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December 6 - Evening

"Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest… encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end."
- Hebrews 3:1, 13-14

Sharing in Christ for Salvation and for Daily Life


We began with Jesus, and we continue with Jesus. We entered salvation when we placed faith (or, confidence) in Jesus. We continue our walk by keeping our eyes on Jesus who will maintain this confidence (or, faith) so that we can mature and enter a life of spiritual rest here in time.

The verb in Hebrews 3:14 where it says, “We have come to share in Christ,” is in the perfect tense which means that for these believers this “come to share in Christ” is a present reality that resulted from a past action of theirs. This “come to share in Christ” occurs at the point of salvation.

The author is addressing believers who “share in the heavenly calling.” These believers are instructed to “fix your thoughts on Jesus,” and to “encourage one another daily” so none of them would be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  They could only be deceived if they took their eyes off of Jesus and did not maintain the same confidence they had when they had first heard the message of truth. If they were not daily encouraged in their faith they would be deceived and would begin to think thoughts that compromised the truth or behave in ways that were incompatible with spiritual growth. This is would prevent them fully sharing in Christ in their daily lives.

In the beginning of their Christian life they shared in Jesus. Now the author tells them that they must daily stay focused on Jesus in order to hold their original conviction firm to the very end and live spiritually productive lives here on earth.
Phobos (Gr) - Fear (Eng) - phobos is the Greek noun for "fear" and phobeo is the verb for "fear." These words can be used to express "fright" or "terror," but they also mean "awe," "reverence and honor." Our English word "phobia" comes from phobos.
I will spend time each day strengthening my faith and my confidence in Jesus.
I will daily encourage the believers I am around and help build their confidence in Jesus.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Safety on roads

Church

Workers
Local mayors and city officials
United Kingdom



This is a view of Lachish in Judah and the remains of the wall of the city and the Assyrian ramp used by Sennacherib in 701 BC right before 185,000 of his soldiers were destroyed by the Angel of the Lord. After defeating Lachish the Assyrians moved about 4-5 miles north to Libnah, where they were destroyed by the Lord. (2 Kings 19)
Details of the north side outside the north Temple Mount.




Someone to Quote

"There are three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done."
- Hudson Taylor

Something to Ponder

The cool Mediterranean breeze that begins at sea level blows east over the land of Galilee before it suddenly drops 700 feet into the Sea of Galilee. This forces the hot air that sets on top of this sea (or, lake) on the edge of the desert to rise. This creates sudden storms on the Sea of Galilee.

Here’s a Fact

Today the Sorek Valley stretches from the Judean Hill Country down into the Gaza Strip. This is the same Sorek Valley of Samson's life. Samson was born and buried in this valley, traveled to visit the Philistines in this valley and tied the tails of 300 foxes together in this valley. It was in this Sorek Valley that the Philistine cart carried the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel to the Levitical city of Beth Shemesh. It was in this valley just outside of Beth Shemesh that God struck down 70 Israelites who looked into the Ark of the Covenant.
(1 Samuel 6) Today you can stand on the remains of Beth Shemesh and look up and down this valley. (here)

Proverb

"Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold."
- Proverbs 6:30-31

Coach’s Corner

Disagreement does not originate from the same motivation as rebellion. 

2 Kings 19
New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold
19 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”
When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”
When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.
Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”
Hezekiah’s Prayer
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”
Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him:
“‘Virgin Daughter Zion     despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem     tosses her head as you flee.
22 
Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?     Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride?     Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 
By your messengers     you have ridiculed the Lord. And you have said,     “With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains,     the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars,     the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest parts,     the finest of its forests.
24 
I have dug wells in foreign lands     and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet     I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”
25 
“‘Have you not heard?     Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it;     now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities     into piles of stone.
26 
Their people, drained of power,     are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field,     like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof,     scorched before it grows up.
27 
“‘But I know where you are     and when you come and go     and how you rage against me.
28 
Because you rage against me     and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose     and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return     by the way you came.’
29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:
“This year you will eat what grows by itself,     and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap,     plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 
Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah     will take root below and bear fruit above.
31 
For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,     and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
“The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
“‘He will not enter this city     or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield     or build a siege ramp against it.
33 
By the way that he came he will return;     he will not enter this city, declares the Lord.
34 
I will defend this city and save it,     for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”
35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
2 Peter 3
New International Version (NIV)
The Day of the Lord
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Corinthians 12-13
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn
12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians
11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit?
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.
Final Warnings
13 This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Final Greetings
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


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