Thursday, 29 March 2018
And having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey him the source of eternal salvation. Heb. 5.9
Ephesians 2.8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. Grace and faith work together for salvation.
But there is yet a third fundamental element to be considered. This is obedience. God may extend grace of salvation to us as we reach out in faith, but obedience is necessary to receive the fullness of eternal salvation.
Jesus was fully obedient to the will of the Father. He dedicated Himself while on earth to the fulfilment of the Father’s will in His life. Jesus was obedient, but He had to learn obedience. We are told (Heb. 5.8) that He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. In His suffering, and by His obedience, He was made perfect. This perfect being is our source of eternal salvation.
Do I want to obey? Am I willing to become obedient to this God-Man who made obedience the mainstay of His life philosophy? He learned obedience. He became obedient even unto death! He was made perfect by His obedience in suffering. And He calls me to obey Him. Can I? Will I?
I want to be obedient. I pray that You can read my heart and know my desire for You and my need for obedience. I know that I do not have the strength within myself. I know this, for I stumble too often.
Yet I believe the desire will open the way for You to lead me and work in me. I desire to be obedient. Precious Lord, I love You so much, I want to honour and obey You. Hear my cry and help me.
Help me, Lord Jesus. Draw me into Your way. Strengthen me in experience and suffering. Lead me into obedience. In Your precious name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Heb. 4.15
I am tempted. There are times when I resist temptation. Sadly, there are many times when I succumb, and I fall in sin.
Jesus understands what I go through. He really understands. He has been tempted in every way. He has been painfully, most painfully, aware of the greatest fear that temptation carries – that we might deny the will of the Father, and incur for ourselves the most excruciating suffering. Jesus struggled with this most severe of temptations.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22.44)
The emotional stress that Jesus experienced as He struggled to submit to the Father’s will was so intense that it caused breakage of the tiny capillaries in the sweat glands, and blood was mixed with His sweat. Jesus certainly sweated through this temptation to deny the will of God. He sweated blood.
Surely, yes most assuredly, He knows the agony of struggling with the deepest temptation. He struggled – and He overcame.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22.42)
The Jesus who overcame now sits in glory and power in heaven. He intercedes for me. He empowers me in my time of need. This is God Himself. He is all-mighty. He has all power to do all things. He understands, He really understands, all that I struggle with because He has struggled Himself. He struggled and overcame. And He is there to help me, to support me, to guide me to overcome in the struggles I experience, for as long as I will turn to Him, for each time I will draw near to Him in my time of need.
I thank You for understanding. You are not a distant God who keeps Himself aloof and dishes out indulgences in remote haughtiness.
No! You came to earth. You experienced firsthand the severest forms of temptation. You endured agonising torture. You gave Yourself. And You did all this for me!
Now You are risen and ascended, free from mortal suffering. You sit in glory and power, from where You intercede for me. From Your throne of victory You invite me to share my life with You, to seek You in all of my living, to invite You into the very centre, the daily heartbeat of my life.
Thank You for being there. Thank You for caring. Please lead me forward – in Your precious name I ask. Amen.
My book “God Talk” is available through major Internet booksellers.
A taste of the book's content can be seen in the You Tube clip
(Search: Peter Francis - "God Talk").