Friday, June 7, 2013

Everyone Has a Favorite

Let’s face it. We ALL have favorites.

      What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

             Who is your favorite author?

                   What is your favorite song?

                        What is your favorite verse?

                              Who is your favorite person in the Bible?

Many of our Jewish friends have a favorite in Moses. He was really one of their first leaders who pursued God even though he had his struggles.

I’m just thankful God doesn’t play favorites. Know what I mean?

In Hebrews 3 and 4, the author is putting into comparison Jesus to Moses. For me, there’s really no comparison. The Bible says that Moses was just a servant in the house that Jesus oversees.

As we’ve seen the devastation in Oklahoma that’s been left in the path of tornadoes, we’ve seen complete buildings missing, buildings flattened, buildings destroyed beyond repair. The Bible tells us the builder is more important than the building. You know why? Buildings are just things. They can be replaced. A person cannot. The knowledge the builder possesses cannot be replaced by a thing. No matter how advanced our computers may be, there isn’t one of them that can draft a home, organize subcontractors, and build a home from the ground up making sure to stay inside the property lines.

While there are some of the most beautiful Duo mos in Italy and basilicas, they will one day decay, be destroyed and cease to exist, but the One who built everything will continue on and on.

We serve; we worship the Builder who was and is to come. He has always been. There’s nothing that goes on anywhere that He doesn’t know about. He is the One who should be our favorite.

And yet so many have hardened hearts towards Jesus Christ. Have you ever thought of a hardened heart? What that means? The physical heart has arteries that can accrue plaque which hardens the walls preventing the heart from pumping as efficiently as it is designed to do. The heart slows. The walls harden more. Then the heart ceases to beat. We let corrupt thoughts and sin enter our lives, and they attach to the walls and arteries surrounding our spiritual heart. This hardens our heart to hear from God. His voice becomes faint because we either don’t care, don’t want Him, or just want out. Eventually, you no longer hear from Him.

Then disaster hits, and you wonder where God has gone. REALLY?! He isn’t a genie in a bottle. He is a holy God who was willing to die for you so He could have a relationship with you, and you have the nerve to ignore Him. Of all the gall. I think we get so numb to it we no longer appreciate the cost. Try putting a spike through your hand or your feet. Have someone beat you with a cat-of-nine tails and see what Jesus suffered. And that was just part of the physical torture He endured. It doesn’t take into account the spiritual warfare that was going on.

If anyone has a right to have a hardened heart it’s God who has put up with our rebellious nature since the beginning of time. From Moses and the Israelites wondering in the desert for 40 years because of their lack of faith and rebellion to us today thinking we can handle it all. If you read the Bible, you will see that God has His limits. He will only tolerate so much before He brings down the discipline His wayward children so desperately need. I don’t want to be in that group. Know what I mean?

Does God get angry? Why yes He does. Does God discipline all as each person requires? Why yes He does. Can God discipline His children and do it in love? He can’t do it any other way. AND THAT IS JUST ANOTHER REASON we should be thankful that God is a God of love.

In Hebrews 4 it tells us His Word is so sharp it cuts through everything – your lies, your stubbornness, your hatred, your anger, your sin, your selfishness – and He lays it open so He can get to the root of the problem. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you do for a living, He exposes everything because NOTHING is hidden from Him. NOTHING. And we have to give an account for it all (vs 13) – just so you know.

And when God has fleshed out our corruption, our sin and brought it to light to where we can no longer deny it, He looks at Jesus. Verses 14-16 tells us to go to Jesus. Go boldly to the throne so we can receive mercy. May I never be so hard-hearted that I don’t realize the great need I have for God’s mercy.

Thank you, Father. Thank you. Please forgive me. Clean out my arteries – get rid of all the things that harden my heart toward You and your way and the life you’ve chosen for me. “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord; and renew a right spirit within me.” Amen

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