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Encourage0gram May 18, 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
May 18, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
We spent several days last week in the “Let Us” patch found in Hebrews 10.  There is a mini-Let Us patch in chapter four.
 
NIV Hebrews 4:14-15
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet he did not sin.
 
The writer establishes the superiority of Jesus in every way in Hebrews 1-3.  He is greater than angels and Moses.  He is our uniquely qualified High Priest! 
 

  1. Unique by His character.   Jesus is his earthly name which means “the Lord saves.”  He is also the Son of God equal in every way with the Father and the Spirit (1:1-3).  Jesus is fully man and fully God.
  2. Unique by His Call.  He was called by God, the Father, to be our Priest.  (5:1-10).  He is not a descendant of Aaron but of Melchizedek, the King of Salem.  Jesus has completed his work on earth and is now ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, a position of equality and authority with the Father.
  3. Unique by His Compassion.  He empathizes with us as humans.  He, himself, did not sin but He was tempted in every way just as we are. If we want a Counselor to help us in our temptations, it makes sense we would run to One who was successful in overcoming temptations.  Jesus did this in a human body on the earth. (2:10-11,17-18 and 5:7-9).  Jesus has experienced human life on earth in all its pain, sorrow and sin!  Jesus experienced every test and temptation!  Therefore, Jesus knows and Jesus cares! 

 
This conclusive evidence should convince us not only to believe on Jesus but to confess Him.  We agree with God that Jesus is our Great High Priest and Savior!  This confession of our faith is one we will continue to affirm.  We hold firmly to our faith in Jesus!  To hold firmly means we grasp on to Jesus by faith and will not let go (see 10:23).  This is the first “let us” command.  We profess and hold on together!  It is a work of the Spirit is us and we are encouraged by each other to do it! 
 
It is healthy to confess our weaknesses!  We are weakened by our human condition.  We are weakened by our sin nature and the sinful choices we make.  We are weak and we need a Savior who will intercede for us!  Jesus is our uniquely qualified Savior, so we confess Him and hold fast to Him. 
 
This is a timely word from the Lord.  We are under stress!  We are worried about our unknown future days on earth. When we come to the end of ourselves – we are persuaded to reach out in faith to Jesus. This is the wisest choice we could ever make! 
 
John Peterson describes how he wrote “No one Understands like Jesus.”
 
"At one time I had a fairly responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for "my" position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt.   Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation--in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write." 
No one understands like Jesus.
He's a friend beyond compare;
Meet Him at the throne of mercy;
He is waiting for you there.
 
No one understands like Jesus;
Ev'ry woe He sees and feels;
Tenderly He whispers comfort,
And the broken heart He heals.
 
No one understands like Jesus
When the foes of life assail;
You should never be discouraged;
Jesus cares and will not fail!
 
No one understands like Jesus
When you falter on the way;
Tho' you fail Him, sadly fail Him,
He will pardon you today.
 
CHORUS:
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus--
Cast your ev'ry care on Him!
 
Just before I say goodbye for today, I want to ask you to consider coming over to our church to help our master gardener Betty Geer.  She felt led by God to plant a huge garden.  The produce from it will be given away to people in need both in our church and in our community.  It is an ambitious project.  This week she needs help to get the seeds in the soil.  She will be here this week from 8:30 am til 1:30 pm Tuesday through Friday.  Please come and help!
 
Until tomorrow,
Pastor Rick

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