Hebrews 9:1-15 (ESV)
The Earthly Holy Place
9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
Redemption Through the Blood of Christ
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
1 Timothy 4:11-16 (ESV)
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Zephaniah 3:9-15 (ESV)
The Conversion of the Nations
9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord
and serve him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush
my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
shall bring my offering.
11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
in my holy mountain.
12 But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
13 those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid.”
Israel’s Joy and Restoration
14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
John 15:1-11 (ESV)
I Am the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
“God is having a difficult time getting through to us because we have no time to answer when He calls.” AW Tozer
God calls us through His Word on a daily basis.
Take time today to read His Word and slow down enough to listen to His voice!
Psalm 119:9-16 (ESV)
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
Text: Luke 23:39-43
Topic: Repentance, Witnessing
Main Idea: It is never too late to seek repentance, and it is never the wrong time to share the gospel.
- What is one thing that stood out to you from this week’s message?
- What does the Bible mean with the word repentance?
- Why do you sometimes find it hard to share the gospel?
- Sometimes witnessing is sharing your testimony of how you personally became born again. Often this kind of witnessing is followed immediately by repentance from someone listening who realizes they need to become a Christian themselves. Does anyone want to share how you came to faith in Jesus?
- Does anyone here need to accept Jesus as Savior for the first time?
Hebrews 12:6-8 (ESV)
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Today is the last day of our 21 days of prayer and fasting. For some of you, these past two weeks was probably more difficult that others. It’s ok. We’ve seen during this time in His Word that God is willing to go THROUGH you in order to get TO you. Sometimes TOUGH love is necessary. It might be difficult at first, but you will find peace and joy on the other side like no other.
Even though these time of prayer and fasting is over, don’t stop praying and reaching out to God. Continue this attitude and approach towards God and you will see Him display His love and power in your life. Don’t stop. Keep seeking after your God!
Romans 4:20-22 (ESV)
20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
The person that the Apostle Paul is describing here is Abraham. This scenario was one where Abraham was rationalizing sacrificing his one and only son at the age of almost 100, all because God asked Him to.
Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice the son that He promised would grow up and produce a lineage that would bless the whole world? It sounds like God is either contradicting Himself or like He has lost His mind. Neither are true.
Here we see why an angel had to come and stop the hand of Abraham from killing his son. He was most definitely going to do it. His reason. He trusted in God that much. If God promised that Isaac would be the one to carry out His promises to me, then I believe He could bring him back from the dead. In essence, Abraham’s thinking went like this. “If God said He is going to do it, I believe Him. Even if I don’t understand how He is going to do it.”
That is faith. Notice that this radical faith is all that was required for him to be considered righteous.
You and I must display this same kind of faith. You might not know how God is going to change you and your circumstances, but you mustn’t doubt that He will. If He promised to do it, He’ll do it, regardless if you understand how He is going to do it. We can have this kind miracle seeking faith because our Heavenly Father actually did sacrifice His one and only Son, Jesus, who DID come back to life to offer us new life today through faith!
Romans 2:3-4 (ESV)
3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
“No one is perfect”. Have you ever heard someone say that? If so, they have condemned themselves. To admit that no one is perfect is to confess that they too do not measure up to a certain level of perfection that we all sense. This is a very serious reality.
Today’s application is something that we SHOULDN’T do. Paul was encouraging the Christians in Rome NOT ignore this reality. One cannot be saved if they are quick to condemn someone yet ignorant of their own sins and offenses towards God. Second, Paul is telling people not to rely on God’s kindness and love. Just because God is kind, doesn’t mean that He will relent from punishing sin.
God’s kindness is not meant to be a safety net to catch you from Hell, allowing you to live how ever you choose. His kindness is meant to call us to repent and return to Him. The fact that God would desire to love us and restore non-perfect people that don’t deserve it should overwhelm us.
Don’t ignore sin, thinking that God will excuse your lifestyle choices if you are consciously rejected His ways or that He will give you a pass because of His great love. That is not a repented heart that has placed their trust in Jesus. Do the opposite. Allow the love and kindness of God to continue to lead you to live MORE like Jesus so that you can lead more people to Jesus.