Meditation Monday: Don’t Overlook the Gospel

God Gold of the day

Today’s Mediation: Read Hebrews 9

Here are some questions to be thinking about!

  1. What stuck out to you when you read this chapter?
  2. What did you learn about Jesus here?
  3. What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins? What does that mean for you?
  4. What did you notice the difference being between this “old covenant, the way people used to worship and spend time with God compared to the “New Covenant” Jesus made for us?
  5. What are some of the rules it mentions people and the high priest had to do in the old covenant?
  6. What does it say Jesus did?
  7. What is our conscience? Why would we need it cleaned?
  8. Knowing what Jesus has done for you, all that He has died to give you, how does that make you feel?
  9. What do you want to do based on what you have learned today to serve Jesus in the coming week?

‘Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 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. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 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. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 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. 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 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. 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) 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. 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, 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. 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. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ‘

Hebrews 9:1-28

Meditation Monday: “Grab onto His Word and ask ?’s”

God Gold of the day

‘It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” ‘

Deuteronomy 31:8

Wanted to share this verse with you today because it was such a big encouragement to me, I pray it will be just as much or even more so encouraging to you!!! At first, I was going to send this verse because it’s one of those “encouraging verses” we see all over God’s Word and it fit because of the troubled times we are surrounded by but I felt convicted just sending this without really digging into it myself. What I found, and I hope with the help of these questions I asked myself. you will find that it’s more than just an “encouraging verse!” It’s TRUTH, and it’s REAL!!!!

So easily, I’ve found myself just reading verses and glancing over them saying, “oh yeah that’s good stuff!” But then I just go about my day and that verse has no effect on me in the way I live or handle situations that come my way. What I realized is this; God’s Word is more than just words on a page that are meant to make us feel good temporarily. God’s Word is meant to be grabbed onto and not just glanced over but looked into deeply. And when I say “grab onto” His Word I mean grabbing tightly and squeezing it for all the Gold that He has in store. I’ve noticed in my own quiet time this week how easily and lazily I don’t do this when handling His Word but when I have dug deeper, God’s Word sticks to me throughout my day. It molds and shapes every action I take and decision I make, it reminds me of who He is and how He feels/acts towards me constantly when I need it the most. I wanted to pose a few questions for you here to use with this verse or whatever verse you’re reading that I pray will help you grab onto God’s Word and dig deeper like never before!!! I pray that this helps you in some way, as I’ve already seen the few times I’ve tried this method and the life-giving/changing results that His Word has, I want nothing more than for you to experience His Word at work in this way too in your own lives!

Why is this encouraging to me?

Who does God show that He is here? How does those things or attributes play into my life?

What is God saying He will and can do in my life?

What situations that I have faced or face on a daily basis that having this understanding of who God is and how He works in my life, what situations would this truth play a role in? How would this truth about God move me or help me?

Build a list of questions, whatever comes to mind, these are just a few questions of many that could be asked. What’s cool about asking questions when it comes to God’s Word is that the answers you find will without a doubt change your life as you grow to know God more deeply.

Meditation Monday: Be still

God Gold of the day

Hello to one and all!!! Hope y’all are having an awesome day and prayers go out to all who may in some way have been affected by the ongoing virus getting around. In this tough time with much uncertainty and fear that surrounds it, prayer is what we have to stand strong in and not just the act of prayer but who the prayer is directed to…..God! So whatever you’re going through during these difficult circumstances, just know that God hasn’t changed, He is just as powerful and in control as yesterday. He still loves you and is there for you no matter what happens!

Today’s meditation comes with nothing but two very specific pieces of Scripture for you to spend your day thinking about, praying over, and studying to find out what these verses mean, what God is saying and teaching here, also what can be applied to your lives. I’m just going to leave these here for you today and I pray they can be of some encouragement to you! This week we are going to really dig into these verses and see what gold God has in store for us but for now, just meditate on these truths!

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”’

Psalm 46:10

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.’

Luke 5:16

Meditation Monday: “It’s All Needed”

God Gold of the day

21“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, Some manuscripts add without cause. you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,  If you say to your brother, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, if you say, ‘You fool.’ you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

Matthew 5:21-22

What’s going on everyone! Hope you’re having an awesome day! Man!!! I sure did learn a valuable lesson this past week! Have you ever read a verse and said, “oh that doesn’t apply to me because that’s not something I struggle with at all.” Well, you see these verses above? I read these last week and that’s the thought I had. I mean I’m a generally happy person and I stay pretty positive majority of the time. It really takes a lot to get me fired up and angry about something because of my laid back personality, so I thought, “I don’t really need these verses” and continued to skip right by them.

Then, the next day came. I’m working at a church helping out with the youth ministry there. I have been in charge of this same group of 6th grade boys every week and each week has been a challenge because of how wild they can get. So far, I haven’t experienced anything with this group that really got to me. Well….this night started looking a little bit different. No matter what directions I gave these boys, they refused to listen and continued doing what they wanted to. Even the simplest of directions couldn’t be followed, after watching them disrupt the service that night I had this fire building up inside of me that I had never felt before. I was MAD!!! And I’m not talking about just upset, I was fuming and I had reached my limit with these guys after the constant disrespect I was shown. So throughout the rest of the night I yelled and was more angry with them than I had ever been towards anyone. I hated doing it but I was dealing with anger and I was struggling to keep it inside. I’m not trying to justify my actions by saying all this because I do believe at some points we all need a strong hand of discipline in our lives to steer us down the right path. But the anger that I had sat on me for hours and I acted in ways that was fueled by how mad I was at the situation I faced.

How crazy is it that I sat there and so confidently said, “this verse isn’t for me, that’s not something I struggle with.” Then just a day later, I am struggling with the exact thing that I just overlooked in God’s Word. Jesus was teaching a lesson about anger here in the gospel of Matthew and if I would have really taken His Word in, who knows how differently I could have handled that situation?

This is just a prime example that God showed me that I hope also encourages you today! There isn’t one piece of His Word that doesn’t apply to our lives! There isn’t one piece of Scripture that we don’t desperately need! In the moment we may think, “well, that’s not my struggle, I’m good on this truth, I don’t need it.” In the moment that may look true but at anytime we can find ourselves facing the exact struggle that we just recently disowned as ours. It’s crazy how God works things together like that but what a lesson this is! Whatever verses you come across this week, whether you think they are for you or not, whether you think you need them or not, DIG IN!!!! DO NOT overlook these truths in God’s Word because maybe we don’t need them right now but God wouldn’t put that truth in front of you if He didn’t have a specific reason for it. God’s Word is alive and at work in our lives every single day, it just comes down to us receiving and accepting God’s truths as our greatest need! Every piece of His Word applies to us, is written for us, and is needed by us! Don’t overlook it even if it doesn’t make sense right now, tomorrow may bring a whole new perspective and situation that His Word will be needed more than ever!!!

Meditation Monday: Why read the Bible?

The Temptation of Jesus/ Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,”‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,”‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and”‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,”‘You shall worship the Lord your Godand him only shall you serve.'”11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

Why do I need to read my Bible? That is the question we ask ourselves today! We may have thoughts at times, “it’s just words on a page, is it really that important?” Sometimes we see other things in our lives that seem more beneficial or important, some things that we would just rather do instead of opening up God’s Word. I’m not here to bash on you if you wrestle with any of that, I’m here to tell you, that’s me too! I get that!

Although we go through those questions and distractions when it comes to spending time in God’s Word, I ran across this piece of Scripture that puts it all in perspective and answers the ultimate question; “why should I read my Bible?”

I’ve heard this story several times before, Jesus is in wilderness fasting and then he meets up with the devil who begins to tempt him. Then Jesus shows us that if we just say Scripture back to him and his temptations then the devil will be defeated. That is so very true but it’s deeper than that. Think about your every day life. Think about the many temptations you face throughout your day to chase your own desires and passions, those things that aren’t good things to chase after that usually cause a lot of hurt in our lives. Another word for those things can be known as “sin.” Sin is anything we do that rejects, goes against God and disobeys Him. As human beings, we face a constant struggle against this thing called “sin.” And what makes this struggle even worse, as followers of Christ, children of God, the more we walk in God’s ways and His purpose, the more we face attacks from the enemy. This enemy is the devil and he works around the clock to throw temptations in our path with the main goal of taking us away from God and living the life God has given us.

So simply put, we struggle with a lot of sin in our lives every single day and we struggle with the enemy throwing temptation at us. The devil throws us temptation in the form of lies, he tempts us with things that seem like the truth and seem good but are far from it. It’s real and we all face this in our every day lives, we get knocked down and beat up by his schemes. So how do we fight against our struggle with sin and defend against the enemy’s lies he throws our way?

What does Jesus do? Jesus stands firm and speaks God’s Word. Like I mentioned earlier, speaking God’s Word and memorizing His Word to combat against the enemy is an awesome act of offense to put the enemy in his place and be delivered through these temptations. But deeper than that, God’s Word is our only way through these daily struggles that we face. If we find ourselves getting beat down by the lies of the enemy and the lies our fleshly desires tell us to chase, what do we turn to?

The only way to beat the lies we face is with truth and not just any truth, God’s truth!!! God’s Word is complete and perfect truth because it comes straight from His heart to ours. What stuck out to me hear wasn’t just the actions Jesus took to combat the lies he faced, it was the POWER we see in God’s Word that blew my mind. The devil didn’t stand a chance when faced with God’s overpowering truth! So when we spend time in God’s Word, when we sit under the truth we find about God and who He is, when we firmly believe this truth and hold tightly to it at all times no matter what lies are thrown our way, victory will always be the end result! Jesus spoke the Word of God and the devil started scrambling trying to find another lie that might break through, and at the end of it, the devil ran away, knowing he’d been beat. God’s Word is what guides us, empowers us, and brings ultimate victory over the sin and temptations we face in our daily lives.

So often I find myself getting beat down by lies and falling into temptation which leaves me wondering, “why do I have to go through this, why can’t I win and get past this, why is this so hard?” It turns out during these occasions I’m asking the wrong questions of disbelief and doubt. What we should be asking is, “why am I not in God’s Word, why am I not in God’s Word more?” “Why am I letting lies defeat me when I have God’s victorious truth right in front of me???”

Why do we read our Bible? If this is a question you face, the answer is simple. Because I need God’s truth in my life, with all of the lies I face constantly, I need God’s truth in my life! I need God’s Word to fight against the daily struggles I endure. I need God’s Word because I’m tired of being defeated by the enemy’s schemes and God’s truth is what will bring the victory I’m seeking after in my life!

It’s so much more than just words on a page, the intentional time we spend in God’s Word seeking out His truth makes the difference between living a defeated life or the victorious one He has for us!!!