10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.’
13 And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews is not atSome of us were rejected or abused as a child, in our own family. Some of us never knew our real family, and some wished they didn't. Some of us still yearn for a loving and welcoming family environment in which they can be safe; where they feel like they really belong.
Oh, for a perfect world this side of heaven, huh...?
We're born into an imperfect family, run by imperfect people who have, at least once in their life, been wounded in heart and soul. Some of those who entered this world before us, in whose care we were placed, were greatly damaged before we came along; damaged and never fixed. And then they took on the task of caring for us while in such a state.
In their brokenness, they may have very well tried to love us, but chances are they - like we are known and prone to do - may have found themselves reacting and acting in ways that reflect their heartache, their abuse, their brokenness, the treatment they received the love - or lack of love - they received on growing up, rather than treating you in a way that reflected your true worth and beauty to you. Chances are they were never capable of revealing the true beauty of their own heart, but lived from their pained scars, instead... And in this, we took on scars of our own, and formed our own opinions of what love is and isn't, or what it should or shouldn't be, and we even took in a lot of anger and unforgiveness towards those that hurt us... and then we go on and treat the rest of the world through these views and with reactions that are often tied to, and born from, our past. If not careful, we become what we hate - and blame others for it - and this works against building 'family'.
In our hearts we know what true love is - whether we've received it or not. We feel it. We sense it. We ache for it. We go in search of it... But often we reject it, don't trust it, or treat it with the contempt our pasts deserve, and we move on, looking for 'true love' again; never really being able to receive it or give it. Often, we are angry or distressed because we didn't receive the love we KNOW we were created to receive and live in, but in our anger or brokenness we often tend to pass forward what we were given, and the next generation, or our partners, or other loved ones, are often treated, by us, in the same way we were treated, and we fail to pass true love forward, and that usually because we're still too busy looking for it from others, rather than finding it in ourselves. And off we go, into the world, forever looking for love but never finding it; forever looking for a place to rest our weary hearts, but forever feeling somewhat lost.
Then comes an awareness of God.
These days, most of us hear of God and Jesus in the movies, or on other shows written by those who don't know Them personally, or by a stone-throwing so-called 'believer' who obviously doesn't know Them either, and we form our opinion about Their characters that way. Most of us will never know the heart of God for ourselves, and go on judging Him through the way man treats us, and through what the 'real world' (MOVIES?!) teaches us... and nothing fills that void deep within us.
We may find romantic love, we may even become Christians and claim God's love, and we may even take on the church as though that is our family now, but humans are still involved - broken, abused, damaged humans, who are still seeking healing from their pasts - and, rather than get to know the heart of God in order to see 'man' and 'his' brokenness through God's eyes, we still judge God through human eyes and behaviour, and soon declare that true love still hasn't found us, after all.
But it has.
For God SO LOVED the world that He sent Jesus... Jesus came, out of love for the Father, and love for us,and, among other reasons, to reveal the way, the truth and the life of true love, and to show us what it looks like and where to find it. He calls us friends. He calls us brothers and sisters. He adopts us into God's family. And, together, as One, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, work to heal our damaged hearts, to fill that void inside us, to detach us from the pain of the past and reconnect us to true love and an amazing life.
However, upon accepting this, upon accepting Christ, upon accepting God's love and that God is love and that we love because God first loved us, and so on, we don't stop being human and we often view God, and Jesus, and Church, and fellow believers, and ourselves through the hurts we bring along with us. And because we continue to view things with our old minds, rather than renewing our heart and mind with that of Christ, we continue looking to man for true love, forgetting that, chances are, 'that person' is still dealing with the abuse or brokenness they've experienced in the past. It's the heart of God, the heart of Jesus (God's heart in the flesh!) we need to look to; not "man's", not our parents, not our pastors, not our partners, not anyone's but Christ's... then we pass it forward.
Jesus came to connect us to God. He came to make things right between us and God, so we can, without that horrible feeling of condemnation and guilt, be free to commune with God again. He takes away our guilt and shame, and we feel and believe that on accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, and then He gives us His Spirit so we can know the heart of God intimately...and so we can embrace true love. Only, this takes place inside of you... with His help.
True love isn't 'out there somewhere'... It's in the heart of God. It's in the heart of Jesus. It's in the heart of the Holy Spirit. And when you accept Christ into your life, you welcome Them and that love into your own heart. This is where you need to commune with God: In your heart. This is where true love will take root and grow and renew not only your heart and mind but your hope, dreams, joy, faith, confidence, courage, peace and life - and relationships, as well.
Jesus is our Saviour... but He never forces Himself upon anyone. For Him, being Lord doesn't mean being free to lord it over someone one, but to use His power to aid others; to aid you. He seeks to help you, knowing what it is you need: True love - among other things. Even if you have accepted Him into your hearts, He won't give you more than you can handle - including love. You have to be open to it. You have to be willing to even risk "man's" love in order to be open to His/True Love. You have to be willing to open your heart and yourself up to His love in order to receive it. You need He who came in the form of True Love to enter your heart and renew and strengthen it. Then and only then will you be stable in your self, in your relationships, and in your family - whatever form that comes in.
You know, even if all believers on the face of the earth turned around and showed you love today, they may turn around tomorrow and react out of their own pain and you will doubt love again. However, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He always loves. He will never change. He will never stop loving you. He will never stop fighting for you. He died for you and loved you while you were still a sinner; how much more will He rejoice over you when you're in a loving relationship with Him... :)
Jesus will never leave you, nor forsake you. You are His beloved. You are His family...
~*~ Romans ~*~ ~*~ 8:1-17 ~*~ New Living Translation (NLT)
Life in the Spirit
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
~*~ Galatians ~*~ ~*~ 4:1-7 ~*~ New Living Translation (NLT)
1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
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