Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 13:10-14.

“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.  For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.  Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.  So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”  Hebrews 13:10-14.

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“He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” Isaiah 53:3.

“… Then all the disciples left Him and fled.” Matthew 26:56.

“4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.” Isaiah 53:4-6.

But, there is hope!

The hope is not in our works nor in our will.  “… we did not esteem him.”  “Then all the disciples left Him and fled.”  “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;”  

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:28-29.

“…  To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:”  2 Peter 1:1.

“For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:7.

“When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord;  and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”  Acts 13:8.

The hope is only in God’s “Unconditional Election”.

The hope is only in God’s “Limited Atonement”.

The hope is only in God’s “Irresistible Grace”.

The hope is only in God’s “Preservation of the Saints”.

In summary, the hope is only in God’s work, God’s grace alone.  

These doctrines of grace are not found in most churches.  So to speak, we need to go outside the camp and suffer ridicule and reproach to find such doctrines of grace.  These doctrines of grace are summarized by the acronym “TULIP” and are more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.    

These doctrines of grace are like the treasure and pearl of great value to which the kingdom of heaven has been compared.  They were not in the camp.  The treasure was “hidden in the field”, and “a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.    

But, we are not alone!

There are also others who went outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

“Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew 3:1-2.

“By faith he (Abraham) lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11:9-10.   

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt;  for he was looking to the reward.  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”  Hebrews 11:24-27.

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.  And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God;  for He has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:13-16.

But, by God’s doing, we are in Christ!

“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;  for he who has died is freed from sin.”  Romans 6:3-7.

“I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:20-21.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 13:7-9.

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you;  and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings;  for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.”  Hebrews 13:7-9.

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“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;  but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”  2 Timothy 4:3-4.

“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”  Ephesians 4:14-15.

Other doctrine presents myths and other varied and strange teachings of man’s works and man’s will.

But, Reformed Doctrine presents doctrines of God’s grace as shown throughout Scripture.  

“Salvation belongs to the LORD”.  Psalm 3:8.

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

“TULIP” glorifies God alone for salvation. 

Reformed Doctrine accurately summarizes Scripture and teaches that salvation is a work of God alone, by grace alone, and that God handles all the points of salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  This true doctrine of salvation is more fully taught in the Reformed Confession called Canons of Dordt.

But, in sharp contrast, other doctrine glorifies man for man’s works, or at least, other doctrine glorifies man for man’s wisdom and man’s alleged free-will to choose Christ.  Other doctrine teaches that God loves everybody, Christ died for everybody, and man is ultimately saved, and gets some credit, by producing enough works or at least enough will to distinguish himself worthy for salvation.

But, what does Scripture state?

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:2-12.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  Romans 6:6-10. 

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace;   … 

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.  

Consider the following from Canons of Dordt in the section titled SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever. 

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 13:5-6.

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have;  for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say,

“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.
WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” Hebrews 13:5-6.

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“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.  For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.  If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Timothy 6:6-10.

“And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive.  And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’  Then he said, ‘This is what I will do:  I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come;  take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your soul is required of you;  and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:6-21. 

“5 But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent,
And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah.
6 The righteous will see and fear,
And will laugh at him, saying,
7 “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches
And was strong in his evil desire.”

8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.” Psalm 52:5-9.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 13:4.

“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled;  for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”   Hebrews 13:4. 

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“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-10.   

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification;  that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;  that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;  and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.  So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”  1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.

But, there is hope!

“Such were some of you;  but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  1 Corinthians 6:11.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did:  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:3-4.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:22-24.

“knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;”  Romans 6:6. 

“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die;  but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  Romans 8:12-13.

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;  but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”  Romans 6:12-13.

“But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”  Romans 6:17-18. 

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the outcome of those things is death.  But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”  Romans 6:21-22.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 13:1-3.

“Let love of the brethren continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.  Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”  Hebrews 13:1-3. 

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“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;  give preference to one another in honor;  not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”  Romans 12:10-13.

“I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.  Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.”  Colossians 4:18.

Thus, when we consider beloved Paul and the other saints who were ill-treated and imprisoned, it is easier for us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and willing, even eager, to remember to pray for them.

Moreover, when we remember that we too “are in the body” and also experience trials, troubles, and tribulations, it is easier for us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and willing, even eager, to remember to pray for them.

All these things motivate us to love our brothers, to show hospitality, and to remember the prisoners as today’s Scripture exhorts us.

But, there is more hope!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,” Isaiah 61:1-2.

Christ “… gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:14.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; …

For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:8 and 12-15.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:25-29.

“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.  For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.  And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”  This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;  for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:25-29.

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“7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
” Psalm 2:7-12.

“Draw near, O nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples!
Let the earth and all it contains hear, and the world and all that springs from it.
2 For the LORD’S indignation is against all the nations,
And His wrath against all their armies;
He has utterly destroyed them,
He has given them over to slaughter.
3 So their slain will be thrown out,
And their corpses will give off their stench,
And the mountains will be drenched with their blood.
4 And all the host of heaven will wear away,
And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll;
All their hosts will also wither away
As a leaf withers from the vine,
Or as one withers from the fig tree.” Isaiah 34:1-4.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  2 Peter 3:10-13.

“By faith he (Abraham) lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11:9-10.

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;  for our God is a consuming fire.”  Verses 28-29.   

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:18-24.

“For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.  For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.”  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR AND TREMBLING.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”  Hebrews 12:18-24.

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Here is a sharp contrast between the gloom of the Law (verses 18-21) and the glory of the Grace (verses 22-24). 

“For the Law was given through Moses;  grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  John 1:17.

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.”  Hebrews 10:1.

“For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”  Hebrews 7:18-19. 

“For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.”  Romans 7:5. 

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did:  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:3-4.

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;  and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  Hebrews 9:11-12. 

“Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;  but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.  For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:11-14. 

“6 But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

“7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says,

“BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,
WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT
WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND
TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT;
FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT,
AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
10 “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS,
AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
11 “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’
FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
FFROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
12 “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”

13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” Hebrews 8:6-13.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son;  and if a son, then an heir through God.”  Galatians 4:4-7.

“But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:8.

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”  Verses 22-24.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:15-17.

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God;  that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;  that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.  For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”  Hebrews 12:15-17.

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Someone does us wrong, and it seems so righteous to us to be bitter and to dwell on it.  We leave that root of bitterness in us which rots us and which bitterness spreads to our family and friends defiling both us and them.  

But, there is hope!

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16 and 22-24.

Some food or other earthly material thing seems to us so right to have it now.  Rather than trusting God to provide what we need and setting our mind “on things above, not on things on earth”, we dwell on these earthly material things and reason like Esau:  “Behold, I am about to die;  so of what use then is the birthright to me?”  See Genesis 25:29-33.

But, there is hope!

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.  And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”  John 6:27.

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:31-33.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  Colossians 3:1-4.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:15-16.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:14.

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.

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There was a very appropriate and helpful pause between Friday’s devotion and today’s Sunday devotion. Friday night, in preparation for today’s devotion, I quickly discovered and wrote down verses on the subjects of peace with men and sanctification that I intended to use for today’s devotion. But then, on Saturday, I was confronted and convicted with my smugness and with my lack of pursuit of these things and my need to “Pursue”! and “press on”!

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:10-11.

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Romans 14:19.

“Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14.

“3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3-4.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:8-9.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18.

But, there is hope!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13.

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7.

“6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:13.

“and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:13.

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“26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27.

“So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left. You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33.

“7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8.

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