Posts Tagged Hebrews 8: 6

Answer my Prayer

Psalm 20: 3 – 4             God’s Word

He will remember all your grain offerings and look with favor on your burnt offerings. Selah. He will give you your heart’s desire and carry out all your plans.

Do you know that there are some people to whom it is difficult to give? I had a friend that way. You couldn’t bless her. She refused kindness or just would not receive graciously. After a while, I just got tired of trying to be a blessing to her. She just made it too painful. I wonder if God has the same problem giving to us. Do we make it difficult?

Today’s psalm is a psalm of David. If you were to read the whole thing you would recognize his writing. One of the things I find most interesting in this selection is the “Selah” at the end of verse three. What is there about the content of verse three that should cause us to stop and ponder? Is it reasonable that God’s memory of all of your offerings inclines him to giving you your heart’s desire?

This would appear to be the operation of the covenant relationship between David and Yahweh. David contributed to the temple. He gave his tithes and offerings and God was aware of David’s faithfulness. David was bolstered by his gifts too because he understood the covenant. He knew that because he did his part, God would do His. There was a trust relationship between them. Of course David could boast in the name of God. He understood covenant relationships and he stood on his covenant. God proved time and again that He would do as He promised. Why then, does it seem that He isn’t fulfilling His promises to us?

If I had the answer to that I would write the book and all Christians would get all prayers answered. It is a question worth pondering though. Why would God even bother make us promises if He didn’t intend to keep them? It’s not like we had some sort of leverage to force Him to make a bargain with us. So, if He so charitably makes promises, will He not also keep them? What then marks a difference between those who receive of God and those who do not. I can’t help but think that it is this confidence that David shows in God keeping His covenant. Does that bold trust and unwavering assurance put David in a better position to receive? In verse 6 he wrote, “I know God gives me all that I ask for,” (Passion). Do you think most of us can say that with the same level of confidence? I want to be able to as I am sure you do also.

So here is what I leave you with today. What do you think distinguishes David from most of us? He was on the wrong side of the cross even, yet he had such confidence in God. Secondly, do you think the covenant relationship had something to do with David being able to receive from God? We have a better covenant than he and ours is made on better promises with a better mediator (Hebrews 8: 6, 12: 4). How is it that God gave him all he asked for when his covenant was inferior to ours and yet we do not seem to receive all we ask? I have questions for you rather than answers but often I believe the questions to be more important. Only the right question will lead you to the right answer. So, will you ponder these questions in light of today’s verse? We would love to hear from you.

Better Promises

Hebrews 7: 22, 8: 6

Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

Hopefully you read yesterday’s devotional on the plan, or the covenant, of blessing we have under the Abrahamic Covenant. If you did you may well ask how there can be a better covenant or one enacted on better promises. The covenant of blessing was pretty huge and encompassing if you ask me. None the less, God was not satisfied with that covenant. He wanted more and better for us.

For many of us there was one major problem with the previous covenant. It was a promise to Israel, not to the gentiles so that was one important way God improved the deal. Through Jesus, we also became eligible for all of the promises under the Old Covenant. Obviously, Jesus brought a lot of benefits to us through his life, death, sacrifice and resurrection. He broke the power of hell over us and took away the sting of death. We were lost and he found us. We are redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved and restored. There is nothing in the whole Kingdom of God forbidden to us now. All of God’s thoughts and wisdom are ours. Every blessing has been poured out on all the children of earth. Sin has been cleaned away and we now stand boldly in the throne room of God unmarred by the stain of sin. Jesus did that for us. We were unable but because of his delivering grace, we have now been adopted into the family of God. We are truly and factually the children of Yahweh, Jehovah God. All He has, He has bequeathed to us. No longer are we limited to earthly blessings, the assets of heaven are now ours because of Jesus. So, yeah, he improved the covenant. It was fabulously good before but now it is off the scale wonderful.

How great is our God and glorious all His good deeds to His children. May all of His purposes be fulfilled in the earth and all of His beloved draw unto Him with great gladness.

Victory in Jesus

Genesis 26: 28

And they said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you.”

This should be the testimony of Christianity. We really shouldn’t have to go testify to people and try to convince them that Christianity is a great way of life. They should just see it evidenced in our lives. That was Isaac’s testimony. The people around him saw the favor of God on everything he did. He didn’t have to say anything. I wish my life spoke as loudly as Isaac’s.

The problem with many of us is that we are living below the Christ level. What do I mean by that? Well, you have heard of the poverty level and that there are some who live below that minimum level of existence. This is similar. There is a level of victory and blessing that every Christian should be living at but it seems that there are only a few who have a revelation of how to live in Christian abundance. We need a class taught by Isaac. He had a revelation. One of my favorite passages is in this same chapter, verses 1 and 12. Verse 1 reveals that there was a famine in the land. Rather than pulling up his tent stakes and moving on to a more fertile area Isaac listened to the voice of the Lord and obeyed. Verse 12 tells us that in that year, in that time of famine and in that same land, Isaac sowed and “reaped in that same year a hundredfold.”

This is the legacy that has been passed down to us. This is our inheritance through Father Abraham. Truthfully, though, we should excel far beyond Isaac because we have an even better covenant, based on better promises and mediated by a better counselor (Hebrews 8: 6). We also can sow in the time of famine and reap a hundredfold. Then people will look at us and see the awesomeness of our God.

We should all succeed at everything we set our hand to because great is our God. However, there are some keys revealed here and that Isaac adhered to that will help us if we too follow them. First of all, when the famine came Isaac didn’t just run off in panic or churn his brain trying to figure out what to do. The first thing he did was to receive counsel from the Lord. It is going to be impossible to live above the Christian poverty line if we don’t first receive instruction from the Lord. It is His counsel that sets our feet on the profitable path. Secondly, Isaac obeyed. He heard what the Lord said and he did it. God told him not to go to Egypt but to stay in that land. So Isaac stayed. That is two keys so far: receive the counsel of the Lord, obey.

The third thing that Isaac did in this time of famine is outlandish. It goes against all conventional wisdom. Isaac sowed. What most people do in times of famine or economic depression is to hoard. They become very tight-fisted and stingy. This causes them to develop a scarcity mentality which continues to manifest in their lives and their finances until they develop a new attitude. Most of us end up eating our seed corn. In other words, we use the money that we are supposed to sow for our harvest rather than planting it. It is tough to reap a harvest if you haven’t first planted a crop. There are all kinds of seeds. Most of us think about money and that is fair. We are foolish if we don’t sow money. I am also reminded of the verse that says, “The sower sows the Word” (Mark 4: 14). We need to sow the Word into our lives, businesses, families, etc. That begins by putting the Word in you but then to sow it you must speak it.

You are meant to live in the hundredfold return. However, 100 X 0 = 0, so we must get some seed in the ground. We need a victory attitude and to turn our faces to the Lord our God. When we follow His direction we will succeed in every facet of our lives so that people will look at us and say, “Mighty is your God!” There are all kinds of seeds. Ask the Father what He would have you sow and get out your plow and get busy. Don’t hoard for goodness sake. If you are going through a tough time, find something, anything, and give it away. Let “Victory in Jesus” be your anthem and show the world the loving power of your Father.

Jesus and the Pharisees

Luke 11: 42

But woe to you Pharisees!  For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Jesus exclaimed to the Pharisees that they should tithe but in so doing they should not neglect justice and the love of God. They had one part down, at least they were tithing, but they were not showing the kindness, love and mercy that God requires.

Some people say that tithing is an Old Testament idea. Apparently, they forgot to tell Jesus. He says that the Pharisees were correct in their giving of ten percent of their income but that they erred in what they withheld. Jesus told them that the love of God extends beyond the tithe. It must be expressed to our fellows through tenderness, grace, kindness and a gentle heart.

We know that Jesus had real issues with the Pharisees and I find it easy sometimes to look down my nose at them. I like to think that if I had lived in those days I would not have erred the way the Pharisees did. We are more sophisticated in our faith and in revelation knowledge, aren’t we? But then I look around and I wonder . . . are we bountiful in justice and mercy? Do we express the love of God that He has so abundantly given to us? 

And what of the tithe? Statistics tell us that an extremely small percentage of American Christians tithe? This makes me wonder. If Jesus were to tarry, how will future generations perceive us? Will they say that we were much more savvy and dedicated in our faith than our predecessors? Or will they think we were the generation that served God with our lips but our hearts were far away (Matthew 15:8). Is Jesus’ blood calling us hypocrites? Do we serve him only with our mouths but not with our hearts or even our pocketbooks? Tithing should be the easy part, even the Pharisees did that. And if we have withheld our hearts and the gifts of our bounty, how can we change a generation of people?

Judgment has not been given into our hands but intercession has. We do not need a move of the Holy Spirit in order to pray for our church, land and generation. We are living in a better dispensation that the nation of Israel. We have a better covenant based on better promises and with a better mediator (Hebrews 8: 6). It seems that we ought, therefore, to be able to live a life beyond that of the Pharisees; a life of greater enlightenment and grace and of more impactful prayers since we can pray in the name of Jesus. Individually and then collectively we can become the people of God’s hand, a people after His own heart. As we allow the love of God which has been shed abroad in our hearts to bloom and swell it overflows with love for all people and generosity is a by-product of the grace that our Father has shown us. You and I can change our nation, our town and our church. When we clasp hands and faith in the name above all names, mountains must move. Let us be known as the mighty church.