Quick Quiet Time Thought: Hebrews 2:12

Here’s a short reflection on Hebrews 2:12 from my Bible study this morning.

The writer quotes Psalm 22: “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

This Psalm was seen as Messianic by the early church. Jesus quotes it on the cross, Mark 15:34. The point of the quote in Hebrews is to demonstrate that Jesus praises God to his family. The astonishing fact that we are his brothers and sisters is reinforced by quoting the Psalm. However another point struck me.

Jesus sings!

Jesus delights to sing God’s praises among the faithful.  “Sing” translates humneso, from which we get ‘hymn’. Jesus ‘hymns’ God’s praises to and among his spiritual family. The Hebrew original of Psalm 22.22 is that he ‘ahalls’ God. Halal, when attached to yhwh gives us the word hallelujah.

If Jesus hymns God and hallelujahs him, we’re in good company when we sing God’s praises among our brothers and sisters. We’re singing with Jesus. What a thought!

Do you have a comment on this verse or my reflections? Leave a comment below.

I hope you have a wonderful quiet time today.

God bless, Malcolm

Quick Quiet Time Snippet: Hebrews 2:11

I took a look at Hebrews 2:11 this morning. A profound and inspiring verse. Here it is:

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11 NIV11)

I thought I’d try an expanded explanation to help me grasp its significance. Here’s what I came up with. Not elegant, but comprehensive:

Jesus is holy (divine, sinless); he makes us holy (different from Old Covenant where the impurity of a person corrupted those who were pure); once we have been made holy we return to the status God always planned for us to have – that of his family (in the Greek, ‘from one all are”. Since this is how God views us, Jesus is not ashamed of us since we are his brothers and sisters.

What do you think? Have you tried re-writing a verse of the Bible like this? I find it helps me when I then go to pray about it afterwards.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment in the box below.

God bless, Malcolm

Here’s a quiet time idea for today

Try meditating on the first verse of Hebrews:
 
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways” (Hebrews 1:1 NIV11)
 
What the English translation does not bring out is the alliteration in the original Greek. There are five words beginning with ‘p’.
 
Polumeros (many times), polutropos (in many ways), palai (long ago), patrasin (Father), prophetais (prophet).
 
Spend a moment praying over these five words.
 
Share what was meaningful for you about it.

Mexico “International Congress of Praise 2017”

As you can understand, there has been uncertainty about the “RVRNT” conference going ahead. However, it’s on, and Heathrow is my temporary stop on the way to Mexico tonight. I’m looking forward to making new Mexican friends at the conference in Guadalajara. And I hope to bring them some of God’s comfort.

It’s impossible for me to relate to what they are going through, but I know God is familiar with suffering and tragedy. Please pray for me to have the right words and the right attitude to comfort the mourning.

I’ll be posting daily if possible – depending on wifi and power availability. Look out for the video blog. I’ll update it with lessons I’m learning about corporate worship.

Also, please pray for the two speaking opportunities I have:

1. “The God who Transcends” on Friday

2. “Worship as Sacrifice” on Sunday

Thanks & God bless,

Malcolm

Sunday Devotional 16 July 2017 – Psalm 100

Photo by Phú Nguyễn on Unsplash

This Sunday our pre-service devotional for the speakers, singers and instrumentalists involved in the service is focused on Psalm 100.

The more I read it, the more I realise how appropriate it is to prepare us to lead others in collective worship. Here is the text:

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalms 100:1–5)

Brueggemann points out that, “the summons to praise are utterly yielding to God.” (see book link below) Look at how many times “the Lord…him…God…his” are mentioned. The eyes of the worshippers are firmly fixed on the object of their worship.

It is not one-way traffic, however.

The worshippers understand that they are in good relationship with God: “We are his..his people..sheep of his pasture..enter..love endures..his faithfulness..”. The worship is wrapped in confident expectation of God’s love.

We are preparing to lead others in corporate worship. What is a healthy way to be thinking as we step up to speak, sing, or play? Two thoughts will help:

i. Speak to God, not just the people physically present

ii.Reassure us of God’s promises

What are your thoughts on this Psalm and how we prepare to lead people in worship?

Please leave a comment below.

God bless, Malcolm

DO YOU WRITE OUT YOUR PRAYERS?

I’m guessing David wrote out his prayers. We’re so lucky to have his Psalms.

I was reminded of how helpful it can be to write out our prayers by something Alice Dannatt said at church last night. She and Alex Clegg taught a super class about making progress with joy in the faith. At one point she shared quite hilariously about attempting to pray but falling asleep. Encouragingly, she did not despair about this but looked for a solution. The answer was to write out her prayers. I don’t often do this, but wonder whether I’m missing out.

Do you write out your prayers? If so, how do you use them? 

Please let me know what you do and how you do it – as well as how it helps you in your prayer life. Leave a comment below.

God bless, Malcolm

Prayer for Dementia sufferers

A story today on the BBC website moved me, “How we found a way to cope with my granddad’s dementia.” Here’s a prayer for all who suffer from dementia, and for those caring for them.

“Father, you never forget us, nor how fragile we are. Today, we pray for all who struggle to remember who they are, and how much they are loved. Help them turn to you for comfort, and assure them of your love. Strengthen the professionals who look after their patients. Give them patience and enduring compassion. Encourage the families mourning the loss of a dear one. Help them remember with gratitude the gift of their loved one’s life. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”