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Monday, April 29, 2013
Unity # 37: The Sympathizing High Priest
Unity # 37: The Sympathizing High Priest
You are working Your wondrous plans for Your people. You are our Shield, our Glory, and the Lifter of our heads. We see You reigning in righteousness. You have ascended on High, and have defeated the power of sin and death. Thank You for the sure hope that we have in Your promises. We do not fear man, nor need we fear anything else, for Your loving-kindness endures forever. Please comfort our hearts with the truth that You, Jesus, are our sympathizing High Priest .
In Jesus Christ’s Name,
This letter is about our sympathizing High Priest. Have we not often blocked our minds and hearts off from His loving-kindness, as if we could bear the weight of our own guilt for those things that deem us unworthy to receive it? Have we not often forgotten in the midst of our grief and strivings for our own needs to be met, that there is One who knows what we need before we ask of Him? Or would we doubt His goodness and the New Covenant that He has made with us, by which He does not turn away from us to do us good? Jesus told us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. But He told us to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to us. (Matt 6:31-33)
Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 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. (Heb 4:14-16) Jesus, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 5:7-10)
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Your Name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” And again “I will put My trust in Him”. And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me”. Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all of their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted (Heb 2:10-18) No temptation has overtaken us but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that we will be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
Dear saints, our Christ is full of compassion. He says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). When He saw the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd (Matt 9:36). When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick (Matt 14:14). He called His disciples to Him and told them that He felt compassion for the people, because they had remained with Him for three days and had nothing to eat; and He did not want to send them away hungry for they might faint on the way (Matt 15:32). When the Lord saw a woman weeping over her dead son, He felt compassion for her, and told her not to weep (Luke 7:13).
Have we sinned? He tells us to rend our heart and not our garments, to return to the Lord our God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness and relenting of evil (Joel 2:13) Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon (Iss 55:7). When we repent, the Lord our God will restore us from captivity, and have compassion on us, and gather us again from all the peoples where the Lord our God has scattered us (Deut 30:3). Our Father is like the father in the parable of the prodigal son who saw the son from a long way off and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him (Luke 15:20) For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their strength is gone, and there is none remaining, bond or free (Deut 32:36). He redeems lives from the pit, and crowns His people with loving-kindness and compassion (Ps 103:4) Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him (Ps 103:13). For how can He give up or surrender His people? How can He destroy them as He destroyed His enemies? His heart is turned over within Him, and all His compassions are kindled. (Hos 11:8). He could have stepped on us and burned us completely, but He tells us to rely on His protection and to make peace with Him through His Son. Let us make peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ! (Is 27:4-5)
Our God understands us. He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust (Ps 103:14). He Himself will make all His goodness pass before us, and will proclaim the Name of the Lord before us; He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom He will show compassion (Ex 33:19). The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth (Ex 34:6) The Lord our God is a compassionate God; He will not fail us or destroy us nor forget the Covenant with our fathers which He swore to them (Deut 4:31). The Lord longs to be gracious to us, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on us. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him (Is 30:18). Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted. (Is 49:13). For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but His loving-kindness will not be removed from us, and His Covenant of peace will not be shaken (Is 54:10). He has betrothed us to Himself forever in righteousness, justice, loving-kindness, and compassion (Hos 2:19).
God, in His great compassion, does not forsake us in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud does not leave us by day, to guide us on our way, nor does the pillar of fire by night, to light for us the way in which we are to go. Christ, His Word, is our Light (Ps 119:105)! Yes, He is our Way (John 14:16)! His compassion and loving-kindnesses are from of old (Ps 25:6). He will not withhold His compassion from us; His loving-kindness and Truth will continually preserve us (Ps 40:11). The Lord answers us, for His loving-kindness is good; according to the greatness of His compassion, He turns to us (Ps 69:16). He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy He will save (Ps 72:13). For the Lord will judge His people and will have compassion on His servants (Ps 135: 14). He looks down from heaven and sees from His holy and glorious habitation; He is full of zeal and He does mighty deeds. The stirrings of His heart and His compassion are restrained towards us! (Is 63:15)
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11
Love in Christ,
Koinonia Church of Woodbury:
In the midst of great joy and deep sorrow, this past Sunday, 4/18, we met for the first service of the new church, “Koinonia Church of Woodbury” The service lasted for three hours including about an 1 hr of prayer, 20 min of communion, 15 min of hymn singing, and a long message from the Word. My favorite part was the prayer time. We could feel the Presence of Christ so strongly. I also felt His compassion and grace poured out on us. I felt that He was telling us, “I am with You. I am here”. We were encouraged by the truth that where two or three are gathered in His Name He is there. We are praying for God to bring more people that we may have a true fellowship of saints and also that God will provide love, boldness, time, and means for us to evangelize, study the Bible, and pray during the weekday evenings. It is far better to be with a few saints who love Christ and are willing to take all of His Word to heart, than to be in a place where Christ is not honored. Thank you Anand and David Christensen for making the website: www.koinoniawoodbury.org.
Other churches that preach the Word in this area:
Christ Redeemer Church of Woodbury
Redeemer Baptist Church of Oakdale
Bethlehem Baptist Church of Minneapolis
17 General Signs of a Carnal Church:
1. No weekly prayer meetings
2. Contentment in an annual event to fulfill the Great Commission
3. No teaching of the core doctrines of substitutionary atonement, regeneration, sanctification, evidence of true conversion, assurance of salvation, final judgment, the nature of God, etc.—and no congregational heartache over this
4. When the majority of the congregation (without using Spiritual discernment) thinks that the majority of the congregation is saved
5. When the facebook profiles/walls of the congregation reveal carnality and the absence of God in their thoughts…a greater interest in everything except God
6. When programs and books in place of the unadulterated Word of God are emphasized
7. When there is no true unconditional, sacrificial, and forgiving love for one another
8. When there is no church discipline
9. When leadership is not concerned about the Spiritual needs of the congregation
10. When there is no exaltation of Christ in worship and messages, but rather an emphasis on perishable things; pervasive mindsets that perishable things are the means by which God’s Kingdom will be built
11. No dependence on God
12. No zeal, labor, or diligence for the Kingdom of God
13. No repentance
14. No Spiritual tears
15. No persecution from the wicked
14 Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw,
And it was [g]displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him. Is 5917. When most of the congregation is comfortable and complacent with a form of godliness that denies God's power while unknowingly awaiting damnation