Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hebrews Challenge Chapter Two

First updates: Grandma Thompson is stable and seems to be doing ok. Took Shaina to get checked out and she has Strep. Some antibiotics and she should be good as new in a couple days. Jack and family are leaving for the airport tomorrow morning and heading home to Ireland. Absolutely bittersweet. Shaina's Grandma Penrod was taken by ambulance to the hospital with fluid on the lungs/respiratory issues. She has been intubated. Chaia is hanging in there. Actually slept the bulk of the day, which was good because she needed to rest after her adventures the last few days. After about three days of fussy, and talks about possible heart failure, I said to Shaina yesterday that I hoped we hadn't seen the last of her smiles. A couple hours later, when it was just me and the bean...she did this:
(Insert jolly weeping here)

Now for day two (Sunday...Hebrews 2)
Hebrews 2:1-18

"14so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

This week has held a lot of hardship and suffering for us. I've started wondering if my family needs to distance themselves from us before something like Job's story sets in.

But with two grandmas and our daughter all in precarious spots this week, I want to hone in on these two verses. We live in a culture that is enslaved by its fear of death. A disease comes along and we deem it unjust and throw money at coming up with a cure. We get angry at God when death comes when we weren't wanting it to.

But what Jesus (remember...the singular focus) does is he sets us free from fear.

For those with this singular focus (who pay careful attention, as the beginning of this chapter states) the cross and resurrection tells us death is defeated, and the enemy's power with it.

Now don't get me wrong.

This is hard. This is sad. This is painful.

But it is not the end.

I do not only believe in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ...I'm counting on it.

When we align ourselves to Jesus, the grip death has on us is released...because suddenly death doesn't have the final word.

And from where I sit...that is good news.


Amy Starkey said...

I imagine those big, sweet grins on that beautiful little girl give you renewed hope each time. We continue to pray for all of you.

I completely agree that for those of us that are left here on earth, death is hard. But for me, knowing that a life with God for all of eternity awaits me, that eases my mind and gives me some comfort.

Jackie Thompson said...

Thst is truly the beauty of our faith

lawrence said...

Agree Ben
Our circumstances should never effect our Joy.
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, poor yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing EVERYTHING.

Much love and prayers
South Africaxxx

Mama Karen said...

16 It's obvious, of course, that he didn't go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham.17 That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins,18 he would have already experienced it all himself-all the pain, all the testing-and would be able to help where help was needed. (The Message)

Jesus Christ took on humanity so that we could turn to him and see how he gave up life as we know it to save us from sin. He was tempted yet he was able to overcome. What an example for us to follow.

Courtney said...

For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.

I need to continually pursue sanctification and not fight it. And only through the Holy Spirit. Nothing I can do on my own. I am dead, only alive through Christ and his calling

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful smile from the little "bean." We must focus on Jesus. We must perservere. Hope.
Prayers for the grandmas and for Chaia and her family. Prayers for Jack on his journey back to Ireland and a full recovery.
God be with all of you.

Anonymous said...

We are still praying for your family. The Murphys.

Wood said...

What a great smile, may God continue to show you this is not the end with smiles such as this.

As for day two: "It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we've heard so that we don't drift off" (MSG)

Drifting, like fading happens over time, when were not focused on the goal, on where we are going, and we end up far away from where we want to be.

maybe God is trying to tell me something with this?

Anonymous said...

What a gift Chaia is! She is beautiful! Keep the fight little one! Hope Shaina gets well fast.
Take care of yourself too, Ben!

Anonymous said...

Ooops...didn't post yesterday...but what grabbed my attention from Sunday's reading was verse 1. We MUST pay more CAREFUL attention to what we have heard so we do not drift away. Many times I read God's word just to say I read it. Sad but true. No wonder I so easily drift. Time to carefully read...hear...and do!!! :)

Steph said...

What grabbed me was vs 8-9. "At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

I find the words "At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him." encouraging. The writer acknowledges that right now things are a mess. He goes on to point out that Jesus was crowned because of his suffering and death and that he's tasted death for me. There's the promise there that this time is not forever and there will be a day that all things will be in subjection to him. Christ is on the throne and one day he'll set the world right. Everything from now until then, even death, is powerless to stop him since he's already died for me.