Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Religious text’

God in Our Imagination 060413

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of

Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

God the Father 16

God the Father 16 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the

very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%205%09&version=MSG

Nehemiah 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%201:1-11%09&version=MSG

Acts 3:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%203:1-10%09&version=MSG

God in Our Imagination 060413

As spring wears into very early summer, I’ve begun considering the

nature of God. The flowers of spring and the rampant green growth

usually (every year!) lead me into a vibrant,alive spirituality. I

love God in the springtime for what he has done. And when I see the

beauty of spring, I love God. I love God for what it looks like he

has created. If instead, spring was filled with concrete,

overpopulated cities, despoiled hazardous waste landfills, blackened

and poisonous rivers and streams—if that’s all there was, would I

not love God?

A friend of mine basically left the church—all churches—because he

concluded that God was ultimately,a product of my imagination. He

saw, he said, that we didn’t know God, or know if there was a God,

because God was really, JUST a product of our imagination. He was a minster, and I hope he returns eventually to

being a minister again; he was good at it.

But, when I think about what my old friend had said and thought, I can’t

say I disagree much, except I do not limit God to my small ideas. God

exists independently of my mind, thankfully.

But God is still not clear to me—if I have a vision of God, it is

probably my own idea. For instance, I normally call God a man, and

seldom a woman, but neither is for sure. Gender is not necessarily

part of God’s being.

Despite acknowledging that my idea of God is basically of my imagination, I

still see my idea as proof that I love God, and that God is so far

beyond anything I could imagine, that my own ideas prove that God is

far bigger, more ‘infinite’ and unlimited, and more beautiful and

creative than any human or living mind can envision. Our limitations

prove the unlimitedness of God. So, I do not see this God as a

negative. Instead, a God that is forever infinitely beyond me is

exactly the kind of God I can love and worship.

I realize the above might not make sense, but that’s okay too. One’s

spirituality dos not have to be logical. Think about God, but not too

hard.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or

want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net  Can we pray with you and for you?

(Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’

old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We

are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for

one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Subscribe to our blog!Delivery

daily by e-mail.Click the button on the right.

Psalm 5

The Message (MSG)

A

David Psalm

5 1-3 Listen, God!
Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning you’ll hear me at
it again.
Every morning I lay out the
pieces of my life on your altar
and

7 Lucky Gods of japan

7 Lucky Gods of japan (Photo credit: Steve-kun)

watch for fire to descend.

4-6 You

don’t socialize with Wicked,
or invite

Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front

of you;
you shake your head over

Mischief-Maker.
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
Blood-Thirsty

and Truth-Bender disgust you.

7-8 And

here I am, your invited guest—
it’s

incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate

in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
to

get me safely through enemy lines.

9-10 Every

word they speak is a land mine;
their

lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping

graves,
their tongues slick as

mudslides.
Pile on the guilt, God!
Let

their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had

their chance.

11-12 But

you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we

run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand

guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming

God-seekers,
for decking us out in

delight.

Nehemiah 1:1-11

The Message (MSG)

1 1-2 The

memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

It was the month of Kislev in the

twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa.

Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some

fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there

who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.

3 They

told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province

are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is

still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”

4 When

I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and

praying before the God-of-Heaven.

5-6 I

said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his

covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands:

Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your

servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your

servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of

Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those

who have sinned against you.

7-9 “We’ve

treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t

followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you

gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you

posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you

to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you,

I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended

up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’

10-11 “Well,

there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully

and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your

servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in

honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want

from the king.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

Acts 3:1-10

The Message (MSG)

3 1-5 One

day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their

way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a

man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down

at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going

into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the

Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked

him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up,

expecting to get something from them.

6-8 Peter

said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I

give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He

grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his

feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

8-10 The

man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing

and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising

God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s

Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing

what they were seeing.

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Who Do You Say That I Am? 051513

Bible translations into Hawaii Pidgin

Bible translations into Hawaii Pidgin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of
Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 29 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2029&version=MSG

Ezekiel 3:12-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%203:12-21&version=MSG

Luke 9:18-27 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%209:18-27&version=MSG

Who Do You Say That I Am? 051513

Luke 9 is maybe a favorite verse to many of use, yet it quietly stays as
it is. Only upon taking a special look at it, do we find it says several wonderful and special things we may not have recalled, and with the revised and lively, new language of The Message, we may have another block to our memory.

Besides asking the familiar ‘Who do you say I am?’ we also read in Luke 9:

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.
Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all.”

This at first doesn’t sound familiar, but in the King James Version, this is translated as If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”

It doesn’t even sound like the same verses, and before one even tries to explain the differences between the meaning of the two translated verses, maybe we just need to sit back for a moment and enjoy that we have these two wonderful and beautiful uses of language. Maybe Jesus said exactly what one translation or another says, although translation is never that precise or exact, and maybe Jesus meant both of what these translations are saying—-I don’t know and we don’t know.

But as a church (by ‘church’ I mean the mutually loving and mutually committed disciples of Jesus, and I’m not referring to any building or any man-made organization either) each translation has something important to say, and since King James’ translation committee and also Eugene Peterson have their own idea of what is important to hear in these words, maybe we can read
them both and come up with our own meaning, and by the Holy Spirit know we are doing our best to find meaning.

Here it is: ‘We can’t follow Jesus because we seek pleasure or happiness or relief from suffering. We follow Jesus, whoever he is, because he loves us, and we love him.’

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List:
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail
billd@ peacemennonitechurch.net

(Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Subscribe to our blog!

Delivery daily by e-mail.

Click the button on the right.

Psalm 29  The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

29 1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible
power.
Stand at attention!    Dress your
best to honor him!

3 God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming
brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

5 God’s thunder smashes
cedars, God topples the northern cedars.

6 The mountain ranges skip like
spring colts, The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh
shake.

9 God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips
their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.

11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

Ezekiel 3:12-21

The Message (MSG)

12-13 Then the Spirit picked me up.
Behind me I heard a great commotion—“Blessed be the Glory of God
in his Sanctuary!”—the wings of the living creatures beating
against each other, the whirling wheels, the rumble of a great
earthquake.

14-15 The Spirit lifted me and took me away. I went bitterly and angrily. I didn’t want to go. But God
had me in his grip. I arrived among the exiles who lived near the Kebar River at Tel Aviv. I came to where they were living and sat
there for seven days, appalled.

16 At the end of the seven days, I received this Message from God:

17-19 “Son of man, I’ve made you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say
something, warn them for me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You are going to die,’ and you don’t sound the alarm warning them that it’s a
matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault.

I’ll hold you responsible. But if you warn the wicked and they keep
right on sinning anyway, they’ll most certainly die for their sin, but you won’t die. You’ll have saved your life.

20-21 “And if the righteous turn back from living righteously and take up with evil when I step in and
put them in a hard place, they’ll die. If you haven’t warned them, they’ll die because of their sins, and none of the right
things they’ve done will count for anything—and I’ll hold you responsible. But if you warn these righteous people not to sin and
they listen to you, they’ll live because they took the warning—and again, you’ll have saved your life.”

Luke 9:18-27

The Message (MSG)

Don’t Run from Suffering

18 One time when Jesus was off praying by himself, his disciples nearby, he asked them, “What are the crowds saying about
me, about who I am?”

19 They said, “John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the
prophets from long ago has come back.”

20-21 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”

Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Jesus then warned them to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said.

22 He went on, “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the religious leaders, high priests, and religion
scholars, be killed, and on the third day be raised up alive.”

23-27 Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me

has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t

run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my

way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to

get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is

embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son

of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all

his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This

isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken

their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own

eyes the kingdom of God.”

Aside

Why Do We Need Miracles? 103012

Painting by Anton Losenko, 1762 (first miracle)

Painting by Anton Losenko, 1762 (first miracle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Why Do We Need Miracles?103012

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 119:17-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:17-24&version=MSG

2 Kings 6:8-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%206:8-23&version=MSG

Acts 9:32-35 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%209:32-35%20&version=MSG

 

Why Do We Need Miracles? 103012

 

In the book of Acts, we hear the story of Aeneas, a paralyzed man, who after eight years, rose and folded up his blanket bed and walked away. But there is the question we have to ask—-why do we even need miracles.

 

Of course we do demand miracles. To believe in God many of us have demanded, and still demand a miracle, A miracle itself we could call an event that transcends the ordinary course of human life. But what in ‘ordinary human life, and ordinary human existence is not completely miraculous. A Russian mystic once went on a lifelong quest ‘in search of the miraculous’, but how can we live in God and not see the miraculous all around, What is NOT miraculous?

 

Pray for peace.

Bill

 

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

Psalm 119:17-24

The Message (MSG)

17-24 Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life;     not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. Open my eyes so I can see     what you show me of your miracle-wonders. I’m a stranger in these parts;     give me clear directions. My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—     insatiable for your nourishing commands. And those who think they know so much,     ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it! Don’t let them mock and humiliate me;     I’ve been careful to do just what you said. While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,     I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel. Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;     I listen to them as to good neighbors!

 

2 Kings 6:8-23

The Message (MSG)

8 One time when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, after consulting with his officers, he said, “At such and such a place I want an ambush set.”

9 The Holy Man sent a message to the king of Israel: “Watch out when you’re passing this place, because Aram has set an ambush there.”

10 So the king of Israel sent word concerning the place of which the Holy Man had warned him.

This kind of thing happened all the time.

11 The king of Aram was furious over all this. He called his officers together and said, “Tell me, who is leaking information to the king of Israel? Who is the spy in our ranks?”

12 But one of his men said, “No, my master, dear king. It’s not any of us. It’s Elisha the prophet in Israel. He tells the king of Israel everything you say, even what you whisper in your bedroom.”

13 The king said, “Go and find out where he is. I’ll send someone and capture him.”

The report came back, “He’s in Dothan.”

14 Then he dispatched horses and chariots, an impressive fighting force. They came by night and surrounded the city.

15 Early in the morning a servant of the Holy Man got up and went out. Surprise! Horses and chariots surrounding the city! The young man exclaimed, “Oh, master! What shall we do?”

16 He said, “Don’t worry about it—there are more on our side than on their side.”

17 Then Elisha prayed, “O God, open his eyes and let him see.”

The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!

18 When the Arameans attacked, Elisha prayed to God, “Strike these people blind!” And God struck them blind, just as Elisha said.

19 Then Elisha called out to them, “Not that way! Not this city! Follow me and I’ll lead you to the man you’re looking for.” And he led them into Samaria.

20 As they entered the city, Elisha prayed, “O God, open their eyes so they can see where they are.” God opened their eyes. They looked around—they were trapped in Samaria!

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Father, shall I massacre the lot?”

22 “Not on your life!” said Elisha. “You didn’t lift a hand to capture them, and now you’re going to kill them? No sir, make a feast for them and send them back to their master.”

23 So he prepared a huge feast for them. After they ate and drank their fill he dismissed them. Then they returned home to their master. The raiding bands of Aram didn’t bother Israel anymore.

 

Acts 9:32-35

The Message (MSG)

Tabitha

32-35 Peter went off on a mission to visit all the churches. In the course of his travels he arrived in Lydda and met with the believers there. He came across a man—his name was Aeneas—who had been in bed eight years paralyzed. Peter said, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!” And he did it—jumped right out of bed. Everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him walking around and woke up to the fact that God was alive and active among them.

 

I'll Try Something New (song)

I’ll Try Something New (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aside

Promises, Promises, Promises! 102312

Promises CD1UK

Promises CD1UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Promises, Promises, Promises! 102312

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 37:23-40 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2037:23-40%09&version=MSG

1 Samuel 10:17-25 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2010:17-25&version=MSG

Hebrews 6:13-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%206:13-20&version=MSG

 

Promises, Promises, Promises! 102312

 

The scriptures for today revolve around the topic of promises, and there are three scriptures: a Psalm, an ‘old’ testament selection and a selection from the gospels, and that’s three!

 

What promises do we ask and expect of God? We are promised redemption from sin, and salvation, but as specific as some religions seem to think these terms are, it seems that there is still a lot of discussion and understanding that needs to happen between humankind and God to define exactly what this all means.

 

But while we are talking promises, maybe we can also consider what we mean when we promise something to God. What have you promised God? And what has God promised you, not in payment for your promises, but for no reason whatsoever except love.

 

Pray for peace,

Bill

 

 

 

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

Psalm 37:23-40

1 Samuel 10:17-25

Hebrews 6:13-20

Psalm 37:23-40

The Message (MSG)

23-24 Stalwart walks in step with God;
his path blazed by God, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
God has a grip on his hand.

25-26 I once was young, now I’m a graybeard—
not once have I seen an abandoned believer,
or his kids out roaming the streets.
Every day he’s out giving and lending,
his children making him proud.

27-28 Turn your back on evil,
work for the good and don’t quit.
God loves this kind of thing,
never turns away from his friends.

28-29 Live this way and you’ve got it made,
but bad eggs will be tossed out.
The good get planted on good land
and put down healthy roots.

30-31 Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone,
rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins;
his feet are as sure as a cat’s.

32-33 Wicked sets a watch for Righteous,
he’s out for the kill.
God, alert, is also on watch—
Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head.

34 Wait passionately for God,
don’t leave the path.
He’ll give you your place in the sun
while you watch the wicked lose it.

35-36 I saw Wicked bloated like a toad,
croaking pretentious nonsense.
The next time I looked there was nothing—
a punctured bladder, vapid and limp.

37-38 Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There’s a future
in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
insolent souls are on a dead-end street.

39-40 The spacious, free life is from God,
it’s also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—
when we run to him, he saves us.

1 Samuel 10:17-25

The Message (MSG)

“We Want a King!”

17-18 Samuel called the people to assemble before God at Mizpah. He addressed the children of Israel, “This is God’s personal message to you:

18-19 “I brought Israel up out of Egypt. I delivered you from Egyptian oppression—yes, from all the bullying governments that made your life miserable. And now you want nothing to do with your God, the very God who has a history of getting you out of troubles of all sorts.

“And now you say, ‘No! We want a king; give us a king!’

“Well, if that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get! Present yourselves formally before God, ranked in tribes and families.”

20-21 After Samuel got all the tribes of Israel lined up, the Benjamin tribe was picked. Then he lined up the Benjamin tribe in family groups, and the family of Matri was picked. The family of Matri took its place in the lineup, and the name Saul, son of Kish, was picked. But when they went looking for him, he was nowhere to be found.

22 Samuel went back to God: “Is he anywhere around?”

God said, “Yes, he’s right over there—hidden in that pile of baggage.”

23 They ran and got him. He took his place before everyone, standing tall—head and shoulders above them.

24 Samuel then addressed the people, “Take a good look at whom God has chosen: the best! No one like him in the whole country!”

Then a great shout went up from the people: “Long live the king!”

25 Samuel went on to instruct the people in the rules and regulations involved in a kingdom, wrote it all down in a book, and placed it before God. Then Samuel sent everyone home.

Hebrews 6:13-20

The Message (MSG)

God Gave His Word

13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20 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, in the order of Melchizedek.

 

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