November 7

Hebrews 4

The purpose of building a home is to live in it. While the house is under construction, there is no occupancy; however, once the home is complete, the work is over. Then someone can go in and reside. This is illustrative of the Hebrew receiving Christ, going from the performance of the Law, or works, to the grace of God, or a rest from performing. The Christian is not at rest from activity, but rather, at rest from trying to achieve righteousness on his or her own merit. Even a Gentile can get out of the rest of grace, attempting to achieve something from God. The works are a religious activity, such as perfect attendance at church, the discipline of Bible reading or prayer, serving in the church or in outreach, giving tithe and offerings, and even saying the right phrases and Scriptures. If it doesn’t come from a place of grace through surrendered faith; it is positioned in self-sufficiency. Real faith that rests in grace will receive from God; a fake faith will try to get from God. Real faith that rests in grace will trust; a fake faith will work hard trying instead of trusting. It’s in the position. Are we living in grace, resting in the work Christ accomplished, giving us a position of right standing? Or are we struggling with grace? Do we abide, rest, in the Father’s love, as one would enter in and occupy a home? Do we receive His Word by faith even if we don’t see the results right away? Do we have a relationship where we live together with no questioning, doubting, or proving ourselves? When we learn to abide with Him and let His words live in us, we live a victorious Christian life where we put action and obedience to God’s Word from a position of right standing.

Furthermore, we find another favorite verse that we often quote out of context. In verse 12 it says that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In context, this verse follows a verse about those who are living in the righteous position received by grace compared to the religious or disobedience who are living by works. The Word will discern between the two – are you trusting or trying? Are you resting or earning?

Some are very disciplined and take pride in their discipline, acting superior to those less disciplined. They walk a straight line of obedience, but they find fault and criticize those who fail. They are very faithful to attend, but unfaithful to submit. They are givers, but they want to control where their money goes. They will serve in the church, but they want to manipulate the visionary. God will give grace to the humble, but He will resist the proud, including the religiously proud, as well as the rebellious sinner.

It is by grace that we are saved. It is by grace that we are content and complete, at peace, or at rest. It is by grace that we received the promises of God. It is by grace that we enter into an intimate relationship with God by the Spirit. This is why we often see an immature Christian being supernaturally blessed and an older saint becoming hard and brittle. That pharisaical spirit will resent the grace offered to the immature. Individually we are to receive grace. As local churches, groups of individual people, we are to receive and extend grace. However, some churches operate in their own sufficiency, as seen in their attitudes and behaviors. As we mature in Christ, the more we should celebrate the grace of God, individually and collectively.

Jeremiah 46-48

Jeremiah 48:7 says, “because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken.” The Hebrews knew that God was God, but they failed to lean on God, and rather trusted in themselves. To have a relationship with God, our Father requires that we acknowledge and diligently look to Him in reliance. It’s not Him trying to control us to take away our freedom, but rather us yielding to Him to experience His life.

In chapters 46-48 Jeremiah delivers messages of judgment concerning Egypt, Philistia, and Moab. As the Jews are experiencing consequences to their behavior, God is also allowing judgment on surrounding nations. When we see the judgment of God in our world today, we are quick to blame the world for sin; however, I suggest we first look to the house of God. Are our churches yielded to a move of His Spirit? Are our pastors and church leadership living in holiness? Are our churches treating hurting people with gentleness as Christ would treat them? Are our churches reaching out to the lost? Are we honoring our pastors? Are we submitting to our leadership and following the church vision? If judgment is coming, perhaps it is coming first to the house of God. If so, the good news is that we can repent individually and collectively, and experience the forgiveness of God and cause a revival to come to our land.

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