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Proverbs 15:19

Proverbs 15:19 – A lazy person’s way is blocked with briars, but the path of the upright is an open highway.

Are there people in my life who, when giving an honest opinion, might consider me to be a lazy person? I’m betting so…and if no one would say that of me, I would probably say it of myself! We are living in a social medial laden culture wherein “scrolling” is now considered an activity. Think back 25 or more years – can you imagine how bizarre it would have been to see someone doing what we now do all day, every day, with our phones? It’s a tremendously strange societal shift that happened so quickly, it should frighten us a little bit. My point is that we are living in a “lazy” era, and it only seems to be getting worse. But this verse states clearly that the lazy person’s way is blocked with briars. Briars are hideous and thorny and seemingly impossible to navigate. If you try and mow down a briar patch, the thorns remain and will still hinder you when you navigate that terrain in the future. You can burn them, but even then some of the briar stalks can remain for years. No one wants to deal with a mess of briars; it’s far easier to just avoid the entire mess in the first place. Listen, none of us wants to fight our way through life, right? And we don’t want to be all tangled up in nasty, prickly briars, do we? Let me challenge you to keep your focus on the Lord, to seek His will for your life on a daily basis, and then be about doing what He asks you to do. Don’t be lazy! And also, can’t we all just put our silly phones down more often? We’re trading our actual lives to become lazy “scrollers” who end up stuck in the briar patch, and that just makes no sense. Live for the Lord and His Kingdom today & be sure to pray for freedom from our culture’s social media obsession.

Jan L. Burt

 

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The Book of Hebrews is a Game-Changer

When it comes to discipleship, the book of Hebrews is invaluable. The depth and the breadth of wisdom contained within the pages of this book of the Bible is so tremendous that I am not sure how to even begin to study it, let alone consolidate it into bite size pieces. It is simply massive ~ vast, immense, mighty, tremendous.

This powerful portion of God’s Word has volumes to teach us; and not only teach us, but is powerful to actually change us. And isn’t that the real “Mission:Impossible”? True and lasting change that begins deep within the heart and emanates outward, impacting not only ourselves as individuals but those we are in relationship with?

Hebrews is a game-changer. It is very well worth the time spent mining its treasures and praying for the Holy Spirit to work out its truths in our hearts & minds & lives.

Hebrews 4:12 reads: “ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)

For the next several blog posts, I would like to dig into the book of Hebrews and see where I end up…because I am certain that a study of this book is going to impact me deeply. And I would like to start seeing that impact today! So, here goes…

  • It isn’t clear who the author of Hebrews was. Some say it was probably Paul; yet there is a fair amount of evidence that someone else authored this book. I think I agree with those who say it was not Paul, but I may well be wrong.
  • Hebrews was probably written before AD70 & it probably was during a time of great persecution – maybe even during the reign of Nero and Domitian (both were Roman emperors).
  • I have read the book of Hebrews alongside the Old Testament book of Leviticus ~ the two read in unison portray Christ’s life and death in a powerful manner. Wow ~ seriously, just wow.
  • Hebrews works hard to show us that the old covenant has been fulfilled and the new covenant is far better, thanks to our Lord Jesus.
  • The book almost reads more like a sermon than a letter. The ability to study Hebrews is a blessed learning experience, to say the least.

What can I learn from chapter 1, verse 1?  ~  That God spoke to His prophets and the fathers of the faith in different ways and at different times. I imagine they were filled with awe when He spoke to them!

Chapter 1, verse 2 ~ Now God has spoken to us by His Son. Jesus is the God-appointed heir of all things (meaning that there is not one single thing that is not His – take serious comfort in that thought!). And the universe was made through Him. Not only is it all His to reign and rule supreme over, but He made it all to begin with. Nothing is outside of His dominion; every single thing is completely and safely under His control.

Chapter 1, verse 3 ~ Jesus reveals God’s glory; Jesus is an exact expression of God’s nature. If we want to know what God is like, we should study the life of Jesus. And now Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand. He will not be moved from His seated position.

Chapter 1, verse 4 ~ Never wonder if Jesus is similar in power and ability to the angels in God’s Armies. There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever. He is superior in every way, and angels most assuredly do not like to have their might compared to that of Jesus. And His name, Jesus the Christ, Son of God, our Messiah, is the name He inherited (from God Almighty – because for there to be an inheritance someone must give it to the heir). It is the most excellent name ever to be given – the Name above all other names. At His Name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is the Lord of all.

From just the first four verses of the first chapter I feel as if the tone has been set for me while I continue to read and learn from Hebrews.

What an awesome God we serve, and how blessed we are to have such a loving Savior in our Lord Jesus. For any struggle I face, He is the answer that I need. That is my first big takeaway from the book of Hebrews.

Be blessed as you trust in Him more and more, day by day!

Jan L. Burt