Hebrews 1 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Wilson Fong, Gracepoint Berkeley

What about God can I learn from the fact that “God spoke” to us first “through the prophets at many times and in various ways” and later “by his Son”?

One aspect about God that I can learn from the fact that God spoke to us first through the prophets at many times and in various ways and later by his Son is that God has been patient and even tenacious and relentless in reaching out to us, who were once lost but are now found.  He could have given up on us, he could have treated us as our sins deserve, but instead, over and over again, God sent his servants and messengers, provided opportunity after opportunity, so that I could hear and believe and repent.  The fact that God employed “various ways” shows me how eager and how creative he has been to communicate his love to me.
In my own ministry, I need to learn from God and learn that there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” approach in shaping and discipling a believer or reaching out to a nonbeliever.  Rather, I need to be just as persistent and just as committed and just as creative in making that spiritual connection with the other person and establishing a lifeline through the gospel can be communicated.  It is a challenge to me to not be quick to give up, to label someone as “hopeless,” to throw my hands up in the air and walk away.  Why?  Because God never gave up on me, but kept pursuing and pursuing and pursuing until I was cornered and wearied by all my sin and striving.
Another aspect about God that I can learn is that he is willing to go all the way – through the fact that he eventually sent his one and only Son, not only to be the full revelation of his nature and his glory but also to be the singular sacrifice that atones for the sins of the world.  It gives me such a full picture of his love, as he was willing to pay the highest price to save me and to bring me to himself for all eternity.  When I consider what I am like, I recognize how I stop short all the time, saying, “Whoa, that’s too much!” or “I don’t know if I can go that far…”  But as long as I keep giving and serving within the bounds of my comfort zone, in what sense is that love, and in what sense is that sacrifice?

How should I live my life given that it is the “last days” where God himself is fully revealed?
For all people, it is clear that we need to live our lives with the sobering realization that our days on earth are numbered, and that Jesus is coming back, heralding judgment.  Therefore, for myself, I need to live a life of proper fear and reverence and humility, knowing that when I die, I will stand before God and give account for my life.  I need to seize God’s offer of reconciliation today and everyday, and I need to conform my life within the boundaries of his Word and his will.  Also, I need to pass this message to as many people as possible while there still is time.  God himself has already been fully revealed through the life and death of Jesus Christ, and his work of salvation has been completed.  Now, people simply need to hear it and receive it.  And that God would use people like myself to be his instruments for noble purposes is an amazing fact as well as immense responsibility to be faithful with the time that I have remaining.

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Submitted by Jin Kim, Gracepoint Berkeley
Hebrews 1:1-2a
“The story of divine revelation is a story of progression up to Christ, but there is no progression beyond him.  It is ‘in these last days’ that God has spoken in him, and by this phrase our author means much more than ‘recently’; it is a literal rendering of the Hebrew phrase which is used in the Old Testament to denote the epoch when the words of the prophets will be fulfilled, and its use here means that the appearance of Christ ‘once for all at the consummation of the ages’ (9:26) has inaugurated that time of fulfillment.  God’s previous spokesmen were his servants, but for the proclamation of his last word to mankind he has chosen his Son.”

What about God can I learn from the fact that “God spoke” to us first “through the prophets at many times and in various ways” and later “by his Son”?

The most prominent fact about God that stands out is his patience. He didn’t speak just through one prophet or a few prophets and after awhile, decided to give up on people who could care less about him. He sends many prophets, and this, not only at a short period of time to blitz civilization and see if they will respond or not. He speaks through many prophets at many times. And not only does God speak through these numerous prophets at many times, he tries various ways. The heart of God revealed here is not only patience, but zeal. The heart of God has the sentiment that refuses to let go and give up. God will do anything he can to love people back to him. And such is the amount of attention and focus that he will think through and implement many different ways as he tries to meet the many needs of different people. He doesn’t demand that people try to find him but rather, he actively goes out to find people, all of them, over a long stretch of time and in different ways of hoping to catch as many people as possible. Yet when even these efforts do not fully “work,” God still does not give up. He ultimately is willing to lay it all on the line by sending his son, the most precious thing to him. One fact about God is that he is limitless in what he’s willing to go through in loving people, in loving me. I think about my story and how hostile my attitude used to be against God. I think about the many ways I have messed up in the past and have hurt not only God but also a lot of people. I’ve reached moments when I thought that was it for me as I hit some deep spiritual failures. Yet somehow, God has always restored me and rebuilt me. It’s because he is consistent with his character in history, he never gave up on me as he never gave up on anyone else. And his work and zeal does not just stop at me. That is just the beginning. These facts about God, his zeal and urgency and patience, now extend from me as I become these embodiments to other people, just as I received God’s care and love from others.

Reflect upon the privilege that I have to see the final and ultimate revelation of God through Jesus (Matthew 13:17).
This fact that I have seen the final and ultimate revelation of God through Jesus is overwhelming. The reason is that God is so big and there is so much to reveal about him. But I have the benefit of time where hind sight is now 20/20. Though there is so much more I know that God will reveal upon his return, final and ultimate revelation of God until then has been done. It is awe-inspiring to think that there are things I know and have seen which the prophets have not, tremendous men of God such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah. From their standpoint in history, they can only see part of the picture but now, much more of the  picture has just been handed to me. And the privilege comes not only from the content of the message but also the method. The message has come through the blood, sweat, and tears from these prophets and other people of faith to carry and pass on this baton of the gospel to each successive generation, so that it has now reached to my time. And the gospel that has been handed to me is that God is not angry and ready to strike me down. The final and ultimate revelation of God through Jesus reveals that God is a zealous and merciful God who cannot let go of me and that after all I’ve done and said and am, still wants an intimate, exciting, and dynamic relationship with me. The final and ultimate revelation of God through Jesus includes Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and giving me the free gift of salvation. In observing the landscape of God’s history, it is as if heaven looks upon my time, holding its breath, to see which ones will now continue passing on God’s final and ultimate revelation of God. And this only underscores the privilege of not only having received the gospel but also that of passing it on and seeing my life in the context of a bigger work happening all around me, if I would just open my eyes and look beyond myself.
How should I live my life given that it is the “last days” where God himself is fully revealed?
Given that it is the last days, my life should be characterized by urgency. There is no time to be too tightly attached to comfort, my concerns of how I may appear before others, and what I would rather be doing with my time and money. Jesus says that his father is always at work and in this post fall portion of history, that is to be my distinguishing trait. As one who has received many privileges that the prophets and other people of faith did not, it also means that I have now stepped into a place where there comes much more responsibilities. And these responsibilities must be exercised where life is not about me but about others. It is about being raised up as a spiritual leader and accepting all the challenges that come with this. And it is about raising up others as spiritual leaders and accepting all the challenges that come with that, whether it be meeting someone who has no idea who God is to someone who is very familiar with him. And my work is cut out of me as our college ministry begins a new year. A new year where our students have officially been raised up a year and a new year where we will meet many new people. There are events to plan for and attend, many people to meet and build relationships with, and a lot of coordination and communication that needs to be done. But all of this, I must do and invite into my life not to get some checklist done but so that God’s urgency to reveal himself in these last days may be satisfied. And on my end, it means refusing to settle for comfort, mental passivity, and asking God to make my sphere of concern, heart and vision as big as himself.

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