Good morning to you my special family in Christ

Hebrews 3:1-2 reads: - Therefore, dear brothers whom God has set apart for Himself—you who are chosen for heaven—I want you to think now about this Jesus who is God’s Messenger and the High Priest of our faith. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house.

A few years ago I attended a school reunion and many of us had not seen each other in over thirty years. We arranged a group photograph and the nice thing with modern cell phones is that they are very convenient to take photos. Even better is being able to look at the photo immediately to see if it’s a keeper. So, one of us checks the photo to see who has their eyes closed, who’s looking away from the camera, or who moved so the photo is out of focus. Hopefully, there is at least one photo to save, send to the group, and worthy of a social media post.

Out of focus photos sometimes happen because people were not looking at the right place at the right moment. Being out of focus is also not unusual in life.

A friend said that he had never heard his parents talk about stress, yet today it is a common term. It is true, that they may have had stress, but persevered and focused on what they had to do and determined to leave less pressing things for another time. Not so today; we focus on our stress and distractions. We talk about our stress with others and we become more stressed and negative when we do.

Life is blurry when we don’t focus on God. In Hebrews 3:1 we are encouraged to “fix our thoughts on Jesus.” Like looking in the right direction for a group photo, so that we can have a clear picture, turning our eyes and thoughts to the Lord Jesus will lead us to confidence. He will lead me in the right direction as Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight”

Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to focus on God, not on our stress, imagination of the negative, or on our frantic struggles, but rather to, “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

What better place to focus than on the One who died for me and sits next to the throne of God as my advocate? 1 John 2:1 reminds us “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence -- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world”

Each of us has necessary tasks to complete each day, and important activities to attend to. We have things we’d like to do for relaxation and leisure is important to refresh and refuel. Maybe we enjoy a hobby that takes time. Yes, there is a lot to do. The bottom line is, we face choices. What should we do and what can we put aside?

By focusing our eyes and thoughts on the Lord Jesus, we will know what’s on His list and when to do it. When life gets blurry and we are not sure what to do or where to go next, we can focus on God. He is trustworthy to direct our steps and give us clear vision.

The overarching theme of Hebrews is Jesus is better. The Book of Hebrews was a letter written to a group of Jewish people who had accepted the Lord Jesus as Messiah. It is difficult for those of us from a Gentile background to understand this chapter if we don’t grasp just who Moses was to the Jewish mind. Jews revered Moses as the greatest of all Hebrews, perhaps even the greatest man in all of history. When we begin to understand that fact, then the comparison of Moses to God the Son, Jesus Christ, is a little easier to accept. When the writer says, “as Moses also was faithful,” we must add that for the most part Moses was faithful. He was by no means perfect, and acted several times like any other human being, no better or worse. There was the time when Moses lost his temper and hit the rock, but the writer of Hebrews doesn’t bring that up. His point is to remind us that many Jews expected the Messiah to be a “new Moses,” But we know that not only is the Lord Jesus like Moses but He in fact far surpasses Moses.

These Hebrew believers had already confessed Jesus as their High Priest. But they must not have fully understood just who Jesus is if they were now being tempted to give Him up.

When Salvation Army founder William Booth was dying, there were some legal matters to tend to. The lawyer said to Mrs. Booth, “If you can get him to sign these papers, the will can be executed much more smoothly.” The problem was that Booth, who was drifting in and out of consciousness, was often delirious. But they were able to wake him long enough to get his signature on several pages. Though scribbled somewhat roughly, the lawyer said it was good enough. Then Booth died. Upon later examination of the signature, it was discovered that instead of signing his name, Booth had written the name “Jesus” on every one of the papers. Jesus was the only name on his mind, and His should be the name most on our minds as well.

The Lord Jesus Christ is far superior to the angels because He is God Himself. The Son of God became human as our Lord Jesus Christ in order to become our High Priest.

At first it seems abrupt when the author of Hebrews jumps to a comparison of Christ with Moses. But when we remember that the audience of this epistle is thinking of returning to the old covenant laws, this comparison becomes entirely understandable. After all, the primary mediator of the old covenant was Moses, and an epistle comparing the new covenant to the old one will necessarily also compare the mediator of the new covenant to the mediator of the old one. For all his greatness as the mediator of the old covenant, Moses, even if he wanted to, could never do what was necessary to grant salvation for God’s people. As a sinner, Moses was unable to render that perfect obedience needed to set men and women right with the Lord. He was finally able to bring the nation to the edge of Canaan and thus fulfill the promises of God on that front, but he was not able to take them into their full inheritance. John Calvin said, “Moses was committed to a doctrine to which he, in common with others, was to submit; but Christ, though He put on the form of a servant, is yet Master and Lord, to whom all ought to be subject.” Hence, Moses looked forward to the coming of the One who would surpass him in honour and glory.

Like Moses, we too are servants of God, and we want the Lord to pronounce us as good and faithful servants on the last day. While our acts of service do not earn us a place in heaven as it will always be imperfect, God will look at the pattern of His children’s lives and reward them for their deeds. The question that will be asked is” Are you and I faithful to serve the Master of the house — the Lord Jesus Christ? Trust in God to give you what you need to be faithful to Him.

The New Testament teaches that Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King. The Lord Jesus speaks God’s Word to us, intercedes for us, and leads us where we should go.

So today and each day as we seek to live our lives, we can confess our need for our Lord Jesus to hold these offices on our behalf and remember that He will always speak to us, intercede for us, and lead each of us.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Saviour, And life more abundant and free. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth, will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”

Let us pray

O Lord our God and heavenly Father, we praise You that You are the same yesterday and today and forever and that You are our solid Rock, our Fortress, our Rescuer, our Shield, our salvation’s strength, and our place of safety. You Lord made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm. We acknowledge that nothing is too difficult for You. Thank you for revealing Yourself to us through Your Word, by Your Holy Spirit, and in Your creation, that we might stand in awe of You. You alone are worthy of praise and glory and honour, for You have created all things, that in all things You might receive all honour and glory and praise. LORD, help us to keep You in the centre of our minds and hearts this day. In the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen

Much love in Christ to you from Maurice and Margaret