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Hebrews 4 Ministries

"For the word of God is alive and active."
Hebrews 4:12
Daily Devotions for the week
I was never one to pay attention to genealogies in the bible because they bored me.  However, my perspective is changing as I continue to study the bible and learn more about the different characters. For example, as my knowledge continues to grow, I get excited about the genealogy in Mathew 1.   I see so many, “But God,” examples in this passage.  Allow me to explain.
 I see names like Rahab who WAS a prostitute. Jacob who WAS a deceiver. Ruth who WAS a pagan. The key word is WAS.  These people had a marred past BUT GOD! But God forgave them. But God used them for His glory. Their past did not hinder God from using them and ultimately changing them!  I love this because I am living this truth. My life is a continuous ‘BUT GOD’ testimony! It’s not your past mistakes that disqualifies you.  Instead, it’s your decision to continue in those mistakes and not come to the one who is able to make all things new…again and again! 
 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
(Written by Anika Jones.)
Today, I saw a banner on someone’s Facebook page that said, “We were meant to be perfectly imperfect.” How beautifully put. Perfection taunts and teases but can never be grasped. The truth of this message penetrates deeper than our skin, deeper than our hair, deeper than our sense of style. It speaks to the very nature of who we are. “We were meant to be perfectly imperfect.” I have a cousin who has lived her life confined to a wheelchair. She has little control over her movement and speech, and yet she brings so much love and beauty to every room she enters.  My mother suffered from depression her entire life. It was painful to see her in the depths of her struggle, but I saw the perfection in her imperfection. Very few people could reach others who struggled as well as my mother. She had a way of seeing the pain hidden under the smile and a gentle way of helping the lost find God’s love. Her imperfection truly was beautiful. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior. If we were perfect, we couldn’t understand grace, mercy and forgiveness. If we were perfect, we could never reach those who fall short of that mark. Maybe it’s time we think of perfection of bit differently. Maybe it’s time we embrace our imperfections as being a perfect part of who God made us to be. Maybe it’s time we see our struggles and shortcomings as more than an opportunity for improvement. What if we saw them as an opportunity to reach other imperfect souls? What if we saw our struggles and weaknesses as blessings? Could we learn to embrace our perfect imperfections and just be loved? (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
THE LORD OF LOVE
I deserved to die but You embraced death to save me from its cruelty.
You were betrayed, denied, abandoned, harassed, demoralized,
Bitten, struck and crucified on the cross.
Oh how wonderful and precious love eternal, everlasting forever and ever.
Deep in my heart,
Your love remains: remembered, cherished and treasured.
My Lord Jesus Christ, my God, my all, my first and last love now and forevermore.
You paid the penalty for my sins through Your own blood-sinless, perfect.
You died so that I may live with freedom from the bondage and condemnation of sin and death - the eternal hell.
You took the shame which was supposedly mine hanging half-naked on the cross so that
I may live freely with dignity, without the shadow of shame of the past.
You were condemned, rejected and cursed by Your own people so that I may receive acceptance in the family of God, the congregation of the chosen, the citizenship of heaven.
You were bruised, afflicted and tortured so that I may receive the healing of my bodily infirmities, the healing of my mind, my soul and the healing of my broken spirit.
You bore the pain and sorrows so that I may receive the divine, heavenly peace and joy which I was longing and hoping to find.
Only in You my Lord the true rest I find. (Written by Worm lepidopteran.)
“Therefore, come out form them and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) Everyone wants to be included. No one wishes to be the last one picked or the only one sitting alone. To be ‘separate’ from everyone else doesn’t always feel like the best thing, but still it is God’s command. If God commands it, we can be assured the reasoning is for the benefit of those who love and obey Him. We see this command repeated throughout scripture and we see Israel’s rebellion and obedience to it. When they settled in Egypt, they obeyed. The result let to discrimination and hatred by their neighbors, BUT it kept the Israelites from losing their identity during their 430 years in Egypt. When they settled in the Promised Land, the command was repeated but ignored. To some degree, the mingling of the Israelites with the people who occupied the land made life easier for them, but at what cost? Almost immediately, we see their refusal to “be separate” leads to them falling away from their faith and turning their backs on God. As unpleasant as being the odd-man-out may see, God’s command protects us. When we immerse ourselves in the society that glorifies sin, we find ourselves making excuses and exceptions for it. We may even find ourselves ‘rewriting’ God’s laws to include or erase that which society deems appropriate. “Therefore, come out from them and be separate.” The command protects us and our hearts from corruption. In the game of sin and rebellion, it’s better to not get picked than to be the first to fall. No one ‘plays’ with sin and comes away undamaged. “Therefore, come out from them and be separate.” We are different. We may be ridiculed because of it, but we were created to be separate from sin. Don’t risk your eternal comfort for a momentary pleasure. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3).
As a believer (in Christ), what does it mean to be blessed? Is it just about material or physical blessing?
For years, I would say, all emphasis on being blessed I knew was channeled in the direction of material
or physical blessings. But now I have come to understand that these are nothing compared to what the
true blessing of being in Christ represents. From our text, we see that because we are in Christ, we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. The question to ask would be, what do these spiritual blessings represent? Let’s take a cue from Romans 4:6-8: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Hallelujah! We see David describe a blessed man as one who God imputes righteousness without works;
one whose sin is not imputed to him; one whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered.
Who is the man? The man in Christ! So, are you in Christ? Then you are blessed man! All because of Jesus we are blessed. All our sins have been imputed to Him. In Him we have received forgiveness of sins by His blood (Ephesians 1:7). Now that’s some blessing! That’s what money can never buy! It’s simply the grace of God lavished on man that Christ who knew no sin was made sin for us. And once we believe in Him, we are credited with righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Hallelujah! Friend, this is a higher blessing to rejoice in. This is something to cherish. Realizing that we have been made righteous not by our works but simply God’s Grace lavished on us. The Amplified version of our text says, “May blessing (praise, laudation and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...”; So let’s take the time today to praise and speak well of God for all He has done in bestowing righteousness to us; bringing us to right standing with Him. You are blessed. God loves you. Yes, you! (Written by Daniel Emmanuel.)
A lost and lonely dog growls at the hand of the one attempting to rescue it. He doesn’t yet understand love and compassion. He doesn’t yet know how to wag his tail or give sloppy kisses. He knows fear. He knows pain. What he knows, however, is about to change. Eventually, he will let that hand pet him and discover just how good it feels. Eventually, he will grow to love and not fear, and the one who rescued him will have a friend. We accept that rescue dogs can bloom into wonderful pets, but do we treat humans with such grace? Do we rejoice at the change in a lost soul as easily as we do a rehabilitated pet? How are the lost to know love if never shown it? How are the saved to begin their new life in Christ is we still judge them by their old one? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate the new by treating the past with grace. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)

Hebrews 4 Ministries

"For the word of God is alive and active."
Hebrews 4:12