Scripture reading for February 19th: Leviticus 4-7, Hebrews 3
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-14 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
Unbelief is a deadly sin and God sees it as evil. It always leads people away from God and into greater darkness. It hardens the heart and deceives our minds. Believers are to exhort one another to keep the faith and hold fast our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin. “Today” is the only day we have to live by faith. Tomorrow may be too late! We will stand before God and answer.
Faith Confession and prayer: I hold on to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the only way of salvation. Lord help me to be watchful over my life and others, exhorting myself and them to hold fast to faith in God’s promise through Jesus.
Leviticus 6:27-30 “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering. And the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar. . .”
Scripture reading for November 29th: 2nd Corinthians 5-8
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:21-6:2 “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Paul urged the Corinthians to receive the grace of God and hold fast to it. That grace is summed up in the fact that God made Jesus Christ, His Son, to be sin for us that we might receive the gift of righteousness. This offer of favor is for now, today! We do not have a guarantee of tomorrow in this life! We can receive God’s grace in vain by hearing the gospel but failing to respond! May it never be!
The blessing of God’s favor: “This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!'” (Isaiah 49:8-9)
Scripture reading for October 18th: Hebrews 4
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Hebrews 4:11-13 “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
The writer of Hebrews used the example of the nation of Israel and their failure to enter the promised land because of the ten spies evil report. He warned New Testament believers of the importance of hearing and believing God’s word. We must act in obedience on what God said through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Sabbath rest. Today is the day to rest in His finished work! Failure to enter into Christ’s salvation rest is known to God and will be made evident on the day of Christ!
Observations for over-comers: Today is the day of Sabbath rest in Christ Jesus! Live by faith in His finished work! “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (Psalm 95:7-8, Hebrews 3:7, 4:15)
Scripture reading for October 19th: Hebrews 4
The Old Testament Jews failed to enter the rest of faith because of unbelief. They hardened their hearts and disobeyed God and did not enter the promised land by resting in faith in God’s promises. They tried to achieve favor with God through works of their own and keeping the Law. They did not simply trust in the promise of God.
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God: for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us , therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11) Jesus Christ is our Sabbath-rest. He finished the work necessary for salvation and offered His blood, once for all. All who believe in Him will be saved and enter His rest.
“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who had been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) We can rest in confidence that Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, will give us the mercy and grace we need to find rest in His promises! We can ask boldly and receive!
Scripture reading for July 31st: Isaiah 49-51
“This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “(Isaiah 49:8-9)
These next chapters of Isaiah tell of the “servant” of the Lord that would come to bring the promised comfort, salvation, and deliverance to God’s people. Isaiah had already said that “Immanuel” would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14) In Isaiah 9:5-6 He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of peace! His government would be without end! In Isaiah 49:5-6 God told how He would form His servant in the womb. This servant would bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel. Then God said that He would also make this servant a light for the Gentiles, bringing His salvation to the ends of the earth!
Jesus began the time of favor in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2) Notice how similar this quote is to our text for today’s devotion! Jesus Christ announced His ministry of preaching, healing and deliverance to those in His home town of Nazareth. They did not receive the message with the joy that was expected, but became furious and tried to throw Jesus off the brow of a steep cliff!
The “time of favor” referred to the year of Jubilee during which every Israelite would have his inheritance restored! If they had lost property through neglect or illness or bad business dealings, the property was to be restored. (Leviticus 25:8-13) Jesus Christ was stating that He was their ‘Jubilee’!
Today we live in the “time of His favor” with promised restoration! Be sure to thank the Lord for what He has done in Jesus Christ! Proclaim this good news with someone who needs God’s favor today!
Scripture reading for November 1st: Hebrews 3:1-19
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all of God’s house. … Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house.” (Hebrews 3:1-2, 5-6a)
Jesus is the focus of all true believers. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ to save us, we are adopted into God’s family and become ‘holy brothers’ with Jesus, the Son of God. (Romans 8:14-15) (Galatians 3:26) Jesus was appointed by His Father to the roles He obediently assumed. The Son of God was obedient and faithful to His calling. In fixing our thoughts on Jesus, we can grow in our worship and understanding of who He is and who we are in Him!
The writer to the Hebrews was contrasting Jesus with Moses. Moses, being picked by God, was faithful to lead God’s people out of slavery and through the desert for forty years. This journey should not have taken forty years. The sin of unbelief caused the people to turn back and die in the desert! Jesus Christ was and is God’s Son, holding a position of greater honor than Moses! Jesus is leading us to Father’s house!
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,. . See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at the first.” (Hebrews 3:7, 12-14) The Hebrews had not listened to God speaking through Moses during the Exodus. They had let their flesh turn their hearts back to Egypt and this kept them from entering the promised land. The sin was failure to trust God to bring them into their land! Jesus promises to take us in–Today! We must continue to pay close attention and follow Him to Glory!