Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It is always all about Jesus

Good morning my friends. One of the things I appreciate about the letter to the Hebrews is the frank and straight shooting format it takes. There is no greeting as the writer jumps right into the business at hand. There is not a lot of flowery words or beating around the bush as he gets right to the point. However, there is a lot of information and evidence the author gives immediately about Jesus. We should take note of this. The first thing we need to do with sinners is introduce them to Jesus and the cross. Forget about the Church and its importance; forget about talking about heaven and hell; forget about Jesus' return. Those things will come after, but first talk about Jesus, his love and his sacrifice and the results of it.

What is established in the second chapter is that Jesus' message is far more binding than any message that any angels ever delivered. It is a carry over from yesterday's Scriptures that emphasized the preeminence of Jesus over everything, including angels:

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3a)

There is a clear and precise warning for you; be careful and pay attention to what you are hearing; check it against the sound doctrine of the Word; reject anything that is not confirmed in the Word. Then we have the warning and it is a good one. If disobedience to the messages delivered by the angels brought such great punishment does it not make sense that to ignore the message of Jesus, the son of God, will have dire consequences? Yet, many try to serve without even knowing, let alone understanding what Jesus' message is and what he said, and the instructions he gave.

In our present age we must also face the criticism and heckling of so-called experts and scholars who believe they can discredit in words what we have gained by experience.  As powerful as his Word is, God seldom leaves it in that form, causing his Word to take action, confirming what it is he has said:

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (2:3b-4)

This too people try to dismiss but it is hard to do when people of such common birth accomplish what is beyond them in Jesus name. This is the part I hope you can grasp: you are a living, breathing, walking, talking sign, wonder, miracle of God when you are willing to live big for Jesus. It is the reason he has given us such gifts from the Spirit, so that living for his glory he is able to manifest himself through us so that the whole world will know that his message is true. Right now Jesus' message of salvation is being lost in the ordinary, the mundane, the tired, the failed life of people who seem to no longer know him or his greatness.

We need to look to the past to see the incredible things God has done through ordinary people who believed, trusted and obeyed. Now we consider them great heroes of the faith but when you look at their lives most of them were not well educated or well endowed with great abilities. What they did have is an undying love for Jesus, a belief they were called to purpose, and a willingness to obey no matter the cost. Today we have to cut through a lot of fat to find the man and woman within the cocoon of self  but when we look to Jesus and only Jesus and trust his words and the evidence of their truth, the man and woman of faith and self-sacrifice will rise up.

We need to take the warning serious and pay attention to what we are hearing. Is it worthless myths or the eternal truth of Jesus' message? We need to make sure we are on solid ground for this foundation of our lives. If the foundation is wrong the house will be wrong. If the foundation is right then not only will be have salvation but we will bring the seeds of salvation to many others. So, let's get back to the truth, step into our purpose and let us live lives that are large according to our faith so Jesus will be glorified in us and the world will know his love.

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

Amen, Paul. Beautiful thoughts--it IS all about Jesus.