What kind of partner is God?

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

May/June 2016 Issue –  The Presence of God‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11

The text set for today’s reading and meditation:

Hebrews 2:5-18 (NIVUK): “It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

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. 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.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

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 – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.

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. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

I really like Hebrews, because this Book provides a very concise explanation of the good news about Jesus and carefully explains the differences between the old and new covenants. The main point being that the old covenant has been totally replaced.

Selwyn starts by saying: “If we are to start every day on the basis of a human divine-human partnership then it might be helpful to think for a moment about the way in which God fulfils this role.”

Further on, he discusses some of the characteristics of Jesus which demonstrate His qualifications to perfectly fulfil this role.

He writes: “First, He was a person of immense courage … the quiet courage that persevered in the face of growing political, social and religious opposition and certain crucifixion.

Does it look as if the day ahead will demand special courage and determination from you? Are you facing a situation that requires greater strength and confidence than you are capable of? The take heart, in Jesus you have a partner who knows how you feel and will, if you ask Him, release His quiet courage and determination deep into your soul this very hour.”

At the church service that I attended today, the sermon was on Acts 4. In particular, I was struck by the power of the words in Acts 4:8-12, as follows: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I know these verses have no direct relevance to today’s study, but I was just taken by the strength of Peter’s statement – that we can only be saved by Jesus – there is no other path to God. One way we can partner with God is to ensure that we don’t water down this truth when talking to people who are searching for the truth.

What do you think?