Defeated

By Jaime Solis (@jaimexsolis)
••••••
Is it really worth it?

Before any type of telecommunication existed, runners were assigned to various groups of the military during a war. Runners were not soldiers armed with heavy artillery; they packed light. Their primary objective was to carry very important messages from platoon to platoon. This meant them leaving the safety of shelters and risk having bullets flying overhead. This also meant enemy snipers aiming and shooting at them, in order to make sure the enemy runner never successfully delivered a message.

All this for a message that was not their own, but of a Commander, giving orders to carry it across the battlefield. They put their lives on the line… for a message.

Paul, also spent the latter days of his life carrying a message that was not his own. The message belonged to God, his Commander, with the message being that Jesus died for the sins of the world so that all may go to heaven! Because he carried this message and spread it out, he lived in a constant life of turmoil. He was afflicted, he was perplexed, he was persecuted, and he was struck down – was it really worth it? It seems defeating.

I ask you, in your perplexities, in your persecution, in you being struck down – is saying, “I am a follower of Jesus”, worth it? I think one of our greatest fears is that we lived our lives being faithful to living a life for Jesus, only for it to feel wasted, since feelings of defeat come around more than those of victory.

Paul though, reveals to us the other side of the hardship, that although he’s experienced affliction, he was not crushed, though he was perplexed, he was not driven to despair, though he was persecuted, he was not forsaken, and though he was struck down, he was not destroyed.

So, defeated heart, as a runner for the Gospel of Jesus yourself, trust Paul as he revealed the other side of the discouraging days, a truth that he found by being faithful. It IS worth it despite the feelings of defeat, because we’ll find that God has been present to hold us up all along.

Hebrews 1.1-2 – Many Into One

The letter to the Hebrews is a great part of the Bible. It almost typifies the whole thing; it’s a book about how much greater than everything else Jesus is. We have been preaching through it verse by verse for a while at Saar Fellowship, and we’ll resume this study in a couple of weeks. If you want to refresh yourself before we do, you can do so here. The letter begins like this,

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

Hebrews 1.1-2

The anonymous writer begins by referencing his shared Jewish past with his audience by saying long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. As we have been working through the Minor Prophets over the summer, we have said that each and every one of them points to Jesus, as does all of Scripture (John 5.39-40). So God spoke to the previous generations referenced here by the prophets, who all pointed to the coming of Jesus. 

Now, says the writer to the Hebrews, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.


 

The whole counsel of God’s Word anticipates Jesus, previews Jesus, prepares us for Jesus, reveals Jesus, details Jesus, reviews Jesus, and promises that He will come again.

For us, today, now, just think – how does this change me? How does this affect my day? How does the fact that the entire Divine narrative points to One person impact me? 

God’s message is now so concentrated, the smoke has lifted and we see clearer than ever that Jesus is the way, Jesus is the truth, and Jesus is the life, and that without Him, we will never be in right relationship with God the Father (John 14.6).

In visual form, it looks like this,

main-qimg-62c8f72f865f8e3141a6931c01fa0b5d

 

 

 

 

 

 

many into one.

This One person wants to have a personal relationship with you. This person died a substitutionary death for you so that, if you believe in Him, your sins won’t be held against you. As the message of the Prophets went from many into One, so did the consequences of our sin; many consequences into One person. 

Now we know this to be true, the choice is ours – what will we do?