Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:4

***Well, I said there weren’t going to be any posts this week, but after much thought and prayer, I decided to not go to the training course as planned. While it would have been a small gathering, the health of my family and my church family was more important. I’ll be able to take the course again in a few months when all of this nonsense has prayerfully passed. That being said, let’s dig back into Habakkuk this morning by taking a look at the verse for which it is most famous.

“Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is easily the most well-known verse in the whole of Habakkuk’s collection of prophecy. It is quoted in three different times in the New Testament; twice by Paul and once by the author of Hebrews. But what does it mean? And, if you read this same verse in different translations, you’ll find several different versions of it. Is this even the right translation? Let’s talk about it.

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Making God Happy

This past Sunday, we continued our new series, Being Useful, by looking at the first character trait on Peter’s list that will make us more useful to Jesus. Item number one: Faith. What is faith? What does it look like to have faith? And how does growing in faith make us more useful to Jesus? Read on to find out.

Making God Happy

We were sitting in a restaurant the other day and over my shoulder a family had been seated at a pretty large table.  They needed the space.  The waitress came over like she would for any customer and took drink orders.  Not long after, they called her back.  They wanted to make some special requests.  Then they called her back again.  Then she came to take their food orders…and they made some special requests.  Then the drinks came out.  And those weren’t right.  The appetizers were wrong too.  So was their dinner.  The manager came to the table at least once, maybe twice.  It took a couple of trips by the waitress to get dessert ordered and right too.  Now, this was a busy restaurant and certainly mistakes are occasionally made in the industry.  But as we looked around the room, we didn’t notice anybody else getting the amount of specialized attention they were getting.  Now, they were never ugly that we could tell, but the fact that just about all of their stuff wasn’t quite right began to suggest a pattern.  The pattern wasn’t a restaurant that couldn’t get its stuff together.  The problem was a family that was hard to please. 

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 2:18

“For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Nobody else knows how this feels. No one can imagine how hard this temptation is for me to resist. If they did, they’d understand why I fall to it as often as I do. Ever thought something along those lines? One of the tricks the devil uses to keep us falling into temptation as often as we do is isolation. If we are—or better yet feel like—we are alone, we are far more likely to succumb to temptation than when we are in community. The truth, though, is that feelings are not always reality. That’s particularly the case here. 

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter)

“You should engage with the church more,” is about the least unexpected thing that could come from the mouth…or the fingers…of a pastor. And yet here I am saying it. Okay, well, that’s not totally true. The writer of Hebrews is saying it. I’m just repeating what he said. Does that make it any better sounding? Perhaps not, but let’s talk for a minute about why it matters.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 12:5-6

“And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or lose heart when you are reproved by him, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

The believers who received the letter of Hebrews had a hard life. They were part of a movement that was new and unpopular and even considered by some to be an atheistic, cannibalistic cult. They faced economic hardship, social ostracism, and outright persecution on a regular basis. Their former friends who were Jews wouldn’t have anything to do with them anymore and the Roman government fed them to the lions in the arena. And, as we saw last time, the author here said the best way to handle all of this was to consider it to be the discipline of a loving father. What should they—and we—do with that? 

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