the covenant has been changed

Hebrews 8


For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

This chapter Hebrews 8 makes it very clear that the old ways of the human priests offering gifts and sacrifices according to the law, and the creation and building of the tabernacle, is old, faulty, decayed, and ready to vanish away.

In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

Instead, the old covenant has been replaced by the new covenant of Christ our high priest, a heavenly sanctuary, and the Lord's new law, written on our hearts. We should no longer try to live under the antiquated ways, but we should rejoice in the liberty of forgiven life in the merciful Christ.

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


the priesthood has been changed

Hebrews 7


For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

In Hebrews 7 we see that God's people are no longer supposed to have a line of human priests. The human priests were fallible, and would have to offer sacrifices for their own sins. Also, there would come a day when the priests would have to die and be replaced.

Like the amazing Melchisedec, of whom we hear in this chapter, who God made without any human parents, or any certain time when he started being there, and never died like other people do, God sent Jesus. Jesus is eternal, was with God in the beginning, and lives forever. He is also the only person who is perfect and infallible, and never needs to offer sacrifices for His own sins because He has never done anything wrong.

Now we see that we're not supposed to have a line of human priests any more, because the Lord has changed the priesthood to Jesus. Now, instead, Christ is the only one who is our priest, and we are supposed to look to Him alone for that.


the Lord doesn't forget

Hebrews 6


For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

If we get discouraged because it seems like we are doing so much hard work, but it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere, then we can take encouragement in the promise that the Lord doesn't forget it.

That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Let's just be diligent and keep having patience, because we can have faith for a great blessing and hope in Him.


1 Thessalonians 2 - Key


For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

We should work diligently on the good things that the Lord has given us to do. That goes along with preaching the gospel, so that some of us can provide for our own needs to preach the gospel instead of being a burden to other people who would have to support us.


Romans 12:11
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

I'll be diligent to get my work done and spend time with the Lord before having fun instead of being lazy and wasting time.


get into the habit of listening

Hebrews 5


Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

We should sharpen our spiritual senses to the Lord, but practicing putting His Word, that we hear, into action in our lives. Otherwise, if we keep hearing it without obeying it, we will get into the bad habit of not really listening.


For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

We should grow and become mature: exercising our consciences by deciding to listen to God's Word and to do what it teaches is right.


1 Thessalonians 2 - Outline

Paul's pure and honest approach in bringing the Thessalonians the gospel
Paul behaved with love, hard work, and holiness
the Thessalonians received Word, with action, believing it was from God
the sinful people persecuted the brethren
Paul's desire for the good of the brethren


the servants of our God

Revelation 7


Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

There were awesome rewards to the 144,000 who were sealed, and to the multitude in white robes in this chapter. We shouldn't take for granted that we would be sealed or clothed in white robes. Those who were sealed were called the servants of our God. If we want these rewards, we need to be diligent to faithfully serve the Lord.


salvation to our God

Revelation 7


And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

I get the impression that this multitude of people from every nation and language, wearing white robes, were the people who had been saved from eternal damnation by faith in Jesus Christ. Having been saved, they were now saying, Salvation to our God... I think that salvation was something they had received, so they were giving it back.

Let's consider how great of a thing it is that we have been given salvation. And, let us seriously take up this privilege and calling, to be the Lord's faithful servants.


the Word of God is powerful

Hebrews 4


For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We should pay attention to the convictions from the Word.


rejoicing of the hope

Hebrews 3


Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

What was it about the heart in such a person that made it an evil heart? It was a heart of unbelief...

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

The Lord doesn't want us going around thinking, Oh brother, now I have to do this great thing, that is hard work, to serve the Lord. It probably won't work or get me anywhere. Faith is about having confidence, and the Lord wants us to have joy and hope.

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

When we serve the Lord, instead of sinning through unbelief, we should let ourselves rejoice in confidence for our hope in Him.


1 Thessalonians 1 - Key


Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

We should have patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

When I feel like I have much affliction as I try to follow the Lord and His Word in my life, here is a way that I can have joy. I'll take joy in those situations by patiently waiting on the Lord--like v10a talks about how we turned... to wait for his Son from heaven..... I'll look forward, in faith, to my future with Him.


give more earnest heed

Hebrews 2


Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip.

Let's be reminded by this verse today, to pay close attention to listening to the Word of God. I know that we already know this, but this is just an example of something we can focus on now. One thing to do about this could be to make sure to spend time in the Word today, reading the Bible, praying about it, and taking note of what it says.


1 Thessalonians 1 - Outline

grace and peace to the Church
constant prayer and thanks for them
they had joy despite much affliction when they received the Word
they sounded out the Lord's Word everywhere
they turned from idols
the gospel


focus without distraction on Christ and His forgiveness

Hebrews 1


Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

We shouldn't get distracted. Christ, the Son of God, is the thing. Our sins would keep us from getting to Him, but He dealt with our sins, and that is what we should focus on.


do more than I say



Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

We should go beyond the call of duty in doing what is right.


speak evil of no man

Titus 3


To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Is there is a difficult person in your life, who you are tempted to complain to people about, and to get into arguments with? We should speak evil of no man, and show meekness to all men. Be humble toward that person and don't argue with him. Sometimes it's hard to do that, but there's a way we can.

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived...
We should remember that we are no better than them. If we think they are foolish, we were foolish once too. If we have any wisdom, it is only because we have been given a gift of it from God.

redeemed from all iniquity

Titus 2


Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Believers are supposed to be really different from other people, because we're supposed to be purified from all of our wrongdoings, and energetic about doing good things. Let's be zealous of good works today!


Colossians 4 - Key


Epaphras, who is [one] of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you...

It is easy to have all kinds of zeal for other people, for example, to be friends, to have relationships, to have fun, or, as a business person, to get them as customers. This passage teaches us that the servant of Christ has great zeal for the Colossians' spiritual state. We should have a zeal for other people, that we would pray fervently for them, that they would stand established, and be mature, and be completely in God's will.


In my prayer times this week, I'll pray more zealously for the spiritual state of my friends.


hold fast the Word

Titus 1


Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Instead of being unruly and vain talkers and deceivers (v10), arguing with other people that we think are wrong, we should be in the Word so we can speak from it faithfully. That is the way to deal with sinful people.


but there is forgiveness

Revelation 6


For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6 really makes an emphasis about the Lord's wrath and judgment for sin (v1 thunder, v2 conquering, v4 killing, v8 death and Hell, hunger, v12 an earthquake). We need to realize that our sin is a terrible thing, and there will be a terrible judgment for it.

Psalm 130:3,4

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

The Lord demands such perfection that none of us could stand up to Him if He took our wrongdoing into account--yet there is forgiveness with Him. Praise the Lord for that!

Just stop and think how serious our wrongdoing is, and how much we need to repent from it to avoid so much wrath and judgment that it would bring--and, at the same time, realize how merciful Jesus is, and that if we do repent and come to Him, we can find forgiveness from our sin.

spend time preparing to preach

2 Timothy 4


Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

It is easy to neglect spending time studying the Word to prepare to preach. I can get lazy and waste time or entertainment or other things instead. But I should know that:

  • There's a real need, (v3a For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...) and,
  • There's a real reward (v8a Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...).


don't lover pleasure more than God

2 Timothy 3


Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2 Timothy 3 starts out warning us about ungodly people who we need to turn away from, whose foolishness (v9) will be revealed to everyone. It says these creeps (I call them because of v6) are ...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. That is the convicting part to me.

This doesn't say that there's anything wrong with pleasures themselves. God has given good things to us that He has created for us to enjoy. But we need love the giver more than the gift, not love the creature more than the creator.


we must not strive

2 Timothy 2


And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,

There is a lot of great stuff in 2 Timothy 2, but this part stuck out to me this time. We shouldn't be getting into arguments with other people about things. Instead, we should act and speak gently, and we must be patient. Instead of striving, we should tend to teach. Just something to remember today.


1 Peter 4 - Key


If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Sometimes people who are doing what is wrong, say bad things about us because we are doing what is right and they don't understand. In those times, we should show the Lord's love to them (v8) and continually be in prayer (v7). We should be encouraged that we can rejoice in those situations because the Lord is allowing it for His glory.


When somebody says bad things about me that aren't true because I am doing what is right instead of going along with what they are doing that is wrong, I will be encouraged by remembering this passage. I'll remember that the situation can be for Christ's glory if I maintain my integrity and respond the right way.


1 Peter 4 - Outline

arm yourself with a mindset of willingness to suffer for ceasing from sin
we had enough lust and sin in our pasts
the lost will think we're strange and say bad things about us, but they have judgment coming
the gospel was also preached to people who are now dead, so they can also live again
pray, have fervent charity, use ungrudging hospitality, minister with your gifts, and speak according to the Word
don't be surprised to encounter great hardship, but let it be for righteousness, and then rejoice because of God's glory through it
if the righteous have to suffer so much in judgment of purification, imagine how much worse it will be for the lost


Colossians 4 - Outline

people in authority should give good treatment to the people they lead
continue in prayer and thanksgiving
be ready to preach the gospel to people
servants who are comforts to others
have a zeal for others and labor for them in prayer
we should read the epistles
take heed to fulfill the ministries that the Lord has given to us
remember people who are locked up or suffering for the Lord


not fear, but love

2 Timothy 1


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We can take great encouragement from this promise of the Spirit who Christ has given to us, so that we don't need to have paranoia, but instead we can have power, love, and a sound mind.


do not trust in uncertain riches

1 Timothy 6


Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

There are a couple of different kinds of riches: the uncertain riches of this world, and spiritual riches in Christ. God does give people things in this world, and it is OK and good for us to have and enjoy them, but we need to make sure we keep our focus on the giver instead of on the gift.


good works cannot be hidden

1 Timothy 5


Likewise also the good works [of some] are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

This verse is an encouraging promise that even if our good works are not immediately obvious to other people, they will be manifested sooner or later.


Revelation 6 - Suffering for righteousness' sake

Revelation 6


And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

The souls of the martyrs (who are the subjects of this verse) had been killed for being servants of the Lord. In the end times, many people will be killed, some of the brethren for their faith, and the wicked by the wrathful judgment of the Lord for their sins. In that day, many will have to die anyway, so it will be better to die for the Lord, than to die for your sin against Him.

This is similar to daily life now-a-days, because everybody suffers to some extent. We would have to suffer in life anyway, it is better to suffer as the Lord's servants. If we suffer in righteousness, with a clear conscience, then He will be with us through it and help us, and He will reward us richly afterward. That would be better than to just sin and then have to suffer the Lord's judgment in wrath for our sins.

1 Peter 3 - water baptism does not save us


The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Some people cut part of the first part out of this verse and get the whole meaning of the passage turned around. They say, ...baptism doth also now save us... (by which they mean the physical act of baptism, with water.) However, that completely disregards the rest of the verse and the context of the verses around it.

If you look at the whole passage, it is clear that it is not water baptism that saves us. I believe it means that baptism is a figure, or a picture of salvation, just like Noah's flood was. The next part of v21 says, ...not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.... In other words, there is a spiritual baptism that in in our hearts, when we come to Jesus by faith and receive His salvation through His sacrifice for us on the cross, and His resurrection afterwards. It is not the physical washing of the water that somehow washes away our sins.

Physical baptism is an outward figure of an inward salvation.

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