Symbols of Faith & Understanding

Eternal redemption for man was foreshadowed, pictured, in the Old Testament system of worship and furnishings placed in the Jewish tabernacle built by Moses. In the tabernacle there stood artifacts (furnishings). These furnishings were utilized and maintained by the high priest. All of these foreshadowed (symbolized) the coming eternal redemption of man, ushered in by Jesus Christ. He has become the high priest of our faith, of that better covenant named in Hebrews 7:12; 8:6 and Jeremiah 31:31-34.

These journal notes in no way exhaust the depth of meaning found in the Tabernacle. The writer of Hebrews does not even go into the depth of the possible meaning of all these things. My heart here is to uncover as much as possible in a few words, as might stimulate further inquiry and greater depth of faith.

Christ As Seen In The Tabernacle


May the study of God’s word be a lifetime ambition (Heb 5:14; 6:1,12). #StudyGodsWord #SeekUnderstandingFromGodsWord


When I consider all that the Old Testament Tabernacle signifies to the believer I am humbled. The scope, the breadth and depth of the Tabernacle’s analogy to our faith is extraordinary. The symbolism of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, represented as the message of Christ to all who believe, exceeds my understanding.

All the theological minds of Christendom have never nor will ever plumb the depths of God‘s word. Yet, its study also exceedingly satisfies the humblest, most limited efforts of any sincere inquiring soul. The challenge of the writer of Hebrews is to inspire study and understanding of faith in Christ. Father, your word gives this old sentry a lifetime of growth and understanding.

Intentional Grounding


Be intentionally grounded in faith and ministry; secure hope in Christ (Heb 6:12,13). #BeGroundedInFaith #KnowTheWordOfGod


Note the warnings and encouragements given to some floundering Hebrew Christians in Hebrews 5:11–6:10 [Be Intentionally Grounded in faith – grow up, mature in faith, strive to understand Scripture, pursue God‘s purpose, stay alert to error and disbelief, walk steadfast in God’s mission, encourage others in faith and engage in ministry to others]. These things will prevent spiritual dullness and indifference.

This kind of intentional faith and endurance is in the tradition of the many faithful ones who have gone before these and all other believers. They all received the promises of God. Lord, my great hope in Christ is realized in direct proportion to my growth and maturity in faith and engagement with ministry (v11).

God’s Journal Notes


Be assured of God’s infinite interest in your life & ministry (Heb 6:10,11). #GodsJournalNotes


The writer here expresses confidence in these Hebrew Christians, that they are authentic in their faith; that they will certainly stay the course (v9). Now, he reminds them that God has carefully recorded their every deed (small & unnoticed to large & public).

These believers have unselfishly ministered to others in Jesus name. They continue to do so, making certain the hope for which they have believed. God is more than aware of our service to him. Every single act of ministry every word of encouragement spoken are noted in the Father’s journal.

Lord, I am assured of the Heavenly Father’s infinite interest in EVERYTHING I do and say.

Correction’s Last Word


Strive to express a pastoral-shepherd’s heart toward others (Heb 6:9). #ShepherdsHeart #PastoralHeart


Like the loving caring father who gives his child stern correction regarding disobedience and the consequences of that, he then speaks words of kindness and encouragement. Just so, after the solemn warnings of Hebrews 5:11–6:8, the writer puts his loving arms around these believers and his last words are words of confidence and encouragement.

“Oh, precious and beloved friends, we are so confident in you. You are and will continue to do, more and more great things in ministry. Your hearts are dialed into God and those works brought about by salvation. We so believe in you.” Lord, may I approach all discipline and exhortation with a pastoral-shepherding heart.

Window of Opportunity


While you still can, strive by faith to understand and follow God’s mission for you (Heb 6:7-8). #WindowOfOpportunity #FulfillGodsPlan #StandingStrongInFaith

Use Your Window


The writer is speaking to believers here (vv1-6 describes it beautifully clear). Verses 7 and 8 illustrate a principal of discipline in the believer’s life. When rain falls on a field, it bears fruit. If that same field bears only thorns, thistles and weeds, the farmer burns the worthless brush away. I don’t conclude this to mean that believers will lose their salvation or maybe they weren’t believers to begin with (read vv1-6 again).

My understanding and life experience of this leads me to conclude that believers who are rebellious, unwilling to listen to God and grow to maturity (5:11) are in danger. They have “fallen aside from,” “side-stepped,” their responsibility, their opportunities to be productive for God. They bring harm to the work of the Kingdom. God WILL bring correction and judgment on his children for their own good. Heb 3:12-19 is evidence of that. (Also note 1Co 3:12,13; 2Co 5:9-11)

Lord, may I never miss a window of opportunity to grow in my faith and obedience to you.



“Last Call”

God is serious about his children’s growth and obedience.

As an eight year old boy I gave my heart to Jesus. That’s when I met the Lamb of God. I had some growth in my early years. But later, in spite of my faith and upbringing, I became rebellious.

In college my life went completely off the rails. God often spoke to my heart, but I would not listen. I’ll spare you the details, but I wanted God to butt out of my life. I spurned my faith. Yet, in the deepest recesses of my heart, I knew that Jesus was tenaciously and compassionately striving with me.

Fast forward: through my rebellion I squandered my college opportunity. I was failing after three years of mischief. I was asked not to return to campus. As a result, I was drafted into the military. I soon found myself thousands of miles away from home in the war torn land of Vietnam.

God was bringing severe judgment and discipline into my life to get my attention. After many previous calls for me to return to him, to mature in my faith, to be used of him, he was about to issue the “Last Call.”

As a believer I was doing more harm to the faith than good. I was “falling aside from,” “side-stepping,” my responsibility, my opportunity to be productive for God. My lifestyle as a “believer” had brought me dangerously close to holding Jesus up to open shame. God was ready to set me aside, leaving the likelihood of my repentance for renewal as a remote and unlikely possibility (Heb 6:6).

On December 28, 1968, I was standing watch in a guard tower. It was in the early morning hours. I was lonely and I was scarred. I had a small New Testament in the pocket of my flak jacket (my church gave it to me before I left – it felt more like a good luck charm to me; maybe it would stop a bullet).

I pulled that New Testament from my pocket. I opened it up to the Gospel of John and began to read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (Jhn 1:1, 4-5, 10-12)

When I read the words, “He came to his own and his own did not receive him”, my heart was deeply convicted. I heard God distinctly speak into my heart. He said to me, “I have come to to you over and over again. You have not received what I have for you.”

In my heart I knew that I was living dangerously close to even more severe judgment than being in a hostile far away country (maybe committing a sin unto death – 1Jn 5:16,17. That’s when God issued what I knew then was my “Last Call.” He said to me, “Tonight you have a choice. You can go home in a body bag or you can go home serving me. The choice is yours and the time is now.”

The next thing I remember, I was on my hands and knees in that guard tower over the Saigon River. I was weeping and asking God to forgive my rebelliousness. I was broken, weeping and confessing sin.

[1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”]

On my knees in that guard tower before God I felt his cleansing touch. It washed me clean from the top of my combat helmet to the bottom of my combat boots. My heart and life was revived in joy and total surrender to God.

[When I was an eight year old boy I met the Lamb of God. At age twenty-one, I met the Lion of Judah. Jesus became the Undisputed Lord of my life.

I never looked back. Life changed for me in that solitary moment of surrender to God. For fifty-five years now God has continuously done gracious undeserved works in my life.

“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb 3:15).

Crippling Faith


Be alert to error leading to beliefs that cripple the faith (Heb 6:4–6). #BeAlert #CripplingFaith


Following the clear challenge to these mostly Jewish readers to grow up into maturity in Christ (vv1–3), the writer sounds a terse warning. Some believers in Christ, due to a lack of understanding and growth, were in danger of turning their backs on Christ and returning to a Jewish system of works for salvation. When one becomes unconcerned with their sin there is a catastrophic disconnect with God. Hearts are in danger of becoming hardened towards repentance.

Their apostate beliefs essentially put Christ to open shame again by their public disrespect of him and their hardened hearts toward God. Their influence puts the church in danger of division and confusion, crippling her effectiveness. They would be judged harshly for this by God (3:12–19; 6:7,8). Lord, may I be alert to anything that cripples my faith and leads me off the path of abundant life.

Note the similar warning posted on this blog below

The Christ Way


Choose to set your heart upon Christ who gave his all for us (Heb 5:8-10). #VictoryInObedience #ChooseLifeChoseJesus


Oh dear soul of mine (Psm 43:5), this precious Savior of mine, this Jesus, left his home in glory (Phi 2:5–8). He CHOSE to limit himself by becoming a man, to be touched by the frailties of humanity. He learned obedience as a man (grew in wisdom and stature as a man – Luk 2:52). Jesus CHOSE to do that, for me. Because of his obedience, God gave him a great victory through sorrow and death to resurrection.

I don’t have a choice about grief or suffering in my life. BUT, I can choose how I will face the defeats, the hurts, and the disappointments of life. I reject bitterness and I choose life abundant. Like Christ, I too can know the blessing and victory of God through my obedience. Lord, like Job, who said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him“ (Job 13:15), I choose you.

Applied Learning


Continue to read, grow and apply God‘s Word to your life (Heb 6:1– 3). #AppliedLearning #ReadStudyApplyGodsWord


I once heard a pastor say, to the effect, believers who are floundering ought to sit and read large portions of Scripture at a time. Doing this for a short period would re-introduced them to the language and content of Scripture. The writer of Hebrews seems to be taking that approach with these believers. They have learned but not been building upon their basic instruction.

Our writer says, rather than re-teach the basics, God willing, he would go on with further instruction. The point is that believers must continue to build on their faith and grow, applying the Scriptures. Lord I look forward with anticipation to coming daily before you with an open Bible, an open mind and an open heart.

American Legacy – Generation Lost?


Lord, may our children have godly, righteous leaders worthy of following (Heb 3:7–11; Psm 95:10,11). #ActionsHaveConsequences #LegacyMatters #GenerationLost


I heard Henry Blackeby (author and pastor) say of Psalm 95:10,11, “An entire adult generation cost the youth of their day much suffering in the wilderness.“ These words have haunted me for days as I have meditated on this Hebrews 3:7–11 text. I am left with a equally haunting question. In what conditions are we leaving our children in America?

A disobedient adult generation were the cause of Hebrew children and their families to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Forty years of eating manna. Forty years of windy dusty traveling nonstop. When the last adult of that disobedient generation died a child born at the beginning of the wilderness journey would have been 40ish. The oldest, like Caleb & Joshua (adjusting for ancient calendars), were in their 80s (Joshua 14:10). I learn that my actions have consequences for those I lead. Lord, may I leave the NEXT GEN a godly example to follow. 


A brief read of modern day Great Awakenings in America reveals them occurring approximately every fifty years (1740s, 1790s, 1850s, 1900s). There is some disagreement on specific dates. But following this pattern, America should have seen an Awakening around the 1950s-60s.

But what did we see? Well, what we saw was twenty to thirty year olds in the those years who were busy burning bras and American flags. They were busy removing prayer and the Bible from schools. They have been at work ever since, developing Progressivism, a WOKE culture, restricting chaplaincy programs in the military and prison systems, removing oaths that contain the words, “So help me God.” They have been aborting babies, changing gender definitions and so much more. God forgive us.

What generation was this? This would be the generation who gave us leaders like Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney, Colin Powell, Earl Warren, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi to name a few. Lord, forgive us all.

So, as with that ancient Hebrew generation, perhaps, in God’s displeasure, he has discarded this 20th, 21st Century generation. Perhaps we are in the midst of a generation that God has chosen to bypass. Perhaps there will be no revival in the immediate days ahead.



But our hope may be for awakening and revival in our children’s generation. Maybe in the next 10-15 years. Better yet, the soon return of Christ. I PRAY FOR BOTH!



See this additional post on this blog.

Disbelief Exposed


May our hearts be delivered from evil disbelief (Heb 3:12–15). #EvilUnbelievingHeart #DoNotHardenYourHeart


The writer here repeats his warning to be careful not to allow our hearts to become hardened. Believers are to warn each other of this regularly. He refers here to an “evil disbelieving” heart. This is the worst kind of evil that is here mentioned. It is not a casual unbelief. It is allowing our heart to be so intentionally contrary to God that we lead others also into disbelief.

This is what Israel did (3:16-19) and a whole generation of people died in the wilderness never having set foot in God’s land of promise for them. This is an evil hardening of the heart of the first order. Lord there was a time in my life when this oft wayward sentry stood on the brink of an “evil disbelieving heart.” I was in danger of losing my very life. But you rescued me at just the right time. I am eternally grateful.

Keep The First Thing, The First Thing

Remain faithful to your call to serve Christ (Acts 20:16-21). #ShareJesusNow #RepentAndTurnToGod


Paul is rounding off his third and final missionary journey through Asia to preach the Gospel. He is headed to Jerusalem, anxious to arrive by Passover (a time of celebration). His desire is to deliver an offering collected in his travels, for the Jerusalem church; a very poor and needy church due to persecution and famine.

Paul’s stop near Ephesus begs a meeting with church elders from there. He reviews with them the importance of the Gospel – “Turn from sin, turn to God, put faith in the Lord Jesus.“ Paul had suffered much to preach this message to all people. I can do no less. Lord, it is ever the mission this sentry to, “Influence Men For Christ.“ May I never shrink from my mission.

The One Thing

Fulfill the call of God in your life (Rom 15:16-23). #WriteYourEpitaph,23.nlt


Paul’s greatest ambition was to preach the Good News of Christ to those who had not yet heard the message. He was enthusiastic about his mission and he credits God for the results. He was faithful to the message and to living an exemplary life…But it is God who gives the increase.

Paul had accomplished all God had called him to do this far. Next on God‘s agenda was to actually visit the church in Rome. It is important to know our one ambition for Christ. (In 3-5 words, what would they write on my tombstone? That’s the mission.) Lord, I pray that I may fulfill my one ambition in life, to “influence men for Christ (2Ti 4:5). May I do so to your honor and glory.