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Friday, April 10, 2015

Business as Usual Won't Cut It


THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Hebrews 7:11-19): 11-14
If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn't have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. But since it didn't get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, which is why there is nothing in Jesus' family tree connecting him with that priestly line.
15–19 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life—he lives!—"priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek." The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.

THOUGHTS: This appears to be a complex passage for a layperson to try and explain to anyone, or give you the theological meaning of, so I won't try to do that!! However, I am a firm believer that God's Word is in place for us to meditate on and allow God's Holy Spirit to minister to our hearts so that we may be drawn to a closer relationship with the Father. Here's how this impacted me: I was reminded recently that to understand a passage, try and picture the audience for whom it was written, the time in which it was written and by whom it was written. So for a brief moment, let's think about the audience, a people who had been used to the leadership of Levitical priests. Then came this new priesthood of Melchizedek, who was radically different to anything the people were used to – a perfect analogy of the 'priesthood' of Jesus Christ, the One known as our great High Priest; our spiritual leader; our mediator with God the Father! I believe that God prompted me to share that we must be careful about allowing anything or anyone to be our sole leadership spiritually. Not the church – no matter how much we love our church; and not the pastor/priest/bishop/etc – no matter how much we respect and love them. For, although we should take the teachings of the church and our leaders to heart, what really matters is our personal relationship with the Son of God – Jesus Christ. To have a relationship with Jesus, we must go before Him in reverence and fear, Admit that we have sinned and desperately need a Savior; Believe that Jesus is God's Son and only He who can forgive us of our sin; and Confess that we can do nothing to save ourselves, short of accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Yes, confess our unworthiness, but seek after His righteousness. Friends, we are told in God's Word, that no tradition taught by our ancestors could facilitate our righteousness or relationship with Jesus Christ, it is only through us personally Admitting; Believing and Confessing of our sins that we totally surrender ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Yes, this may be very radical for some who have followed various traditions over the years, like the Israelites did with the Levitical priests, but let me challenge you to examine the Word of God and validate this for yourself, then take the appropriate action to sure up your eternal salvation. Jesus loves us dearly, sacrificially and wholeheartedly. There is nothing greater He would desire of us than to know that we have accepted His great love for us. Do it today friend, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for setting the path for us to receive You as our Lord and Savior. Thank You for sacrificing Your very own Son to make this a possibility for us. As with the Levitical priests back in the day, and with our various denominational beliefs and practices today, they attract us to follow their various twists on what they understand from Your Word, however You clearly made a way for us to come straight to the source - the only Biblical way for us to be saved from our own sinful selves. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the cross, but thank You even more that Jesus arose – an expression of the true life that we have in You when we become one with You. Please help us to be a people of the Book, so that we may be led to be servants of Your Son Jesus, who will lead us to all Truth with lives pleasing to You in every way. Our churches and our pastors/leaders are excellent resources for us to grow in our relationship with You, but continue to impress upon us that our true strength comes from You, and it's You that we should live for every day of our lives. Thank You Father, and I ask that You hear my cry, increase my joy, and answer all my requests today so that I and my readers may be drawn closer to You now, and throughout eternity! AMEN!

 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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