Written to Jewish Christians, the book of Hebrews contains some deep theology and passages that are personally challenging. One passage that is a beautiful highlighting of history from the Jewish testament that leads into Christian responsibility is chapter 3, verses 7-13.
I’ve made the mistake of thinking my salvation is primarily about me. To be sure, God’s love is for me but a deeper reason He saves is for His purposes and to bring glory to Himself.
In my myopic existence I don’t focus my attention on Jesus. I often consider my benefits and blessings, which are truly benefits and blessings and I should recognize them as such and thank God for them but His purpose goes beyond just saving me; He saves me as a testimony to His faithfulness, His grace, His love, His patience and His sovereignty. His desire is to see all people choose Him and enter into an eternal relationship with Him but in Paul’s case, specifically:
Reading through 2 Timothy this morning I ran across this which sounded so familiar.
“… God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace ….”
2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV
Also stated by Paul famously in
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
I believe in a personal, engaged, all-powerful, God who is alive, aware and refers to Himself within His creation. I believe the garden of Eden was His first example and Judaism was another. I believe He is and has been demonstrating that we, humans, as His creation will chose sinfulness rather than Him that no matter what options He gives us; we will choose to turn our backs on Him and reject Him.
I believe that He gave Israel (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel) repeated grace; leading them Himself, through judges, prophets, priests and kings and they still rejected Him until He chastised them with slavery in other nations for almost 3,000 years.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. –
Galatians 4:4-5 NASB
I don’t know any details of God that He hasn’t shared with everyone but I take the clause here “… in the fullness of the time ….” to apply to history.
Jesus was born when God, the Father, planned; not before, not after; His birth wasn’t hastened or postponed by anything.
Such a great God. Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals.
In my first post I mentioned how much I find the book of Job to be a blessing. While discussing this with a friend he took a different view of Job. This post and hopefully several subsequent posts will be my attempt to share some of the things from Job that mean a lot to me.
Job chapter 1
It’s been years since I took a high degree of personal responsibility in exercising my faith publicly.
I used to work in a small church as an assistant pastor, worship leader, Sunday school teacher, prayer leader, pew cleaner, grass mower, in-home visitor, transportation provider … you name a service small churches provide and I’ve probably done it. I’ve been through several neighborhoods in southeast TN door-to-door. I’ve prepared sermons, studied, prayed, fallen flat on my face in front of hundreds of folks and had the blessing of being present when the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spoke through me.