The book of Hebrews is filled with warnings and with wonder. Warnings against neglecting so great a salvation. And wonder that encourages us to consider how great our Savior is.
Warning and wonder are coupled together throughout this book. And that’s not by accident. We need to heed these warnings as we continue to look at Jesus with wonder so that we don’t fall or fail on the battlefield of faith. The more careful attention we give to our salvation and our Savior, the more confident we will be in knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord.
Heeding the warning and enjoying the wonder, we continued our study in the book of Hebrews this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study of Hebrews 2.
In English, this word means “of a more excellent or effective quality; preferable; superior.” In Hebrew, better means “more useful, more advantageous, more excellent.”
Better is a word we’ll encounter regularly in our study of Hebrews. And that’s exactly how Jesus is described when compared to…well, everything else! He is preferable. He is superior. He is more excellent.
In the first three verses of the first chapter of Hebrews, we read seven reasons why Jesus is more excellent. In the rest of the book of Hebrews, we’ll read of the many ways Jesus is better than the angels, the law, Moses, the Old Covenant, and anything or anyone else in all of creation.
Jesus is better. He was sent to save you. And He did this by laying down His life for yours—by paying the price for your sin…all of it! He did that so you could enjoy fellowship with Him and glorify Him forever, not as a servant, but as a son or a daughter. Oh, beloved of God—do not ignore or neglect so great a salvation!
This great salvation is available to you right now! Simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
The book of Hebrews is a letter written to the Hebrew followers of Jesus—believers who were born and raised under the old covenant. They once related to God through rules, regulations, and rituals until the new covenant—the better covenant—was made when the Lamb of God came to take away the sin of the whole world.
These previously religious people experienced the joy, strength, and freedom that came with this new relationship with God through Jesus. Religion—with its rules, repetition, and ritual—might seem safe, but as we’ll see throughout the book of Hebrews—Jesus is better.
What makes Him better? And what is He better than? It’s something we considered as we continued our study in Hebrews this past Sunday. Watch a replay of our livestream or listen to the audio of our study of Hebrews 1:4-14.
Hebrews 4:11 gives an encouragement to believers everywhere and in all times: “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…”
Times of rest and re-creation and refreshment seldom happen spontaneously. It takes some effort to plan them and schedule them and commit to them. Imagine what might happen if you schedule time to get away with Jesus. Imagine how life could be different if you would enter into the rest that He gave us. What a wonderful gift!
The more time you spend with Jesus and the more effort you put into scheduling time to “get away” with Him, the more you’ll want to do that more.
And yet…you might not fully know who you are giving time to. Jesus is so wonderfully described in the first three verses of Hebrews. He is:
1. The Heir of all things
2. The Creator of the worlds
3. The brightness of God’s glory
4. The express image of God Himself
5. Upholding all things by the word of His power
6. The One who purged our sins
7. Seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high
This is the Savior who wants to get away with you! He wants to spend time with you! So what do you think about grabbing your calendar and planning time to spend with Him? He promises that if you do that and come to Him, you will find rest—relief and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet—for your soul.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
In the past, God spoke through the prophets many times and in various ways. He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah using vocal preaching. He spoke through the prophet Ezekiel using visual preaching. He spoke through the prophet Jonah using a human experience. He spoke through the prophet Hosea using a human relationship.
But in these last days, God has spoken to us! Our God—the same God that spoke to the prophet Jeremiah, to Ezekiel, to Jonah, to Hosea, and to many more—has chosen to speak to us, not through just a prophet, but through His Son Jesus.
This same Jesus wants to speak to you. This same Jesus wants to be with you. He not only wants to give you rest, He wants you to enter into that rest—that deep and abiding rest that settles your very soul. This Jesus wants to go on holiday—a holy day—with you.
This past Sunday, we started with the first three verses of Hebrews and looked at the rest that Jesus gives freely in these last days. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study and discover the rest that we are encouraged to make every effort to enter.
The book of Hebrews is a great reminder to all believers. This letter reminds us that God is near—right here with us to help us through His word and by His Spirit. He helps us to stand in faith, to run in faith, to serve in faith, to love in faith, and to fight in faith. This will happen when we spend time looking to Jesus rather than looking at our circumstances, our limitations, or our deficiencies.
Instead of the constant roundabout of our our feebleness and faithlessness, we need to spend more time in wonder and worship at the feet of Jesus. And as we consider Him and behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus, we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. The more we study Him, the more our faith increases, the quicker our strength recovers, and the faster our joy returns.
But the opposite is true as well. The more we study obstacles and opposition in our way (our personal Goliaths), the more our faith falters, the quicker our strength shrinks, and the faster our joy disperses. When our Goliaths captivates all of our attention, anxiety and anger are more likely to conquer our hearts.
The book of Hebrews will change the way we see Jesus. As it unveils the glorified Jesus and as we stand in awe in worship, we will find our feebleness and faithlessness fade away and we will find our rest in Him.
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
David vs. Goliath. A fight for the ages. The heavy favorite: a blasphemous Philistine giant. The unlikely underdog: a faith-filled Israeli shepherd boy. But in this battle, weaponry had little to do with the outcome. There was something more behind the stone in the sling of that shepherd boy that day. “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…” (1 Samuel 17:45).
The secret to David’s victory is no secret. It wasn’t in the stones he picked or the sling he swung. David fought in faith. He faced Goliath in faith. He didn’t measure the giant by himself or his ability. David was able to stand strong and fight in faith because He measured Goliath by God.
This kind faith is far too underutilized. And so, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the author of Hebrews picked up his quill to encourage believers to stand, and to walk, and to fight in faith.
So many times, we fight in our own strength and measure our Goliaths against our ability. But faith looks at our Goliaths and measures them against God. It gives us the grit and determination to run forward to fight, knowing and proclaiming that the battle belongs to the Lord.
So how do you increase in faith so you can fight by faith? It’s what we considered this past Sunday as we began our study of the book of Hebrews. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we learned to lift our eyes off of the obstacles before us and look to the Lord.
“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
Acts 17:27 tells us that the Lord is near—He is not far from each one of us. Although He is near, He must be found.
Now at first read, that might sound like a contradiction. But there is a difference between knowing that someone is around and knowing where they are. Jesus isn’t hiding when times are difficult, but He is drawing us in to deeper fellowship with Him. We must seek Him so we can find Him.
But what does that look like? Where do you get to know Him? Prayer and Bible reading. It’s really that simple.
Talk to Jesus and read your Bible. Pour out your heart to Him—tell Him your hopes and fears and concerns and burdens and joys and sorrows. Ask Him to answer your questions…and then read His answers in Scripture—not just to obtain information or attain spiritual status, but so that you can know Him.
But maybe you’ve never met Jesus. Maybe this reality of Him being near is new to you. Maybe you don’t know where to begin. Friend, you can start your search for Him right now! Call out to the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
In times of uncertainty, we can run to Jesus for safety and security. He is our refuge and strength. He is ready to help when we need Him.
But how? How do we find a strong and safe shelter in Jesus in the midst of the storms of life? How is Jesus our refuge and strength? How is He helpful in our times of trouble?
These are good questions for us to ask—and to keep asking until we find the answers. And so, we asked them of the Lord during our time of worship this past Sunday. And we found the answers in Psalm 46.
Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to the audio of our study as we considered the refuge we have in the Lord.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends