Thursday Morning: 06 Jun 2019 – Hebrews 2:1-18 ~ Jesus became like us

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

Morning Reading – Hebrews 2:1-18 (NLT)

A Warning against Drifting Away

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.

Jesus, the Man

And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. For in one place the Scriptures say,

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him? Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them authority over all things.”

Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.”

He also said,

“I will put my trust in him,” that is, “I and the children God has given me.”

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
__________

Morning Reflection:

For us and for our salvation.… (Nicene Creed)

Our reading begins with a warning for believers to remain in the truth that Jesus himself delivered and God confirmed by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.

So what is the truth – why did Jesus become like us?

+ to fulfill God’s purpose for everyone
+ to suffer death for everyone
+ to bring many of us to glory
+ to destroy the devil and his power
+ to deliver us from the fear of death
+ to become a priest who intercedes for us
+ to become a sacrifice for everyone’s sins
+ to help us when we are tested

In essence, Jesus became like us, to make us like him.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you know anyone who you thought was a believer, but has since fallen away from the truth they have heard? Please explain.
  • How can you prevent yourself from drifting away from the truth you have heard? Please explain.
  • Fear of dying is the litmus test for believers. What concerns you about your own death and dying? How does Jesus fit into your concerns? Please explain.
  • What sort of temptations affect your life? How can Jesus help you with them? Please explain.
  • Do you think you are becoming more like Jesus? Yes/No? Please explain.

_________

Morning Prayer:

Life Support Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, in you we have a living hope: Reveal yourself to those for whom life seems overwhelming and have become weary of waiting for an answer. Stir their hearts to a lively resurrection of hope that cannot be put down. Empower and equip believers to reflect your welcome, love, and care to all they meet who may tend toward despair. I ask this for your Name’s sake. Amen.

Prayer: For Grace to Seek God in Every Way – Benedict of Nursia

Gracious and holy Father, please give me intellect to understand you, reason to discern you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you, a heart to meditate upon you, ears to hear you, eyes to see you, a tongue to proclaim you, a way of life pleasing to you, patience to wait for you, and perseverance to look for you. Grant me a perfect end, your holy presence, a blessed resurrection, and life everlasting. Amen

__________

“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” – Selah

__________

Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Monday Morning: 06 May 2019 – Mark 7:1-23 ~ monitor your heart

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

Morning Reading – Mark 7:1-23 (NLT)

Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity

One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
__________

Morning Reflection:

monitor your heart

“It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you;
you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”
– Mark 7:15

Hypocrisy: “God requires soul worship, and men give Him body worship; He asks for the heart, and they present Him with their lips; He demands their thoughts and their minds, and they give him banners, and vestments, and candies.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Evil thoughts are the ground out of which the evil actions and attitudes grow. Sin proceeds from the heart (human nature) to the thoughts (human mind) to actions (human deeds).

It’s a never-ending cycle leading to sin and death. Only Jesus can break the cycle by making us new creations in him with – clean hearts, renewed minds, and godly living.

Questions for consideration:

  • Hypocrisy is a universal problem for believers. Can you think of ways that hypocrisy has crept into you life? Please explain.
  • Have you monitored your heart lately? What’s going on inside you? Please explain.
  • As you go through the “vile things” that Jesus lists, are any of theses a problem for you -“sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness?” Please explain.

_________

Morning Prayer:

Prayer for Christians in the midst of persecution:

Heavenly Father: I pray for Christians suffering persecution and hardship because of their faith. Meet them in their deepest sorrow and comfort them. Strengthen them in faith that they may continue to follow you, and empower them with your Spirit to respond in love to the evil shown by their persecutors – that doors will open to share the Good News of your Kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

My Prayer:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

“New Heart” – Mosaic MSC

__________

Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen