Hebrews 9

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Oh, Daddy! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! that “through the Spirit, Jesus offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing [me] from all those dead-end efforts to make [myself] respectable,” so that I can live all out for You!

Jesus, thanks for entering–not simply “the earthly version of the Holy Place, but–the Place Itself,” and You offered Yourself to our Father as the sacrifice for my sins forever!

You alone, O Lord, have made me clean… You declare me to be righteous, in right standing with You.  You have set me apart, made me holy.  You have freed me from the grip of sin.  You have called me Your very own daughter.   Thank You for Your mercy–for not giving me what I deserve.  Thanks for Your grace–for giving me far more than I deserve.  Keep on shaping my heart to resemble Your very own.  oh, yes! (amen)

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Hebrews 8

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, You awakened me this morning and greeted me with Your new mercy.  You are with me throughout the day as I walk in Your grace and as You guide me by Your Spirit.

This portion of the book of Hebrews is a reminder of how You chose to put away the old regulations and ceremonies under the old covenant that You made with Abraham and Moses.  You chose to create something wonderfully new in and through Jesus, just so that I could personally and intimately know You!

You said, “This new plan I’m making with My people isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled on stone; This time I’m writing out the plan IN them, carving it on the lining of their hearts.  I’ll be their God, they’ll be My people.  They won’t go to school to learn about Me, or buy a book called ‘God in Five Easy Lessons.’  They’ll all get to know Me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great.  They’ll get to know Me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.”

Thank You for the freedom to know You personally!  May the warmth of Your presence surround me this day! Draw me near to Your heart and into Your Word for some refreshment and just a chance to enjoy Your presence, when We get to be alone together.  Keep on making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Hebrews 7 (The Message); Psalm 18 & 32:7-8 (NIV)

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, thanks for Jesus!  This passage points out how the “former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside.”  (You knew that would happen; that the law wouldn’t bring anything to maturity.)  Then, You put in its place “another way– Jesus! — a way that DOES work, that brings [me] right into Your presence.”  You gave Your word; You won’t take it back.  You said to Jesus, “You’re the permanent priest.”  This “makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between You and [me]–one that really works!”

Jesus, thank You for being “there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to the Father through You.  You’re always on the job to speak up for me, for all of us.”  You are a high priest who perfectly fits my needs:  completely holy, uncompromised by sin, and with authority extending as high as our Father’s presence in heaven itself.  Unlike other high priests, You don’t have to offer sacrifices for Your own sins every day before You can get around to me and my sins.  You’ve done it once and for all: offered up YOURSELF as the sacrifice.  Thanks so MUCH Jesus!

Lord, You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my rock in whom I take refuge.  You are my shield and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold.  When I call to You, the One worthy of praise, I am saved from the enemy of my faith.  You are my support.  You rescue me because You delight in me!Ps1829

“To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure.”  You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning, turning the darkness that worry can bring into light in Your presence.

With Your help I can run through any barricade of distractions, procrastination, busy-ness, daydreams, unimportant time-wasters, etc.  It is YOU who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand (Jesus! 😉 sustains me.  You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.  You will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go; You will counsel me and watch over me.  You promise that Your unfailing love surrounds me because I trust in You!  oh, yes!

Hebrews 6

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, You have been continually at work in me since I first surrendered my heart to You.  You have nudged me, moved me, dragged me, so that I might “leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art.”  You are growing me up in Him.

Thank You for giving me a taste of heaven and for making me part of the work of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You for letting me experience the sheer goodness of Your Word and Your power within me.

Strengthen me to not drag my feet on this journey of faith with You, but rather, to “extend the same intensity toward a full-bodied hope (assurance) in You, and to keep at it ’til the finish.  Make [me] like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.” (MSG)

Your Word says, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.  It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us.” (MSG)

Thank You for giving Your word in Your Word, and for standing by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises.  Keep my faith firmly planted in Your Word.  Make my heart like the kind of soil that produces an abundance of crops so that many, many others can feast on the overflow of my heart, as they see You in me.  Make me just like Jesus.  Oh yes! (amen)

2 Timothy 4

May each life I touch grow to love Jesus more.

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“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge:” (v 1 NIV)

“PREACH THE WORD” (v 2 NIV)

“Proclaim the Message with integrity” (MSG).

Thank You for training me in understanding and teaching Your Word.  Keep me grounded in it, regularly, daily in it’s pages, so that it dwells in me richly (Colossians 3:16).  You be the one to formulate the words that proceed from my mouth when I open it in the midst of the opportunities You give to touch lives.

BE PREPARED in season and out of season” (v 2 NIV)

“Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable.  [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome,]…” (v 2 AMP). Cause me to be looking for the opportunities You supply.  Help me not to be so focused on my tasks connected to this world that I miss the tasks You have for me which are linked to eternity.  (“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, … in Christ all will be made alive … thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 15:19-20, 33, 58 NIV]).

CORRECT, REBUKE, & ENCOURAGE — with GREAT PATIENCE and CAREFUL INSTRUCTION (v 2 NIV)

“Challenge, warn, and urge your people.  Don’t ever quit.  Just keep it simple” (v 2 MSG).

When a blacksmith is altering the shape of a piece of metal to make it more useful or for a particular use, he takes it through a process.  The metal is thrust into intense heat in order to soften it, so that the following step is most effective.  Next the smith pounds the heated metal into the shape it’s going to become, changing its appearance and resourcefulness.  Then, it’s doused into water to cool it down again, the forging complete.  Oh, often this process is repeated many times, with perhaps different tools used for the pounding and great care and patience are employed.  All work together to bring the metal into the shape needed to carry out the work for which it’s destined.

Many times, Lord, You’ve held me in Your hands as the blacksmith holds that metal.  Through the correction, rebuke and encouragement You’ve given through Your people, Your Word, and Your Spirit, You’ve been shaping me with Your “great patience and careful instruction.”  You’re forging me so that I can be an effective tool in doing the same in the lives of others.  Keep on with the process, Lord.

“KEEP YOUR HEAD IN ALL SITUATIONS” (v 5 NIV

Father, continue to help me not to react quickly to jarring circumstances.  Bring Your peace upon my heart and mind as You supply understanding, discernment and wisdom in the process of my choosing my actions instead of reacting.  Hold a stalwart guard over my mouth, not letting me flippantly speak, until You’ve had the chance to speak to me first.  You’ve guided me in this direction for quite a while; keep on doing it.  Thank You for the advantages of “keeping my head” when it comes to being alert to temptation, “resistant to pressure, and ever vigilant when facing heavy responsibility” (from the NIV Life Application Study Bible, p. 2204).

“ENDURE HARDSHIP” (v 5 NIV)

“Accept the hard times along with the good” (v 5 MSG).

Here’s Paul at the end of his life — one that had been flooded with MANY “hard times” — encouraging a young servant.  This same Paul is the one who wrote to the Corinthians about the “thorn” You’d given him (2 Cor 12:7-10).  You taught him to be thankful for that “gift,” because through this weakness, Your grace radiated.

DO THE WORK of an evangelist, DISCHARGE ALL THE DUTIES of your ministry” (v 5 NIV)

“Keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant” (v 5 MSG).

When I became Your child, Father God, You commissioned and ordained me for Your ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:11-21).  You have sent me forth with Your (1) Great Commandment and (2) Your Great Commission:

1) “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND” (Matt 22:37 NIV) – Great Commandment

2) “…GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…” (Matt 28:19-20) – Great Commission

“The Great Commission encapsulates what we DO while the Great Commandment embodies who we ARE.”  (David Ferguson, The Great Commandment Principle, p. 9)

Help me to love YOU with all of me, so that it’s You loving and serving through me as I engage my energy, gifts, and resources in the ministry You’ve designed for me.  Keep forging me into the likeness of Jesus.  Amen.