Hebrews 4 Ministries

Website Logo
"For the word of God is alive and active."
Hebrews 4:12
Daily Devotions for the week
The world has a progression as it seeks to find purpose, meaning and salvation for humanity. To begin, it turns to materialism. We are tricked into believing that our lives will be perfect if we can amass a large enough fortune or fine enough material possessions. Perhaps this false path confuses and ensnares the easiest. Before long, we realize the never-ending web of materialism. The more we acquire, the less satisfied we really are. The more we have, the more we want. This cycle does nothing to bring meaning, purpose or salvation to our lives. Secondly, the world taunts us with the false hope that philosophy will save us. We are fed the lie that if we can merely understand the cosmos and the inner workings of human emotions and development, we would find or manufacture peace and redemption. This only leads to a false sense of superiority, judgment and often isolation. The human experience cannot be boiled down into charts and tables. Our heart and soul is not so easily understood. In fact, the more we dig into mental improbabilities, the more questions we find than answers. When these two paths fail, we are offered social activism. This path appears the most likely one to lead us to our purpose and the meaning of our life and way of salvation. Certainly, doing good and benefiting the world and the people around us feels good, looks good and is good, but can it save our soul? Social activism may give our lives purpose and even superficial meaning, but it cannot right the wrong of our sins or erase the memory of them from God’s mind. The truth is that none of the ways the world offers takes us into eternal bliss and peace. Our purpose can only be discovered when we look at our lives through spiritual eyes. Only when we see how God can use the path we have traveled; can we see the opportunities He sets before us. Only when we give our life over to God can we find the meaning for our existence and fulfillment in His plan. Only when we stop trying to earn salvation, can we humble ourselves before the throne of God and find the free gift of eternal life given at the foot of the cross. Nothing can satisfy us as completely as God. We can search with every breath we have and not find our purpose, meaning or salvation in any path the world has to offer. Possessions tarnish and break. Philosophy changes on the whim of the eloquent speakers; Social activism get replaced by future generations who emphasize different projects and goals. Only God remains forever. Seek Him and find the meaning and salvation of your life. (Written by Keegan Harkins.) 
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they
which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
The first question to ask is, what is referred to as scriptures in our text above? At
the time, the book of John was not yet compiled. That tells us that “scriptures”
here refers to the Old Testament books of the bible (Genesis to Malachi). If you observe, in John 5:39, Jesus stated that the scriptures (Genesis to Malachi) testified of Him. Also, in Luke 24:27, Jesus explained to the disciples things concerning Himself from the scriptures (Genesis to Malachi). This doesn’t mean that all that is written in the scriptures (Genesis to Malachi) is about Him, instead, He simply focused on those things that spoke of Him. So, what did the scriptures testify of Him? What things concerning Himself from the scriptures did He explain to the disciples? Luke 24:26 says, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” The focus of His explanation were the things He suffered (His death and burial) and entering into
His glory (His resurrection from the dead). We see this again in Luke 24:44-46: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” We don’t find anywhere in the Old Testament texts where Christ is mentioned, but the aim of all the prophets speaking which was subsequently documented was Christ. And what they spoke of can be summarized in all He fulfilled by his death, burial, resurrection, and subsequent ascension. Christ is the focus of scriptures! The aim of our Bible study should be to see Christ. You are blessed. God loves you. Yes, you! (Written by Daniel Emmanuel.)
The words that we speak matter. The way we say what we say and how we respond matters. The world is filled with angry voices. There are plenty of opportunities in this world for people to hear the negative and the hopeless. Will your voice be different? Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” When we choose to speak life and speak love, we do more than uplift the moment. We speak healing. So many words are spoken without thought, without considering the consequences, without noticing the impact they have. Let us be purposeful with our words. Let us set aside our pride and choose to speak love. Let us choose to talk words of grace and forgiveness instead of vengeance and pain. Our words matter. They can breathe life into a faltering soul. They can heal a broken heart. They can return hope to the hopeless and joy to the sorrowful. When we speak pleasant words, we uplift and heal others as well as ourselves. We remind ourselves of the undeserved love God pours out on us all. Instead of lashing out, instead of returning the harsh words of another, instead of walking by without saying a word, speak life. Speak love. Speak healing to those we pass, and let our words heal our own hearts as well. (Written by Keegan Harkins.) 
Sin separates us from God. It brings about a death to that relationship because God, being holy and completely righteous, cannot dwell in the midst of sin. Exodus Chapter 33 reveals this sad truth but does not leave us without blessed hope. After God led the Israelites out of Egypt, they almost instantly rebelled. In fact, they created a golden statue and claimed it to be the deity that had granted them their freedom. They ignored the covenant they had just made with God and embraced the pagan rituals they were familiar with – they turned back to their old lifestyle and sinned. We can be quick to judge these wayward recipients of God’s favor, but many of us would have to admit that we have fallen into the same trap. When things get difficult, the past becomes comforting – even if the past wasn’t all that good. Familiarity blinds us to the dangers of our sinful lifestyles. In response to this rebellion, God revealed a huge insight into His character. Exodus 33:1-2 reveals God declaring that He would honor the promise he had made to their ancestors. He promises an angel to help them take their Promised Land. However, in verse 3, He says, “But I will not go with you.” We learn that #1) God is faithful even if we are not. He honors His promises because it is His character to be honorable, trustworthy, and dependable. #2) God will not abide with us when we embrace our sin. Sin separates us from God’s presence. It has to. The very nature and definition of sin is disobedience to God. God cannot be completely holy and righteous and ignore or condone that which is not. BUT, THE STORY DOES NOT END THERE! The remained of Chapter 33 reveals our blessed hope, our promise and lifeline, the answer to our inconsistent faith. Moses left the camp which had embraced sin and sought the Lord. He set up a tent of meeting outside the camp and prayed. The result: God came to meet him. In fact, verse 11 tells us, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”  This leads to God promising to go with the Israelites into their Promised Land and God declaring, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (verse 19) God never ignores those who seek Him! Never! Our sin separates us, but our repentance brings forgiveness. If you are separated from God’s presence right now, ask yourself what has formed the wedge. Repent of the sin and rely on God’s mercy and compassion to forgive us so that we can walk with confidence, knowing that God’s presence with go with you when you walk in obedience. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
God loves you far too much to leave you lost in your sin. He loves you far too much to allow you to declare that your faith is ‘good enough’. He wants you to continue to grow, continue to allow Him to polish off the rough edges of your life, continue to become all that He designed you to be. Revelation 3:19 says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” It isn’t because God is a tyrant that we face trials. These trials are reminders of God’s love and care. I know that it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, but I pray that God opens your eyes to how much His love flows in those difficult moment. Trials serve invaluable purposes to the faithful. They correct us when we have gotten off the path God lays out for us in His holy word. They challenge our faith to test it and prove it to be true. We will never understand how strong our faith is until it is tested through trials and painful moments in our lives. Those are the times when we hold on to our faith. Consider the grass. In times of heavy rain or diligent gardener’s care, the roots grow shallow. It requires a drought to force those roots to grow deeper into the soil in search of life-giving water. That is what trials do for you and I. In those time of drought, we search God all the more. We rely on Him because we have no other promise of deliverance. The result: our spiritual roots grow deeper. As we learn to depend on God more, we become stronger and more anchored where God has planted us. God loves us too much to leave us without ever facing a time of struggle and scarcity. He wants us to grow and be strong and perfected in our faith. Don’t resist these seasons of struggle. Use them to grow deeper in your relationship. Learn to depend on your Savior. Learn to walk by faith through the darkest nights and most blinding of storms; knowing that God loves you far too much to leave you ill prepared for what life throws at you. Trust Him and grow deeper. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” I have often thought of myself as being far from wise. My family loves to tell jokes and then count until I get the punch line. Sometimes I laugh without really understanding thinking I can fool them, but they always know. Wisdom and I have never been friends. I try, but it constantly eludes me. That is why I cling to this verse. The truth of it hit me a few years ago. Instantly, I understood this was an invitation to all of us, even me. I began to cry out to God for wisdom and understanding. Secretly, I hoped to be able to finally win at trivia games, but that is not the answer God gave to me. I didn’t instantly become able to recall facts and figures. I didn’t become witty and insightful. What God did give me was a different kind of wisdom than I expected but one far more useful in His kingdom. God started to show me “beyond what I could see”. The more I draw closer to God, my vision is changing. The “wisdom” of this world cracks and shatters into the lies so many do not understand. Walk with me through the ‘playground’ of this world. This world says that we can find true gratification and pleasure in partaking of all manner of fleshful fantasies. Our society finds it strange that someone would remain a virgin until they were married and then remain faithful to only one partner. They revel in the freedom to express their sexuality and explore their options. God’s wisdom reveals what sin doesn’t want us to see. It shows the lost and empty feeling. It reveals the truth that no amount of physical pleasure can ease the torment of your heart. This world says that money can solve all our problems. God’s wisdom reveals that greed only magnifies our woes. The world’s wisdom says that revenge will heal the scars of pain. God’s wisdom sees how hatred magnifies those wounds and cuts us deeper. Wisdom opens our eyes to the truth. We will never find what makes us whole searching in the dark. Embrace the light but don’t stop there. Don’t keep God’s light hidden away so only you can see. Shine it for all because some may just notice the lies of this world when the light of truth shines upon them. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)

Hebrews 4 Ministries

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