Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jesus did all the hard stuff so now let us do our part

Good morning my friends. My apologies for yesterday's missing blog. Something happened to my phone which doubles as my alarm so I slept in by an hour and an half. That is a disastrous thing to happen with my daily schedule. However, we are together here today and what a great chapter of Hebrews we are considering today as we turn to chapter 10. If you are in need og encouragement this is the place to look.

The moments of our lives we lose heart and allow discouragement to become our constant companion are the moments we lose our perspective of life, our purpose and our Lord. The fact is that Jesus has done all the hard work. He is the one who volunteered to become part of creation. He had to humble himself in our form. He had to face every temptation we face, every weakness of this body, the taste of a decaying body. He had to face rejection, torture and death. He had to take on the sins of the World and feel the rejection of our Father. He had to face and overcome death to break the last strangle-hold of Satan on us. Now compare your life to that, the obstacles you are currently facing, the mountains you have been told to move. The writer of Hebrews looks at what Jesus has done and gives us two "since" statements:

1. since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, (Hebrews 10:19-20))

2. and since we have a great priest over the house of God (Hebrews 10:21)

This is what Jesus has done for us. This is what his work has accomplished. We were incapable of doing this for ourselves but that does not mean we do not have something to do here. There are some actions we have to take. "Since we" have these things because of Jesus' actions, "let us" now take these actions:

1. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)

Jesus can't do this for us. Taking that step to draw near to God in sincerity is an action that only we can take. No one can draw near to God for us. Jesus' actions made it possible but only we can make that decision and do it. What an incredible privilege we have to fellowship with our Father all day long. It is what he has longed for with us and because of Jesus we can take that step.

2. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

Jesus' actions has given us hope. It is not hope as the world understands hope but it is the hope of what has been guaranteed to us. Jesus gave it to us but only we can take the action of holding on to it. Every day we have to take that decision to hold on to what Jesus has given to us. Again, no one else can hold on to it for us, it is an action that we must take as a result of the action Jesus has taken for our benefit. Do not let go.

3. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

Jesus died for all of us and this should spur on our action toward each other. Jesus died for you which means you have value to me, I am concerned with you, I want to make sure you make it to the end, I have a responsibility to encourage you and not let you fall away. You have that same responsibility to me. We need to consider how we can encourage each other to take action in love; how together we can accomplish good deeds in other people's lives. This is an action we must decide to take.

4. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Jesus sacrificed everything so that we could understand the reality of loving God with our entire being and to love other as ourself. We are to take the action of daily fellowship with the Father and to take part in the fellowship of believers. It is part of our responsibility in the Body to spend time with other believers, where we find the encouragement that we need. We do encourage each other as we work together in service. We cannot try a "go it alone" attitude because Jesus did not design the Body to function in this manner and we receive encouragement from just being together. It is an action no one else can take for us but an action we can and need to take because Jesus made it possible.

Jesus has taken all the necessary actions to open all the doors for us, now we have to take the action of walking through them. Let us draw near to God. Let us hold on to hope. Let us spur each other on. Let us encourage each other by being together. These are the things we are to do since Jesus has done all the hard work and made it possible. Do not try to be a spectator in this journey because Jesus did not die for us to be spectators. We have been called to join in this work so let us get going and walk through these doors that are open to us.

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