October 24, Monday

andyNote:  The AMI Quiet Time Devotionals from October 24-30 are written by Andy Kim.  Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University, is about to complete his M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently serving as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA.

Devotional Thought for Today

Hebrews 3:1-6

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

24I remember a popular lesson in Sunday school was to choose our favorite Bible hero. We all chose the major hitters like David fighting Goliath, or Esther saving the Israelites as queen, or Samson having supernatural strength. Many of us have probably even prayed to be like David or even to have the faith of Moses that split the Red Sea. Maybe it’s not these Bible characters, but how often have we looked towards very spiritual people and wished we could be like them. For the Jews, Moses was— if not the most influential figure—a hero they looked to, who received the laws in which they prided themselves in.

But the writer of this passage states that even these spiritual heroes like Moses fall short in comparison to Jesus. The writer highlights two reasons for the superiority of Jesus. First, Jesus is both our Apostle and our High Priest. Holman describes that as an Apostle, Jesus serves as God’s representative to human beings, while as a High Priest, He is our representative before God. In essence, Jesus is the perfect Mediator. Secondly, the writer identifies Moses as a servant of the house, in contrast to Jesus being the very Son of the house; and Scriptures teach us that we are the house. Moses is described as in the house, while Jesus is over the house; Moses was called by God, while Jesus was sent by God; and Moses invited the Israelites to God through the law, while Jesus invites us to God through His love.

Yes, it is great that we try to follow in the footsteps of people of great faith. In fact, Paul calls us to imitate his faith and follow in his footsteps (1 Cor. 11:1); but even then, he clearly says as I follow Christ. All these great forefathers pointed to Christ. And so, may we always remember that we look towards not men, but Jesus. As the writer states, let us actively fix our thoughts on Jesus alone.  For in Jesus, we are not invited merely into a servanthood as Moses was, but we are invited into sonship, the very adoption into His glory and family.

Prayer: Father, we proclaim that You are greater than all. Forgive us that our eyes stray towards men, when You are the only one who can truly save us. Help us to fix our thoughts on You as You stand as the perfect mediator between us and the Almighty Father. Thank You for the sacrifice You paid so that we may experience Your glory.

Bible Reading for Today: Mark 1

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Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:12-17: So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Paul differentiate between living by the flesh vs. living by the Spirit?
  2. How can we live by the Spirit?

Notes

  1. Paul states that those who live by the flesh are slaves to fear from the condemnation that comes through the law of sin and death (v. 2). In doing so, they are constantly enslaved by what their flesh desires, which ultimately leads them to death. However, those who live by the Spirit are freed from the law through the fulfillment of Jesus Christ. They are not slaves; but rather sons and daughters who have been adopted into the family of Christ. Historically, adoption was a relatively new concept that meant a complete severing of all previous relationships. “Abba,” translated in Aramaic as “father” or in our current context “daddy,” is a word used only for those who had an intimate relationship.
  2. Paul states that we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body. Because our flesh is still alive, there must be an active denial of our fleshly desires. Mounce argues even in this we fall short, for our old nature does not automatically fade away; rather the fight is something that is ongoing. Thus, we must constantly rely on the power of the Spirit. In this constant struggle against the flesh, we can share in the sufferings of Christ, so that ultimately we may also share in the glory that comes in Him.

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Evening Reflection

What are the areas in your life today that you see your flesh more alive? Spend some time asking that His Spirit would help you to overcome these areas.

Prayer: Heavenly father, we confess that there are still many areas in our lives in which we struggle against our flesh. However, we remind ourselves that we do not live by the law, but by the grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. May we set our thoughts upon the desires of Your Spirit.

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