Jesus, Our All in All

Hebrews 9 Devotional for Sunday August 29th

By Deneen Hanson

Hebrews helps remove the veiled layers of meaning that clothed the Tabernacle & traditions. They all pointed to Jesus. Hebrews as well as Jesus’ own seven “I AM” statements in John reveal the stunning beauty that Jesus IS!

A ‘street level,’ tour guide version of Hebrews 9 might sound something like this:

Welcome to the Tabernacle! Here you see in the first room of the Tabernacle, the lampstand (Hebrews 9:2). It is never extinguished, thus always supplies illumination. It points to Jesus who said about Himself, “I Am the Light of the World” (John 8)  –  He is eternal and our only true enlightenment.

Also, here in the first room is the table of shewbread (Hebrews 9:2). It is always kept fresh. It also points to Jesus who said about Himself, “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6)  –  Jesus is ever-present and our sustenance.

Please notice that there is only one access to both the Holy Place as well as the Most Holy Place (Hebrews 9:2-3). Jesus said about Himself, “I AM the Way, Truth and Life” (John 14). Jesus is the only way unto the Father.

The tour would go on pointing out that “the external regulations only apply until the time of the new order (Hebrews 9:10).

The conclusion of the tour comes at Hebrews 9:11, which speaks of how Christ, our High Priest, did not walk through the earthly Tabernacle but embodied the very Tabernacle principles and fulfilled the law by being both our High Priest as well as a perfect sacrifice: “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.

We are sanctified (set apart) by His blood and for His purposes (Hebrews 9:14) “…so that we may serve the living God!”

He died and lives that we might live for Him and not die, spiritually (Hebrews 9:14). Jesus said about Himself “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11).

It is hard to take this tour and gaze upon Jesus without finding ourselves as a place of gratitude and awe.

How will you thank Him now and live for Him, “serving the living God” (Hebrews 9:14)?  


Hebrews 9

August 29th Scripture Text

As you read through Hebrews 9 in preparation to hear this week’s sermon ,look for repeated words, phrases, concepts and patterns. The author of Hebrews continues to connect dots between the old covenant and the new covenant in Christ. 

Also, take time to ask God and yourself:

1) How does God want to draw me closer to Him? How will you choose to enter His presence through His son, Jesus? (ex: time in His Word, prayer, worship, Christian fellowship)

2) What sinful behavior, attitude or action has Christ sacrificed Himself for that is sufficient for both forgiveness as well as for you to be free from? Hebrews 9:26

3) To whom will you tell your “before and after” story of your transformation before your sacrificing, living High Priest and Savior, Jesus Christ?

Hebrews 8 Devotion for Sunday, August 15

Since we have Jesus as our High Priest: Now What?!

by Deneen Hanson

Please take time to read through Hebrews 8, at least once, before reading on. It would not hurt to back up and include Hebrews 7 in your reading. Your personal time in God’s Word with God is the fresh manna, instead of the ‘pre-chewed food’ of a devotion. 

Hebrews 8 answers the “Now What” question, whereas Hebrews 7 answered the “So What” question. What power does Jesus’ position as High Priest have in our lives? 

Jesus is our guarantor 7:22

Jesus Saves! 7:25 

Jesus Draws! (people closer to God) 7:25 

Jesus Lives! 7:25 

Jesus Intercedes!  7:25 

The readers of Hebrews had the baggage of protocols and practices to follow. They had the law and the sacrifices. They had tangibles tied to practicing their faith. Now that Jesus has fulfilled the law and satisfied the sacrifices, what were they to do? 

1. Remember the One they pointed to: Jesus Christ

“They serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things…” Hebrews 8:5

2. Let the old inform the new

“Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old…” Hebrews 8:6

3.  Realize relationship with God is not tied to rites & rituals (which fall short)

“For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Hebrews 8:7

4. Release the old go and hold on to the new

“In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13

Babies operate on what they can see, taste, smell, hear and touch (usually with their mouths). The early Hebrews were baby followers of God. They needed tangibles to hold on to. They could see the tabernacle (the dwelling place of God), smell the incense, and hear the shofar horn blow with the sacrifice (reminding them of the cost of their sin). God gave the Old Testament traditions as reference points and direction signs to point us to a Holy and unseen God: a real God, who really cares about having a relationship with us through Jesus Christ, our eternal, all powerful Savior, our High Priest. 

Now what are we to do with this New Covenant?

Make decisions based on what Jesus would have us do. Live our lives based on Christ’s character, His Word and as moved by His Spirit, loving God and loving others as ourselves.

“…I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Hebrews 8:10

In what area of your home life, work life, social life, church family life will you apply this new way of living?

Acts 2:1-21 – The Other Gift of Pentecost

Written by Mick Scott for Sunday – August 8th

What do you think the miracle of Pentecost is? The unexplained wind? The tongues of fire on everyone’s head? People speaking in different languages? It is easy to believe that these three things from the account of Pentecost are the miracles of Pentecost. However, when we dive deeper into the Acts 2 reading we see that there is still another miracle worth speaking about. A miracle that affects us all personally and as a church… Riverview in particular. Read again verses 5 and 6, and verse 21:

5 “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.” and from verse 21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The miracle of Pentecost is that the God/ that we can only know through Jesus Christ is for everyone and the Holy Spirit is the one who highlights this. The Holy Spirit points to the fact that God comes for everyone!!  it means that if you call on Jesus as your means to forgiveness; your way to God, and your way to heaven, there is no doubt about it God welcomes you! You are welcome into a relationship with God and welcome in heaven. It is as simple as that. You are in!  Jn 1:12 For all who believe He gives the right to become children of God!  Rm 8:14, 17 All who are led by the spirit are children of God. And if we are his children then we are heirs, heirs with God and joint heirs with Christ .  Rm 6:5 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 Martin Luther himself says that we are Justified by our faith in Jesus, when we believe,… God gives the Holy Spirit.  You don’t need to earn it or ask for it… if you believe then the Spirit is given to you!

And if that is the case, There is no question about whether anyone else who calls on Jesus as their means of forgiveness and way to God are also welcome to be in heaven with God. That is great news. “For ALL who believe HE gives the right to become Children of God.”. It is as simple as that. The OTHER miracle of Pentecost is that God’s gift of eternal life is for everyone.

2 Question to ponder:

  1. If God has bestowed the Holy Spirit on us… what is our first response       to that gift?
  2. If God’s Holy Spirit is for everyone… what is our responsibility to those who not have yet heard or responded that good news (the Gospel)?

Sunday, 8/1/2021

Hebrews 7:11-8:2   “A New Priest and a New Way.”

As we read this passage we have to remember the basic idea of religion which never leaves the mind of the writer to the Hebrews: To him religion is personal access into God’s presence as friends, with nothing between us and him. The old Jewish religion was designed to produce that fellowship in two ways.

First, by obedience to the law. “Let a man obey the law and he was the friend of God.”

Second, it was recognized that such perfect obedience was out of the question for any man; and so the sacrificial system came into being.

When a man was guilty of breaking the law (sin), a specific sacrifice was required to bring him back into right relationship with God. The Levitical order of Priests were inadequate to keep mankind in right relationship to God, every time men sinned they had to rush right back for a sacrifice… Jesus, as the Great High Priest, was far superior to the old system because:

  1. He isn’t from the physical line of priests but was made a priest by the power of His life.[vs. 11-17].
  2. Unlike the Priests of that time, who die, He will live forever so he can save completely. [vs. 22-25].
  3. He didn’t need to begin each day by making sacrifice to cover his own personal sin, as the Priest did, but made one sacrifice for all time [vs.26-28].
  4. And we do have such a high priest interceding for us at the right hand of God the Father… for eternity [vs. 8:1-2].

How does knowing that Jesus as our Great High Priest give you peace and reassurance in these days of duress and confusion? How can you share that reassurance with those in your circle of influence?

Hebrews 6

Scripture for this Sunday, July 25th is Hebrews 6 by Deneen Hanson

How do you know when someone is a grown-up? Is it in their appearance or their age? Evidences of growing up in our culture could include getting a driver’s license, graduating from high school, getting a job or getting their own place to live. Grown-ups are producers, not just consumers.

But, what are the evidences of growing up in Christ? Hebrews 6 tells us that the ABC’s of following Christ are:  1. Repentance v. 1 2. Faith v. 1 3. Ceremonial cleansing v. 2 4. Laying on of hands v. 2 5. Resurrection of the dead v. 2 6. Eternal judgment v. 2

Once we know and embrace these ‘elementary’ doctrines/teachings/ABC’s, how do we move forward as Christians? If a child learns their literal ABC’s and progresses academically toward middle and high school, they are never sent back to kindergarten to rehash the ABC’s – just in case they missed “L-M-N-O-P”. This foundation has been laid and the student’s work shows their mastery of said letters every single day.

If the foundations of Christ’s work done for us and in us have indeed been laid, through the work of God’s Holy Spirit and His holy Word, then the work we produce in personal righteousness and discernment is seen in some way in our lives, every single day. 

For the believer there is no returning to Kindergarten. Once saved, always saved! In John 10:27-28 Jesus tells us, that “My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” 

We are asked to grow up, get out of the basement and  get out into the world, being producers of righteousness and not just consumers of the basic teachings of God! With Christ’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit living in us and the rich wisdom of God’s Word, the Bible, we can and shall exhibit righteousness and discernment every single day!

Hebrews 4:14-5:14

Scripture/devotion for Sunday, July 18th by Jill Borland

This week’s passage from Scripture compares and contrasts the earthly, sinful high priest with our eternal, obedient High Priest, Jesus Christ. All high priests are appointed by God. All high priests offer gifts and sacrifices to Him. All high priests stand between God and man and act as a representative from one to the other. Both the earthly high priests and our eternal High Priest are able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses and temptations. However, there is one glaring contrast between these two examples. The earthly high priest was “subject to weakness” and was required to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people. He was ultimately ineffective at removing sin. On the other hand, Jesus, our Great High Priest, experienced the temptation to sin but He was not subject to it. He remained sinless. Because of this, He alone has the power to remove the sins of His people. 

I find verses 5:8-9 of this passage particularly interesting. “Though He [Jesus] was a son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” How can One who knows all “learn” anything? How can One who is perfect become…more perfect? Jesus already knew obedience, but throughout His earthly life He had the opportunity to put that obedience into practice. Through His obedient suffering on earth, He is able to offer perfect redemption from sins. His role as High Priest was perfected.

Verse 5:14 states, “But solid food [teachings about the full adequacy of Jesus to give victory over sin] belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We are called to follow Christ’s example of submission and obedience…practiced over and over that we may be able to discern both good and evil and live accordingly. 

We all face suffering in life. These afflictions may range anywhere from minor irritations to great tragedies. Each of these times provides us with another opportunity to practice obedience. Let us follow in Christ’s example of perfect submission to the Father, and, in doing so, find freedom from sin. 

Reflect: Is there an area of your life that God is calling you to submit to His will? Pray that God will help you to obey, and in doing so, experience the freedom that He offers.

Listen, Trust, and Obey

Tim Hawk is giving the sermon from Genesis 12:1-5 this Sunday. In preparation, read through the passage noticing Abraham’s example for us – he:

  1. Listened to God
  2. Trusted God
  3. Obeyed God
  4. Was Blessed by God

LORD, we ask you today to give us the faith to walk with You as Abraham did, with open ears, mind, heart and with legs ready to move when You call. AMEN

God’s Love as THE Power Source

Scripture for Sunday, July 4th is 1 Corinthians 3

Love speaks to the heart attitude. Many good deeds can be done or feats performed that appear righteous, but if they are not done with a heart of love, they are nothing. They are actually worse than nothing. They are heartless and deceptive.

Read 1 Corinthians 3:4-8 and you will see how durable, long lasting and resilient love is for the believer. It is not a fleeting or flighty feeling. When the believer receives God’s love as if a transfusion of perfect love from the Heavenly Father, they are able to transfer/share this same response to other people. 

How much time have you spent this week with the lover of your soul? How could you set aside even 15 minutes each day to communicate your love for Him and receive the life giving transfusion that God’s love provides. 

We love because He first loved us!  1 John 4:19

God’s Treasure Trove of Wisdom

The scripture for Sunday, June 20th is 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Paul has been encouraging the Corinthian church (1 Cor 1:1-9), correcting them (1 Cor 1:10-17) and asking them to reflect (1 Cor 1:18-30).

Now in 2 Corinthians he first lowers himself and then lifts up Christ (1 Cor 2:1-5). With humility as his lead in, he speaks of seeking out the deep and unfathomable things of God through His Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:6-16).

God does not leave us “dumb as a box of rocks” but gives access to His secret wisdom through His Spirit. God knows His own mind and shares His beautiful and bountiful treasure trove of Wisdom to those willing to mine for it. 

How does one mine for God’s wisdom? 
* Digging into God’s Word

* Inquiring of God (prayer)

* Listening to God (Word & prayer) often requiring turning off the noise of the world (phones, TV’s, internet, busybodies, our own internal ‘tapes’)

There is a beautiful hymn called “May the Mind of Christ Our Savior”

How will you take time to worship, reflect, listen and learn from God and His Word, asking Him to impart to you His wisdom?