pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Our Great High Priest

Jesus is our great high priest, perfect in all ways, full of mercy and grace.  He is one who can sympathize with our human weakness yet is still perfect Himself.  Jesus is holy and blameless and pure – set apart from sinners in this, yet also interceding on our behalf.  What great love the Father has lavished on us through His Son!

Unlike human priests (and pastors) who sin and struggle with life, Jesus forever remains our great high priest.  Jesus will live and serve forever – at least until He returns!  In His role as the great high priest He gives us access to the Father.  He is the conduit through who we can begin to know God.  Jesus also intercedes on our behalf to bring about our salvation.  Lastly, in His time here on earth, Jesus gives us the example of what God’s love lived out looks like.

What does all of this mean for you and me in our daily lives?  It means we have a savior who we can go to and draw strength from at any time and for any need.  It means we have a friend who is on our side.  Even though He sits enthroned beside God almighty, He still intercedes before God on our behalf.  Through the strength He gives and through the intercession He provides, He makes our salvation possible.  On our own we would surely fail.  And Jesus provides us the perfect example of how to live.  Although we will never attain perfection, still we strive to love God and neighbor as Jesus loved them.  Oh perfecter of our faith, oh great high priest, lead us this day and every day!

Scripture reference: Hebrews 7: 23-28


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On Solid Ground

The psalmist cried out for vindication from his enemies.  He asks God to test him and to try him as a means of proving he is worthy of God’s rescuing hand.  In the midst of a trial or unpleasant experience we often have similar thoughts – I have followed your ways God, I have been faithful in worship, I have given my gifts –  so why is this happening to me?

The psalmist also uses the company he keeps as leverage point.  He makes his case that he does not hang out with the evil doers, with the wicked.  He reminds God that he loves God’s home, that he loves to spend time in the sanctuary.  Our arguments fall along the same lines.

In the psalm we also find our true strength in the midst of the storms.  He proclaims praise for God and tells of God’s wonderful deeds.  In doing so he remembers a God who loves and cares for His people.  He reminds himself and God that he leads a blameless life.  Our God too is a loving God, a God who cares for us in the midst of our trials.

The psalm ends with “my feet stand on solid ground.”  When we are in a relationship with God we too stand on solid ground.  Even when life is storming all around us, we stand firm on the solid rock of Jesus.  Despite all that life throws at us, we can stand assured that in the end whether the trial or life itself, we will be triumphant because we stand upon our faith.

Scripture reference: Psalm 26


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Job’s Great Example

The story of Job fascinates me.  A devout and faithful man suffers unjust persecution.  He loses all of his family and all of his possessions and is afflicted with illness.  His wife and friends badger him and go so far as to advise him to just curse God and die.  But Job does not turn from God.  He questions why he is suffering but he remains faithful.

Almost daily we see examples of unjust suffering in our world.  It can come from a natural disaster or from one’s fellow man.  It can affect one person or dozens or the masses.  In all people’s lives there are times of unjust suffering.  For many, our response is not like Job’s.  We wonder why God is punishing us or we get angry at God or we walk away from our faith.

The story of Job reveals to us in great detail that unjust suffering does occur in our world.  It also reveals that God does not cause it and that God remains present to us in the midst of our suffering.  It is up to us if we continue to draw upon God in the midst of our suffering or if we get angry or if we walk away or …

Job sets us a great example.  He was blameless yet suffered.  He was put to a severe test and he came through it.  He relied on God, listened to God’s voice, and drew upon His strength.  We too will suffer at times.  May we also realize that we are not alone and may we draw upon God’s strength, love, and presence as we journey through our hardship.

Scripture reference: Job 1:1 and 2:1-3