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Look to Jesus

5/31/20 Hebrews 12:1-17 #14 | Jesus > Everything

The Hebrew people were living in very difficult times. These were times that were rife with persecution, famine and very anti-Christ government structures in power. And as was said last week, and regardless of whether the writer himself was cognizant of it or not (the Spirit who inspired this writing knew), the destruction of the temple was at hand, along with the dispersing out of the city of all of the Jewish city dwellers to the four corners of the world.

So today some might wonder why wasn’t the writer more attentive to the more practical needs of his readers and take more of a strength based and positive approach so as to lift up and make the Hebrews feel better about themselves and their future?

The simple answer is because that’s not what they needed in order to be faithful. Those of us who believe in the inspiration of the holy Scriptures, trust that they were, “written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” {Romans 15:4}

This means what was written in Hebrews was exactly what they needed in order to have hope during that time. We believe that, “ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD and (therefore) profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” {2 Timothy 3:16}, SO THAT we will be prepared and equipped to do all the good we need to do. Not so that we will feel good - not even so that we will feel good about ourselves. The bible is written to give us hope and to strengthen our faith in God who is working in and through us regardless of the circumstances. Now, believing this about the bible also means we believe that what Philippians 4:19 is true. It says that, “…my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Now that sounds more like it, right? This verse however, often gets swept under the carpet of all of the other pages of Scriptures by those who are not prosperity teachers, but this verse is still God’s word and therefore true. It was true then for Paul and it is true now – so what does it mean? Paul relates this truth to his own experience, ‘having received everything in full and having an abundance; I am amply supplied…” (v.18) Yes, his needs were ALL met - sitting there in a Roman jail cell. His needs were amply met. And by the way, he never was released into freedom. Maybe our definition of needs, and God’s purposes require some refinement. What do we need today that God won’t supply for us in order for us to remain faithful to Him? The answer is nothing. There is nothing He wouldn’t give in order to protect and provide for the spiritual safety and strengthening of His children. God will supply all we need to carry out His purposes in the moments we are living. They may not in fact be what we deem as needs, but that says more about our misperception of real needs vs. wants, than God’s ability to provide what is truly needed.

Read again the end of chapter 10 and 11 of Hebrews. “Remember the former days when after being enlightened you endured sufferings.” What is written is written so that we can stand up under trial and fire, not simply to make us feel better. Now we do of course often do feel better after reading His word, but that is a byproduct of its main purpose – to build our faith and trust in Him, wherever we are or in preparation for whatever is going to be happening in the unforeseen future. Remember, it’s only unforeseen to us, so it’s a really good thing we have these Scriptures!

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