Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eating at a Billboard

Take time to read Hebrews chapter 10.

This chapter is packed with some awesome truths and I want to unpack a few nuggets of truth from this chapter.

1) No one eats at a billboard.

"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming... not the realities themselves.  For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.  If it could, would they not have stopped being offered?  For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.  But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."  Hebrews 10:1-4

The writer of Hebrews is addressing a problem that first century Jewish Christians had.  These Jewish Christians felt the need to hold on to the law and all the religious traditions of Judaism as a means for salvation.  They kept thinking, "God's grace and..."  The writer makes it clear that the law and the religious traditions do not save; rather the law and traditions were shadows or signs pointing to the real deal.

No one would pull over to the side of the highway to eat at a billboard for McDonald's.  The billboard is a sign pointing toward the real deal which is coming up.  Same with the sacrifices and the law.  The law and sacrifices pointed to Jesus' perfect life and perfect, once for all sacrifice.  The writer of Hebrews is arguing that Jewish Christians stop feasting at a billboard and instead "taste and see that the Lord is good".

We need to listen to this.  Although I've never felt the need to sacrifice a bull, I have felt the need to add something to grace.  We add nothing to grace.  Sure, we will obey but not in an effort to earn grace.  Grace is unearned by us because it has already been purchased by Christ.  That is what we feast on; the goodness of God's grace through Christ Jesus our Lord.

2) Spur each other on toward love and good deeds.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  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 10:23-25

These verses pretty much speak for themselves.  But ask yourself these questions: a) do I act in a way that shows I believe in the promises of Christ; b) do I spur on my Christian brothers and sisters toward love and good deeds; c) do I meet with other Christians regularly?

3) Remember the fervor you once had.

"Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  you sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions."  Hebrews 10:32-34

The writer is saying, "Remember how fearlessly you followed Jesus when you first became a Christian?  Where did that go?"  I could ask myself the same thing.  Young Christians are so fearless with the way they share their faith.  It's like we forget the "better and lasting possessions" that we've been given through Christ.  This is a challenge for all of us: "Remember the fervor you once had."  We need to relight the fire of our love for God.

This chapter is an amazing chapter. Please take time to study it on your own.  Don't waste time eating at a billboard; go for the real deal, God the three in one.  Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  And remember the fervor you once had, today.

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