Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Provoking the very best....

Heb 10:19  Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20  by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22  let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23  Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24  And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The writer says that Jesus opened up a new and living way which releases us “from an evil conscience”.  This release is described as: “true heart ... sprinkled clean ... washed with pure water”. This will result in lives that show “love and good deeds” and the encouragement of one another.

It is so sad that followers of Jesus often impose ways on people that imprison rather than release them. Instead of opening space for new life, we impose the limits of age-old prejudices; instead of inspiring true hearts, we cause people to hide their weakness behind false smiles; rather than encouraging the good in people, we focus on their worst activities.  Let us who follow Jesus commit to provoking the very best in people.

Ordinary 21 / Pentecost +14
43 Jesus is the Way
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 266.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day


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