As it tells us in Romans 8:34, at this very moment, Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. Jesus is our advocate…one who comes forward on behalf and as the representative for another. He is then also our intercessor and substitute…standing in our place before God…intervening in our defense. We have no greater advocate than Jesus…no greater champion and friend.
For all of you that enjoy Bible trivia, the middle Scripture of the Bible is this verse, Psalm 118:8 . It’s the very center point of God’s Word. So was it placed there by chance or divinely inspired? Many times I’ve prayed to find God’s perfect plan and purpose in my life…to be in the very center of His Will. For I know that’s the safest and very best place to be. And if I look at the fundamental truths in this verse, it makes that search easier. Where am I placing my faith and trust…whose promises am I putting stock in…and where really does my confidence lie? If it’s in man, I’m going to be disappointed…but if my trust is in the Lord, I will find His ultimate plan and purpose for my life.
The only way you can become really good at something is to practice…whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument, or a newly discovered talent, without practice, it’s just wishful thinking. Today, this Scripture wants us to take a new and different attitude when faced with the trials in our lives. It wants us to consider trials as practice. Every time we’re put to the test, we need to realized it’s a God-ordained crucible in which we are being purified. In other words, trials equal refining…trials equal developing patience…trials equal suffering in the faith…trials are a chance to practice what we preach.
I encourage you to read the entire 11th Chapter of Hebrews, for in it you will read of many kinds and shades of faith. Faith is an ongoing lifetime journey of trusting God. It’s a way of life, not just a one time action done at conversion. Our faith grows as we grow in Christ…confidence in Him is forged and built every time we make the decision to trust Him. But as you read through Chapter 11 you’ll see the different nuances of faith shown… there’s expanding and growing faith, there’s beyond logic and reasoning faith, there’s sacrificial, persecuted, and impossible faith. Our life of faith begins with an internal response, which leads to faith-filled action. From there, it’s a life based on God’s promises…not on circumstances. Though, when you get to the end of this chapter you’ll read, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” Every person you read about here in Chapter 11 was praised for their faith, yet not one saw their promise fulfilled in their lifetime. Instead, they all persevered under pressure, never giving up, and always putting their confidence in their Lord.
Time waits for no one. With each passing day, we are a little older and unfortunately, the hopes and dreams we have a little less likely to happen. When we’re young, we look at time and the future as something with limitless possibilities…but when we’re older, or disease overtakes our body…time suddenly becomes very precious. Each one of us has been allotted a certain amount of time here on the earth…time we can choose to use productively or rashly. So how are you managing your time today? Are you using it to forward God’s Kingdom…or are you aimlessly pilfering it away? Time is getting short…make the very most of it today.
Circumcision of the heart is what the Lord is calling all of us to. Deuteronomy 30:6 states, ” The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and live.” This circumcision of the heart is literally a removing of the flesh…our fleshly self, our carnal nature, to show loyalty and obedience towards our Lord. This inward work of the Holy Spirit is then outwardly manifested…apparent and plain to all, as the love of God shines forth in our life.