Aches and Praise Three Hundred & Thirteen

Dear friends,  


When I was young, I remember listening to a song all summer long about whether the singer would see his girlfriend in September or lose her to a summer love. In looking back over the summer of 2017, would you say that you have grown closer to the Lord or did you wander in pursuit of things that were not helpful to your spiritual growth? With students returning to classes, it is a good time to reflect on how we can grow spiritually.

In his book “Be Confident,” Warren W. Wiersbe gives the following outline of the book of Hebrews: “It is a book of evaluation, exhortation, examination, expectation and exaltation.” With regard to the characteristic of evaluation, Wiersbe offers this observation: “The word better is used 13 times in this book as the writer shows the superiority of Jesus Christ and His salvation over the Hebrew system of religion.” Two other key words in this epistle are perfect (found 14 times in the original Greek) and eternal. As Wiersbe states: “When you combine these three important words, you discover that Jesus Christ and the Christian life He gives us are better because these blessings are eternal and they give us a perfect
standing before God.”
In the face of persecution, some Jewish believers in the first century were weighing their options, including returning to their former religion. The author of this epistle examines the spiritual immaturity of his readers and exhorts them to replace milk with solid food (5:14). He also urges them to “not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings” (13:9).
How about us? Have we become undisciplined this summer? Warren Wiersbe concisely summarizes the content of the epistle to the Hebrews as follows: “God has spoken; we have His Word. What are we doing about it?” As Wiersbe points out, if we heed God’s Word, we will avoid the following pitfalls: drifting from the Word (2:1-4), doubting the Word (3:7 – 4:13), dullness toward the Word (5:11 – 6:20), despising the Word (10:26-39), and defying the Word (12:14-29).
Scripture for the weekend: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NIV) 

Thought for the weekend: “We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God by its miraculous preservation in all ages. The Holy Scriptures are the richest jewel that Christ has left us; and the church of God has so kept these public records of heaven, that they have not been lost. The Word of God has never wanted (lacked) enemies to oppose, and, if possible, to extirpate it … but God has preserved this blessed Book inviolable to this day. The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never blow it out; a clear sign that it was lighted from heaven.” – Thomas Watson (quoted in the book “Sunday’s Best”)


By His grace,