Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22, 2012 … Christ – Our Everything!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 357

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Hebrews, Chapters 1-6 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Hebrews 11: 1-3: 6 : [NLT] … {After you’ve used the link above to study Hebrews, Chapter 11, which is called the “Great Hall of Faith,” I link you here to a You Tube rendering of a wonderful song written by Keith Getty and performed by Krystyn Getty, entitled By Faith; and the Gettys have captured the essence of this great biblical exhortation to faith in Christ, our Messiah, … our Redeemer, … our everything! … Chapter 11 is saying that one can only have all Christ has to offer mankind by living by faith in His finished work on the cross; and that was the message of this chapter by the Author of Hebrews, detailing a litany of those who had come to faith in Jesus, those whom the Jews, to whom Hebrews was written, would know and in whom they could identify. And so can we! } …  
1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith. … 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. … 6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Highlight Passages: Hebrews 12: 1-2 : [NLT] … {And in Chapter 12 the Author of Hebrews launches into a strong and direct exhortation as to what LIVING IN CHRIST is all about. It is the fulfillment of what Jesus Himself commanded about discipleship in Luke 9: 23 and what Paul strongly exhorted about our faith in Ephesians 2: 8-10 [see copied below], both passages I pray you have hidden in your heart. Hebrews 12 only accentuates these truths; and calls us to open ourselves to all God has for us to overcome our sin nature through our faith in His sanctifying grace.} …  
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3 Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Highlight Passages: Hebrews 13: 7-9; 20-21 : [NLT] … {Chapter 13 continues with more instruction in Christian living; and we are undergirded by one great truth … (see Verse 8) … that our Christ, who is in all, above all, and for all who believe in Him is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And our faith in Him opens up all He has done, is doing, and will do for any who believe in Him. Faith conquers all. Hence, we follow those who follow Christ and we do not succumb to false teachings which try to woo us away from Christ. He is our everything!} …  
7 Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as they do. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So, do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. … 
20-21 And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to Him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.  

Reference Passage: Ephesians 2: 8-9 : [NLT] … {Paul’s great exhortation to faith in Christ, which opens up God’s heart and His grace to save the lost, then building them (prayerfully you and me) into His image to be Christ’s light in the world.}  
8 God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 

My Journal for Today: Finishing out in the letter written to Jewish Christians by the Author of the Book of Hebrews, I hope, if you’ve been reading along with me the past few days as I’ve been journaling on this letter, that CHRIST IS EVERYTHING for us; and faith in Him is our key which opens up His treasure chest of grace for us in this life.

And in these final three chapters, our Spirit-led author of Hebrews, gives his Christian readership a long list of those who came to faith in Christ (Chapter 11); and then their lives were transformed into Christians who could live in Christlikeness in this world, becoming the outcome of what Paul wrote about in Ephesians 2: 8-10, which I’ve copied above for your meditation today.

 As Christians we serve an immutable Lord (see Heb. 13: 8 underlined in bold above) and when we receive His grace, through our faith, He pours Himself into our lives and we become His workmanship, living for and in Him in this world in preparation for our eternal life with Him in Glory.

Do we get it?! I hope so.

It is all I live for, even when I’m falling short in selfishness and my sin nature. But I know, as Paul wrote about in Philippians 1: 6, my Lord is doing His work to completely transform me into His image; and He will continue to do so until I join Him in Heaven, where His work will be competed.

My Prayer for Today … I say again, Lord, You are my everything; and to You I give my all. … Amen

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