Saturday, July 21, 2018

2018.07.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 13:20-21

Questions for Littles: Of what is God the God of (v20)? What did He do to the Lord Jesus? What is Jesus’s relation to the sheep? Through what was He raised from the dead? In what does God completely furnish us (v21)? To do what? What does He work in us? Through whom does God work this in us? What does Jesus receive for this work? For how long?
From the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we learn about God’s glorious intentions for us. The blessing that is pronounced in these two verses is a declaration of what God intends to do—and which, therefore, shall most certainly be done!

Here is one more reason that prayer is so powerful: for, it is not an effort to overcome God’s reluctance, but rather a joyful yielding of ourselves to lay hold of God’s willingness! And behold how willing God is!

First, He is the God of peace. This, of course, is a direct allusion to Numbers 6:22-27. God’s purpose to make us whole and happy—in body, mind, and soul—is so central to how He makes Himself known that He calls Himself, “the God of peace.”

Second, He brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead. Romans 4:25 reminds us the significance of this: Jesus rose on account of our justification. Death could not hold Him, because He had made us legally righteous in God’s sight, and we and He now both must at last be perfectly holy, happy, and healthy forever and ever!

Third, we have Jesus as our Great Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. And He is that Psalm 23 Shepherd who takes perfect care of us until at last we dwell in His house forever.

Fourth, this is all secured through the blood of the everlasting covenant. This presents two absolute certainties: that the blood of Christ has forged an unbreakable covenant bond between us and God, and also that God will keep all of His covenant commitments.

Fifth, what is our God committed to doing? Thoroughly furnishing us for every good work—not just in our actions (to do His will), but also in our affections and intentions (working in us what is well-pleasing in His sight).

Sixth, the resource by which God does this in us is Jesus Christ Himself. Both His sufficiency for doing the work, and His praise for having done it, are completely inexhaustible. For what He is doing in us now, and for what He has ever done, and for who He is in Himself, He shall indeed receive glory forever and ever!! Amen indeed.

It is with a declaration of such rock-solid, absolute truths about God, and His intentions toward us and actions for us in Jesus Christ, that Christian worship concludes. When we pray for such things, and then hear such a benediction, what we are hearing is God Himself giving His own AMEN!
What will you do and think about, from now on, during benedictions at the end of worship?
Suggested Songs: ARP121 “I Lift My Eyes and See the Hills” or TPH121A “I Lift My Eyes Up to the Hills”

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