Taking a Hike Through Hebrews
I’ve said it many times, with bravery and trepidation knowing that a choice to love is involved. Here it is: I do not want my kids to come to our home out of obligation or duty, guilt or rules. That is not a healthy relationship. We welcome them highly when they come to be with us, love us, and desire an authentic relationship with us, as worthy people who love them back, dearly, with all our hearts, unconditionally.
God, our Father with Jesus Christ His Son thinks the same way, I’m pretty sure. That’s why He created a new plan to go from religion (duty/obligation/guilt) to setting us free to be in relationship with Him.
Hebrews 8, The Message
6-13 But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan. If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said,
Heads up! The days are coming
when I’ll set up a new plan
for dealing with Israel and Judah.
I’ll throw out the old plan
I set up with their ancestors
when I led them by the hand out of Egypt.
They didn’t keep their part of the bargain,
so I looked away and let it go.
This new plan I’m making with Israel
isn’t going to be written on paper,
isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
they’ll be my people.
They won’t go to school to learn about me,
or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know me firsthand,
the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.
What do we learn?
–We have a choice. God knows our hearts. We do not fool Him.
–The door is open for an eternal, pure, holy, loving relationship with God (and others as fruits of this love) that far surpasses the duties and obligations of religion.
–Love God then love others.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am grieving the loss of my mom and now my dad as it is close to his birthday on the Mother’s Day weekend. This relationship of love will not be broken because of the love the three of us had with You. For that I am grateful. Comfort me in my grief all day long today. Thank you for the relationship you and I share. I want to be with you like this, read your word and share what is on my heart about You each morning. This is not an obligation but a desire to know You more and more. I’m glad, so glad, you know my name and my heart. I cherish this relationship above all others.
In Jesus Name, Amen