I see a large flower covering my whole breast and as I look It is opening up and displaying the most beautiful colours, with a gorgeous scent coming from it.
“Yes I am opening up your heart like a flower so that My beauty can be displayed there and as the flower matures it will produce fruit – so keep your roots anchored deep into the “River of the water of life”, so that you can continue to draw sustenance from Me – through My Holy Spirit flowing up the stem. The flower represents Me and my relationship with you and as it opens the aroma of My love can come out to draw people to Me and as it opens up My beauty can also be seen and presently it will mature and produce fruit – the fruit of the Spirit. That fruit is mainly to be enjoyed by those around you, while some fruit focusses on preparing you to bear fruit so that you can be an appropriate vehicle for it to others, like peace, patience and an attitude of love and acceptance which purpose to change you – and then your joy, kindness, your gentleness are there to give others a soft landing when they come to you – and all this comes from Me – from My Spirit emanating from the Tree of Life, so allow Me to produce that fruit this week in you, so that you can be a blessing to all those around you.
Now back to reading Hebrews. Just to pick up on the melody line so far. The letter has been written to Jewish folk who are in danger of drifting away because they are ignoring such a great salvation Heb 2:1,3), which they have apparently experienced, therefore to Jewish believers who have converted to Christianity. The writer then focusses on the nature of this “great salvation” and especially on Jesus who is the author (or pioneer) (Heb 2:10; 12:2) of it , to show how important He is. In fact this whole action describes His mission to earth. Ignoring it is tantamount to ignoring Him and by deduction His Father.
Last time I suggested you meditate on what could cause one to drift away. Here are some thoughts on that. According to this book the readers were in some way facing persecution. For us in the affluent West it could simply mean being left out by your peers of their social circle. Elsewhere in the world it could be much more serious even separation from families and in extreme cases death. Then there is just the tendency to not take one’s Christian walk all that seriously, so the person doesn’t read the bible and pray regularly, stops meeting with other Christians and the great joy of the first discovery of this “salvation” pales (Heb 10:24,25).
In the West I think one of the greatest dangers to appreciating our salvation is, personal affluence and privacy, in the words of Francis Schaeffer. Having “everything” often devolves to thinking you need nothing from Jesus so you stop depending on Him and your community. Maybe you have thought of other reasons.
Now to 2:5-18. As the writer launches in to describe why this salvation is so great, he focuses initially on the humanity of Jesus the author of our salvation. He is at pains to show Him as lower than the angels, as we are (in status), as a brother vs 12, 17, as one who had to place His trust in His Father v 13, as having flesh and blood, like us v 14, having to face the fact of death, with the fear that Satan brings with that. All this was necessary so that He would experience life, suffering and death just as we do and therefore it qualified Him as our High Priest v17.
Notice that His suffering is both Physical as He tasted death on our behalf v 9 as well as from being tempted v 18. Here I think especially of the temptation in the desert and the Garden Of Gethsemane, but obviously not only those. Perhaps we underestimate how serious that was and how serious temptation is for us. Just think of the Lord’s prayer.
So I ended up pondering this. I should be more serious in identifying temptation and at the same time appreciate the Priestly understanding and help I can get from Jesus who understands and helps me because He has been there.