Lead Pastor Don Jackson continues the God the Pursuer series, looking at a variety of passages from the book of Jeremiah to help us understand God’s calling and covenant.
March 17 – Hebrews 11
LOOK: The Heroes Hall of Faith…read this passage about the Old Testament heroes that lived by faith even before Jesus came as the fulfillment of God’s promise. Here’s how the passage ends, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
LISTEN: This passage makes it clear that people of all ages are saved by faith alone. There are not several ways to salvation presented in Scripture. The people of the Old Testament were saved by faith in God even though they did not see Christ come personally.
LEARN: Aren’t you thankful that not only do we know about God but we also have the full picture of God’s plan of Salvation through faith in Jesus presented to us in Scripture?
March 16 – Proverbs 11
LOOK: “The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.”
LISTEN: This is just a sampling of the wisdom in this passage. Once again, I want to warn you as you read these proverbs. These are statements that speak to what usually is the outcome for righteousness or sin or pride or humility. The statements are not promises that it will always go this way. Read the proverbs as a guideline for how to live right.
LEARN: Which of these proverbs do you want to cling to today?
March 15 – Hebrews 10
LOOK: We continue to look at the superiority of Christ over the old system of sacrifices by human priests. The author continues to show how that old system could not satisfy a Holy God. “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
LISTEN: The only payment that could be made that would fit the bill was a perfect sacrifice, one that only Jesus could offer. Next we are challenged to continue in the faith and not give up. Perseverance was a theme that this author insisted on. Those that give up and leave the faith show that they never received forgiveness and need to be saved.
LEARN: Are you remaining faithful? Abide in Christ…apart from Him there is no life.
Sorry…Got Behind. This should get us back to date.
March 1 – Acts 28
LOOK: Stranded on an island, Paul continues to preach and minister. He heals many people and is miraculously healed himself after he is bitten by a viper that was very poisonous.
Paul ends up in Rome and the book of Acts ends with this paragraph, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”
LISTEN: We have learned a lot from the life of Paul. Once again he arrives in a place he wasn’t expecting to be and he begins to serve God. Paul makes a difference everywhere he is.
LEARN: Are you making a difference for God where you live? We need to look for the everyday opportunities that God gives us to be bright and salty Christians for Him.
March 2 – Proverbs 9
LOOK: “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
LISTEN: Scripture tells us that we will face abuse when we stand up for what is right and true. The unwise will mock the wise and reject good instruction.
LEARN: Have you ever faced the wrath of people that would not take good council? Don’t waste time trying to convince the unwise to make wise decisions. Be wise and keep the company of wise people.
March 3 – Hebrews 1
LOOK: Hebrews begins with the superiority of Christ. He is greater than the angels and above all things
LISTEN: God loves His Son and He has restored Him to His throne at the right hand of the Father.
LEARN: Do you know Jesus in this way? Is He just past of what you do on Sunday? Make sure Jesus is superior in your life everyday.
March 5 – Hebrews 2
LOOK: The author of the book of Hebrews continues to make the case for Jesus’ superiority but now makes the case for His substitutionary atonement.
LISTEN: We learn how Jesus came in human form to redeem humans not as an angel for the angels. In Christ, we have a Savior that came as a man and endured temptation, died for our sins and rose victorious over sin and death.
LEARN: Is Jesus your Savior? Have you received His salvation by grace through faith in your life? The most important question for you to answer is this…Have you been made alive spiritually or are you still dead in your sins?
March 6 – Hebrews 3
LOOK: We have already read in the first two chapters of Hebrews that Jesus is greater than the angels, now we are hearing the argument that Jesus is greater than Moses. This might not seem like big news to you and me but to the original audience, Moses and the Law was everything. The Jewish audience had to accept Jesus as God’s Son and stop looking to the Law for salvation.
LISTEN: Looking at the sincere faith of the Jewish people gives us a good example that sincere faith is not enough…it has to be a sincere faith in the right and only truth – Jesus.
LEARN: It is so easy to loose our focus on Jesus. There are so many traps (even religious traps) for us to fall into that take our focus off of Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus!!
March 7 – Hebrews 4
LOOK: In this passage, the author of Hebrews begins to introduce Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant. At this point in time the Gospel has been spread to the non-Jewish world and the author explains that the Old Covenant made with Israel based on the Law is over and that the New Covenant of Grace, based on Christ, is here.
LISTEN: I am so grateful that we are living in the New Covenant and that God has made a way for me and you to be saved!
LEARN: The New Covenant is received by grace through faith. God has performed the acts of the covenant through Christ at the cross. Have you received the promise of the New Covenant by repenting of your sin and declaring your faith in God? “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
March 8 – Hebrews 5
LOOK: The author of Hebrews continues to make the case for Christ as our great High Priest. The point is made that Jesus did not seek the office of High Priest but was given the role as the Son of God. Jesus did not desire a position of honor but instead became our High Priest out of necessity for salvation to come through the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Then a transition was made to the topic of spiritual maturity. The author challenges his audience to grow spiritually and not remain like infants in the faith.
LISTEN: Once you surrender to Christ as your great High Priest, your life must exhibit the fruit of a developing disciple. A life of growing maturity in Christ should be our daily discipline.
LEARN: Are you growing in Christ? How are you different because of your faith than you were 5 years ago? 3 years ago? 1 year ago? If you are not developing as a disciple of Jesus than what is happening in your life?
March 9 – Proverbs 10
LOOK: There is so much in this passage! Each verse is a gem that needs to be slowly admired for its beauty. Take the time to read through this Proverb passage on Saturday.
LISTEN: Once you read through this passage, take the time to consider the truth that is being presented. Try to understand what the author is saying.
LEARN: Wisdom is not wisdom if it is not applied to real life. Reading wisdom requires some introspection. Take some time to see if the life you live is lining up with this wisdom.
March 10 – Hebrews 6
LOOK: The author of Hebrews challenges all believers to move beyond the basics and develop their faith. The author also makes a case for remaining in Christ. I don’t think the teaching here is about loosing your salvation, instead, I think the message is that once you are saved you can’t desert and come back to be saved again (Jesus can’t be crucified a second time). The passage ends with words of hope about our great high priest, Jesus.
LISTEN: The middle section of this passage about leaving the faith can be confusing. Read it carefully from the standpoint of eternal security instead of from a view that a person can loose their salvation and it might make more sense.
LEARN: Regardless of your views about eternal security, biblical teaching is clear…for those who have received salvation, remain in Christ. Abide…Remain…Endure…Last!!
March 12 – Hebrews 7
LOOK: This chapter is all about the comparison between Christ and the priest Melchizedek. Melchizedek is known as an example of what Christ would be like: Both king and priest; not from the line of Levi but chosen by God; greater than those who would give a tithe. One thing that sets Christ apart from Melchizedek is that Christ will live forever.
LISTEN: The author of Hebrews is going to great lengths to introduce Jesus as superior in every way. This is an important lesson for the Jews who were rejecting Christ as the Messiah. Maybe all of this seems pointless to you if you are already a believer in Jesus. However, this clear teaching about Jesus makes a clear case for His superiority and deity.
LEARN: Scripture tells us that Jesus is God’s Son and that He is the Messiah sent to save us. What do your actions tell us about who sits on the throne of your life? Is Jesus superior to everything else in your life?
March 13 – Hebrews 8
LOOK: Jesus is shown to be the High Priest of the New Covenant. Priests during the Old Covenant (Law) offered sacrifices in the temple but Jesus came to offer a final, perfect sacrifice that makes the need for earthly priests and sacrifices obsolete.
LISTEN: Once again, the author of Hebrews has to make a clear case for Christ for the Jewish community. They have been in the system of the law for a long time and it takes a lot for them to understand a new covenant of grace through Christ.
LEARN: Have you celebrated the new covenant lately? I know that I am very grateful that God chose to allow me to hear the Gospel and receive salvation by grace through faith.
March 14 – Hebrews 9
LOOK: This passage explains the importance of Christ being the mediator of the new covenant. The author describes the sacrifices made annually by the priests in the old covenant and contrasts that with Christ coming once and dying once as a final sacrifice for sins. Not only is sin dealt with through the blood of Christ but our conscience is now clear because of His forgiveness.
LISTEN: We have so much to be thankful for…we have Jesus (the perfect sacrifice for our sins), we have the Bible (teaching us about forgiveness), we have each other (to encourage righteous living). We are so blessed!!
LEARN: Have you expressed your gratitude for Jesus today? As we approach Easter, be thankful for a Savior born to die for us.