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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Settling for Half the Picture

For the last few months I've been reading and re-reading the book of Hebrews. Every time I read I keep coming back to this idea. So I thought I would blog about it. But before I go on let me make it perfectly clear I am NOT a scholar. In fact I must have zoned out during the seminary lectures on Hebrews because I don't remember any of them!

As I've been reading I've tried to imagine myself both the shoes of the author and the audience. When I think about the recipients of this letter, I can't help but sense this battle of tension they are facing. They've grown up with this wonderful gift from God, the law. They have followed incredible leaders along their journey. It was their life, their every being. It was what they knew.

Now they've met Jesus. He took the law and showed its beauty in its entirety. They now had a bigger picture of God and his kingdom. What Christ did was so different from what they were expecting, some where a little unsure of what to do with Jesus. So they took Jesus and his teachings and tried to put it in the same nice box they had placed the law.

I find myself in that same boat as the audience. God reveals himself to me. I encounter him in new ways. I read his word and am amazed at his greatness. Sometimes it blows me away so much I don't know what to do with. I store it away in a corner of my mind and leave it there because it is so good I don't want to lose it. But instead of making it a part of me it stays in the corner and I settle for only part of the picture. I keep living as though that piece of God's goodness doesn't apply to me.

I read Hebrews and imagine the heart and feelings of the author. The passion this writer has for these people to understand the greatness of Christ and his love is very clear. He longs very deeply for these people to understand the bigger picture. He wants them to understand that Jesus is IT, the whole thing. He is the one who shows them the Father, the Creator, the one who gave them that law that they love.

He wants to them to understand the law is so much more than they imagined because in Christ the law has been fulfilled FOREVER! The box they had tried to live in has burst open and this life that Christ has brought them is more beautiful than anything they could imagine. Christ brought them the rest of the picture.

However, some of them just don't seem to grasp that, much like me. I think about the author of this book and I think about how God might feel when I respond in the same way. How does he feel when I settle for just a smaller part of the law? What am I saying to him when I live my life for the law and strive for nothing less than perfection? How does he feel when my actions say I'll earn my way to us instead of fully accepting the beautiful sacrifice of Christ?

I'm excited to continue to wrestle with this as I continue to dig into Hebrews. And as I move forward this is my prayer.
Beautiful Jesus, your life and sacrifice is the greatest gift I could ever be given. Forgive me for my desires to focus on the smaller picture of you and your kingdom. Help me take those truths I've stored in the corners of my mind and bring them into my everyday life. Help me take off the blinders that block me from seeing the bigger picture of you. You are far greater than I can conceive. I'm so thankful for your patience with me and you constant pursuit of me.

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