June 11, 2023 - Preparing for the Lord's DayJune 11, 2023 Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Jesus is Better
In the spring, I enjoy working out in the yard. After a full day of ministry, an ideal evening is loading up my equipment in the garage and taking off into the yard, especially when the grass is green, and the plants are blooming. In my endeavor to increase my skills as a landscaper, I have learned some important lessons. One of them is that there are no problems unique to me as a gardener. Regardless of the questions I have or the predicaments I sometimes find for myself, some other outdoorsman has already wrestled with the same dilemma. I have also learned that the best way to save myself hours of headaches is to ask a pro how he or she deals with a problem.
In applying this same approach to temptation, we are wise to ask, “Who has struggled with the same problem and dealt with it successfully and consistently?” The writer of Hebrews gives the answer: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). If we are looking for an expert who has had experience with temptation and who has overcome it triumphantly, we need to look no further than Jesus Christ!
This coming Sunday, we’ll continue our sermon series through the book of Hebrews entitled “Jesus is Better.” This wonderfully rich book teaches us about the centrality of our God and Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point of our faith and for the whole of our life! In Hebrews 4 thus far, we have heard the warning to watch out for spiritual drift and disbelief that can slowly and subtlety creep into our hearts and minds from time to time, nearly causing our faith to be destroyed. Last Sunday, praise God that we heard that God’s word is living and active and will penetrate our hearts for our good and God’s glory.
In our verses for this Sunday at the close of Hebrews chapter 4, the writer turns from truthful warnings earlier in the chapter to words of great encouragement rooted in “Our Great and Compassionate High Priest.” To come prepared for the sermon, take time to read and meditate upon Hebrews 4:14-16. Look for the motivations that encourage us to embrace the two Biblical exhortations of our text: “Let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14) and “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). Beyond Hebrews 4:14-16, also please read and meditate upon Isaiah 53:4-6, Joel 2:12-13, Matthew 9:35-38, Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 1:1-4, and 1 John 2:1-2.
As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “To God Be the Glory,” the Acclamation of Praise “How Dee the Father’s Love,” and the Hymn of Response “My Hope is in the Lord.” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!