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Threats to Our Faith

The book of Hebrews is described as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22).  This has to do with both the form and the function of the book.  In its form it is a written sermon with an epistolary ending.  It is also an “exhortation” in function.  The correspondence is an exhortation to faithfulness and progression.  The congregation has become “dull of hearing.”  They is a legitimate possibility of “falling away.”  Our writer takes these dangers seriously and therefore wants to respond to them forcefully.

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Abortion by a Different Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  The line made famous by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” teaches a simple truth.  The truth is it does not matter what you call a thing, but rather what it is.  To a degree this is true.  Things are what they are, whether we call them something different or not.  To another degree it is not true, because what we call things is able to change the perception of them.

The practice of calling something by a different name is common.  If what the thing being called actually is is bad or distasteful, or from a Christian perspective sinful, then to call in by a different name blunts the impact of the practice.  We see this when we call sin by other names.  It isn’t sin, but a mistake.  It isn’t sin, but a slip-up.  It doesn’t change the fact of what it is, but it does blunt how we feel about it.

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My Jesus

Hebrews 1:1-4 is one sentence. A lot of clauses, but only one sentence.  It perhaps is one of the most well crafted sentences in the history of the world.  At least its content is packed with power.  In one sentence the author of Hebrews describes Jesus.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Books have been written to describe men like Theodore Roosevelt or George Washington, and they have not exhausted the information about these men.

Think about describing these men, in any meaningful way, in a sentence.  Could you do it?  Yet, the Hebrew write provides for us a beautiful outline of Jesus.*  So what does he say?

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Isaiah 6 and Watch The Throne

This morning I noticed an interesting phrase trending on twitter.  The phrase was Watch the Throne.  I jokingly put up on twitter that I guessed a lot of people must have been reading Hebrews this week.* The buzz, though, is about an album being released with that title.  A friend of mine responded to my joking tweet and mentioned Isaiah 6.  I love this passage, but have never written on it here.  So that is the impetus for this post.**

The Glory of God

The text begins with God sitting on the throne.  In it Isaiah is clearly “watching the throne.”  What he sees is beyond description.  Isaiah records for us, as best he can, God’s glory.  It fills the room.  It is smoke-filled. God on the throne is high and lifted up. This glory fills the whole earth.

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True Patriotism

What does true patriotism look like?  If you follow politics then you know the word patriotism and patriot is used a lot.  Politicians claim they are patriotic.  Opponents state the other guy is not. Whole parties are claimed to be unpatriotic.  What defines patriotism is often subjective.

Jeremiah the Patriot

Jeremiah had a great love for his nation. He was a patriot.  He mourned the judgment coming upon the people.  He understood the sin of the people and spoke out against the sin. He also understood God’s judgment because of sin.  In chapter 38 Jeremiah has been told by God to preach that the city will be destroyed.  This is not an easy message for Jeremiah, but it is the truth.  Jeremiah had a love for his people.  However, he had a greater love for God and speaking the truth.

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