Morning Musing: Hebrews 11:13-16

“These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place – a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I enjoy traveling. We don’t do it often, but there’s just something exciting about going somewhere, especially somewhere new. Still, as much fun as it may be, the whole time I’m gone, I am surpassingly aware of one very important fact: I’m not at home. As a result, even though I will adapt some to whatever my current environment may be, I am only ever going to go so far. The reason for this is simple: I’m not staying long. I will eventually return home. For all the ways I may adapt, then, I don’t want to make myself less fit for home by the effort, so I will only ever go so far. Otherwise, I will intentionally stick out as I live with home in mind. This is, of course, a metaphor for our life in Christ. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:32-34

“Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way. For you sympathized with the prisoners and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, because you know that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things Jesus made clear over the course of His ministry is that following Him was not going to be easy. In fact, it was going to be hard…really hard. When we give our lives to God’s kingdom, the authorities of the kingdom of this world aren’t going to take the loss of their power over us lightly. To the extent they are able, they are going to make our lives as difficult and miserable as they can. The obvious question here is why anyone would sign up for this. Because there’s more to life than this life. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 1:36-38

“Simon and his companions searched for him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Rick Moranis was one of the more popular actors in Hollywood in the 1980s. He always seemed to play about the same character, but he did it really well. He was always kind of nerdy, courageous when it counted, and incredibly likable. When someone has really hit their stride like that in any profession, the rule is: keep going. It takes too much time, effort, and energy to get there. You don’t break stride for anything. So, what did Moranis do when his wife died unexpectedly and he was left to play single parent to three young kids? He walked away from acting entirely. He understood what Jesus demonstrates here.

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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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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 1:7

“On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When a people is picking up the pieces again after suffering through a season of tragedy, what do they need? That is a question astute observers of culture in Jerusalem late in the 5th century B.C. would have been asking. Interestingly, it is a question that astute observers of culture are asking nowadays as well. As an answer to that question, God sent the Israelites the prophet Zechariah. Now, his words were for them, not us. But perhaps there is still a thing or two we could learn for our own lives. Let’s take a look.

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