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Being “partners in the heavenly calling” is life-giving

January 14, 2023

Daily Scripture

Hebrews 3:1-6, 2 Peter 1:4-8

Hebrews 3

1 Therefore, brothers and sisters who are partners in the heavenly calling, think about Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2 Jesus was faithful to the one who appointed him just like Moses was faithful in God’s house. 3 But he deserves greater glory than Moses in the same way that the builder of the house deserves more honor than the house itself. 4 Every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant in order to affirm the things that would be spoken later. 6 But Jesus was faithful over God’s house as a Son. We are his house if we hold on to the confidence and the pride that our hope gives us.

2 Peter 1

4 Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
5 This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence [or goodness] to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. 8 If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Hebrews 3 followed 2 chapters in which the letter set out Jesus’ superiority to every other way God had spoken to the human family. The point in today’s reading was, “If Jesus is so great—the solution to the human problem—then we must reflect in greater depth on who he is and what he has done.” * In all areas of our life (including our use of technology), our calling is to be as much like Jesus as we can be. Peter also spoke to his readers about the call to “share the divine nature.” That’s not an abstract, filmy notion—it’s meant to be a reality every day, as we go about all our activities. In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis observed that “the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” ** The past is gone, and we can no longer alter it; the future is unknown, and one moment can shatter our illusions of controlling it. “Today” (plain old “ordinary” today) is the day to partner our energy and effort with God’s power to transform our inner being and live out the qualities God desires for us.

  • Peter said we must “make every effort” to build these positive traits into our life. Scholar N. T. Wright wrote, “Peter is urging his readers to….become more fully human, he says, by building one aspect of Christian character on top of another: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, piety, family affection, and finally love. All these take thought; all these take effort. They don’t happen by accident.” ** Does the kind of life portrayed in today’s readings appeal to you, or not? What choices are you making, particularly in your use of technology, to allow God’s power to build a noble, fruitful character in you? Think through the reasons for your answer. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify one or two of the areas where you most need to grow in expressing love and generosity toward others, on social media or elsewhere.

Lord God, guide me to the choices and activities I need to bear the kind of fruit in my life for which you have “planted” me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Mike Ash

Mike Ash

Mike Ash is the worship leader and Director of Community Life at Resurrection Blue Springs.

Hebrew 3:1 encourages us: “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” There are so many things vying for our time and attention. We get alerts from our phone and the “tyranny of the urgent” demands that we drop everything and focus on whatever crisis has risen. This verse reminds us to keep our thoughts on Jesus.

Years ago there was a theme that resonated in the church encouraging everyone to ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?”

There were hats, t-shirts, books and bumper stickers with WWJD and even songs written about it. It was a movement for a time and was a reminder for us to love others like Jesus.

It’s difficult to imagine Jesus sitting around with the disciples watching tik tok videos or posting pic’s on Instagram. It’s a conundrum for us as we long to stay current and connected and respond in the way Jesus would. Awhile back I posted on Facebook about systemic racism and was so surprised by the comments of some of my Facebook “friends.” I was even unfriended because of it. It was a lesson for me that I’m still learning. Years ago Pastor Floyd McClung’s teaching on repentance had a significant impact on me. He said repentance is God’s design for your life, that to repent means to change the way you think. Changing the way you think is not easy. It takes humility and a willingness to admit you’ve been wrong.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 In some translations verse 6 says “in all you do acknowledge him.”

Maybe it’s time to bring back WWJD and before we post or comment, ask ourselves would Jesus say, post or act this way? I hope that as Christians we learn the balance of engaging in social media as well as loving those around us.

As we submit all our ways to the Lord, may others know that God loves them.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Kenneth Schenk, study note on Hebrews 3:1 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 437 NT.

** Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters: Annotated Edition (Kindle Locations 1101-1102). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

** N. T. Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p. 104.