannot be reversed by human beings."

In other words, salvation is the work of God, not me.


I had fun times  riding horses when I was growing up. My family had one for several years that I would ride with a sibling. A neighbor girl had a horses, also. I recall one particular time when she and I were riding with me on the back, not in the saddle, but on the horses' behind.The ride was great until the horse decided to galop down a small hill on our road. That is when I found myself falling off the horse onto the rocky dirt road. (Now less you ask, falling off a horse is easy, but I think it's just a saying in my region of the country.) Of course, it skinned my up and hurt enough to bring tears to this girl. But my friend came back, helped me up on the horse again, and we rode back to the house. (That incident didn't stop me from riding a horse again.)  That illustration came to my mind when I read about "falling away." Isn't it easy to spend your time elsewhere than with the Lord and His Word; busying ourselves, enjoying things? He sends His grace to pick us up again and put us on the right path.

"The sin of falling away is the sin of deliberately, willfully, intentionally rejecting God. These scriptures don't teach that Christians can fall from grace, but it does warn that if Christian salvation should ever be abandoned it could never be recovered," states Shepherd's Notes.

Other views of thsi passage included: the described person was never saved to begin with; it is only a hypothetical possibility that can't happen in reality; the person saved can loose their salvation.

Under what conditions is it impossible to bring such persons back to repentance? If they fall away. A person who falls away continues to crucify the Son of God and hold Him in contempt. Jesus died only once and for all who will accept His gift of salvation. He won't do it again. It is not needful.
[Resource: Shepherd's Notes ]

Charles A. Trentham said, "To bring a person who has finally denied Jesus back to salvation would be impossible, for it would be saying that the 'once for all death' of Jesus was insufficient. A new foundation would have to be laid.With His adequate strength for our weakness and the Holy Spirit to be our guide, we have full-and-complete salvation. If we refuse this or renounce this, there could be nothing more God could do to renew us to repentance."

Isn't doubting God's ability to keep us saved like questioning His all-powerful character? Wouldn't it be saying He doesn't keep His promises? His Word isn't true?

I have  strayed away from God, but He brought me back, as a sheep wanders away from the sheepfold. I may not act like a believer at times, but He brings me under conviction and to repentance for those sins. Just as I need a physical daily cleansing, so I do need a heart cleansing daily, also. My joy becomes restored when my burdens are unloaded.

I hope this is clearer than mud and shed light on the subject.


Be grateful for the Light; the heavenly gift of salvation; the Holy Spirit; the goodness of His Word; heaven is coming.
Act like a Christian so people don't doubt my salvation.

Praise the Lord for His eternal salvation!

Special prayer request: Friends, will you remember my husband, Roger, in prayer this week? He is going into the hospital Tuesday morning to begin a 3 day stay while they monitor a new medicine that will help regulate the rhythm of his heart. so excuse me if I am late with any postings, because he will be my priority this week. Thanks so much. Ya'll are such sweet people. Lord bless ya today. :0)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Being Carried

Hebrews 6-Part 1
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
Hebrews 6:1-3  NLT


I recall the nightly routine when I five years old. Mom would warm up my pink quilt at the wood stove, place it in the covers, then carry me to a warm, cozy bed in the dead of winter. That was the time before electric blankets and space heaters. It got so cold in the back of the house, away from the wood stove, that the frost on the wooden-framed windows would ice over. Now that was cold, friends. Mom did that act of love because the doctor gave strick orders that I was not to walk for six month,s so I was carried everywhere.Also, the cold would make my joints and muscles ache. The reason for this was that I had a disease called rheumatic fever, which could damage the valves of my heart and joints of my bones. You see, I know about being carried. our writer mentions it in verse 1 when he says, Let us go on.

This phrase, let us go on, in the Greek is the word pherometha, is passive instead of active tense, doesn't involve going so much as "being carried" or "being moved." (Liberty Bible Commentary)

It refers to us moving on from being a baby Christian to a mature Christian. We do this by stop going over repeatedly the basic teachings about Christ (birth, death, resurrection). We are not leaving, as in abandoning, the basic doctrines, but they are the starting place not stopping place.(MacAuthur)

The foundation of our faith is laid, so we can build on it, but not forget it.

Am I ready to move on, get goin'?


According to Shepherd's Notes, the author of  Hebrews, gives us six elementary teachings of the faith:
  1. repentance-To repent means to chang one's mind; regret or remorse about our sins. We turn from our sins, evil deeds.
  2. faith-After repentance, we are able to exercise faith in our Lord Jesus.
  3. baptisms-A symbol of our spiritual cleansing, baptism shows that our old self has died and our new self is raised with Christ. It's an outward expression of an inward experience.
  4. laying on of hands-We share a blessing or show the setting apart of a person for the ministry whenever we lay on hands on a believer.
  5. resurrection of the dead-Those saved that are in the grieve when the trumpet sounds and Christ returns will be resurrected out of the grave first.
  6. final judgment-Those lost, unrepentatant people, will bow at the final judgment seat of Christ. Believers will bypass this.
As a Christian, my foundation is laid on Jesus Christ, His birth, death, and resurrection. Now that I know my ABC's, I can move forward spiritually, growing in faith and obedience. I can let God carry me along to maturity.


Let go of anything holding me back from growing more in faith in Christ.

Daily stay in His Word.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Hebrews 5-Part 3
For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Hebrews 5:13


The author of Hebrews gives us six warnings throughout the book found in The MacArthur Bible Commentary. So far we have talked about the first two; today we will talk about the third warning.
1. The first warning was against drifting from "the things we have heard." (2:1-4)
2. The second warning was against disbelieving the "voice" of God. (3:7-14)
3. The third warning is against degenerating from "the elementary principles of Christ." (5:11-6:20)

For a couple of months, my babies could only drink milk for their nurishment. Then they could digest baby cereal, cooked and mashed up fruit. I'm glad they grew and eventually were talken off the bottle and able to eat soft baby food. If you are a mother, you know the progression. Blended up meat was given before they had molars to eat the tough meat. This is similiar to what the writer is saying to the Hebrew believers. Shall we check which stage of spiritual food they were on?

The third warning was to not be spiritually immature. Characteristics of their immaturity were:
  • dull, hard of hearing, not listening to the Word;
  • a diet of milk of the Word instead of meat, which isn't growing faith and obedience;
  • unskilled in the Word, so they weren't living a life of righteousness;
  • not discerning good and evil, doing the wrong instead of the right.
It is a tragic thing whenever a baby fails to grow up. As a parent and grandparent, I loved to hold and cuddle the babies, but I desired them to grow up and mature, too. Doesn't God have the same desire for His children, also? Of course, He wants us to progress spiritually. Am I?


So if those were the marks of the immature believer, what are the marks of a maturing beliver?
  • listening to the Word and the Holy Spirit with keen, attentive ears, receiving it and acting upon it;
  • able to teach the Word while continuing as a student in it;
  • digesting the meat of the Word and living it;
  • developing skills in sharing the gospel, exercising faith, growing in godliness;
  • distinguishes between right and wrong, resisting temptation to do wrong and not sin.
Wiersbe said, "Most Christians are 'betweeners.'" They are between Egypt and Canaan-out of the place of danger, abuat not yet into the place of rest and rich inheritance. They are between Good Friday and Easter Sunday-saved by the blood but not yet enjoying newness of resurrection life."

Are you and I a betweener? I suspect not, since you are into the Word, reading these lessons with me. I hope we are applying what we learn.

There's more to being a Christian than having our fire insurance.

Rick Warren says that God wants us to develop character described in the beautitudes of Jesus (Matt.5:1-12), fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23), Paul's great characteristics of love (1Cor. 13), and Peter's list of charcteristics on an effective and productive life (2Peter 1:5-8).

Now that's meat to chew on. will we stay a spiritual baby or mature into an adult?


Listen to the Word of God.

Learn the Word of God.

Live the Word the Word of God.

Grow in faith.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Battle of Wills

Hebrews 5-Part 2
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchiszedek.   Hebrews 5:7-10 NIV


Sometimes I find it hard to do the will of another when I want to do my own will my own way. That's when the flesh gets in the way-selfishness, self-centeredness. I find it hard to go to ball games with my husband when I'd rather do something else or stay at home; to go shop for something he wants to buy instead of what I want to buy; to cook when I want to eat out and he's too tired to go. I used to think that being a servant meant cooking and serving the meals, cleaning the house, and doing the laundry, but now that I know it is more than that.

A servant is one who gives himself up wholly to another's will.  Isn't that what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane? He agonized with the battle of wills-His will and His Father's will. Luke wrote about it in Luke 22:41-44. Jesus was asking that God the Father might take this cup of death on the cross away. This is one prayer that God did not answer. Why? It was on behalf of His people like you and me; it was because He loved us so much, even though we are sinners and sin daily against Him and His Word. God wanted to give us the free gift of salvation. Jesus had to get to that point where He said, "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Think of the millions who have been saved because of this one decision to do another's will.

Where does that leave me? I want to do God's will, even if it is hard.

Looking at our key verses, Jesus knew God could rescue Him from the trials, beatings, nails on the cross, since He is all-powerful. For thirty years Jesus had offered up prayers and petitions and they were answered yes, but not this time.
More likely, in harmony with the statements of Psalm 22, He answered by reaffirming the promise of the Resurrection. (Bruce)
He only hung on the cross for three hours, while He has been in heaven, eternity, for more than two thousand years. Which is better? Isn't it better to suffer for a short while and enjoy the blessings of God for eternity?

Loud cries and tears, strong crying and tears (KJV), tells me of the agony of the battle of wills.
Luke 22:44 says, And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

The Father said no, despite the unfathomable love He had for His Son, because He knew He could not spare His Son and save a world. Likewise, the Lord cannot always spare you and your family and complete His redemptive work in those around you. Will you intercede with the Father so deeply and intimately that even in the midst of your tears you are able to say, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done?" (Blackaby)

Now that is agonizing in prayer to the nth degree. Do I agonize in prayer for others? Do I agonize in prayer surrendering my will to God's will?


Verse 7 says Jesus was heard because of his reverent submission and he learned obedience from what he suffered.

In her devotional book, Diamonds in the Dust, Joni Eareckson Tada states: 
Although Jesus wept and cried loudly, wrestled and struggled, He obeyed. In fact, He learned obedience from what He suffered. What is important to note is that our Lord submitted Himself to the school of obedience. When we become Christians, God enrolls us in the same school. That's why obedience must be learned. If Jesus was schooled in obedience from what He suffered, shall the servant be greater than his Master?
Avoid all appearances of evil. Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth. Count others better than yourself. Forgive seventy times seven. Don't let the sun set on your anger. In everything give thanks.

Blackabys' devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, says:
We all endure suffering to some degree, but the good news is that through it we can become like Jesus. Are you willing to pay whatecrr price is necessary in order to become like Christ? There are some things that God can build into your life only through suffering. Don't resent the suffering God allows in your life. Don't make all your decisions and invest everything you have into avoiding hardship. God did not spare His own son. How can we expect Him to spare us? Learn obedience even when it hurts!

Will it take suffering in order for me to learn obedience? Am I following Jesus on the right road for my life? Do I give myself up wholly to God's will?
Friends, if you have been learning obedience through suffering, God may choose to make you a source of salvation to others even as He did with His Son.
We all need to accept things exactly as they are and search for God's way in the middle of our circumstances.
Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Jesus. ((Sarah Young)


Let go of my will and follow His will in perfect obedience.

Pray that my sufferings, handled the right way, will bring salvation to others.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Does Anything Last Forever?


Hebrews 5-Part 1
He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 5:6


My clothes dryer is squeeking and squeeling, complaining that it's on its last leg, put in its time, ready for retirement, but I tell it to hang on. Now is not a good time for us to buy a new dryer. Have you priced new appliances lately? One dryer costs as much or more than the pair, with a washer, did the last time we bought one. (Probably 14 years ago) Does anything last forever? These earthly things sure don't. Appliances wear out, houses run down, yards grow up, our bodies do it all, couples split up. No, friends, I hate to admit it, but earthly things don't last forever.
Isn't there anything that lasts forever?  Yes, I have found a few things-God's Word, the human soul, and Christ's high priesthood. Shall we check out the last one?

The writer of Hebrews used the word forever six times. It is found in 5:6, 6:20, 7:17, 21, 24, and 28. He affirms that Christ's high priesthood is forever. Since He is a Priest forever, He gives His people salvation forever (Heb. 7:23-28).  (Wiersbe)

In Webster's Dictionary, the word forever means "eternally, continually."

Verse 6's use of  forever is found in a quote of Psalm 110:4. So I checked out that verse and here's what I found.

In Liberty Bible Commentary:
"Not only had the Lord sworn by decree that the Messiah would be a priest forever; he also decreed that he whould be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek's office was exceptional; none preceded or secceeded him. He comes upon the pages of history mysteriously, blessing Abraham and receiving tithes; and he vanished from the scene among honors that show that he was greater than the founder of the chosen nation."

Because he was a real man, he did die (7:1-3) at some time, but the record is not given to us. So Melchizedek becomes a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ who is a Priest forever. (Wiersbe)

I'm reminded of a song that says "His love endures forever. Forever God is faith, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever."  Pslam 136 tells us of the many ways "His mercy endures forever."
Yes, there are some things that last forever.

Am I ready for the "forever?" Are all of our family members ready for the "forever?"


We can find the qualifications of the Levitical priests in verses 1-4. They include:
  • made sacrifices for sins
  • must have compassion
  • appointed by or called of God.
The verses 5-10 show us Christ's qualifications as a priest:
  • appointed by God the Father
  • was and is compassionate
  • became the sacrifice for the sins of people.
Through God's grace, He instituted the Levitical system. Today, that system is fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus. He's both the sacrifice and the High Priest who ministers to God's people on the basis of His once-for-all offering on the cross. (Wiersbe)

How often do I go to my High Priest, Jesus Christ?


Rest in the work Jesus did for me and my salvation.

Rest in the forever.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Know How You Feel

Hebrews 4-Part 3
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, tht wwe may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.   Hebrews 4:14-16


"I know how you feel." Haven't we all thought or said that at one time or another to someone? I say it less nowadays. I realize that I may not know just how someone feels, especially if I have never walked a mile in their moccasins. Oh, I've lived long enough to have experienced many things, but there are still some that I have yet to experience. Anyway, does it really help someone when I say it? Maybe I should say, "I'm sorry  you're going through this." I need to remember to let them talk, don't bog them down with my experiences and feelings. That isn't why I would be talking to them in the first place.

Friends, there is someone who knows how we feel, who understands what we are going through. His name is Jesus. Verse 14 tells us that He is a Great High Priest. No one else can, could, nor does assume that title. Do I reach out to HIm in my time of need?

What did the high priest do in the Old Testament? He was the only man who could enter the Holy of Holies once a year, on the Day of Atonement, who was allowed to pass through the earthly veil in order to gain access to the mercy seat (Lev.16). This was the inner most part of the Temple, where only one person was allowed to be or see. This is where the high priest made the sacrifice for his sins and the sins of his people.

Shepherd's Notes explains:
 Sprinkling the blood of the sin offering seven times with his finger before and on the Mercy Seat, he symbolically covered the sins of the people from the eyes of the Lord. Now Jesus, our great High Priest, has passed, once for all, not through the inner curtain of the tabernacle made with human hands, but through the heavens (verse 14) to God Himself to make atonement for all our sins. Jesus has entered the heavens on our behalf.

We could not meet the standard that God requires for the forgiveness of sins, but Jesus did it for us.

Verse 15 in the NLT says, This High Priest of our understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

"He is sympathetic with our weaknesses. Although he is God's Son, when Jesus took on human flesh, He came to know firsthand what it was to live as a human being in a fallen world. He also came to know what it is like to be tempted. In every case He resisted the temptation and was completely without sin," says Shepherd's Notes. 

Dear ones, Jesus is more than just a story or a picture. This is truth. He understands what we go through when we are tempted because He was tempted also.

Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses in every way. The Lord did not share only partially in our weaknesses, but fully. Remember, He was man and God. There's not an emotion with which I wrestle that Christ has not first felt its sting. He Himself has experienced these very things. Jesus was tempted, but didn't sin, so He understands what we're going through and He interceeds for us to the Father.


We are to hold fast our profession, acording to verse 14. NLT says Let us hold firmly to what we believe.
The word profession, homologia in Greek, involves both the inward confession of the heart and the outward profession before men. (Falwell quoted Hughes)

Do I have a firm hold on what I believe, or is it like holding a dishrag in my hand?

Here the writer is urging believers to cling tenaciously to their confession of Christ. Cling now and keep on clinging. (A.T.Robertson )

Another thing I saw in these verses, in verse 16, I can go boldly to the throne of grace. This is possible only because of my High Priest, Jesus my Intercessor, that I am allowed to enter the throne room of Holy, Almighty God. Most people of authority, kings, presidents, rulers are not accessible for the ordinary person to talk to, but our King and Ruler of everything is. I don't see myself as coming in boldly, but humbly, submitting on my bended knees, clothed with the blood stained robe of Jesus' righteousness, before the throne of grace, making requests. Do I ever get enough of mercy and grace? No, I'm always in need of both.
I am so happy to find this grace to help me in my time of need. It flows from His throne, ya'll. Praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus!

On the other hand, am I not expected to show this same grace and mercy to others? Do I?


Cling to Christ.

Be thankful for God's grace and mercy.

Keep praying for others.

Give grace and mercy to others.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Surgeon's Cutting Knife

Hebrews 4-Part 2
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.   Hebrews 4:12


I have had surgery four times in which I was cut open. It was a good thing that I was cut by the surgeon's knife. The result was worth all the pain I later went through. Two times was in order to deliver my two babies. Yes, the pain of recovery was worth it, when I held my sweet little ones in my arms. God's Word is like that surgeon's cutting knife. It slices through my layers of sin and stabs me in the heart, my soul. Let's take a closer look at how the writer of Hebrews describes God's Word.

First, the Word of God is quick. The Greek word for quick is zao, which means "to live, have life."
Second, the Word of God is powerful. The Greek word for powerful is energes, which means "energetic."

I have found God's Word to be alive and energetic, powerful.
In John 17:17, Jesus prayed: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This means we can take it to the bank. It is God's revelation to us; He is breathing words to us, telling us things He wants us to hear and know.

In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says,
"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with His Word. God's Word is unlike any other word. It is alive."

John 6:63 (NASB) says, The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Warren continues to say:
"When God speaks, things change. Everything around you-all of creation-exists because God said it. He spoke it all into existence. Without God's Word you would not even be alive. James 1:18 ( New Century Version) says, God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.
The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook. God's Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the Devil, causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character, transforms circumstances, imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, infuses hope, releases power, cleases our minds, brings things into being, and guarantees our future forever! We cannot live without the Word of God! god's Word is the spiritual nourishment you must have to fulfill your purpose.The Bible is called our milk, bread, solid food, and sweet dessert."


What else does verse 12 say about God's Word? What surgery does it talk about?
  • It's sharper than a two-edged sword. The Greek translation of sword means "a short sword or dagger." (Wiersbe) It cuts us open; exposes our heart as it goes in and cuts out the sin and unbelief as it comes out. "Nothing in the human heart is able to escape the gaze of God," says Shepherd's Notes.
  • It penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow, thought and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)  There's no part of us that it cannot penetrate. It reaches into the inner secrets of our mind.
John Gill said, "As a surgeon, who makes a wound sorer by probing and opening it, to let out the matter and make way for his medicine, He (God) cut and wounds, and gives pain and uneasiness, by the sharp two-edged sword of the Word, and by His Spirit making use of it; and lays open all the corruption of nature, and brings to repentance and humiliation for all transgressions; and then pours in the oil and wine of pardoning grace and mercy, and binds up the wounds that are made."

God is my heart surgeon. His Word cuts me  open, plum to the heart, and exposes my sins so I can repent and He can pour in healing grace and mercy, then sews me back up, but the scare is always there as a reminder of my transgressions. Now that's a good thing, friends. It means I am His child when I get disciplined.
Hebrews 12:5-6 quotes other scriptures, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou aret rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. (Job 5:17 and Psalm 94:12)

Verse 13 tells us that no one can hide from God's sight. Also, all things are naked and opened unto His eyes.

Verse 13b, in the NIV says, Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Sooner or later we will have to give an account of our words, actions, and decisions. I may as well confess my sins now instead of later to the Lord Jesus.


Believe God's Word as truth.

Let the Word do its work in my life.

Let go and let God.

Let it change me as it operates on my inner being.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hebrews 4-Part 1
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.   Hebrews 4:11


After a hard day at work, on my feet, bending over desks,  I looked forward to a quiet evening of rest and relaxation. Even though walking through the door at home may have meant a quiet haven, with kids doing homework or playing outside, it didn't mean rest for me. There was supper to fix, dishes to wash, laundry to do, straightening up the house, papers to grade, lessons to prepare for the next day. Need I continue?
You may be in that position now, but I have walked through it and survived. So can you.

Did you notice that the word rest appeared a lot in chapter 4? I counted 8 in just verses 1-11 only. So it must have been an important point the author wanted to get across to his readers.
There are different kinds of rest mentioned:
  • God's rest (verse 1,5)
  • promised rest (verse 1)
  • Sabbath rest (verse 4,9)
  • heavenly rest (verse 10)
  • eternal rest (verse 3)
  • spiritual rest-salvation rest and submission rest
  • invitational rest (verse 5)
  • Jesus' rest (verse 8)
  • Canaan's rest (verses 11-13)
The sound of rest is rather appealing, isn't it?
I must mention Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Why do I look elsewhere for rest? Jesus has a handful in His extended arm, waiting to open it and freely give it to me. It's called grace, that undeserved gift given in love.


For all who have entered into God's rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. Hebrews 4:10-11a NLT

Liberty Bible Commentary explains it this way:
Rest involves more than mere inactivity. It is that which follows the satisfactory completion of a task.
Salvation rest is the gift reckoned to the belever resulting from Christ's finished work. Heaven and millennial rest is the reward of the believer's labors for the Lord (Rev. 14:13). Do not miss through unbelief what God has promised.

Sarah Young wrote in her devotional book, Jesus Calling, "My security rests in Jesus alone-not in other people, not in circumstances."

Am I resting in Jesus now? In heaven, we will rest from our labors on earth. Are we ready to go? Today? To enter that rest. Not only from our work, but from our trials and troubles, and evil people. Now that will be rest for me. And to think it will be forever. Yes, that's heaven, I say. How about you? What will be heavenly for you ? From what do you need rest now? Jesus has His hand ready to open it to you, for the asking.

Hey, I better get busy working for Jesus while I have time. Time is fleeting quickly. It will soon be over.


Don't rest too soon, keep working for Jesus now.

Remember, my future rest is coming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Treking Through the Wilderness

Hebrews 3-Part 4
While it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:15


There was a time that I wandered around in my own wilderness, four and a half years to be exact. I made the choice to teach at a public school instead of a Christian school, where God wanted me to go. During that trek, things went from bad to worse, job wise and family wise. Finally, my eyes were opened  to what I was doing, living in rebellion.  So many things had lurred me down the wrong path. Looking back, it was actually  a lack of faith, unbelief, disobedience that took me there. Finally, I repented. God was merciful and I was able to get to the right place, His will. So I understand some of what the Israelites went through in the wilderness.

Look at verse 15. It is actually a quote of Psalm 95.
There were two of the twelve spies, that Moses sent to look at Canaan, which returned with a good report about the land. They were Joshua and Caleb. These two spies were the only ones allowed to enter the Promised Land which trusted God to conquer for the Israelites. The other ten said they were giants and they couldn't be conquered. These ten influenced 600,000 men to reject the good report, according to Falwell.

God keeps His promises, friends. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Of course, it is to our advantage that we have the rest of the story and know how it turned out for the Israelites. They conquered the ones who lived in "their" land, one by one. (I'm talking about the younger generation.) It was all divided up among the 12 tribes of Israel (except Levites, the priests) for their land in which to settle.

Do I harden my heart when I hear God's voice speaking to me? Or do I have a soft heart, wanting to obey what God tells me? How about you? Don't we have a tendency to want to pick and choose what we'd like to do? Do we even have a choice? Isn't it rebellion if I don't obey? I really don't wish to return to the wilderness ever again.


Who rebelled against God, even though they heard His voice?
  • Israel in the days of Moses. They were the ones who were slaves in Egypt; the ones who had seen the parting of the Red Sea; the ones who worshiped God; the ones that lived through the 10 great plagues; the ones who didn't have their first born die like the Egyptians did. These were the ones.
  • They heard God's voice.
  • They were the ones who made God angry for forty years.
  • They were the ones who doubted that God could give them the Promised Land of Canaan and didn't go take it, the first generation; the unbelievers.
  • They were the ones who sinned.
  • Their corpses lay in the wilderness.
  • They were the ones to whom God made an oath that they would never enter His rest.
  • They are known as the people who disobeyed God; the doubters.
Forty years treking through the wilderness. I don't think it was a picnic. The journey was rough. Poor Moses, he had to put up with  all the complaining and misery.
Rest refers to the heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make persevering believers in Christ partakers after the toils and trial of life on earth are ended. (Thayer's Lexicon)

In Exodus 33, God says to Moses, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
(For further reading, Numbers 13 and 14 gives us an account of the story.)

Gd was angry with the Israelites. They forfeited rest for the rest of their lives. Always on the move.

We see Israel's distrust of God, His power, and His providence; the author of Hebrews shows the evil nature of unbelief, and the sad effects of it; to deter persons from it, and that they might take heed of encouraging it. (John Gill)

The key to entering rest is reveals: belief. The unbelief came first, then the obedience. (See verses 18-19.) When we trust in these things (superiority of Jesus), making them the "food" of our souls, we enter into God's rest. Israel's great failure was to persevere in faith. They ended up falling short-because they did not persevere in faith in God and His promise. Will the passing years wean us away from an on-fire, trusting relationship with the Lord? Or will they only serve to increase our life of trust and relieance on Jesus?
(David Guzik)

I sure don't want to be like the generation that perished in the wilderness. I've had enough of that. I want to walk by faith as He leads. Then I will have rest and peace. How about you?


Let go of a hard heart; let it be soft toward God.

When I hear God speak to me, obey.

Encourage others to obey God.

Rest in His will for me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Books

Hebrews-Part 3
For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.  Hebrews 3:14 NLT


I remember the excitement of getting a new book to read from the library when I was in elementary school. My class would go only once a week, so it was a treat. I couldn't wait to get home and begin reading it, especially if my book  was a mystery. That excitement still carries over into my adult life. I enjoy beginning new projects and a new Bible study. There's a freshness about something new. Maybe it's just my attitude. Well, I know the Bible has been around  a few thousand years, but I haven't. So when I read that key verse, I realized that my excitement in my Christian walk should be fresh like the first day after I was saved. I must stay faithful to Christ and keep on trusting Him as long as I live. Why? Well, it isn't just for the benefits and blessings in this life, but for those in the here after.

Could I be more faithful and more trusting toward God?


Throughout the passages of the book of Hebrews, we find warnings, with exhortations, and illustrations used within them. they are a type of danger sign for us. Here is what I found. We will discuss each warning seperately.

The writter of Hebrews gives us six warnings, according to MacArthur Bible Commentary:
  1. the warning against drifting from "the things we have heard" (Heb. 2:1-4)
  2. the warning against disbelieving the "voice" of God (Heb. 3:7-14)
  3. the warning against degenerating from "the elementary principles of Christ" (Heb. 5:11-6:20)
  4. warning against despising "the knowledge of the truth" (Heb. 10:26-39)
  5. warning agaomst devaluing "the grace of God" (Heb. 12:15-17)
  6. warning against departing from Him "who speaks" (Heb. 12:25-29)

The first warning told us not to neglect Christ's message of salvation.
The second warning reminds us to not doubt God's promise. He is cautioning us about unbelief and missing God's rest.

 How am I to apply this to my life?
*by hearing His voice (verse 7)
*by not hardening my heart (verse 8)
*by not testing God and trying His patience (verse 9)
*by not doing evil (verse 12)
*by not having an unbelieving heart (verse 12)
*by not turning away from the living God (verse 12).

Then, we are told in verse 13, to encourage each other in the truths that will strengthen their faith in Christ. How often are we to do this? We are to do it daily.


Stay faithful to Christ and His Word.

Grow my faith.

Trust Him more.

Encourage lots of others.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My House

Hebrews 3-Part 2
For every house has a builder by some man; but the one who built everything is God. 
Hebrews 3:4 NLT
But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God's entire house, and we are God's house, if we keep our couraage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.  (verse 6-NLT)


The house I grew up in, and am currently living in, is probably around 75 years old. I don't know the exact year it was built, but the abstract goes back to 1901. After my parents bought it in the '40's, they added a bathroom and an backporch, which became enclosed as the laundry room. Later on, they remodeled the house in the 70's,  and added on a few more feet for a fireplace and a bar with a modern kitchen. Also, they replaced the old wooden windows with double paned ones,  rocked the outside half way up, and added siding to the top. Even though the house was a modernized house, it was still a  building. It wasn't as valuable as the people who lived there. So it is with our church. It is a building where people meet to worship and fellowship, but it isn't as important as the people, the family of God. I'm glad to be a part of the family of God, aren't you?

In reading verses 1-6, I noticed the word house appeared six times. Now that made me take notice and you know that I had to look up the word.
In the Thayer's Lexicon, house, in these verses, means the family of God.
In verse 6, Christ is identified as a son over his own house.

 Liberty Bible Commentary says:
The translation, his own, is stronger than the Greek (auton). It is his house. But His house is the same as God's house (verse 3). There is only one house involved in these verses. It is not Moses' house; it is not ours. It is God's. Moses was a part of this one house. It is what Paul calls the household of God (Eph.2;19); or the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). It includes all believers of all time. We are included-whose house are we. It continues as a present reality, of which we are part.

Hey friends, you and I are a part of this house, the family of God, if we have Jesus Christ as our Savior.
If God built all things, and Jesus Christ built God's house, then Jesus Christ must be God.


In the first six verses of chapter 3, we read of a contrast between Jesus and Moses. Here's what I find:
  • Jesus was appointed Apostle and High Priest/Moses was a leader of the Hebrews, God's chosen people. (verse 2)
  • Jesus was the builder of the church/Moses was the contractor for the Tabernacle
  • Jesus delivers people from sin spiritual bondage by His grace/ Moses delivered the Hebrews from the Egyptian physical bondage.
  • Jesus fulfilled the Law/Moses was a prophet of the Law, Ten Commandments.
  • Jesus is the New Covenant/Moses was under the Old Covenant.
  • Jesus is God's Son/Moses was God's servant.
  • Jesus was sinless/Moses was sinful.
  • Jesus's sacrifice removes our sins/Moses sacrificial system covered sins.
A conclusion can be drawn that "Jesus is Superior to Moses." The first century Jews had a problem with this. They could not let go of the Law and love Jesus as the Messiah. God used Moses for His purpose in his time, but he was not THE SAVIOR.

Which one do I hold? Is Jesus Superior to me?

"Both Moses and Christ faithfully fulfilled their individual, divine appointments to care for the people of God," states MacArthur Bible Commentary.

Am I striving to fulfill my divine appointment, God's purpose for my life today?

Looking back at verse 6b, it says, And we are God's house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. (NLT)
King James Version says, ...if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Continuence in the Christian life is the test of reality. (Bruce)
The life of a saint is the evidence of a new life in the saint. God's new life will manifest itself in his life. (Romans 6,8)

Am I continuing my Christian walk of faith with courage, confidence, hope, rejoicing until its on earth?


Are my  action exemplifying that I am a part of the family of God?

Keep Moses' teachings as a guideline for my life, but Jesus' teachings as a way of life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Screening Calls

Hebrews 3-Part 1
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus: Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faitful in all his house.   Hebrews 3:1-2

I appreciate modern technology. I use the caller ID to screen my telephone calls. The reason is mostly because of the telemarketers, who I want to avoid, call me very frequently. Also, it helps, on the other hand, to know to whom I will be talking before I answer.
The author of Hebrews mentions a calling to us. It's a direct call from heaven; a call from the heavenly Father to come to Him for salvation. It's a heavenly call to grace, a gift from God. I have answered that call. Have you? Soon there will be another call from heaven, one to come home when my journey on earth is finished, completed. Am I be ready to answer that call, too? Are you?
Another thing I noticed the author using in verse 1 is holy brethren. This term can only be applied to the people in the family of God, set apart by the grace of God. The writer is referring to people in the church, the body of Christ. (Shepherd's Notes)
This encourages me today. The message is : God loves us, you and me, friends. He sent the ultimate Messenger, Jesus Christ with that message to us.
Am I answering my calls today? I am, especially those from heaven.


The author says for us to consider Jesus our High Priest and an Apostle.
Apostle refers to a delegate, messenger,one sent forth with orders. (Thayer's Lexicon)
NIV says, Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Jesus, as the Apostle, is the authoritative Spokesman concerning His New Covenant of grace made with His believing and behaving people.
Jesus, as the High Priest, enables and mediates our confession. He goes to God for us.
 (Shepherd's Notes)

"Jesus now represenets men to God in heaven," said Warren Wiersbe in his book, Be Confident.

"To fix one's thoughts  on Jesus is to observe Him so as to understand His profound significance. It is an effort to perecive Him in all His fullness, concentrating on the true meaning of His life and work,. We are to fix our thoughts on Jesus baecause of His faithfulness (verse 2). (Shepherd's Notes)

Do i take my concerns to my High Priesst, Jesus? Do I confess my sins to my High Priest, Jesus? Are my thoughts fixed on Him throughout the day? Things to ponder


Call on Jesus anytime; His calls are not screened.

Fix my thoughts on Jesus during the day. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How do I Resist the Temptation of Fattening Foods?

Hebrews2-Part 3
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.   Hebrews 2:18 NLT

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 2:18 NIV


I could have been like Bugs Bunny and asked, "What's up doc?" yesterday as I went for my 3 month check-up. I didn't because his answer would have been "Your weight." I didn't want to hear about it, so I kept quiet. Oh my, the scales kept climbing when I stepped on them. I had no idea that I had gained SIX pounds in three months.  At this rate, I will regain all those twenty lost pounds in a year's time. Ugh! No way! Do something, Linda!
 Confession time: During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I ate anything and everything I wanted. Okay, it's my own fault and no one elses. But I love pumpkin pie, pecan pie, white covered pretzels, candies of any sort but chocolate, and yeast bread. I told myself that I have to stop this upward climb and make it decend, but I don't think I my body and brain were listening at the time. What did I do? Two hours after the reality, I ate two pieces of pizza. I justified it in resisting the yummy cinnamon rolls. See? I need help!
What am I going to do? I listened to Lysa TerKeurst's motivational webcast the other night. Did I heed her great advice? No.  Obviously, I can't do this on my own. I need help. Where can I get help with weight loss and keeping it off? Because of medications I take, I can't take diet pills. I can't afford those expensive diet plans nor their food. Wait. That's not the right question, anyway . How do I resist the temptation of fattening foods? How do I say no and not eat it? Now those are the right questions.
Are you with me, girlfriend? Apparently I am not alone, since Lysa had over 6,000 tune into her webcast. (I suggest reading "Made to Crave" by Lysa and her new book which gives us a plan.) Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert about all of this.
So as I read our key scripture, searching, I read, "Jesus suffered when He was tempted?" I knew He was tempted in all ways and manners as we are, but I did not realize that he suffered during it. Did you? Does that mean that as a Jew, he was tempted to eat lucious fatty ham (pork), filled with cholesterol, but didn't do it?
Suffered, says Thayer's Lexicon, means in a bad sense, "of misfortunes, to suffer, to undergo evils, to be afflicted."
Is my conclusion corect that Jesus endured a hardship, pain, while he endured the temptation of food, bread, yet didn't sin? It wasn't a picnic out in the wilderness. That means it wasn't easy for Him, right? Just like it isn't easy for me to say no, walk away, or refuse to put into my mouth something that is not good for my body. This sheds a new light on the subject for me. How about you?

We have all heard and read that Jesus was tempted.  I wonder how and who tempted Jesus? Here's what I found out:
  • Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, alone, by Satan.( Matthew 4 tells us about it.) He tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, since He had not eaten(fasted) during that time and was hungry. This was the lust of the flesh. What did Jesus say when He was tempted? Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Hey gals, Jesus used God's word to combat the temptation. 
  • Jesus was tempted by the Sadducees in Matthew 15:1.
  • Jesus was tempted by the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3, 22:18, 35-36; Mark 8:11, 10:2.
  • Jesus was tempted by others in Luke 11:16, 20:23; John 8:6.
I understand, Jesus was God and all powerful, but Hebrews 4:15 says He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  (KJV)
NLT says it this way, ... for He faced all the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

I know, that was Jesus and I am me, you are you, and we are not perfect, but have a sin nature to contend with. So why are we tempted to sin?

The answer is found in James 1:14 Then every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 
NLT says in verses 14-15, Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

Ahha. It's my lust that is the problem. I lust after something-pie, bread, junk food.
 What is lust?
Webster's Dictionary defines lust as an intense longing for possession or enjoyment; passionate or lewd desire.
I know my weaknesses and you know yours. When I see any kind of pie or homemade bread, I long for it to be in my mouth. I admit that I lust for it, wanting it. It begins in the mind with me, mentally tasting the forbidden fruit. Then I walk by it, thinking I can eat only half of a piece and that won't be so many calories. (justifying my wrong) Yes, I put in on my plate and in my mouth. That act shows up as a spare tire around my waist. The evidence is evident. I can no longer hide my sin. It shows up-thighs, hips, waist.  Are you with me, ladies?


I don't want to grow physically, but spiritually. I want to resist the temptation of food that is not good for my body. The question is HOW? Here are my suggestions that I am going to use:
  • Pray that ye enter not into temptation. (Luke 22:40b) Jesus told the disciples this when they were on the Mount of Olives before Jesus' trials and the cross. It was before they fell asleep while He prayed alone.
  • Ask Jesus for an alternative, a way to escape the temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13)
  • Have a plan and do it. Before going into the kitchen, I will decide what I will eat; before going through the restaurant doors what I will order; make a menu for the week or month  ahead of time.
  • Be ready for the twinge of hunger before it hits; plan healthy snacks.
  • Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. (Mark 14:38) When and where am I most tempted?
  • In everything give thanks. (1 Thess. 5:18) I will sincerely thank the Lord for rabbit food, carrots, Jello, yogurt, and plain pretzels. I'll even work on my grumbling.
  • Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Ps. 37:5)This is a way of life, not a diet. (Lysa TerKeurst)
  • Exercise by walking or on the treadmill. My plan is walking 5 times a week, working up to 2 miles each. That is 10 miles a week and 520 miles a year. Now that's something to share. I hadn't looked at it long term.
  • Share with us your progress so we can encourage each other. (James 1:2)
  • Rejoice evermore. (1 Thess. 5:16) 
Jesus has the answer, friends. I prayed for His guidance.  I used the internet to research my disease and diet needed. Now I enjoy freedom as I live in my body, though it's 6 pounds heavier, to do things and not be restricted. Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened.
Our answers are in Him, not a diet book, but His Book, the Word of God.

Are you with me on this one, or am I the only one struggling with weight problems? Hey, let's help each other with it.


Pray, ask, plan, watch, give thanks,  commit, exercise, share.

Whatever I do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men. (Colossian 3:23)

Rejoice over the victories, others' and mine.


    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Who am I?

    Hebrews 2-Part 2
    For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.   Hebrews 2:11


    Who am I, that the Creator of all things would know my name, would look down on me, just a farmer's daughter?
    Who am I, that the Savior would die for me, a sinner?
    Who am I, that the Blessed One would blesses me, the one who fails Him daily and wasted so many years living for self?
    Who am I, that the Risen Lord would extend my life ten more years?
    Who am I, the Patient  Jesus would work patiently in my life to mold this dirty lump of clay into a vessel worthy of praising and serving Him?
    Who am I, that the Messiah would take time to walk and talk with me?
    Who am I?

    Then I think about the times Jesus said, "I AM." When God was conversing with Moses in Exodus 3, He identified Himself as I AM THAT I AM. Moses was told to tell the Children of Israel I AM hath sent me unto you.

    Young's Concordance tells us It is a name indicating rather the unsearchableness of God than his mere existence, as commonly supposed.

    Another time, when the high priest asked Jesus, "Art thou the Christ, the son of the Blessed?" then Jesus answered, "I am."

    Who is Jesus Christ?
    • He was made a little lower than the angels, while He was on earth in the form of a man. (verses 7,9)
    • He is crowned with glory and honor. (verses 7,9)
    • He is set over all things. (verse 7)
    • He has all things in subjection under His feet. (verse 8)
    • He tasted death for every man. (verse 9)
    • It is for Him and by Him that everything exists. (verse 10)
    • He is the captain of our salvation. (verse 10)
    • He sanctifies us. (verse 11)
    • He calls us brethren and isn't ashamed to do it. (verse 11)
    • His Name is declared unto His brethren. (verse 12)
    • He is praised through song in the church. (verse 12)
    • He is the One in whom we put our trust. (verse 13)
    • He took on flesh and blood, humanity. (verse 14)
    • He is a merciful and faithful high priest. (verse 17)
    • He made atonement for our sins. (verse 17)
    • He was tempted to sin, although He did not yield. (verse 18)
    • He helps us when we are tempted. (verse 18)
    Like verse 12, which is quoting Psalm 22:22 says, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

    Bless that wonderful name of Jesus! Sing His praises! Give Him glory, honor, and praise!
    How could we do anything less, after all He has done for us? Who am I?

    He is not ashamed to call me His sister. I have a brother and sister. We have the same parents and grew up in the same household, which is rare today. I love them and know they love me. I'm not ashamed to tell people who my brother and sister are. I'm glad that Jesus isn't either-ashamed to call me His sister.


    Jesus suffered a horindously before the cross, bleeding sweat drops of blood while praying; beatings before the cross; nails pierced His hands and feet, hung on a cross to die; endured the forces of evil and effects of mankind's sins.

    Why did Christ have to suffer?
    • He did it to identify with humanity. For God to become truly human, He must suffer and even taste death (verse 9).
    • It was in order to destroy the power and fear of death (verses 14-15).
    • In order for HIm to become an intercessory high priest for His brothers (verse 17).
    Such love! We have a high priest interceeding for us to the Father who understands our pain, frustration, hurt, and tears. We don't have to dread nor fear death. He has taken care of everything for us ahead of time.
    That is why I declare what He has done and that Jesus is the only way to God the Father and heaven.

    In John 14:6, Jesus says, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Friend, have you believed in Jesus as your Savior yet? If so, are you and I sharing it? What will you do with a man called Jesus? Will you accept or reject Him?

    As I ask the question again, "Who am I?", I know the answer, "I am a daughter of the King."  King Jesus is His name and He knows my name, too. He walks and talks with me now and I will one day sit and talk with HIm in heaven. Glory to Your Name, Lord Most High, El Elyon.


    Declare all Jesus has done.

    Share the Good News.

    Sing His praises!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Drifting in a Canoe

    Hebrews 2-Part 1
    We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.   Hebrews 2:1  NIV


    L Liberty Bible Commentary tells us about the importance of our salvation in verses 3 and 4:
    1. It was spoken by the Lord.
    2. It was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.
    3. God verified this salvation with signs and wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost.

    Some believers heard Christ speak and others didn't, but through the apostles and other witnesses they heard about salvation in Jesus.
    The gifts given are mentioned in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Those gifts were given by the Holy Spirit to all believers for the profiting of the body of Christ. (Falwell)  (The body of Christ is His church.)

    Am I sharing salvation with others? Am I using the spiritual gifts given to me for the encouragement of the body of Christ?


    One summer activity our family enjoyed during our children's growing up days was canoeing. Almost every summer we would do it with other family members, a church group, or friends. I recall one time when our son and I were floating down Spring River together in a canoe with a group. Throughout the morning, we saw other canoes turn over, resulting in the occupants getting wet in the river. So we decided to just drift along with the current behind the group of canoes, observing them, then deciding which way was best for us to go. See, we did not want to get wet, just have a good time in the challenge of the river. One observance resulted in a particular spot on the river that had a few rapids in shallow water. Those who went before us were turning over, resulting in getting wet in the water. So we decided to veer to the other side and avoid that spot altogether. Our technique worked, since we never did turn over that day. We had fun, too. I thought of that as I read the warning against drifting spiritually.

    The author of Hebrews gives six warnings in this book which we will cover.
    1. The first warning was against drifting from "the things we have heard." (2:1-4)
        In other words, "don't neglect Christ's message." According to the first verse, the Superior Son has
        proclaimed a superior message which must be heeded. (MacArthur)
        KJV uses the word slip. It is the word pararreo in Greek, which means to slip away as a ring from a
        finger or as a ship from a harbor. The verb give heed to isn't speaking of something drifting from us, but
        that we might dirft from something. (Falwell / Kent) We are warned not to drift from the gospel. We are to
        be secure in our salvation. Once a believer is born again spiritually, they cannot loose their salvation.

    "One who is genuinely born again does not lose that life; yet, however, his life will manifest or demonstrat this regeneration," states Liberty Bible Commentary.
    In other words, if we are truly saved, our life will show it. My life and your life will give evidence, fruit of the Spirit is produced. (Although, some Christians may choose to live their life their own way and not God's way.)

    In verse 3, the warning reaches a climax telling us not to neglect (ameleo in Greek) does not mean to deny or reject. It is to recognize but to ignore, to know but to fail to do, to admit but not to administer. (Falwell)

    Do I realize what my salvation cost Christ to provide it for me? Do I ignore Him? Or do I know all of that, ye fail to be grateful for it, fail to obey His Word? Things to ponder, friends. Am I only a Sunday Christian?

    If I neglect Bible study, prayer, worship at church, or opportunities to grow spiritually, then I start to drift. It's not the anchor that moves; we do. Since we have the completed Word of God, there is no need for these apostolic miracles. God now bears witness through His Spirit using the Word (Rom 8:16). The Spirit also gives spiritual gifts to God's people so that they may minister in the church. (Wiersbe)

    If I start to drift spiritually, there is a stream of mercy that is still flowing from God's throne.

    It is easy to drift with the current, but it is difficult to return against the stream.


    Stay in God's Word; pray without ceasing; attend worship services regularly; grow in faith; read other's books about their experiences with Christ.

    Don't drift away from Jesus; stay anchored to Him.

    Don't ignore the warnings in His Word; heed them.

    Monday, January 9, 2012


    Hebrews 1-Part 3
    Being made so much better than the angels, as he (Jesus) hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.   Hebrews 1:4


    I'm convinced that our son has an angel of protection, which has worked overtime to protect him throughout his 33 years of life. When he was a toddler, he fell out the door and down concrete steps without any damage. Then, while we were at college and had access to swimming pools, he fell in not once, but twice. Friends rescued him both times; he walked into the deep water over his head. (Both times we were there.) Later, he survived accidents, phenemonia, shock from an extension chord,  and hornets stinging. Just last year it was an unfriendly bull, a grass fire, a shock of an electric fence, and his two trucks burried in 3 feet of snow. So far so good. How blessed we are to have those protecting angels!

    Who are angels? They are "messengers" from God. The Greek word is aggelos, according to Young's Concordance.
    God used angels to deliver a specific message to several in the Bible. I can think of Hagar, Elijah, Joshua, Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph, just to name a few. Did you know 10,000 were active in Moses' day? (Deut. 33:2) Saints meant "holy ones" or "angels" in King James Version.  

    In chapter 1 of Hebrews, we find 7 quotes from the OT, which prove the superiority of Christ to the angels.
    (Maybe it was because some people during this age worshiped angels.)

    1. Christ  is the Son. (verses 4-5)
        What is the "more excellent name" that Jesus possesses? It is "Son." (verse 4)
        Quote 1 is from Psalm 2:7. Jesus is declared to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4).
        Quote 2 is from 2 Samuel 7:14.

    2. Christ is the Firstborn who receives worship. (verse 6)
        The term firstborn means one of rank and honor; the one who received the inheritance and special
         blessing. Christ is the firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15) and to come back from the dead (Col. 1:18).
        Quote 3 is from Deuteronomy 32:43.

    3. Christ is served by the angels. (verse 7)
        Quote 4 is from Psalm 104:4. Angels are created spirits without bodies, which assume human forms
        when serving on earth.

    4. Christ is God enthroned and anointed. (verse 8-9)
        Quote 5 is from Psalm 45:6.
        Angels minister before the throne instead of sitting on the throne as Jesus does.

    5. Christ is the eternal Creator. (verses 10-12)
        Quote 6 is from Psalm 102:25-27.
    6. Christ is Sovereign while angels are only servants. (verses 13-14)
        Quote 7 is from Psalm 110:1.
        Today, angels are serving the Lord and us on earth.

    [Resource: Be Confident by Warren Wiersbe]

    It would be interesting to hear opinions on what kind of roles angels play in our world today.
    Have you experienced an "angel unaware?"


    The world has its own ideas about angels, which may or may not be Biblical. Probably we do, too.
    In looking at verse 14, all angels are ministering spirits. They are serving God. Aren't you and I expected to do the same? Is my attitude that of a servant?


    I believe that Jesus is God, God's Son, my Creator, sitting on the right hand of God.

    Be a servant like an angel.

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    You Have a Message

    Hebrews 1-Part 2
    Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.         Hebrews 1:1-3  NLT


    It has only been in the last few months since I have learned to used "Facebook." It is a modern tool for communication, which is used by millions. At my own leasure I can check updates on family members and friends. Just a couple of weeks ago, my daughter explained the usage of the "Message Box." Now I look to see if there are any new messages for me whenever I get on this site.

     As I read through the first chapter of Hebrews, I realized that God's message has been spoken. To think, that the One who created the universe and everything in it, would speak to us minute' people. It's estounding to me. How does this happen? This author of Hebrews tells us how God's message has been relayed to His people. Look at verse 1:

    1. The message has been delivered in many parts and in many ways.
        The King James Version uses the words sundry and divers. According to Young's Concordance,
         sundry  means "many parts" and divers means "many ways." God's Word has been preserved
         throughout the ages. The Old Testament was revealed bit by bit, as men were ready and able to
         receive it. The OT was written in 39 different books, which reflect different historical times,
         locations, cultures, and situations. He used symbols, parables, and visions, written in both poetry
         and prose. Even though the literary form and style varied, it is God's revelation to us.

    2. The message has been spoken unto our ancestors through the prophets.
         (It sounds like the author is a Jew speaking to Jews.) How creative our Father is! He used all sorts
         of methods to get His message out to His people. God used visions, dreams, events, and direct
         communication to reveal His message by the prophets. These men were speekers for God.
         "The prophets foretold the kingdom, deeds, and death of Jesus, the Messiah," according to
          Thayer's Lexicon.

      3. The message comes directly through His Son, Jesus Christ.
          No longer must it be relayed through the prophets.It is through Jesus that God has given His final
          message. That leads me to take a look at Jesus. Jesus spoke many informative things to us,
          revealing what the Father told Him. He showed us how we are to live as believers.

    Jeremiah 9:20 says: Listen, you women, to the words of the Lord; open your ears to what He has to say.

    Are my ears and heart open to what God has to say to me? Do I intently read a message directly from the King of the universe? How blessed we are to have His Word written down and available anytime it is needed. I think I shall start praying, "Father, speak to me personally. I open my ears to what You want to say to me through Your Word today."


    Who is this Jesus?

    *He is the Son of God.
    Jesus said in John 10:30, I and my Father are one.  Jesus asked the Jews in John 10:36b (NIV), Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, "I am God's Son?"  John 5:18b says,... but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 

    *He is the Heir of  all things.
    An heir is one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship: so of Christ, all things being subjected to his sway, says Thayer's Lexicon. Romans 8:17 says, And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    *He is Creator of  the universe.
    Worlds is the word King James uses. It refers to time, space, energy, and matter. John 1:3 says, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. It is in Christ that all of the galaxies and every atom is held together.

    *He is the Radiance of God's glory.
    It expresses the concept of sending forth light or shining. In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He is the shekinah glory of God that dwelt in the tabernacle and temple in Exodus 40:34-38 and 1Kings 8:10. Christ is to the Father what the rays of the sun are to the sun. "Because of Jesus, we are no longer in the dark about what God is really like." (Rick Warren)

    *He is the expression of God's character.
    Jesus is the exact representation, the perfect imprint, like an engraving on wood, an etching in metal, a brand on an animal, a stamped image on coins. We don't need to wonder what God is like, just look at Jesus.

    *He is the Sustainer of the universe.
    Colossians 1:17 says, And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. He is the God of providence who guides this universe to its divinely ordained destiny. He sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. (NLT verse 3)

    *He is the Redeemer from sin.
    Jesus has purged our sins be being the substitutionary sacrifice of Himself on the Cross. Titus 2:14 says, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.

    *He is the Exalted One.
    Jesus is sitting in the place of honor-at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. The right hand is the place of power, authority, and honor. Jesus' work is finished, so He is sitting down. He is our King, Priest, Intercessor. Romans 8:34 says, It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  He is Sovereign Lord, under the authority of the Father.

    [Resources: Shepherd's Notes, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Be Confident by Warren Wiersbe]

    These are some foundamental beliefs for Jesus' followers. It's all about Jesus. Am I walking hand-in-hand with Jesus on my journey of life?


    By faith believe that Jesus is God's Son, my Creator, and my Redeemer.

    Trust everything to the Sustainer of the universe; let go of worry.

    Exalt and give glory to Christ Jesus, my Lord.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Superior Attitude

    Introduction to Hebrews
    So he (Son of God) became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. Hebrews 1:4 NIV 

    I have spent the last couple of days reading commentaries, searching out answers to my questions, but I found there are no recorded answers. So what I write are opinions by Bible scholars.

    Who is the author of Hebrews?
    The author is anonymous. It's a mystery to us, but he must have  known by the original readers of this book in our Bible. One Scholar suggested it could have been written by either Paul, Luke, Barnabas, or Apollos. Another suggested it could have been written by Silas, Philip, Priscilla, Aquila, or Clement of Rom,e in addition to those previously mentioned.
    This puzzle has not been solved throughout the passing of time. So ultimately, I think we all can agree with John MacArthur, who said, "The author was the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21)
    Shepherd's Notes states this:
    Eastern Christendom usually regarded Paul as the author, while Western Christendom doubted Pauline authorship and initially excluded Hebrews from the canon because of this uncertainty.
    Hebrews contains statements similar to Paul's view of the preexistence and creatorship of Christ. Bothe Hebrews 8:6 and 2 Corinthians 3:4-11 discuss the New Covenant. These factors inclined some obsserversss to consider Paul as the author.

    You may choose to research reason sbacking up the arguement for each man who  was considered the author of Hebrews. That's fine. I just don't want to go into it here. However, it is interesting and new information to me. so I will go on the premice tht Paul was the author of our fine book.

    When was Hebrews written?
    Due to the uncertainty of the authorship, the date of its being written is unsure also. Evidence places the time of its writing in the first century. Found in Hebrews 13:23, Timothy is still living. The readers are second generation Christians, so the date would be earlier than A.D.70. The epistle apparently predates the last days of Nero in the late sixties.The Jewish sacrifical system still appears to be in effect. (Falwell)
    We must date the book before A.D.95, when Clement referred to it. The writter used present-tense verbs in 10:11 to describe the ministry of the priests in the Jerusalem Temple. It indicates that sacrifices were still being offered in the days of the writer.The Roman army destroyed the Temple A.D.70. (Shepherd's Notes)

    To whom was  Hebrews written?
    It appears to have been written to these Hebrews, who were Jewish Christians. Warnings found in the book indicates that these early Christians were in danger of returning to Judiasm, the legal religion protected and sanctionded under Roman law (Christianity wasn't). Evidently, may of the recipients had undergone suffering. (Falwell)
    The congregation was not new or untaught, yet some still needed the milk of the Word instead of solid food (5:12).

    Where did the audience live?
    Probably, these readers lived either in Jerusalem or Rome. Jews persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. In Rome, believers in Jesus were persecuted for being Jews (Acts 18:2) or for being Christian. Since the readers had not heard the Lord speak, His message was passed on by those who had heard (Heb.2:3). Therefore, it would be assumable that the readers did not live in Jerusalem.
    Since the believers of Italy salute these believers receiving the Hebrew letter, it's assumable that they were formerly from Rome.This epistle seems to have been written either by an author in Rome or to recipients in Rome. (Falwell)
    The readers had either left Italy or were those who were still in Italy. Possible locations for the recipients of the epistle include Palestine, Egypt, Italy, Asia Minor, and Greece. (MacArthur)

    *Interesting Note: The many quotes made in this book were from the Old Testament and were written in Greek, not Hebrew, as the language in which the OT was written.


    Having attended the same small school all of my educational years, I knew almost everyone in my high school. (We only had 50 in my graduationg class.) I don't recall anyone having the attitude of being superior to others. Even the football,basketball players, cheerleaders, and Honor Society didn't seem to have that "high and mighty" attitude. (Of course, others may have a different view than mine.) But there is one person who should have a superior attitude, and that is the Ssavior of the world, Jesus Christ.

    Here's an overview of Hebrews.

    Shepherd's Notes has this to say:
    The author of Hebrews pointed his readers to the superiority of Christ. He is superior to:
    • the prophets (1:1-3)
    • the angels (1:4-2:18)
    • Moses (3:1-13).
    Jesus is our superior Savior and superior Priest, based upon a superior covenant (4:14-10:31). We can come to Him in times of trouble, suffering, and struggle. He offers us grace in our time of need. So we can and should draw near to HIm in worship, live by faith, persevere to the end, and live a life of love. (chapters 10-13)

    The writer emphasized the superiority of Christianity over Judaism and the superiority of Christ's once-for-all sacrifice over the repeated and imperfect Levitical sacrifices observed in the temple. (MacArthur)

    Verse 4 in the King James Version says: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

    The word excellent, in Thayer's Lexicon, means "different, varying in kind; surpassing."
    In Webster's Dictionary, excellent means"remarkably good; of superior merit."

    Psalm 8:1,9a says, O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

    Is Jesus Christ superior in my life? Do I hold His Name in excellency?


    Warren Wiersbe, in his book, Be Confident, tells us several words which are repeated in Hebrews:

    The word better is used 13 times. The writer show the superiority of Jesus Christ and His salvation over the Hebrew system of religion. He brought in "a better hope"(Heb.7:14) because He is the mediator of "a better covenant," which was established upon better promises" (Heb. 8:6).

    The word perfect is used 14 times. It means "a perfect standing before God." This perfection could never be accomplished by the Levitical priesthood (Heb.7:11) or by the law (Heb. 7:19), nor could the blood of animal sacrifices achieve it (Heb. 10:1). Jesus gave Himself as one offering for sin, and by this He has "perfected for ever them that are sanctifies" (Heb. 10:14).

    The word eternal is used 5 times. It mentions eternal salvation (5:9), judgment (6:2), redemption (9:12), Spirit (9:14),and  inheritance (9:15). Jesus' throne and priesthood is forever.

    The word established is used 8 times. It means "solidly grounded, to stand firm on your feet." You can be secure while everything around you is falling apart.

    Jesus Christ and the Christian life He gives us are better because these blessings are eternal and they give us a perfect standing before God.
    Jesus is Creator, Prophet, Priest, and King, which makes Him superior to all of the prophets and servants of God written in the Scriptures.
    Wierseb tells us Hebrews is a book of evaluation, exhortation, examination, expectation, and exaltation. Since Jesus was God's last word as far as revelation is concerned, He is the source, center, and end of everything that God has to say.

    How firm is my faith established? Am I trusting in the better way, the perfect way, the eternal way, which is Jesus Christ?


    Let go of the law and look to Jesus.

    Surrender to the Superior Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Believe that His ways are better than mine.

    Go with the perfect God.

    Establish my faith on the eternal Word of God

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Looking Back


    Summary of Philemon


    When this week passes, it will never return. As you well know, this is the first week of a brand new year. Last year will not return. What's done is done. Have you been looking back at the old year? I have. I found there were some things I should have done differently; some things I should have said or not said; some things I should have done more, and some I should have done less. Evaluation is always good. It puts things in their right perspective, don't you think? We can learn from our mistakes and improve.
    So I am ready to take a look back at the letter Paul wrote to Philemon, a summary if you will. Since we have looked at the people and situation, I want to look at some words Paul used.

    • love-Paul heard of the love Philemon had toward the Lord Jesus and the saints. (verse 5)
    • faith-Paul also heard about Philemon's faith in Jesus. He must have been teaching it in the church which met in his home. (verse 5)
    • thanks-Paul thanked God for Philemon. (verse 4)
    • prayers-Paul prayed for his dearly beloved friend Philemon. (verse 4)
    • joy-Paul had joy because of the refreshment of the saints at Colossae due to Philemon. (verse 7)
    • refreshed-The believers were encouraged at this church because of Philemon. (verse 7)
    • prisoner-Paul was in imprisoned in Rome because of his witness for Jesus, but allowed visitors. (verse 9)
    • servant-Onesimus was still owned by Philemon, but was free in Jesus. (verse 16)
    • wronged and owed-Paul was willing to make right what Onesimus had done wrong to Philemon. (verse 18)
    • receive-Paul encouraged Philemon to receive back Onesimus, who had sinned and run away.(verse 17)
    • grace-Jesus gives all grace freely. It is by God's grace that we are saved through faith.(Eph.2:8)
    • forgiveness-A word not mentioned, but implied by Paul.
    Will I spend more time in prayer this year? Will I give thanks to God more? Is my love and faith growing stronger? Will I refresh others? What kind of servant of Jesus' will I be this new year? Will I forgive what happened last year and show more grace? Will I serve Jesus more faithfully?
    Those are things to ponder.


    At the feet of Jesus, I need to let go of some attitudes and hurts so I can forgive and start anew.
    Seek the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, then show it to others.
    Make time to pray more.
    Be more thankful.
    Be filled with the joy of Jesus.