Thursday, July 6, 2017

HEBREWS 13:20-21

"Now the God of peace...
equip you in every good thing to do His will,
working in us that which is pleasing in His sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory
for ever and ever."

I've seen the shepherd and the sheep above timberline before like this.  It bring back the memories of the sheep calling noisily to each other, some sounding so much like a person calling, "Help!" that it made us want to search for an injured hiker.  However, as we paused, we realized that it was only a sheep's voice with which the shepherd was familiar. 

Last post I addressed the first part, "Now the God of peace."  But this same God has something in mind for you, to equip you in every good thing."  I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty good.  What will that look like in your life?  I'd guess that it is a little different in every Christian's life.  Again, I refer you back to one of my favorite verses in Scripture, James 1:17 when it says,
"Every good thing and  every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. "
May I conclude that being equipped is a perfect gift from our Father?  There are the fruits of the Spirit, then there are the gifts.

"Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
each of us is to exercise them accordingly:
if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
if service, in his serving;
or he who teaches , in his teaching;
or he who exhorts, in his exhortation;
he who gives, with liberality;
he who leads, with diligence;
he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
(Romans 12:6-8)

Did you think that the purpose of the gift God has gifted you with is "to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight"?   How's that working for you?  My six year old granddaughter is a little obsessed with being sick after having a traumatic bout of a terrible virus.  While visiting this past Sunday, she kept asking me, "Grandma, is anyone sick?"  "No."  "Has anyone thrown up?"  "No."  "How's your breathing?"  "I'm fine."  "Good, that means you're not going to die right now and will be alright for a while."  Yep.  As long as I am still breathing, God has a good work to do through me.  My desire as long as I still have breath, is to be well pleasing so that He may say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

The King James Version says, "Now the God of peace...make you perfect in every good work."

Adam Clarke says, "'Make you perfect'...They were to do the will of God in every good work, from God working in them that which is well pleasing in His sight.  1. This necessarily implies a complete change in the whole soul, that God may be well pleased with whatsoever He sees in it; and this supposes its being cleansed from all sin, for God's sight cannot be pleased with anything that is unholy.  2.  This complete inward purity is to produced by the blood of the everlasting covenant; for although God is love, yet it is not consistent with His justice or holiness to communicate any good to mankind but through His Son, and through Him as having died for the offences of the human race."

This is referring to entire sanctification, being cleansed so we can be a pure vessel to be filled with the Spirit.  Just as we would hesitate to drink from any vessel that was dirty though filled with sparkling water, we know that it would contaminate it.  God is like that.  We cannot be perfect in every good work...well pleasing in His sight' without this purity.  This does not mean God puts on His magic sunglasses so that He cannot see the sin still in us.  This means the whole purpose of sending His Son was to make it possible to be able to enter the Holy of Holies when the curtain was torn in the temple upon His death, to be able to have a cleansed, having a perfect heart before Him and to be empowered to do His will and work and be well pleasing in His sight."

Then Adam Clarke says, "'To whom be glory forever.'  A God does all in, by, and through Christ Jesus, to Him be the honour of His own work ascribed through time and eternity.  Amen."

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