Archives For Hebrews

Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Our entire lives as followers of Christ is based on this hope. The resurrection of Jesus gives us hope there is something beyond this life. Indeed, Paul said if our hope is only in this life, then we should be pitied beyond all men (1 Corinthians 15:19).

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Our hope is not things will get better for us here and now, but all things will be restored to perfection in the future. God created a perfect world and designed everything in it to worship and glorify Him. Our great hope is a return to this state, to live in complete harmony with God and nature. When we have this hope, life becomes worth living.

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When all else has passed away, faith, hope, and love will remain (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith, hope, and love are the essence of our belief in God. They are the underpinnings of all Christianity is meant to be. On a personal level, they are the glue holding our lives together. Take any one of the three out of the equation, and things begin to unravel. Together, they are the anchor of our soul.

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Without faith, hope, and love it would be impossible to please God or serve others. Without faith, hope, and love we could never know or understand God. While the apostle Paul singles out love as being the most important of the three, I submit without faith and hope, you could never have love in the first place.

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God’s love and mercy for us comes free of charge. We can’t do anything to deserve it any more or any less. The fact is we don’t deserve it at all. Still, the love of God is such He gives it to us anyway. We cannot work harder to be more deserving or earn more favor. He has already given everything on our behalf. Regardless of what we do or don’t do, He sees us as having unsurpassable worth and loves us unconditionally.

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No matter how much we may want it to be otherwise, none of our efforts will change these facts. However, when it comes to our relationship with Christ, we have a very direct influence on how close we are and how much our lives look like Jesus to those on the outside looking in.

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Few would admit it, but what most people want is a comfortable relationship with Jesus. We want answered prayers, help through troubled times, and comfort in crisis. Oh, and spending eternity in Heaven while escaping Hell, we want that too. Those are the comfortable benefits making Jesus so desirable to us, after all. Here’s where it gets a little uncomfortable. Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time talking up those benefits. He spent most of His time warning of trials and persecution, and giving stern warnings to those seeking to live a comfortable “religious” life.

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His harshest words were reserved for people just like us… those who were trying please God through comfortable and often self-serving platitudes. Comfortable Christianity is synonymous with Pharisaical living.

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Jesus is love. For many of us, this goes without saying. But do we really know what it means? Recently I was reading the famous “love” passage in I Corinthians 13, and it struck me I was reading about Jesus. For years, I’ve read this passage through the lens of how to better love my wife and others. As I read this time, it suddenly occurred to me this was more than a description of what love looks like in action. It was a description of Jesus Himself.

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As the embodiment of love, I Corinthians offers us a perfect description of who Jesus is. I’m confident I’m not the first to have this revelation, but even if you’ve heard this before, take a moment to re-read the passage, substituting the word, “Jesus” every time you see the word, “love”.

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One of the greatest dangers facing the modern Church is the prevalence of Christians thinking they can play it safe and still have a place in the Kingdom of God. If that seems controversial, let me be perfectly clear and a bit blunt: you cannot play it safe and please God. Those two ideas are diametrically opposed. The life of Jesus was filled with danger and discomfort.

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He warned his followers their lives would be the same if they chose to stick with Him ((John 16:33; Matthew 10:16-25; Luke 9:57-58). Fast forward a couple thousand years, and the propensity to play it safe has become the order of the day in many – if not most – churches.

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One of the greatest gifts God has given us is time. Time is life. There is no living without it. Originally we were created to live outside of time, but our rebellion against God led to us being bound by the limits of time as we now know it (Genesis 2:16-17). We will all die (Hebrews 9:27), and so we must all maximize the time we have been given to further the mission of Christ and to build the Kingdom of God.

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This is why each of us was created, and it is the will of God for each of our lives. The trouble is, few live as if time were indeed limited. We dream of somedays and plan for next year. Rarely do we focus on what is most important right here and right now.  Knowing the clock is ticking, I have to ask, why are you wasting time?

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Are you selfless? I’m not talking about being a person who readily helps others. That’s part of it, sure. But a truly selfless disciple has forsaken everything for the love and mission of Jesus. When we are selfless, we no longer think of ourselves. We think of Jesus, and we think of how we might reflect Him to others. Society does everything it can to convince you life is all about you. You deserve to have nice things, a nice place to live, a good job, and a sense of safety; you deserve to be comfortable.

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Except you don’t. As I’ve said before, what you (and me) deserve is to spend eternity separated from our Creator. We spend the bulk of our days in abject rebellion to our professed “Lord”. We deserve nothing good. But our selfishness convinces us it’s not true. We listen to society and live selfish instead of selfless lives.

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When we have surrendered ourselves to the purposes for which God created us to do, we are as willing to be deprived of our personal dreams and happiness as we are to celebrate them. I think it’s a key to knowing whether or not we have fully committed our lives to Jesus. Are we as happy when our dreams are taken from us as when we are excelling in them?

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When we understand the character of God, we will comprehend our fullest, happiest, and most enjoyable life comes from being fully alive in His presence, regardless of what circumstances may be swirling around us. There is a confident peace and comfort when we have given ourselves fully to Christ.

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What is your life purpose? This isn’t a self-help or live your dreams type of article. As a follower of Jesus, your life purpose should be self-evident, but for too many it is not. The tendency is for our days to pass without much conscious or intentional thought about living for Jesus. We fall into our schedules and routines far too casually and comfortably. Jesus is – at best – left watching from the sidelines.

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This isn’t how it should be and it must stop. We can’t spend our lives living for ourselves and expect to spend eternity living with Christ. Our lives must be different from those around us. And this must start now.
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