Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:5-6

*** If you’ve been tracking with me for very long on here, you know that I’ve written quite a lot over the years. As a matter of fact, this month will see my 1500th post. Each of those posts take up storage space on my site, and with the addition of pictures and audio recordings, they take up even more space. A couple of years ago, I upgraded the site for storage purposes, but I’m almost back to the new cap. In an effort to create some space without having to upgrade again quite yet (I don’t get enough traffic to justify that), I am going to begin going back through and deleting old audio files. I’ll start with the oldest and work forward from there. I’ll plan to keep at least a calendar year’s worth of audio files before deleting them. This means that if you go back to an old post, the audio link in it won’t work anymore. I could go through and remove all of those old links…but, honestly, that’ll take a lot more time than I have to give to it. The posts will still be there for reference, though, so still feel free to search the archives if you’re ever in need of some thoughts on a particular passage. I’ve covered quite a lot of the Scriptures over the years. Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing. You are why I keep writing every day. ***

“Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or abandon you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In 1984, Madonna sang what was arguably the anthem for the times when she declared herself a material girl living in a material world. That wasn’t just an anthem for the time, then, though, it was a description of the struggle we have always had to define our lives by the stuff we have. Jesus dealt with this directly. So did Paul. If we are going to live under the authority of the new covenant, we only get to have one God and Lord. And money’s not it. Let’s talk this morning about why we can trust God in that position.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:1-3

“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

At last we come to the big finish. After twelve chapters and seven months, we are at long last on the final stretch of this incredible letter. With all of his main points now made rather thoroughly, the author closes things out with a kind of lightning round of miscellaneous advice and commands. There really isn’t a consistent theme to any of these, but there is deep wisdom in them all the same. He starts here with the rather appropriate exhortation to love, given how rooted in love is the new covenant. Let’s talk this morning about love in action.

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Morning Musing: Matthew 19:21

“‘If you want to be perfect,’ Jesus said to him, ‘go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When Jesus was in Jerusalem ahead of His final week on earth, there was a moment when a bunch of children came up and were shouting praises to Jesus. In a culture when children were expected to be seen and not heard, this was a pretty significant break with tradition, so naturally, the Pharisees fussed about it to Jesus. He responded by quoting a line from Psalm 8:2 praising children for spouting of divine wisdom. “Out of the mouths of babes,” Well, I had an out-of-the-mouths-of-babes moment this week. If you’ll indulge me this morning, I’d like to tell you about it.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 12:25-29

“See to it that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven. His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in an earthquake? The answer to that probably depends on where you live, just like it does with about any other natural disaster. Different areas are prone to different kinds of disasters. I never thought I lived in an earthquake-prone region until I was sitting at my desk a few years ago and everything suddenly started shaking. It wasn’t a big earthquake (at least, we were far enough from the epicenter that we didn’t shake too much where we were), but it was an eerie moment. The world was moving, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. As we come to the end of chapter 12 today, the author is talking about another shaking that’s coming. But this one will be a bit bigger than what I experienced. Let’s talk about God’s shaking things up and the hope we have in His kingdom.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 12:11-13

“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you know why most people don’t exercise the way they should? Because they don’t want to. I rushed that, didn’t I? You were getting all of your excuses ready to start listing off in defense of your lack of exercise, and I cut your short. But the truth is, at the end of the day, we don’t exercise as much as we should (and I’ll let you define “should” in a way that makes you comfortable) because there are other things we’d rather do more. We have time for all of the things we most want to do. Period. Of course, the reason we don’t want to exercise as much as we want to do other things is because exercising is hard. We don’t like doing hard things. But sometimes, hard things that hurt us in the moment help us in the long run. This is an important thing to keep in mind in the next part of Hebrews 12 here. Let’s take a look at this together.

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