But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. (Hebrews 7:24, 25 NLT)
The Old Testament describes in great detail the role of the high priest. Every detail given by God regarding the sacrifices, the celebrations, the sanctuary and/or tabernacle, the responsibilities and the blessings, were once thought to be “the point” God was trying to communicate to his people.
Actually, each of those details was simply a picture, an image, a “replica” of the reality of heaven’s tabernacle, and the sacrifice of ONE Lamb, made by the Perfect Priest.
The writer of Hebrews takes time to draw these connections for the Jewish readers. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. Jesus is the Sacrifice. Jesus is the High Priest.
Jesus is “the point.”
So let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author an the Finisher of our faith!
God’s Word has much to say about the Holy Spirit’s gift of prophecy. It is a precious privilege to hear and deliver a message from God, one that carries a weight of responsibility.
On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, I sensed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to deliver this prophetic word in our mid-week service at New Hope Worship Center, but I am convinced that it applies to a broader section of the Body of Christ.
As you read the prophetic message, I pray that the Holy Spirit will confirm and apply to you personally the truth of His Word.
For the Lord would say to you, ‘I have declared over you a season of significance.
‘You are entering into a realm that you have not been before. I have gone before you. I have made the path straight. I have declared my plans. I have ordered my word. You simply need to rest and walk in it.
‘So now, as I have called you to this place of faith, I am calling you to fight battles you have never fought before. I am calling you to stand up, to understand who you are, and to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. To be the victors that I have called you to be,’ says God.
‘I have called you to stand up when the others aren’t willing to stand up. I have called you to be with the spirit of David, to stand up and to face that giant and to bring him down.
‘I have called you to a season of significance and it will demand great faith from you.’
So I say to you, ‘My children, look toward Me, the Author and the Finisher of your faith and I will go before you. I will fight the battle for you, but I am calling you to step in. I am calling you to step up. I am calling you to trust Me in this. I am calling you to guard your mouth. I am calling you to guard your heart, because I am going to bring you into the victory that you’ve never experienced before.
‘The things that I desire to do in your life are not just about you. I have positioned you for such a time as this because the kingdom of God is advancing and taking territory that the enemy has stolen away. Now I have entrusted you to go forth in battle, to take back that which the enemy has stolen, and so I have entrusted it into your hands.
‘I declare tonight that I am with you, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. I have gone before you to fight the battle and to bring the victory. You go in faith and you watch and see what I will do!’ says the Lord your God.
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. (Psalms 119:59 NLT)
Inevitably life’s ebb and flow brings us to moments of pause and reflection, when we search for the meaning, purpose, and direction of our lives.
The birth of a baby, the death of a friend, the loss of a career, the milestone birthday, are all events that snatch us from the day-to-day grind, into a pursuit to identify why we even exist.
David had his share of these defining moments; like the day he was tending sheep as a teenager and Samuel unexpectedly showed up, declaring a prophetic calling over David’s life – one that even his family couldn’t grasp.
Or the time when David was singing for King Saul, and right in the middle of his favorite part – you know, the part that makes a singer close his eyes real tight – David happened to catch a glimpse of something being hurled through the air, aimed right at him. The King had thrown his spear, attempting to kill David. And although he wasn’t killed, his career on Israel Idol was over.
And then there’s the time David thought he got away with hidden sin, until a prophet came and uncovered all that had been cloaked in the shadows.
Or the time that David’s son died.
Or the time that his kingdom was almost stolen from him…by one of his sons.
David had quite a life. Frankly, he was far from perfect. But there was something of purity in his heart, evidenced by his response to each of these defining moments.
David sought the direction of The Lord through the Law (Word) of God. God’s Word was a lamp to his feet and a light for his path. David hid the Word in his heart, so that it would keep him from sin. David knew the key to staying pure was to take heed according to God’s Word.
Daily devotions are more than spiritual calisthenics, or something to be added to a checklist. The Word of God is bread – a basic staple of life. It is air – the oxygen that sustains life. It is water – that brings refreshing and hydration to that which is dry and parched.
Reading and studying the Word of God gives you divine direction for your life! In the pages of Scripture you will find the heart of the Father, the mind of Christ, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is a book that breathes.
Today I pause to ponder the direction of my life. Reveal Yourself to me in Your Word, and direct my steps according to Your Word.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! (1 Thessalonians 2:19 NLT)
Motivation is the fuel of life. In everything we do we must find purpose. Life without purpose is meaningless.
In his letter to believers in Thessalonica Paul referred to some of the things he endured.
As a Christian, Paul often suffered physical, emotional, and spiritual persecution for his faith.
As a missionary, Paul longed for deeper relationships, and greatly missed the consistent fellowship of other brothers and sisters in Christ.
As an apostle, Paul bore the weight of praying for, teaching, and setting an example for those who were often fickle in their own faith. Paul even chose the labor-some toil of working a full-time job (making tents) in order to have the greatest impact on others.
Why did Paul endure all of this? Because of his motivation.
Motivation is the “why” behind the “what.” And for Paul, the “why” was the people.
Sometimes the “what” of life is less than ideal – in fact, it can be draining. But when your focus stays on the “why,” you can handle the “what.”
Paul loved God’s people, particularly those who had come to faith in Christ Jesus through Paul’s ministry.
What’s your motivation?
When your job is frustrating…
When life gets mundane…
When you’re laboring, but not seeing immediate results…
…think of the WHO’s in your life. Your wife, your kids, your friends, those following you.
Ultimately, life is all about motivation.
One day I will stand before The Lord Jesus Christ – my life’s race will be complete. In that moment I will have complete fulfillment and understanding of the meaning of my own life. All of the questions will be answered. And He will say to me: “Well done, good and faithful son.”
For me, Jesus is my greatest motivation.
Jesus, today I choose to live for You. Give meaning to the mundane, and life to the less-than-ideal. With You, I have purpose, I have hope, I have life!
A spirit of gratitude has always been expressed by those who are aware of God’s grace and favor in their lives. But there was a moment in our nation’s history when the heart of thanks-giving became an officially recognized holiday.
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the following “Thanksgiving Proclamation.”
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God….
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November…as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.
President Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln recognized that the giving of thanks is not merely an inward feeling, but an outward expression of praise to the Father, from whom proceeds every good and perfect gift. One cannot be thankful FOR any gift without also being thankful TO the giver of the gift.
This Thanksgiving, let’s choose to make it what it was intended to be, a day of thanksgiving and praise!