Morning Musing: Hebrews 7:26-8:1

“For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do — first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.” (CSB – Read chapter 7, read chapter 8)

We like to do things for ourselves. Mostly. Laziness and the desire to have everything done for you is more of a cultural malady now than it has ever been in our past, but there are still many folks who prefer to do things for themselves. And this isn’t a bad thing either. I can point you to verses where we are encouraged to work hard so that we don’t have to rely on anyone else to provide our basic needs for us. But there are some things we can’t do on our own. One of the chief of these things is ironic because in a culture in which laziness and dependency are growing challenges, it is the one thing most people still want to do for themselves. What I’m talking about is connecting with God. We need help with that. The author is Hebrews here is talking about the kind of help we need. Let’s join the conversation.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 7:23-25

“Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. But because he remains forever, he holds his priesthood permanently. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Nothing lasts forever. At least, that’s something the world teaches us. We learn it, though, less by direct teaching, and more by experience. I remember a whole variety of endings from over the course of my life: The passing, one by one, of my grandparents, my grade school principal’s retirement (before I went to junior high), the graduation of high school classes ahead of mine, the end of college, the end of seminary, the end of one ministry (which preceded the beginning of another, but still…), and so on and so forth. Everything ends. People end. How can we really trust in anything? Because some things do last forever. Specifically, Jesus does. Let’s talk this morning about why that matters.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 3:1

“Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been part of an inside joke? Those are always kind of fun. You know something that only a select group of people know. You get to laugh about it together while everyone else just wonders. It creates a bond among you that is strong. Even years later a single word or phrase can reconnect people who otherwise have nothing in common. It’s hard as a modern follower of Jesus not to look back at passage like this one and feel like we are part of an inside joke that much of the original audience never got.

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Strange Fire

This past Sunday morning we continued our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, with what I think is about the hardest story in the whole of the Scriptures. I didn’t want to write this sermon. But if all Scripture is God-breathed, then we need to be able to deal with this part of it too. Check out what makes it so hard and what we should do with it below. Thanks for reading.

Strange Fire

I didn’t want to write this sermon.  Can I say that out loud?  I didn’t want to write this sermon.  Have you ever felt that way?  I mean, probably not about a sermon, but maybe about something else you’ve done.  You did it.  You had to do it.  It needed to be done.  But you didn’t want to do it.  Maybe you were helping somebody out and you knew it was going to wind up being a lot of effort for you for a little gratitude from them.  Perhaps you were given some task at work that you knew was just not going to be a pleasant undertaking—and you were right, by the way—but the boss asked for it and you were stuck with it.  You may have experienced this kind of feeling in yet some other way.  I don’t know what your experience was.  All I know is that I didn’t want to write this sermon. 

Read the rest…