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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Radically Different

Hebrews 10:19-25
(Use the link below to read the verses.)

When I was in grade school and my teacher said to take out a piece of paper and draw
anything you want – I invariably would draw a mountain scene like the one to the left. For me, the mountains represented something bigger than myself that provided strength, security and safety. It was a safe place for me to live vicariously through my drawing. I found peace, purpose and a place in the world.


What I never considered though, were the lives of the people who lived in the valleys, the hollows and the peaks of those mountains. Because they were people, no doubt they all had some struggle or issue. Maybe it was poverty, an addiction, a broken relationship or work. Like me, they needed a safe place. We all do.


I like how J.B. Phillips wrote this passage in Hebrews 10.


So by virtue of the blood of Jesus, you and I may now have courage to enter the holy of holies by way of the one who died and is yet alive, who has made for us a holy means of entry by himself passing through the curtain, that is, his own human nature. Further, since we have a great High Priest set over the household of God, let us draw near…


The writer of Hebrews is speaking of the Holy of Holies which is the inner chamber of the Temple where only the High Priest could go on the Day of Atonement. It was where the actual presence of God resided! It was a safe place; not to hide from the world, but to become engaged with the world.


…In this confidence let us hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation—for he is utterly dependable—and let us think of one another and how we can encourage each other to love and do good deeds. And let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another’s faith…               J.B. Phillips


Jesus is our mountain scene; our safe place. From there, we are called to draw nearer to Him, to encourage each other to acts of love and to do all we can to help one another’s faith.


What do you need to do to spend time in your safe place; in the very presence of God? Whatever it is, make it a priority today. If you do, your life will be radically different from those who don’t.



Friday, June 22, 2018

Sow, Grow And Give It Away

2 Corinthians 9:5-15

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (v. 8)

Our Heavenly Father gives us what we need, though we often feel we don’t have enough.  The world feeds this notion of constantly needing more and never being content.  Today’s passage is a reminder that if we’re willing to be generous and give what we have, He’ll make sure our TRUE needs are always met.  God is our seed supplier. He gives us what we need to sow and grow abundantly.  Lives that are full of God are wealthy beyond compare.

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (v. 11)

The circle of generosity is wide.  God is generous with us; therefore, we are to be generous with others, so they in turn can be generous with even more.  Others will praise God because they have witnessed an example of obedience and they will pray – each person filling the other in loving gratitude for the grace God has given.

Dear God, you bless us abundantly.  Help us see we have more than we need and that by being generous with our gifts, we will enrich the lives of others and in return, will be enriched in ways we could never imagine.  As it states in verse 15, Thanks be to God, for your indescribable gift!  Amen