23
Jun
08

Come With Confidence

I was thinking this morning about the message Randy preached yesterday by the same title as this post. It covered Hebrews 4.14-5.10 and was about a topic our culture is largely unfamiliar with: priesthood. Sure, in the Catholic faith there is a priest. Aside from that, we really don’t have an understanding of a priest – a person just like us who intercedes on our behalf. A priest is a person who is just like you and me, except that he is a mediator between God and man. An understanding of the priesthood of Christ makes the Scriptures come alive in a new way. I am thinking of the verse in 1 Timothy 2.5-6: “there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men…” If we understand this concept of Jesus the high priest, then this verse brings with it an emotional excitement and zeal for what Christ did on the cross. At least it does for me.

As I was thinking this morning about yesterday’s sermon, I was really enamored with this concept that Jesus came as THE high priest and yet was sympathetic, accessible and perfect. Priests as I’ve briefly (probably inadequately) explained aren’t supposed to be these things. They aren’t supposed to be sympathetic because they don’t live in the world in the same way I do. They aren’t supposed to be accessible because of their priestly duties. They may have a perception of perfection, but clearly they aren’t perfect either.

So, as Hebrews 4 and 5 unpack Jesus the high priest, it is wild to think about how Jesus accomplished all of these things like no other priest ever could. He is sympathetic because he lived a life that I live, as a carpenter and in the world. He is accessible because he came from among men and shared common roots with those he ministered to; he ministered out of his humanity, not his deity. He was perfect because he lived above the temptation he faced and because of that overcomes our weakness.

So what about you? How did the sermon impact you? Is there something else in the study so far that has really struck you and caused you to think or really encouraged you in your faith? Share it with us as we pursue God’s truth in the book of Hebrews! It would surely encourage us as well.

03
Jun
08

Simply the Best

I try to fill a void in my life with things other than Christ. I don’t see Christ in such a way that He truly is superior in my life. I don’t see Christ like the writer of Hebrews describes Him. If I saw Jesus as the exact representation of God the Father, wouldn’t my life look different? I would certainly hope so. Sin still hold too much allure for that to be true in my life.

Randy talked about the first chapter or so of Hebrews on Sunday, and something has really stuck with me. We have a fascination with the supernatural. If we don’t fill that void or intrigue with God, we will look for it in other places. I desire so deeply that supernatural “feeling” of the presence of God. But if I can’t find it, I try to manufacture the same emotional “feel.”

I find it interesting that the writer of Hebrews gives a reason for paying attention (so we don’t drift away from our faith in Christ), tells about the salvation announced by God, and then how God testifies to this salvation (Hebrews 2.1-4). One of the ways that God testifies about this salvation is by gifts of the Holy Spirit. God gives us the supernatural to fill the desire in our hearts for the supernatural. There is no need to add anything to Christ to get that emotional feeling that we long for so much. The Spirit of God within us testifies to the salvation accomplished by grace.

We don’t talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in churches, probably because it can be such a divisive topic. But that robs so many Christians of the supernatural aspect of their relationship with God. And so they look elsewhere (outside of Christ) for the missing piece of their faith.

It seems to me that we need to discuss the supernatural aspects of God in the Holy Spirit so as to make Christ more real in our lives, to make the salvation made possible in Christ more real, to testify to that salvation. I think that many Christians leave their faith in Christ because it isn’t real to them without a supernatural aspect to God. We contend our faith is spiritual in nature, but we act it out only on paper.

Hebrews 1 is almost completely devoted to revealing Christ’s superiority compared to angels. Spiritual things, and in fact supernatural things, were important both to the writer of Hebrews and to the readers. Shouldn’t they be more important to us?

10
Mar
08

Standing and Watching?

Acts 1.10-11: They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Isn’t this what I always do? I sit and look at Jesus call it worship. I am amazed at what God has done in my life, but I leave it at that. The disciples were amazed that Jesus was taken into Heaven, and just stood there watching the sky where He was taken up, as if they expected Him to return in a matter of seconds. They had forgotten this same Jesus had left them work to do.

As Christians, we are pretty good at just looking at Jesus and waiting for Him to return, regardless of the whether the task He gave us is accomplished. We think our job is to look at the sky and wait. It is, but only in proclaiming Him! There is a lot more to it.

This passage is saying to me today, “Don’t stare intently at the sky, waiting for Jesus. He will return when His people get serious about what Jesus left us to do!” I need to get serious about proclaiming Christ to the hurting world around me.

28
Feb
08

The Purpose of Meeting Together

I have been reading a book on church growth and development by Rick Warren, and so I have been thinking about this question: when a church gathers on Sundays, what should its purpose be? Any thoughts?

22
Feb
08

Family Worship

I’ve been pondering what this actually means and how it might look in a church service setting and thought it’d be interesting to see your thoughts.

15
Feb
08

Cloning

Clone – an individual grown from a single somatic cell or cell nucleus and genetically identical to it. This week I’ve heard some talk about cloning and our future and wondered about your thoughts on the issue.

05
Feb
08

Being Political

Since it’s that time of the year, I thought it would be interesting to see what people think about all things political. I’m curious as to why you vote the way you do, are you a one issue kind of voter or an overall choice kind of person, do you vote for the better of the two big parties, do you vote republican, democrat, or some other party? Is there a better party? Do you think you should vote at all? What are your opinions on the best candidate or the worst candidate? What does the bible have to say about political issues? Feel free to open up the discussion with anything and we’ll go from there. I look forward to your thoughts.