May 22, 2016
After hearing everything the writer of this letter has to say, his readers needed some final—and very basic—advice on how to live it all out. That advice is just as important to us today. In the end, it is all about living out faith—faithfully!
May 15, 2016
Because Jesus is so much greater than anything the Jews of the first century—or anyone since—has encountered, it is easy for those of us who know him to become comfortable. Sometimes too comfortable, thinking we can take God lightly, or even invent our own way to him. The danger of taking these roads cannot be overemphasized. The answer is to keep our focus on what God has done.
May 8, 2016
If we choose not to face God as judge by coming to him through faith in Jesus, who is he to us? The answer—he is Father. And not just any father, but the perfect one. The problem is we don’t always feel that. By understanding the true role of a father in our life, we understand that everything happening in our lives is being used by the perfect Father to build us into the person we were created to be!
May 1, 2016
How do you persevere in the face of all the challenges and disappointments we encounter in life? The answer is faith. But we need to truly understand what faith is—and God has given us many examples of people who are as flawed as we are, and yet stood before God in faith. If they can do it, so can we!
April 24, 2016
All of us will one day stand before God. The question is, who will he be in relation to us? It is a terrifying thing to stand before the living God—when he is our judge. Jesus gave us a way to avoid this—by accepting his forgiveness. But if we don’t persevere in our faith and reliance on him, we invite that terror.
April 17, 2016
The ways the Jews tried to please God and make up for their sin—following the Law and making sacrifice—never worked. Jesus so much greater than the Law, and his sacrifice so much greater than those offered by men, it seems ridiculous to turn back them. And yet that was a temptation for the Jewish Christians. Today, only Jesus offers forgiveness and the ability to change us. We can’t afford to turn our back on one who is so much greater!
April 10, 2016
The sacrifice is still a strange thing to us. But in the time of this letter, every culture known to the author and readers practiced animal sacrifice. They all understood how important the sacrifice was—but Jesus was a much greater sacrifice than anything any of them ever offered. Understanding this helps establish our faith in Jesus today.
April 3, 2016
A covenant is the laying out of conditions of a relationship between two people or two parties. It involves blessings if the covenant is kept—and curses if it is not. A covenant is a very serious relationship, and could only be finalized when sealed by the blood of a sacrifice. Jesus provides a better covenant between us and God—and he sealed it with his own blood.
March 27, 2016
The resurrection of Jesus is universally recognized as the point of Easter. We don’t need to debate the resurrection–it is by far the most reasonable explanation of the facts we have. But it is important for us to focus on who it was who rose from the dead. It was Jesus, of course. But who was Jesus–and who is he to us? Jesus is God who became flesh. Jesus is the King of the Universe. Jesus is the sacrifice. Jesus is the brother who opens his family to our adoption. Jesus was and is all these things and more. But which one we focus on–which one we personally turn to–is determined by which of these we most need to turn to. The focus of Easter is determined by how we see Jesus. It is essential that our view of him must be Biblically accurate. But we turn to the “Jesus” we most need at the moment, and that isn’t a bad thing. It is perhaps the reason Jesus allowed us such a broad understanding of him. This Easter will focus on our need to actually turn to Jesus and respond to him. Who are we turning to, and why? Jesus the King died for us. But Jesus the priest, the big brother, the one who opens the family of God to us, rose from the dead.
March 20, 2016
It has been established that Jesus is better than Melchizedek—and a better High Priest. We do not need other people to represent us to God—in fact, that is OUR job as people of the Kingdom to people of the world. Jesus was the perfect and only needed priest—and he still is.