STAY FILLED

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Heb. 3:1 ¶ Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

There was a cult that had become pretty strong back in the seventies. It was led by a man that had studied a lot of historical information about Christ. His plot was to undermine orthodox Christian faith by contradicting common thoughts about the earthly life of Jesus. He was somewhat successful because people followed the logic, if he is right about these little known facts about the life of Jesus, and the church is wrong, he must be right about everything else.

His focus was obviously wrong. It’s not important if we know the calendar year Jesus was born in or whether or not He owned His own home; what is vitally important is that we know Him personally and intimately. In today’s verse we are exhorted to consider, or have another close look at Jesus Himself. Looking to Him will change our perspective of everything. One glimpse of the glory of the Son of God will sort everything out. Here is how Andrew Murray describes this phrase “consider Jesus”.

“The word consider, from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, and the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze with which he seeks to discover all that can be possibly known of the stars which the object of his study are. And Jesus, who is God, who became man, and perfected our human nature in His wonderful life of suffering and obedience, and now dwells in heaven to communicate to us its life and blessedness—oh, what reason there is for saying, Consider Jesus. Gaze upon Him, contemplate Him. For some increased knowledge of the stars what devotion, what enthusiasm, what sacrifices are oft-times witnessed. Oh, let the study and possession of the Son of God waken our devotion and our enthusiasm, that we may be able to tell men what beauty and what glory there is in Jesus.”
This is exactly what happened on the Day of Pentecost. The disciples had seen Jesus ascend into heaven just ten days before. They were contemplating Him in His glorified state. Peter said that the outpouring of glory on that Pentecostal morning was the result of Jesus being exalted to the right hand of God. When we see Jesus exalted to the right hand of the Father and glorify Him; we too will be swept away by that Pentecostal blessing.

THE HEAVENLY CALLING

Heb. 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

Those fisherman on the shores of the Sea of Galilee had no idea the implications of those words that came from the lips of the Master, “Come and follow Me”. They didn’t know what He was calling them to but there was something strangely delightful, yes irresistible, in His voice. He has been calling people to follow Him ever since. Have you heard that attractive heavenly calling? That’s what it is, it is a calling out from one world, one environment, into a totally different one. It is not just a calling to one day go to a place called heaven but a call into a different life, a different quality of life, here and now. It is not just a lifestyle but a tasting of the heavenly life itself. That’s what makes His invitation so attractive to those who hear His voice. Andrew Murray spoke about this heavenly calling, check out his thoughts on today’s verse.
“Holy brethren! partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus! What is elsewhere spoken of as a holy calling is here named a heavenly calling. That does not only mean a calling from heaven, or a calling to the heaven, whence the call proceeds. No, there is much more in it. Heaven is not only a place, but a state, a mode of existence, the life in which the presence of God is revealed and experienced in its unhindered power. And the heavenly calling is that in which the power of the heavenly life works to make our life heavenly. When Jesus was upon earth the kingdom of heaven was nigh at hand; after He had ascended and received the kingdom from the Father, the kingdom of heaven came to this earth in power, through the descent of the Holy Spirit. Christians, at Pentecost, were people who by the new birth entered into the heavenly kingdom or state of life. And the kingdom entered into them. And they were partakers of a heavenly calling, because the spirit and the life and the power of heaven was within them.”
Have you experienced this heavenly power that brings us into the heavenly life? This is the very substance of authentic Christianity. It is the power of Pentecost that makes this heavenly life available here and now. Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? That is where this heavenly life really begins.

Consider Jesus

Heb. 3:1 ¶ Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

Consider Jesus! In light of all that is wrong with our world this is what needs to be shouted from the rooftops; Consider Jesus. Corruption and lies from the highest offices in our country; CONSIDER JESUS. Shouts of racism and violence in the streets; CONSIDER JESUS. Islamic terrorists, clerics, and heads of state calling for death to America and Israel; CONSIDER JESUS. There is really nowhere else to turn. Consider Jesus as the Creator who entered creation. Consider Jesus as the radiance of the Father’s Glory. Consider Jesus in His humility and suffering unto death. Consider Jesus as He was raised from the dead by the power of God. Consider Jesus as the glorified High Priest at the right hand of God. Consider Jesus as the heavenly Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Andrew Murray also calls us to Consider Jesus again.
“The word consider, from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, and the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze with which he seeks to discover all that can be possibly known of the stars which the object of his study are. And Jesus, who is God, who became man, and perfected our human nature in His wonderful life of suffering and obedience, and now dwells in heaven to communicate to us its life and blessedness—oh, what reason there is for saying, Consider Jesus. Gaze upon Him, contemplate Him. For some increased knowledge of the stars what devotion, what enthusiasm, what sacrifices are oft-times witnessed. Oh, let the study and possession of the Son of God waken our devotion and our enthusiasm, that we may be able to tell men what beauty and what glory there is in Jesus.”
Have you taken a long look at Jesus lately? Sometimes the clatter of all of our problems distracts us. Everything from financial pressure to marital strife can block our view of the Lord. What is our response? Open up your Bible and begin to search it’s pages like an astronomer searches the heavens. You might catch a glimpse of one of the rays of His glory shining out from this Heavenly Body. You may feel the warmth of His love, taste the sweetness of His grace, or feel the power of His presence. Go ahead search the heavens in His written word, as you Consider Jesus who will become a very profound part of your life.

THE LIVING GOD

THE LIVING GOD

Heb. 3:12 ¶ Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

People tend to get a little technical or rigid when dealing with the topic of faith. In this somewhat disturbing scripture we learn that unbelief flows out of an evil heart. At first glance that may seem a little harsh, but is it? Most of us think of unbelief as not any big deal, we just need more faith. The Lord says that unbelief is actually the fruit of a heart separated from God. That’s all a lost person can do is disbelieve. Faith is actually the fruit of a clean heart born again with the nature of Christ. Here is how Andrew Murray sees it.

“Ah! there is the lack. I pray you, remember two things. I have not told you to trust the omnipotence of God as a thing, and I have not told you to trust the Word of God as a written book, but I have told you to go to the God of omnipotence and the God of the Word. Deal with God as that nobleman dealt with the living Christ. Why was he able to believe the word that Christ spoke to him? Because in the very eyes and tones and voice of Jesus, the Son of God, he saw and heard something which made him feel that he could trust Him. And that is what Christ can do for you and me. Do not try to stir and arouse faith from within. How often I have tried to do that, and made a fool of myself! You cannot stir up faith from the depths of your heart. Leave your heart, and look into the face of Christ, and listen to what He tells you about how He will keep you. Look up into the face of your loving Father, and take time every day with Him, and begin a new life with the deep emptiness and poverty of a man who has got nothing, and who wants to get everything from Him—with the deep restfulness of a man who rests on the living God, the omnipotent Jehovah—and try God, and prove Him if He will not open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that there shall not be room to receive it”.

Murray has a whole different spin on faith. He sees faith as a direct result of having a deep, personal relationship with The Lord. Think about it, who do you trust in the natural world? Do you trust complete strangers? Of course not. You have faith in the people you really know, the people who have gained your trust through relationship and through their behavior over the years. When we apply this same truth to The Lord, our faith grows out of our relationship with Him. The deeper we move into the life of intimacy, the more our faith is strengthened. So, rather than unbelief flowing out of an evil heart, we have faith flowing out of a pure heart, a heart purified by His blood and renewed by His Spirt.

CHASING SHADOWS

CHASING SHADOWS

Heb. 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…

When I was in high school I had a Spanish teacher who was consumed with Don Quixote. When I say consumed, this guy was eaten up. He talked about Don Quixote every day. I don’t remember a single Spanish lesson that year. He even took us on a field trip to see Man from La Mancha on Broadway (I lived in New Jersey during my high school years). Don Quixote was living in an imaginary world caught up chasing “shadows”. He was totally disconnected from the “real world” and lived in an imaginary world of castles, knights, and fair maidens. Sometimes I think most of us live our lives disconnected from the “real world” chasing after shadows. You see, the “real world” is the unseen world of the kingdom. Most of us spend our time and our resources chasing the shadows of this natural world. A.W. Pink spoke about “shadow chasers” in his commentary on this verse.

“In the light of the whole context the specific reference in the exhortation of vs. 13 constitutes a solemn caution against apostasy (backsliding). What we particularly need to exhort one another about is to cleave fast to Christ, lest something else supplant Him in our affections. The whole trend of our sinful natures is to depart from the living God, to grasp at the shadows and miss the substance. This was the particular danger of the Hebrews. Sin was trying to deceive them. It was seeking to draw them back to Judaism as the one tue and divinely-appointed religion. To guard against the insidious appeals being made, the apostle urges them to “exhort one another daily, that is, promptly and frequently.”

I love Pink’s phrase “to grasp at shadows and miss the substance”. For those who have experienced the hidden kingdom, it is a substance. It is tangible and real, it is the very center of what our lives are all about. In comparison to the substance of the kingdom of God, this present world consists of shadows. I have noticed a trend in in a lot of the hip, trendy churches today. Much of their time is spent teaching the art of “shadow chasing”. They view the Bible as a hand book on how to improve and maximize all of their best shadow chasing efforts. Rather than embracing the substance of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of this world is the focus. Their emphasis becomes excellence in this present life; in their business, their marriages, and their ministry. Like Don Quixote, they are consumed with chasing dreams that have no substance and fighting battles that are not even real.
I’ll never forget that Spanish teacher, I can see him now, his arms flailing through the air as he chased shadows with the Man from La Mancha. There were castles, knaves, and of course, Dulcinea the imaginary fair maiden that consumed his life. What shadow are you chasing today?

ANOTHER LOOK

CONSIDER JESUS

Heb. 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

I love to think about Jesus, there will never be a time when we can say we have seen all there is of His greatness or His goodness, He is truly past finding out. Paul encouraged us to ‘consider Jesus’. Now we have to remember who these words were addressed to, they were written to the Christians in Jerusalem in the first century. Many of these believers had actually been alive and witnessed the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord. With that in mind, Paul is encouraging people who had known Jesus in the flesh and in the Spirit to consider Jesus again. What exactly was Paul saying? Andrew Murray often spoke of considering Jesus. Look at this excerpt from Murray’s classic book “The Holiest of All”.

“The word consider, from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, and the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze with which he seeks to discover all that can possibly be known of the stars which the object of his study are. And Jesus, who is God, who became man, and perfected our human nature in his wonderful life of suffering and obedience and now dwells in heaven to communicate to us its life and blessedness- oh, what reason there is for saying, CONSIDER JESUS. Gaze upon Him, contemplate Him. For some increased stars with devotion, what enthusiasm, what sacrifices are of times witnessed. Oh, let the study and possession of the Son of God waken our devotion and our enthusiasm, that we may be able to tell men what beauty and what glory there is in Jesus.”

This word consider also contains the idea of immersion. Paul is encouraging the Jewish Christians to saturate themselves in this incredible person. He started off this letter saying that Jesus is the outshining of the Father’s Glory, He is the exact image of His nature, and He is upholding the universe by His mighty words. all throughout Hebrews that is exactly what the Apostle is doing, he is considering Jesus. Have you considered or contemplated this incredible person lately. I am not talking about His commands or His blessings. I am not talking about His great works or even His mighty miracles, I am talking about Him. The focal point of the book of Hebrews was the opening up of the holy of holies to whosoever will. The veil of separation has been torn by the sacrifice of the Son of God, the debt has been paid, the sacrifice for man has been accepted, the way into fellowship and intimacy with God has been secured. As we consider Jesus something beautiful takes place, the Holy Spirit comes in all His power and Glory. You see you can never separate Jesus from the Holy Spirit, they are inseparable. So I say with Andrew Murray and the Apostle Paul, CONSIDER JESUS, as you do you will begin the greatest of all adventures, you will actually be on the journey called the new and living way, life behind the veil. This is what you were born for, you were born to consider Jesus. This the place of ultimate satisfaction, this is the place of life evermore.

CONSIDER JESUS

CONSIDER JESUS

Heb. 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

I love to think about Jesus, there will never be a time when we can say we have seen all there is of His greatness or His goodness, He is truly past finding out. Paul encouraged us to ‘consider Jesus’. Now we have to remember who these words were addressed to, they were written to the Christians in Jerusalem in the first century. Many of these believers had actually been alive and witnessed the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord. With that in mind, Paul is encouraging people who had known Jesus in the flesh and in the Spirit to consider Jesus again. What exactly was Paul saying? Andrew Murray often spoke of considering Jesus. Look at this excerpt from Murray’s classic book “The Holiest of All”.

“The word consider, from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, and the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze with which he seeks to discover all that can possibly be known of the stars which the object of his study are. And Jesus, who is God, who became man, and perfected our human nature in his wonderful life of suffering and obedience and now dwells in heaven to communicate to us its life and blessedness- oh, what reason there is for saying, CONSIDER JESUS. Gaze upon Him, contemplate Him. For some increased stars with devotion, what enthusiasm, what sacrifices are ofttimes witnessed. Oh, let the study and possession of the Son of God waken our devotion and our enthusiasm, that we may be able to tell men what beauty and what glory there is in Jesus.”

This word consider also contains the idea of immersion. Paul is encouraging the Jewish Christians to saturate themselves in this incredible person. He started off this letter saying that Jesus is the outshining of the Father’s Glory, He is the exact image of His nature, and He is upholding the universe by His mighty words. all throughout Hebrews that is exactly what the Apostle is doing, he is considering Jesus. Have you considered or contemplated this incredible person lately. I am not talking about His commands or His blessings. I am not talking about His great works or even His mighty miracles, I am talking about Him. The focal point of the book of Hebrews was the opening up of the holy of holies to whosoever will. The veil of separation has been torn by the sacrifice of the Son of God, the debt has been paid, the sacrifice for man has been accepted, the way into fellowship and intimacy with God has been secured. As we consider Jesus something beautiful takes place, the Holy Spirit comes in all His power and Glory. You see you can never separate Jesus from the Holy Spirit, they are inseparable. So I say with Andrew Murray and the Apostle Paul, CONSIDER JESUS, as you do you will begin the greatest of all adventures, you will actually be on the journey called the new and living way, life behind the veil. This is what you were born for, you were born to consider Jesus. This the place of ultimate satisfaction, this is the place of life evermore.