Hebrews 10:19-25 – Live In Community

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

The Preacher has given us a lot to think about over the past several readings. How do you respond knowing “Jesus opened a new and life-giving way” giving us the ability to “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him”? Have you let the magnitude of that promise really sink in?

Maybe you’re even asking yourself, “now what?” When our hearts start to overflow with gratitude and admiration, we call that praise and worship. Our response can simply be to honor God with our worship. When we fully trust God, we start to see the blessings in our lives more clearly. We can’t help but want to give thanks and praise to God.

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Hebrews 4:14-5:10 – Our High Priest

Read Hebrews 4:14-5:10

The idea of having a High Priest is a bit foreign to most of us because of what Jesus did for us. But the Preacher’s audience of Jews would have encountered a high priest regularly at festivals and animal sacrifices. A high priest was needed to cleanse their sins, up until 70 AD when animal sacrifice stopped. This reading does a good job of explaining the importance of what a high priest does for the people.

To be a high priest was a great honor given only by God. Even Jesus didn’t assume that would be his role despite fitting the criteria perfectly. It seems having the awareness of human weakness was important for the high priest. Until Jesus, even the high priests fell prey to sin and would have to cleanse themselves.

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Jonah 2:1-10 – God Used What?

Read Jonah 2:1-10

Our story continues, and we hear about what happened to Jonah after going overboard during the ferocious storm. Jonah does this in the form of a prayer. And he prays this from the belly of a fish! From the sounds of it, God’s rescue of Jonah was “just in time” using the fish to catch him and bring Jonah to safety.

Jonah prayed, and God heard him. “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.” It didn’t matter that Jonah had turned his back on God and avoided doing what God had asked him to do. Jonah wisely realized that his only hope was in the very God he was running from. God was also faithful and did not let the rebellious Jonah die.

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Jeremiah 42:1-22 – Ask God First

Read Jeremiah 42:1-22

Ask Knock Matthew 7 words against sun shining through clouds

Is it easier to ask permission or seek forgiveness? I can remember as a youth wanting to do something that instinctively I knew my parents would forbid. So, if I were to go through with it, I’d be asking for forgiveness instead. That is certainly not easy! While I was a rebellious teen, I did try to ask for permission as often as possible!

In our passage today, we see the leaders seeking God’s input to their situation. The people approached Jeremiah and asked him to pray to God. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? But it was almost as if their fingers were crossed behind their backs. They were putting on a good show, weren’t they?

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1 Timothy 2:1-7 – Pray Now!

Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7

girl praying

Paul urges us here. What an intense message! It’s not simply a suggestion that we pray. We are even told what to pray for. For other people. You know it’s a gift you can given another human being they may never know you gave. God is the one who matters anyway, and he will be pleased.

Paul’s urgent plea tells us how to pray as well. “Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” Everyone we encounter needs a Savior. Everyone has a secret hurt or struggle, but not everyone has taken that to God. Our need for prayer has no bounds. That’s why intercession is so powerful. We can carry those burdens for others right to the throne of God!

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