Morning Musing: Hebrews 9:25-26

“He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the classic definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Under the old covenant, worshipers offered an endless stream of sacrifices, one after the next, each time expecting them to take away their sins. Yet while those sacrifices did indeed provide the covering they needed in the moment, they never dealt with the root problem. It was crazy to think they could. In the new covenant, Jesus changed all of that. Let’s talk this morning about how.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Hebrews 9:24

“For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Everybody wants access to the boss. One of the greatest gifts the leader of an organization has to give is his time and attention. People will compete with one another endlessly for these things because it gives them access to power. And if we can’t have power ourselves, having access to it is a close second. Under the old covenant, access to the time and attention of God was severely limited. Under the new covenant it is not. Let’s talk about why.

Read the rest…

Stubborn Faith

This week, after a couple of weeks off – one of them unexpected – I was privileged to be back in the pulpit. We dove into the third part of our series, How to Be Faithful When No One Else Is. This week we explored Daniel 3 and the well-known story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace. We marvel at their faithfulness and God’s miraculous rescue of the trio, but something even more powerful lies at the heart of the story when it comes to our challenge to stand on faithfulness even when we are standing alone. Let’s explore this together to see what it is. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Stubborn Faith

When was the last time you did something that left you feeling accomplished? When was the last time you checked something off your list in a way that made you feel satisfied? It feels good to do big things. It feels good to do smaller things too. It feels good to be making forward progress. Some of you know that I enjoy building metal models. They come in a nice, little kit with detailed instructions and sheets of metal that are pre-painted and laser cut so you can snip them out, fold them accordingly, and build things like this Stormtrooper. Putting the last couple of pieces into place and finishing these feels really good. It’s satisfying to finally throw away the empty scraps of metal that used to hold all the little pieces in place. 

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Psalm 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I haven’t done this for a while, but this morning is going to be a bit of a grab bag. Honestly, that’s because I didn’t know what I was going to write until I got up this morning. That’s sort of true every day because I tend to write each post the same day it goes live, but most days I’m only completing a thought I first started sketching out two to three weeks before writing. Fridays, though, are for taking a break from the rest of the week and reflecting on something different. I spent the time I lay in bed awake last night prayerfully pondering what I would write about this morning. So, we’ll call this morning an answer to prayer. Perhaps it’s an answer for you. Here’s to a bit of a stream of consciousness morning.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 9:16-23

“Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living. That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.’ In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever done something wrong? Actually, let’s go ahead and change up that question to: When was the last time you did something wrong? I mean anything wrong. I’m not talking about just the big stuff. Big stuff, small stuff, medium stuff, all the stuff. When was the last time you did something for which you needed to be forgiven? As the author of Hebrews continues to unpack in more detail how the new covenant in Christ was made, he says something here about how forgiveness happens that should get our attention. Let’s take a look at it together.

Read the rest…