Posts Tagged Hebrews 13: 8

Pardoned

Micah 7: 18

Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.

I pray this revelation will fill the earth, and the church. God isn’t angry. He does not retain His anger but rather lets it go in favor of unchanging love. Yahoo! And just consider that this is a passage out of the Old Testament. Frankly, there are lots of New Testament believers who think God is angry now. Some folks are willing to concede that God is now a God of love but they think He was an angry God before. The truth is that God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8). If we take a position that God was angry, revengeful, and wrathful our hearts convict us. We cannot truly believe in a God who is love and live in that love if we believe this same “person” is the one who tortures us and is angry with us. We have to choose – is God an angry deity or is He love?

So do you want another little bite of truth? God sent Jesus to the earth in the Old Covenant, not the New. Even the New Testament begins with Jesus’ birth, yes? So, that means that when God sent him, it was still the Old Testament. Are you following along with me? That would mean that this vengeful, evil, mean, wrathful GOD sent His beloved son to die for us. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Look at today’s Old Testament verse. God chose way back in the day to pardon iniquity and to pass over our rebellious acts. What is that about? Then He chose not to be angry because His very nature is love. He chose to love us rather than to hold onto His anger. He has chosen to put His love for us above our sin.

Here is the bottom line. God chose love over sin. He chose to focus on His love for us rather than on our stinking iniquity. His love has overcome our sin. He put sin under the mercy seat and under the blood. He isn’t writing your name in a book and inscribing beside it every sin you have ever committed. No, your name only has one word written beside it, “Forgiven” and it is written in crimson. You’ve just got to get happy about that. You are forgiven.
Just one side point. I like that God takes His own advice. He has told us not to hold onto our anger. In fact, He said to let not the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4: 26). It’s good to see that He has let go of His anger too.

Lordly Duties

Exodus 15: 26        NIV    Index Card 11

I am the Lord that heals you.

There is something about the tone of this verse which blesses me. It is almost as if God is saying that healing is in His job description, like healing us is part of what it means to be Lord.

One of the key points I take from the last two days’ verses is that they are both from the Old Testament. Do you know that old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same?” It seems the same can be said of scripture. Many of us think of healing as a New Testament theology but it is not. God was into healing long before Jesus’ amazing healing ministry. We know that God is not one to change (Hebrews 13: 8). Therefore, we can have confidence that He wants to heal us today. The God of the Old Testament was a Lord who heals. Jesus healed multitudes of people; therefore, they will heal us today. I love good news, don’t you?

Feeding the Multitude

2 Kings 4: 42 – 44       NIV

A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said. “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

Does this story sound familiar to you? Sure it does. In Matthew 14: 13 and 15: 32 we read the accounts of two separate times when Jesus fed great multitudes of people with meager supplies. Does it surprise you that Jesus was not the first one to perform this miracle? This shows us three things: 1) there are parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament, 2) Jesus operated in the earth as others had before him, and 3) that what Jesus said in John 14: 12 is possible.

First, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13: 8). Jesus has not changed since the beginning of time; nor has his father or the Holy Spirit. They are unchangeable. Therefore, the power, the love and the miracles that we see from Old Testament times are just as viable today as they were thousands of years ago. Further, we should not be surprised to see parallels between the two parts of the Bible when we understand the unchangeable nature of God.

Secondly, it is important for us to realize that when Jesus walked the earth he did so as a human being. Philippians 2: 7 tells us that Jesus did not come in his godly power and authority but rather that he “stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being” (Amplified Version). The Living Bible says he “laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.” This is a very important concept for us to grasp. Many times we hear people say, “Oh, well, Jesus was God afterall” in defense of why miracles are not happening in our modern culture. But that is an inaccurate portrayal. Jesus emptied himself of his divinity and walked the earth as a human being with all the attendant frailties. He just walked with God in a way that most of us do not. Jesus’ earthly ministry proves that we can also walk and talk with God as he did because he was a man and had to interact with the world like any other human being. His deity did not explain his close union with God nor did it account for the miracles that he performed. Today’s passage is proof of that. Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes was not from his own divine power. Instead he relied on the God of Elisha to perform the exact same work that Elisha did. 

Lastly, why is this so important? When we comprehend that Jesus had to live and work like any other person it removes the complacency and doubt from our minds and hearts. If Jesus did all that he did without relying on his divinity and instead operated in his humanity then it means that we can see the same miracles today; not only see, mind you, but perform. It makes Jesus statement in John 14: 12 palatable; “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” The uncomfortable part of this is that it also removes our excuses. Jesus performed miracles by relying on the father’s power. We have the same father and His power has not diminished a jot. Not only that but Jesus has now returned to his divinity and we have him in addition to the father. And are you ready for strike three. Jesus also poured out the Holy Spirit on mankind on the Day of Pentecost. So, we have all of the power and all of the help we could ever need. We have only to wrap our minds, and hearts, around the truth and then we too can bless people with miracles of every kind.