Friday, July 30, 2010

Message of Hope for Disciples of Jesus

Hebrews and 1 John are both great epistles of love and hope. It's interesting that in Hebrews 2:1 the Spirit, through the writing, adjures us to "pay more careful attention" to Jesus' message, the New Testament, lest we "drift away" from it and Heb. 4:11 to “make every effort to enter that rest so that no one may fall by following the Israelite’s example of disobedience” and at the same time he tells us that, in Heb 3:6, “we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope!” He’s saying “Don’t be overconfident” at the same time that he is saying “Be supremely confident!”
This can only be done by living like Jesus, who the spirit further says that in the days of his flesh he, first, did not exalt himself to be made high priest but was appointed to that office(Heb 5::5-6(Phil 2:5-11)--he was humble, and second, he offered up prayers to God with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard (not because he was God, the son, co-creator of the Universe, the one who holds all things together by his word of power, blameless and innocent, but) for his reverent submission.
So we can have confidence because we have a high priest who can relate to us and feels for us, and with that confidence we can enter the most holy place and draw near to the throne of God--the throne of grace, where Jesus is seated right now--and receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. (Heb 4:14-16) This confidence--cemented in the God’s double eternally unchanging and irrevocable promise--serves for a steadfast anchor for our soul, a hope that enters into the Holy of Holies as well. (Hebrews 6:13-20) Our confidence is our hope: the anchor of our soul.
Similarly, in I John 1 the spirit encourages us saying that “if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of his son Jesus Christ continually purifies us from all sin.” But "if we claim we have no sin, we lie and do not live according to the truth." In other words: Be confident but not over-confident. Our confidence in Christ is in our humility. By maintaining this humility we will sin less; we will not walk in darkness.(Remainder of I John)
The grasshopper flew down the road but he didn’t hot-dog and show how he could ride the wind waves on his windshield wiper surfboard with no legs hanging on. And we don’t have to be quite as blind as the grasshopper about our destination. We have a destination that is the fulfillment of the dreams of all the men of faith, hope and love of all time. The eternal Mt Zion, the innumerable angels in festal gathering!! (Heb 12)
To get to our eternal dwelling we must endure discipline though. (Heb 12) Some days that discipline seems tough. But those tough times are our hope of sonship, our guarantee of it, the ground of our boasting. I know I have tough times and that's part of how I know, in addition to my obedience of the gospel, that I’m a son of the king and I’m on MY way to heaven!

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