We build homes, careers and lives, dedicating time, effort and money, in often exaggerated ways. But the children will leave home, one day we’ll retire, and death will arrive.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith.
Jude 20 ESV

Spiritual edification is the only building that has eternal guarantees. it is a community process, not individual. The context suggests what should be done for such building: Continue reading

A professor of homiletics once told his students how to structure a sermon: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you have to tell them, then tell them what you just told them. The preacher should not lose sight of his main point of the sermon and should not let the hearers miss it either.

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 8:1 NET Continue reading

PerfectionHave you ever gotten aggravated with some imperfection in a preacher, impatient with the errors of an elder?

I imagine that the Israelites at times got frustrated with the humanity of their priests. If they were so sinful, how would they represent the people in the temple before God, even offering sacrifice first for their own sins?

He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.
Hebrews 7:26 NLT Continue reading

As a high-school basketball player, I was slow and warmed the bench. As much as the coach yelled in my ear, my speedometer wouldn’t allow a faster speed.

The intellectually slow person doesn’t advance beyond the more gifted. They say one’s IQ is fixed. Though the mind may do exercises to improve, it’s level of intelligence is set.

There’s not much one can do with physical and mental limitations, but spiritual slowness is a question of the will. Continue reading

What are your defects and disadvantages? Now, think of these as a great advantage in God’s service. That’s what the author of the letter to the Hebrews does with Christ’s humanity.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming high priest, but the one who glorified him was God, who said to him, “You are my Son! Today I have fathered you.”
Hebrews 5:5 NET Continue reading

SolutionPart of the process of reaching a solution to a problem is identifying the nature of the problem and the possible solutions. If we don’t know the problem, it will be hard to find a solution.

Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.
Hebrews 4:16 NET Continue reading

cup of sufferingWhen Jesus assembled all his disciples around the table to remember his death, so do we.

When Jesus served the bread first and then the cup, so do we.

When Jesus prayed and gave thanks for the bread and the cup, so do we.

When all the disciples ate and drank to remember Jesus’ death, all of them, so do we.

When Jesus broke the bread, so do we (sometimes).

When Jesus explained the meaning of the supper, we don’t. Why is that? Continue reading

Talk is cheap. So they say. But when Jesus, during his life, offered forgiveness, he spoke at every turn in the shadow of the Cross.

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:48 NET

Easy words, apparently, repeated several times to very different people. Jesus could offer the forgiveness of sins, because shortly he would die for them. All forgiveness before the Cross looks to the sacrifice of Christ.

At times, the Lord did not require either confession or demonstrations of repentance.

Today, on this side of the Cross where we live, Jesus still offers forgiveness. But in his personal absence, he has left procedures — what to do in order to be sure that one day we will hear from his lips the same words that he spoke to the sinful woman.

What are these procedures? See how simple they are.

 

creationThe sea fascinates us. Yesterday, a man told me that his doctor had recommended that he spend a lot of time at his beach house, so that the immensity of the ocean might calm him and remove his worries. But the sea has another message for us:

How many living things you have made, O LORD!
You have exhibited great skill in making all of them;
the earth is full of the living things you have made.
Over here is the deep, wide sea,
which teems with innumerable swimming creatures,
living things both small and large.
The ships travel there,
and over here swims the whale you made to play in it.
Psalm 104:24-26 NET

As the heavens (verse 19) and all God’s creation, the sea is witness to the Creator’s majesty and sings his praises. The great whale (Leviathan), so feared by men, is but a pet of the Sovereign’s. Let us join the sea in its praise of the Lord!

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