Hebrews 7:18-19 A Better Hope

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19

Laws are something that is bitter-sweet for most people. The majority of people like the laws, because it shows them what is right and what is wrong. It gives them a guideline by which they expect others to live.

At the same time, many people hate the laws, because it also can restrict them from what they can and cannot do. Laws bind people up more than releases them from bondage.

The author of Hebrews points out the the old law was worthless in that it could not make a person perfect. Since it was worthless and failing, a better hope was introduced to allow man to get close to God.

Most people in the church like to know what God’s laws are. It gives them guidance as to how to live their lives. They want a checklist of what to do or not to do, so that they can see where they are succeeding or not succeeding in following God.

The challenge comes that with the more one knows the laws of God, the more he realizes that he cannot fulfill every one of them in his own power. He is constantly battling with failure to obey God’s laws and thus looks bad (in his eyes) before God.

God knew that this would happen, so He sent Jesus to provide the way to Him. Attempting to follow the law would produce failure, so Jesus came to fulfill the law and provide the much needed salvation and freedom from sin.

Following Jesus will allow the believer to take his focus off of sin and put it upon God.

You are probably struggling with sin as most believers are. You sin, repent, and then sin again are frustrated with yourself. Instead of focusing on following God’s law, focus on following Jesus and the way He lived. Do what He did and is doing, so that you will not have time to sin.

Live in the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to strengthen and help you.

As you rely upon what Jesus did for you, you will be able to draw closer to God, and flee further from sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon God’s grace for your life; that you will focus your life on following Jesus; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that you will produce fruit in keeping with God’s commands.

2 Corinthians 11:3 Are You Being Deceived?

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

Magicians work hard on deceiving the audience into thinking something had happened that did not. Their goal is to distract those watching to not really see what is occurring, making it appear as though something else grand had happened.

Those watching a magician are usually very amazed and know that they are being fooled, but love it anyway. However, in life many are being deceived in the same way, but do not even realize it.

Paul was concerned that some in the church were being deceived, just as Eve was, and led astray from their devotion to Christ.

Deception can occur very easily when a person does not really know the truth. There have been many believers who begin looking at the world to understand how it works and thinks.

Suddenly, after a time, they change their ways of thinking, being deceived by the world, and begin to think and act as the world does, while claiming to be a follower of Jesus. The world was able to deceive them into thinking that some sinful activity or thought was acceptable to God and would not be judged as sinful.

Many in the church and churches themselves, have been deceived by the enemy. They have turned their eyes away from God, while claiming to follow Him. They accept and promote things as good that God calls evil.

The only way for believers to keep from being deceived like this, is for them to stay focused upon the truth. Every believer must flee all sin, not even step close to it. They must know God’s word thoroughly and stay in close communication with God. Knowing the truth will set one free from the deception of sin.

You may or may not know if you are being deceived. Take a look at your life and see if there are things in your life that could be or are sinful. Flee those things and get focused back on God.

Immerse yourself in God’s word and prayer. Focus on knowing the truth and the deception will reveal itself. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead you so that you do not get led astray by the deception of this world.

Are you being deceived by this world?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit into all truth; that God will open your eyes to the deception of the enemy; that you will focus your life on God’s word; and that you will not be deceived into sinful thoughts or actions.

John 3:3 A Complete Restart Required

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3

It is common in many businesses that when things go completely bad, that they shut down for a time, reorganize and then reopen. Their attempt is to rebrand themselves as better than before to build the business up again.

This type of rebranded or restarting can be seen in businesses and the lives of people. It is all about trying out something completely different, going a different direction than before.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, recognized that Jesus must be from God and tells Jesus that. Jesus tells him that if anyone wants to see the kingdom of heaven, he must be born again.

Claiming to believe in Jesus or God is very easy for a person to do. All that is said are a few words. Many people have made this claim and believe that they are going to heaven someday. But very few have actually made a change in their life.

All over the world, there are many in the church who claim to believe in Jesus, but continue to purposely live a sinful lifestyle. They have neither changed, nor attempted to change. The desire is to live in both worlds, sin and heaven.

One who truly believes in and follows Jesus will be changed. God will do a complete restart of his life. It will be as though he had died and was reborn as a brand new baby, innocent and pure. As he grows the second time, it will be as a completely different person. The past is gone and a new life has begun.

If a person has not undergone this transformation and rebirth, he will be unable to get into heaven, regardless of his words. Jesus does not save a person to keep him in sin, but to remove him out of sin into a new life.

As a believer, examine yourself. How much of your old self still remains? Allow God and His Holy Spirit to come in and give you a brand new start. Be the changed person Jesus made you to be.

Be born again into the new creation that is the image of Jesus, not the sinful, fallen world. Turn away from old sinful ways and live the life God is giving you. Be the new creation in Christ Jesus. Allow God to restart your life for eternity.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you a new beginning; that you will live as God desires you to live; and that God will make you into a new creation.

Luke 14:18 Making Excuses

But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Luke 14:18

Every day people have many things to do. They have to make many choices as to what they will or will not do. The method of deciding what to do or not do is commonly left up to what is most important to the individual.

In order to decide, most people will choose what is most pleasurable or beneficial in the moment to do. Only occasionally do people look at the long-term effects of their choices.

Jesus gave a parable about a king inviting people to a banquet. Many gave excuses as to why they could not come.

It is very easy for a person to come up with a reason to not do something. Often it is difficult, inconvenient, costs too much, scary, or some other reason. Those who are successful in things, find ways to make it happen. Their eyes are on the long-term future, not just the present.

People can come up with a million reasons why they cannot make it to church, take time to pray, take time to study God’s word, or take time to be a witness. They are often busy with self in the moment and reject what God wants to do.

True believers will seek to find ways to do what God is calling them to do. They will desire to follow God with all of their heart, regardless of the cost. All excuses will be cast out, knowing that God does not care to hear excuses.

Jesus paid the ultimate price of His life so that a person can have life. This leaves zero room for any excuses to not follow and fully obey Jesus.

God is calling you to do a work for Him as a believer. It may be a small job or a large one, but either way it is an important one. At a minimum God calls you to obey Jesus, worship Him, know and study His word and be His witness.

Do not be like the world and allow yourself to make up excuses to not do what God is calling you to do. Do not be kicked out and rejected for making an excuse.

Do what God is telling you to do today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will do what God calls you to do; that God will strengthen you to not make excuses; and that you will see God’s hand of blessing and provision as you obey and follow Him.

Mark 2:14 Leave The Past And Follow

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. Mark 2:14

People often do not like major change in their lives. They like things to always remain the same. Many, however, will jump onto something new and popular, often because everyone else is doing it.

A new fashion fad comes out being promoted by some famous person, and suddenly everyone is doing it. They are quick to drop the old ways for the new fashion.

As Jesus was walking along one day, He goes up to Levi and tells him to follow Him. Levi immediately gets up, leaves his work and follows Jesus.

While many people are quick to change ways and follow a new fad in this world, it is not as popular with following Jesus. He is still going around telling people to follow Him.

Many do not want to follow Jesus, because it means major change. In order to follow Jesus it means one has to leave his past behind, get up and follow Him. One is not to hold onto the past and say they are following, staying in sin and sinful ways, but to leave it all behind.

Just as Levi got up and left behind a lucrative business, people are to leave behind the things of this world to follow Jesus. This may or may not mean a change of a job, but it does mean leaving sin behind. It will mean a change in activities and friends. It is going wherever Jesus is leading, with no questions being asked.

God will always lead a person on a new path, when he begins to follow Jesus. This path is a new path of a full, abundant life that goes into eternity.

Jesus is also calling you to follow Him on the path He has for you. It is more than just words, but will require some change and sacrifice upon your part to follow Him.

God does not call you to follow without some change. You cannot stay where you are, physically, emotionally or spiritually, and still follow Jesus. You have to get up, leave the past behind and follow Him. Become the new creation God is making you to be.

Are you willing to follow Jesus today? Or will you stay where you are in this fallen world?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s call to follow Him; that God will give you strength and direction to leave your past behind to follow Him; and that you will know all God has for you.