From Handbook to Scripture, Day 332
READING: HEBREWS 9
As our high priest, Jesus ministers in a better, heavenly, tabernacle and His blood sacrifice is superior to the sacrifices offered in the earthly sanctuary (9:1–10:18).
Hebrews builds a cumulative argument to demonstrate the superiority of Christ over the old covenant, priesthood, and sacrifices. This theme is developed in the frequent use of the word “better” or “superior” as well as the use of the terms “heavenly” and “perfect” to describe the greatness of Christ’s person and work in comparison to what was previously revealed. He is better than the angels in that they worship Him; He is better than Moses in that He created him; He offers a better rest than Joshua, a better priesthood than Levi, a better covenant, a better sanctuary, and a better sacrifice; He also provides the power to live a better life.
Prayer: Lord, it is the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, which cleanses my conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Meditation passage: verses 11–15, 27–28
From Simple Prayers, Day 332
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
I praise You, Lord, that You are intimately acquainted with my ways and that You always love me and have my best interests at heart.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:3–5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Take a moment to offer this day to the Lord and ask Him for the grace to grow in your knowledge and love for Him.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides You; nor is there any Rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)
God will have mercy on whom He has mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He has compassion. It does not depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9:15–16)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
I shall consecrate myself and be holy, because You are the Lord my God. I shall keep Your statutes and practice them; You are the Lord who sanctifies me. (Leviticus 20:7–8)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool is arrogant and bold. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil plots is hated. (Proverbs 14:16–17)
It is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hastens with his feet sins. (Proverbs 19:2)
Lord, I thank You for Your matchless holiness and for Your mercy and compassion toward Your people. I thank You that You are the Lord who sanctifies me, and I ask that I would depart from evil and pursue wisdom and knowledge.
Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
We are called to be apprentices of Jesus in kingdom living, and this requires time, development, and patience. As the gospels illustrate, knowing and believing in Christ is a dynamic process. Spiritual formation—the lifelong process of becoming in our character and actions the new creations we already are in Christ—is gradual. We become more substantial and real as we cooperate with the process by years of small choices in favor of God’s purposes. Each choice, whether to obey or resist, makes the next one possible. For this reason, the best metaphor for life as a whole and for the spiritual life in particular is that of a journey.
We are travelers on a quest, a voyage, an odyssey, a pilgrimage. Following Christ is a step-by-step process, with various stages and lessons along the way. On this journey, we will experience uncertainties, setbacks, disappointments, surprises, and joys; through it all, God is teaching us to count on His purposeful guidance, His grace when we go off the path, and His presence when we feel alone.