Journal Entry / November 13, 2022
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. (ESV)
Where do I let my heart and mind spend time in contemplation? Where do my longings and desires gravitate toward? Do they seek out the temporary dwelling of this world? Does my heart long for the pleasures of this world? Does my mind stay transfixed with the planning and seeking of material things? Am I living for today without any care for my eternal future? This life is filled with so many distractions that seek to lure me away from serving and loving Christ alone. It is far too easy to let myself become entangled in the temporary and momentary and lose sight of the eternal glories of my Father’s call to draw near and abide with him. Jesus calls me heavenward. Jesus has gone there to prepare a place for me. He will come once again to bring me to my home in this heavenly city.
Continue reading “Seeking the Eternal”
Journal Entry // November 12, 2022
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (ESV)
It is always interesting to see the pattern of phrases that God brings to my attention during these times of meditation and thought. This morning I sit and consider the words of Christ calling me to draw near to him. It is an important and essential part of following Christ, yet I find it challenging to draw near. Not because I don’t want to draw near but that I am too prideful and arrogant. Yesterday in Hebrews 7, I read that I was to draw near to God through Jesus as he continually prays for me. Now I read that I am to draw near with “a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Looking at the study notes in my Bible, it tells me that a true heart is one that has been cleansed and is in full submission to God. This is just another way of saying that I am to draw near to God through Christ in humility. That I am to rid myself of all the pride and arrogance that seeks to assert itself in my life and I am to clothe myself in humble submissiveness that brings my heart before the throne of grace and mercy.
Continue reading “A True Heart”
Journal Entry // November 11, 2022
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (ESV)
Jesus “always lives to make intercession” for me. He is even now interceding for me before the throne of grace and inviting me to draw near to God. That through Christ, I can draw near to God and have fellowship and communion with the Holy One because Jesus has saved me to the uttermost. Even though I know this truth and I believe it fully, I find it extremely difficult to live this out on a daily basis. I find it unbelievable at times that through Jesus I can draw near to the Lord. I have been saved to the uttermost, but I still allow sin to cling to me. This clinging sin challenges my understanding of being saved to the uttermost. This habitual unrighteousness calls me a hypocrite when I want to draw near to Jesus. It is only the loving intercession of Jesus standing before the throne of God pleading for my soul that counters these lies with the truth. It is the perfect intentional consistent intercession of Jesus that pulls me back to the reality of my loving God who wants me to come to him. I have been saved to the uttermost and through Jesus I can be in the near presence of the Lord at all times.
Continue reading “The Praying Savior”
Journal Entry // November 1, 2022
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)
When the writer of Hebrews talks about the people in the days of Joshua not entering God’s rest because of disobedience, he challenges us not to fall into the same trap. The writer wants us to strive to enter God’s rest. What is this striving that we must wrestle with? It is nothing more than understanding the weakness of our flesh and a call to humility. This striving is not a call to work harder or try harder to be perfect and impress our holy God. No, this is a call to let the word of God penetrate our hearts and soul and bring about an understanding of the still remaining sin that is at work in our lives. To see our sin and repent by faith. Then… we can have this confidence to draw near to Christ and receive mercy and grace. There is no need to perform an act of penance. There is no room for making myself right before Christ. There is only Jesus sitting on his throne of grace. He alone will freely give grace and mercy to the humble. Those who are confessing and repenting and understanding the weakness of their flesh and their complete need for a loving Savior are the ones that can have this confidence. A humble confidence that the One who saved them is the one who will cover them with grace and mercy and love.
Continue reading “Humble Confidence”
Journal Entry // October 30, 2022
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (ESV)
Of all the warnings in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, drifting away from Christ is the one that most worries me. It worries me in the sense that I can more readily see the drifting of my heart away from Christ at various times and seasons. This continuous slow movement from being a faithful follower of Christ to a place of complacency and apathy is what my sinful thoughts keep pushing me towards. The drift is dangerous because it is oftentimes so gradual that I don’t even realize I am or have drifted until I pay attention. This is the point of the passage. I must pay attention, close attention, to the spiritual state of my heart, mind, and soul. There is no autopilot in the Christian life. There is only careful intentional attention to the details of salvation and grace in my life through Jesus alone.
Continue reading “Subtle Drift”
Journal Entry // October 27, 2022
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (ESV)
The writer of Hebrews opens his letter by calling our attention to the importance of how God chooses to speak to us. In days past, he spoke to us through the prophets. Men who were appointed by God to bring truth and revelation as an appointed representative. Then in these final days, God has chosen to speak to us not with a representative, but through his one and only Son. This same Son that created the world and the universe. This perfect Son of God has come in these last days to bring the holy heart changing word of God to everyone.
Continue reading “Spoken Word”
Journal Entry // November 11, 2021
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5 ESV
Be content… This is the life lesson that God has been teaching me these last couple of years. Well, at least one of the lessons. An important lesson that I have struggled to grasp hold of in a deep meaningful way. I can look back over the last ten years of life and see how discontented I truly was with everything. I can now see how the love of money was quietly weaving itself into my everyday thoughts. I can see a bit more clearly how I was living a double minded life. Trying to serve Christ as best I could, but also wanting the things of this world.
Continue reading “Sure Contentment”
Journal Entry // November 9, 2021
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11 ESV
My holy Father’s tender discipline is upon me because I am his son and he loves me. He loves me so deeply that he disciplines me. He does not allow me to continue wallowing in the mud and filth of sin and shame. No, he loves me and tenderly disciplines me to train me in righteousness. The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the purpose of my discipline.
Continue reading “Righteous Training”
Journal Entry // November 6, 2021
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.Hebrews 10:35 ESV
Remember, remember… All the great and wonderful ways the Lord has not only blessed me, but rescued me, and sustained me. After reminding his readers that they have joyfully watched as their possessions were taken from them, endured hard struggles and suffering, having been publicly exposed to shame and ridicule – the writer tells them the result of all these things, which is the building up of their confidence. A confidence not in themselves but in the Lord, which is of immense eternal value.
Continue reading “Confident Reward”
Journal Entry// November 4, 2021
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.Hebrews 8:10 ESV
God’s laws have been placed into my mind and written on my heart. I often struggle with the role of the law in the life of a believer now that Christ has come and fulfilled the law. If there is forgiveness of sin, surely there is no need to focus so heavily on God’s law. But this passage counteracts my faulty view of the law and reveals not only the true nature of my heart, but the heart of God for me.
Continue reading “The Law, the Heart, and the Mind”