Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 4

Here we go folks – Chapter 4 – Thank you for taking this walk with me. I look forward to your comments below.

This chapter opens with God’s promise of rest, but the rest referred to is not a rest from our physical labors, but rest of our soul through His salvation. The writer is telling us that there is still time for us to receive His grace of salvation. We go on to learn that God knows all, sees all and hears all – So, that means when we do things we think we are hiding from everyone – guess what – GOD KNOWS. If, at any time, we think we are pulling the wool over His eyes, we are only fooling ourselves. We may be able to hide things from our fellow humans, but we cannot hide anything from our Father. We are also reminded that Jesus was appointed the Great High Priest and is uniquely qualified to be in this position because He was able to resist temptation and show obedience to His Father. Jesus can provide us with not only immediate spiritual help but can be sympathetic to our problems. Now just to make this statement understood better – Just because Jesus can be sympathetic DOES NOT mean He likes it – Big Difference.

I feel that this chapter shows God’s amazing and gracious love for us.

Thank you God for all your amazing gifts, but especially for the gift of salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Freedom Is Not Free

I know all of us have heard this expression, a lot, but have you ever turned it towards what Christ did for us on that cross? He paid a price that was terrible so we can have our freedom. Freedom from the sentence of death from sin. Wow, it is mind blowing to think about it. I could spout all the scripture in the Bible or quote numerous theological writers but the cold. hard facts are that Christ died for us to pay a debt we could never, ever pay; so that we could have freedom from death and instead have the gift of eternal life. What is grace? It is the following:
G – God’s
R – Redemption
A – At
C – Christ’s
E – Expense
His payment, our freedom. Think about it = Do you repay Christ everyday for this freedom? Do you stand up for Him, as He hung for you? Do you cherish this freedom or take it for granted? Some days I am better than others, but in all honesty, I do not do justice for the payment He gave for me. I hope that by coming to this realization, I can strive to be better, I mean He deserves my best doesn’t He, He gave me His.

God Loves You And So Do I
Michele Edgel

My Personal Rebirth

When the theme for this month was chosen, I figured with all the Bible verses we have to choose from it would be pretty easy to find one to focus on, but for some reason my brain will not do that, it wants to tell my story.  (I am hoping it is God pushing me.)

I was baptized at 8 days old, promised to the Lord at an early age, but didn’t go to church or act like a Christian for a long time.  It has only been pretty recently that I have felt an overwhelming need to walk a straighter line and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Now if you have been following this blog, you already know that I consider myself a work in progress (granted a lot of work still needs to be done) and that I try hard every day to be a better person, but know that I fall short no matter how hard I try.

Fortunately, thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, I am reborn white as snow on his eyes.  But in my eyes, I still fight with my feelings of sin and undeserving nature of his gift.  I believe that these feelings of “guilt” are what make me want to do better.  I usually believe that this is the way God steers me down a better path, but sometimes wonder if it isn’t Satan trying to get me to fall again. (Which I do on a regular basis)

Everyday I struggle with feelings but do not allow them to shadow what He did for me.  I am NOT perfect, but I am perfect in His eyes.  Praise the Lord for that.

I hope that by opening up with my experience, that others will comment on theirs.

Are you like me and fairly new to being a Christian?

Have you always followed God’s path?

I really want to know, please comment.

Always remember   –  God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

How Should A Reborn Christian Act?

***Warning – This blog may upset some people

What a way to start my newest blog. When we are reborn as a Christian through Christ’s sacrifice, I believe that it comes with certain responsibilities; being kind to others, non-judgmental towards others, giving the credit for ALL good things we do to Christ and the list goes on.

Read this part carefully – Just because you go to church that doesn’t make you a Christian, anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car. When people say they are a Christian in one breath – and put down their neighbor in the next; talk about all the sacrifices they make for God as they are complaining that they aren’t satisfied with the 2-year-old car they have; or better yet, talk about how they can’t believe that “SHE” wore that to church. Really, that is NOT Christian PERIOD.
When you are truly reborn into Christ – you want to do right (being a sinner makes it hard) you want Him to get the glory, you want to give all you have to Him because He gave all for you.
Now before you say that I am being judgmental – you are RIGHT – I am. I firmly believe that when someone is representing themselves as a Child of God we are responsible to make sure that they are accountable for their actions, words or lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I think I am better than them, and I would hope that my friends and family would admonish me when my behavior is contrary to the will of God.

We are responsible to make sure that we as Christians present ourselves as fallen saints & unworthy sinners and without His sacrifice bound for hell. When we do not use the gift of our rebirth in Christ as a positive identification and act like we are better because we are “Christians”, we are in danger of condemning others to being turned away to the wonderful gift we have.
We do not attend church because we are perfect saints but we attend church because we are unworthy sinners.

I am hoping to get some comments about this, does anyone deal with these feelings when confronted with any of these situations? If so, how do YOU handle them, because as anyone who knows me will tell you, I tend to be outspoken and am working on being more “politically correct”.

Remember, no matter my rant – God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Why

Catchy title isn’t it?  So the question is – Why did Jesus Christ have to die?  I want you to take a minute and get the visual picture of our Lord on a rough, splintered cross; he has been severely beaten, lashed with a whip, and NAILED to a cross.  Do you have the visual yet?  Why? Because we are bad period.  We are full of sin and without the sacrifice of the ONLY totally sin free person to walk the earth we would DIE.  Sounds harsh, doesn’t it.  Well as they say the truth hurts, but thanks to the ETERNAL love of God we have the perfect sacrifice so we have eternal life.  All month we have blogged about sacrifice but today just a few days before the recognition of Christ’s sacrifice (Good Friday), it came to me that I haven’t given the credit to the one responsible for my eternal life in a fitting manner.  So let me delve into this subject a little bit.

The church I attend is currently studying the Book of Romans and recently we reviewed the 5th chapter and the following verse has been following me around all day, I saw it in a devotional I read & heard it on a radio broadcast I was listening to)

 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

This verse is pretty powerful – He died because we are UNGODLY – it doesn’t say a little bit bad it says UNGODLY.  Wow – if we are honest with ourselves (we rarely are) we would admit that we are totally corrupted by sin.  It affects everything we do, and I mean everything.  I will give you a recent situation that involves me personally:

I wrote an article for our church’s newsletter in January (Posted here as Love Thy Neighbor) and one of my fellow congregants came up to me to tell me that they enjoyed it and it made them think a lot about how they treat others.  I thought – that’s great, what a good thing I did – Oh well it may have been good but now I tainted it with sin – Pride is a sin and I was proud of the reaction I got.

How can we combat this inclination we have?  I don’t know if we can, we are human and unfortunately sin seems to permeate everything we do, if it wasn’t for God’s redeeming grace, I fear that I would get a one way ticket to the great down under.  But fortunately, I thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, I am headed on a one way ticket to Heaven.  Wow I got a first class ticket to eternal life and I didn’t do anything to deserve it, NOT ONE THING.  How great is the love of our Father.

Not that any of this means we stop doing the good things, just that we understand how even our good is tainted.

Remember that it is by Grace thru Faith for Works that we live.

Thank you Jesus for giving your life for me, a sin infested, ungodly miscreant who did not deserve it.

So I know this blog was a little harsh, but I want YOUR feedback – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Let me know.

Remember God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

 

The True Cost of Salvation

As we go through the 40 days of Lent, it is an opportunity to reflect over our Lord’s trip to the cross.  We should take this time to reflect on the Sacrifice He did for us.  We sang a hymn the other night at church “Were You There”, this is, in my opinion, the most emotional hymn we sing.  It impacts me so much that I will post the words to it below.  After reading, let me know, does it make the heavy price he paid hit home?

Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh were you there when they crucified my Lord?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the cross?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the cross?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they nailed Him to the cross?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Well, were you there when the stone was rolled away?
Were you there when the stone was rolled away?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

 

A Lutheran Martyr on Sacrifice

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God- the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?”