ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
IMMANENCE OF GOD The literal meaning of the immanence of God is “to be within” or “near” in relation to God’s creation. Immanence is closely related to God’s omnipresence, in that God is always present within the universe, though distinct from it. God is ‘within’ the universe in that God is its sustaining cause. God is active within His Creation.
Genesis 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Praise God for His Immanence
God calling to Adam in the garden in Gen. 3:9 showed that God made us to be near Himself. Praise God that He has drawn near to us. Praise God that he is distinct from creation but near. Give thanks to God for specific times when you experienced his immanence.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for freshmen college students leaving home and starting school at WSU. Pray for freshmen who know Christ to grow in the faith. Pray for freshmen that don’t know Christ to come to faith in Jesus this year at school.
Hebrews 9 – The Message
A Visible Parable
9 1-5 That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship. A large outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and “the bread of presence” were placed in it. This was called “the Holy Place.” Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called “the Holy of Holies.” In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets, and the angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat. But we don’t have time to comment on these now.
6-10 After this was set up, the priests went about their duties in the large tent. Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent, and then only once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for his own sins and the people’s accumulated sins. This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God. Under this system, the gifts and sacrifices can’t really get to the heart of the matter, can’t assuage the conscience of the people, but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It’s essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made.
Pointing to the Realities of Heaven
11-15 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.
16-17 Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way.
18-22 Even the first plan required a death to set it in motion. After Moses had read out all the terms of the plan of the law—God’s “will”—he took the blood of sacrificed animals and, in a solemn ritual, sprinkled the document and the people who were its beneficiaries. And then he attested its validity with the words, “This is the blood of the covenant commanded by God.” He did the same thing with the place of worship and its furniture. Moses said to the people, “This is the blood of the covenant God has established with you.” Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That’s why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins.
23-26 That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why, when the real thing takes place, these animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore, having served their purpose. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.
27-28 Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
You are destined to die, then you will face judgment. “Okay…got it.” But can we really “get it?” We know cognitively that we will die someday but who, until they are actually “dying,” can get their minds around that fact? Even then, can we get our minds around it? Dying happens to everyone and people die every day, but dying is “abnormal.” One of the helpful things about spending time praying and reflecting is that it gives us space to slow down and contemplate things like, “I am going to die and then face judgment.” “Because of Christ, my judgment will not lead to separation from God, but to resurrection life with God.” These thoughts can be enormously helpful for nurturing gratitude, love, perspective, patience, and the avoidance of sin. Contemplate your own death. How much of what you are currently most concerned about or consumed by would matter much if you were to die today? What matters most at the end, matters most now. How can eternal perspective shape your life in positive ways in time? Think in practical, concrete fashion. Who will you forgive? What will you gladly sacrifice? How can you train your mind and heart to let go of worry?