Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 10: 24-25’

The Church: God’s crowning achievement

July 21, 2018

 

The Church is designed to be the Crowning Achievement of God’s creative wisdom.

Inspired by a new series of teachings entitled “Church Matters” by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries of Sanford, NC, I have been thinking about the magnitude of the Church, as God is putting the “finishing touches on His crowning achievement.” God is perfecting the Church, individually and corporately. A blog entry posted last month spoke of the “perfecting work” God is performing:

Hebrews 13:20-21:

20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

When we encounter situations we where we recognize that we are being perfected or brought to a higher level of maturity, we must remember this:

James 1:2-4 (NLT):

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing

1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV offers these words of comfort

10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

As we find ourselves in transition moving toward the perfection or completion of all that God has planned for us, we must remember:

Philippians 1:6

6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

As reflections of God’s love, we are not just a good work, but we are part of God’s masterpiece, a glorious display of His workmanship. The good work that was begun in us when we first accepted Christ as our Savior culminates in the glorious manifestation of all that God designed us to be. God desires that we fulfill His purpose for each believer, individually as well as corporately as members of the Body of Christ.

Another phrase to describe the Church is God’s “crowning achievement” evokes a number of synonyms: crowning accomplishment, crowning glory, masterpiece or masterwork, showpiece, smash hit, work of a master, great work or magnum opus. Ephesians 2:10 declares that “. . . we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The word “workmanship” is translated from the Greek word poiema, which means “masterpiece, a glorious creation, a centerpiece of attention, as the French would say, le piece de resistance, or showpiece.” Of course, the Greek word poiema is transliterated into our English word poem, which in the minds of many people, present company included, is always a “masterpiece” or glorious creation. Likewise, the Church is always a work in progress—always in transition, as Ephesians 4:13 reminds us of the direction we are moving in:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

The Church has been designed to display the infinitely variegated, wisdom of God, as Ephesians 3:10 in the Amplified Bible reveals:

[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.

Though we may not presently see the fullness of that revelation, we are ever moving in that direction. “For we know when that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away.” The Church is always moving . . . from faith to faith . . . from glory to glory . . . from victory to victory. We are continually getting closer to

The Finish

Jesus said unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work.

John 4:34

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you

will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

Philippians 1:6

In this present season God is placing a great demand
On those who excel, those seeking to run and win the race.
Though the way seems grueling, we are still guided by His hand.
God exhorts us to run as He sustains us by His grace.
First we cross the finish line, then we mount the victor’s stand.

Awaiting true sons, all creation still groans and travails
Until our full redemption when, at last, Christ shall descend.
Each one who endures to the end is the one who prevails.
With strength to finish our course, we strive to the very end.
First we cross the finish line, then we mount the victor’s stand.

We run with purpose, and we discipline our lives to win,
And we know all things are working together for the good.
Laying aside every weight and every besetting sin,
To do the will of God and to finish: this is our food.
First we cross the finish line, then we mount the victor’s stand.

We now run the race, being conformed into his image,
Assured our God is faithful to provide and to protect,
For each day we see ourselves transformed into Christ’s visage,
Knowing this work He began, He will complete and perfect.
First we cross the finish line, then we mount the victor’s stand.

As we run, we watch and wait, knowing that we shall endure.
As with Timothy, we make full proof our ministry.
We ever seek to make our calling and election sure,
Pressing toward the finish, the mark of full maturity.
First we cross the finish line, then we mount the victor’s stand.

As believers we are members in particular in the Body of Christ, the Church, God’s masterpiece, His “Crowning Achievement.” Philippians 1:6 and other verses reinforce the message that we are part of God’s “Great Work” sung by Brian Courtney Wilson: “Great Work”

Do not provoke but encourage

June 18, 2018

 

Although we have moved beyond Father’s Day, once again, the focus of the Verse of the Day for June 18, 2018 remains on fathers.

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT):

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 (NLT) provides a similar exhortation:

Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Not only are fathers not to provoke their children, but all believers in general are not to provoke God, their Father, by means of unrighteous behavior and unbelief, as the Children of Israel did in the Old Testament. Hebrews 3:16 (AMP points out what occurred:

For who were they who heard and yet provoked Him [with rebellious acts]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?

Psalm 98: 7-9 (NKJV) remind believers that they should

For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,

When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.

As Christian believers today, we must also learn from the provocative behavior of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness whereby they did not enter into rest that God desired for them because of their unbelief.

Rather than becoming fathers who provoke our children to wrath or to respond in anger, Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) offers this reminder:

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

This verse applies, not only to fathers, but to all believers. We are not to provoke one another, but we are to motivate one another and by all means “encourage one another” with the words we say and by the works  we do. This poem reinforces the message:

Motivate one another

Let us think of ways to motivate one another

to acts of love and good works.

Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)

 

In these trying times, we must adapt to this new season
And transition into the Kingdom God will release,
As we trust in the Lord always and learn to hold our peace.
God, our gracious, all-wise Father, reveals every reason
That we should follow if we are to enjoy good success.
God calls us and then gives us authority and power
To walk by faith and fulfill our mission during this hour
And connect with those of like spirit who desire to bless.
We watch, endure hardship, and do what we are called to do.
As we abide in His Word and live sacrificially,
We are strategic to make full proof of our ministry
And acknowledge that God is ever faithful and His Word is true.
We must walk in the light, not in the place where pride lurks
But motivate one another to love and good works.

Listen to a song of celebration based on Hebrews 10:19-25: “Come Together.”

 

Fathers: Don’t provoke. . .

June 18, 2014

Ephesians-6 4

Once again, the focus of the Verse of the Day for June 18, 2014 is on fathers:

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4 KJV

Colossians 3:21 provides a similar exhortation:

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Not only are fathers not to provoke their children, but all believers in general are not to provoke God, their Father, by means of unrighteous behavior and unbelief, as the Children of Israel did in the Old Testament. Hebrews 3:16 points out what occurred:

For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

The exhortation reminds believers that they should

“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Believers today are to learn from the provocative behavior of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness whereby they did not enter into rest that God desired for them because of their unbelief.

Rather than provoking our children to wrath or to respond in anger, Hebrews 10:24 offers this reminder:

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: This verse applies, not only to fathers, but all believers.

Listen to a scripture memory song based on Hebrews 10:24-25: “Provoke unto Love and Good Works.”