Yes, I know 2017 has just begun. I also know that the choices we make right now are shaping not only 2017, but they’re preparing a future for us that we will be required to embrace (like it or not). In this episode we’re exploring Hebrews 6:4-12 and I’m going to encourage you to make three choices that will give you a solid 2017 and set you up for a great start for next year.
Everyone who wants to can enter into a friendship with God purely by choosing to believe in Jesus. Easy, peasy, no effort required – it’s a total act of faith. However, after that initial choice there is absolutely some relational elbow grease needed to stay in the relationship – faith eventually comes to look like faithfulness. So, there seems to exist a potential contradiction. If Salvation is a work of grace (obtainable by people who absolutely can’t be good enough), then why is it conditional on good performance once a friendship is established? In this episode we focus on Hebrews 4:1-11 and answer the question, Is Christianity Harder Than The Work You’re Putting Into It?
Lawnmowers and Christians have something in common. I have an electric lawnmower – the kind that requires a really long extension cord that’s never quite long enough. As I’m mowing the edge of my property I repeatedly pull the cord out of the wall. Disconnecting a plug is annoying. Similarly, I have a friendship with Jesus. When I treat it as anything other than a friendship the possibility exists that I can disconnect from Jesus. If I don’t get plugged back in that ends very badly. In Hebrews 3:1-6 the pastor warns his congregation that disconnecting from Jesus is possible and ends horribly, so in this passage he reveals How To Avoid Disconnecting.
Distraction isn’t unusual, it’s the norm. Most people I see follow very busy routines that welcome (and even invite) distraction. Within Christianity, distraction isn’t the problem that apostasy is, but it can be just as deadly. Both distraction and apostasy can end with a broken relationship with Jesus. That’s a really big deal, and it’s the reason why the pastor who wrote the sermon of Hebrews places so much emphasis warning against apathy. In today’s episode we’re going to discover what Hebrews 3:1-6 says about Slaying The Three Headed Monster Of Distraction.
Hebrews can be a really scary book, or a really encouraging book. On the one hand, if you are actively pursuing Jesus as a friend, you’re sacrificing for Him, and you’re prioritizing Him, then Hebrews is awesome! However, if Jesus is one option among many, if He sometimes gets your attention and other times not, and if you’re treating Him and eternity too casually, then Hebrews should be terrifying for you. Hebrews warns us all that relationships have conditions, and the benefits of a relationship with Jesus comes only as we meet the conditions. In this episode focused on Hebrews 2:10-18, we explore some of the benefits that Jesus gives, and we’re warned to do this one thing (revealed in the episode) to make sure we don’t lose those benefits – why only Jesus can reconcile you to God, and what you have to do about it.
As my dad and I were fishing, sitting in his homemade canoe, we allowed the gentle breeze and the current to carry us along. We may have started in a good location, but because we weren’t paying attention we ended up drifting toward the shore and beaching ourselves. On that day, the fish were completely safe as our lures (I’m convinced of this) sat resting on the sandy bottom. Drifting may be good when you want to relax, but when something needs to be accomplished it’s completely unhelpful. In other contexts, drifting can even result in some seriously negative outcomes. In this episode we’re going to find out why Hebrews 2:1-4 strongly warns not to drift.
I have heard that our generation is the most advertised to generation that has ever existed. Advertisement doesn’t only take the form of products and services, it also includes spirituality. There are many spiritual options to pursue these days, and it seems as though people are making up something new almost daily. How is one to determine which option is best? In today’s episode we focus on Hebrews 1:5-14, and discover Why Following Jesus Is Your Best Option.
In this awesome episode we’re beginning a new series through Hebrews! Based on your feedback (thanks for connecting!) the format is changing just a little. Rather than providing a commentary like I did through Romans, the series through Hebrews will be based on my sermon series at Hillside Community Church. So, lets jump into this new season beginning with Hebrews 1:1-4, “Why Jesus’ Way Is Best.”