Showing posts from March, 2013

A Better Sympathizer

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Remember when you were so tired that all you wanted to do was sleep, and instead your baby with an ear infection woke up every time you tried to lay her down? When you wanted to get some extra tasks done at the office, and fell farther behind? When you looked forward to leisurely weekend of watching March Madness games, and ended up fixing the garage door? When your good friends turned on you and shut you out from the group? When you and your family did not see eye-to-eye?
Know this about God whom you worship: Jesus came down …

A Better Access

Hebrews 10:15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." 17 Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deed…

A Better High Priest

Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal sal…

A Better Focus

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Carol was raised in a broken home, and she still has the mental scars to prove it. The emotional bruises, which cause a constant pain, led her into a string of failed relationships. Sex and partying were her hope, but they failed her, leaving her lonelier than ever before. But one day she read a book that promised her it didn’t have to be that way. The author had discovered the secret of life: through “positive thinking.” With meditation techniques and the centering o…

The Symbolism of Epiphany’s Lenten Paintings

The serpent is lively and colorful. But God has pronounced a curse upon him — “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel” (Gen 3:15). The color of the sky is reminiscent of the sky color around the Good Shepherd stained glass window. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is purposefully shaped like a cross. The proper preface for communion for the season of Lent upon which these paintings were created: “… who brought the gift of salvation to all people by his death on the tree of the cross, so that the devil, who overcame us by a tree would in turn by a tree be overcome.” Adam has returned to the scene of the crime. He is repentant, looking at the bitten fruit. Adam is clothed with the skin of an animal. With his sin, Adam has brought death into the world. The first to experience death is the animal God killed to cover Adam’s nakedness and replace the fig leaves Adam had previously used. Only A…

Worship Helps for Easter

Artwork: Resurrection  Artist: Raffaelino del Garbo Date: 1510 Worship Theme: Easter is everything. If the Son of God had not come out of his borrowed tomb, Satan would have won, our faith would be worthless and we would still be in our sin. But Jesus lives! To the Lamb who stands triumphant upon God’s throne, all heaven sings a new song. Old Testament:Exodus 15:1-11 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: "I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh's officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. 6 "Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right h…