We are continuing to work our way through the Bible’s book of Hebrews. Feel free to listen to the audio (which worked this time) and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
This is the continuation of what do we do now. Now that we call ourselves a Christian how do we survive the marathon of the Christian life. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it feels like it is killing us. but how do we get through it all. How do we live in to 2 Timothy 2:15 “Make an effort to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker, who doesn’t need to be ashamed but is one who interprets the message of truth correctly.” I think Hebrews deals with this specifically.
Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience,
- The author of Hebrews doesn’t want anyone to miss the rest that God has planned for them.
- For the author of Hebrews it becomes very important that EVERYONE knows and accepts God’s grace.
- This is our call. To make EVERY effort to get EVERYONE in to God’s everlasting love.
- Every Effort to get EveryOne.
- No exceptions.
- The message of God’s Grace is so important that we must tell everyone. If we love someone we must tell them.
- We say things like “My kids will know about God on their own” or “My spouse will see me being a good person and ask.” That is garbage theology at best. If you do not tell people about your faith you do not love them.
This doesn’t say beat them over the head it says you make every effort to get every one. Yes, be a good person that is important but there are lots of atheists that are very good. What separates Christians from other “nice” people is the message of Jesus and if you are not making every effort to make that known then you do not love the people around you.
- If you have the cure for cancer you do not think to yourself “If I live my life cancer free people will ask me how I did it.” No you tell everyone who has cancer about the cure that you have found.
- If you are a beggar who finds a place giving out free food you don’t keep it to yourself. Instead, you start pointing other beggars to the place where you just found free food.
-The same things goes for the Grace of Jesus. You don’t walk around being sin free and hoping people will ask you. That is stupid. Instead you tell everyone who is afflicted with sin about the freedom and grace you found in Jesus.
- Maybe you start the story with what your life was like before Jesus. Then turn to how you found out about Jesus and then finish with what your life is like now. Maybe you talk to your friends, kids, spouse, everyone you love. You invite them to coffee or a meal or whatever and you start talking. You don’t have all the answers but all you know is your were a homeless beggar who found the bread of life and you want others to have some of this great bread.
12because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer.
- First, this is not about the Bible. The word used here for “Word” is “Logos” which is about spoken word.
- In the Jewish world spoken words had power. It was more than just sounds with meaning it was powerful and went out and did things.
- When people spoke words those words took on almost a life of its own. Jewish people believed that words once spoken could never be removed and had the power to change the world.
- Look at this. In 1987 Pope John Paul II wanted to visit Poland. The government was afraid. If they let him he could start a revolution but if they said no it could start a revolution because the government was afraid of 1 person. So they let him come but they scheduled his trip out-of-the-way of press and did not advertise it. The Polish Communist government tried to keep it a secret but when he landed in Warsaw Poland on June 14, 1987 he was greeted by 250 thousand polish. He stood up and he gave a sermon. A Quiet sermon and he said this:
We know how history flows on earth, how far we can go [in understanding
that history] with the help of our cognitive methods. We know how
history has flowed over the course of the last few millennia, as the supply
of evidence has continually increased. In recent times this increases in an
accelerated, absolutely stunning tempo. We know a lot. We know ever
more. At times even that which we know can hinder us in perceiving that
which is most important. We know too how history has flowed in our
fatherland within the limits of one millennium of history, already after
Christ. Already within the limits of what St. Paul called “the fullness of
time” (Galatians 4:4). We know that in our century resistance and
opposition against Him who “so loved the world” has risen—opposition
and resistance that extends to a negation of God. To programmatic
atheism. But none of this can change the fact of Christ. The fact of the
Eucharist. No matter how much God the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit is rejected by people. No matter if people and societies govern their
lives by ignoring God, as if God did not exist. No matter how far negation
and sin goes. None of this changes the basic fact: there was and there
continues to be in the history of mankind—and in the history of the
universe—a Man, a true Son of Man, who “loved to the end.” He loved God
with a love that is worthy of God, like a Son for a Father. Love above
everything, with all His heart and all His soul, with all His strength, all the
way to its ultimate depletion in the agony of Golgotha. . . . That man,
Jesus Christ, is a “sign of opposition.” But no matter how far that
opposition towers over human heart in history, in the history of societies
and world-views, His love “to the end” remains human. And that is the
love of redemption. That is the love of salvation. . . .
- And it started a peaceful revolution of love that toppled all of communism in less than 2 years.
- The words of one man became a rally cry that change the world. Words are powerful.
- If words from humans are that powerful how much more powerful are the words of God?
- Genesis 1 when God spoke words planets, stars, neurons, protons, giraffes, chickens, and Duck-Billed platypus all came in to existence…but not cats. They were a mistake when God stubbed his toe on the coffee table.
- Isaiah 45:23 says that God’s word is always effective. It is always doing something.
- John 1 the Logos, the spoken word was with God and that spoken word was God and everything that exists came into being because of the Spoken word. Verse 14, that spoken word that created everything became flesh and made his home among us. One translation says it this way “God’s voice gets flesh and blood, skin and bone and spends time with us.
- The word of God is Jesus.
- So then, this spoken word of God that became flesh and blood and is named Jesus is so powerful that he gets into your bones, gets in to those dark places of your soul that you don’t show anyone. This Jesus knows what is in your heart and even knows the real reason why you do what you do. Nothing can hide from Jesus. Everyone and everything that has ever existed has faced Jesus as if they were naked.
Imagine if the worst things you have ever done were suddenly exposed for the whole world to see, they were posted on Facebook and everyone saw them. We have to give an answer for it because everyone saw it. That is what Jesus sees and we have to give an answer for it. any answer will not cut it. anything other than “forgive me” will not cut it.
14 Also, let’s hold on to the confession since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; 15because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin.
- So then, this spoken word of God that became flesh and lived among us passed through heaven and is our high priest.
- Remember priests are about bringing God’s words to the people and the people’s words to God. This is what Jesus does. Jesus is perfectly able to relate to God our hopes, hurts, dreams, and fears even when we don’t speak them. This is why we pray for the “unspoken” prayers in church. Because Jesus sees our inmost parts and knows exactly what we need.
- When we hurt, when we are lonely, afraid, tired, worn out, and ready to throw in the towel Jesus knows exactly how we feel because he went through it with us. Jesus was there when everything went wrong. Jesus was there with you when that phone call comes in that changes your whole life. Jesus was there with you in those moments when you felt utterly alone.
16 Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.
- Because Jesus was with us, went through it with us, and now Jesus is in heaven rallying for us, then we can go to the throne with confidence, not arrogance that we deserve something but with confidence that we have been given mercy and grace when we needed it.
- And maybe that is where you are. You have zero confidence in the mercy and grace of God. You feel alone, tired, worn out and ready to toss in the whole towel. In those moments, Jesus doesn’t promise to rescue you and make everything perfect. What Jesus promises is that even there, He is with you, guiding you, and even though it doesn’t make sense Jesus will be there every step of the way. That even when we can’t figure out the end Jesus is with us in the midst of our hurt. and when we stand before him naked and exposed and trying to find the right answer to give. we will hear “I know. I was there with you. right beside you and I had better plans for you but I know you love me and I love you too. welcome to the rest that I created for you. ”
We only get to here that if we put our hope and faith in Jesus. not a prayer but always a constant choice to follow Jesus.