You can read today’s passage here: Hebrews 8 and if you would like to you can listen to it here: NIV Audio Bible, Hebrews 8. If you’re not in the practice of regularly listening to the Bible, I think you’ll find that it comes alive in a really different way when you listen to it compared to how it sounds in your own head when you read it from a book. I certainly do.
I run into two problems quite regularly as a minister which today’s passage looks at directly and challengingly enough to really make me stop and think. One is, to make sure I do my ministry and live my life ‘right’. The second is to do what I can to make sure that I serve the people that God has taken me to care for, love and support as best I can exactly that, as best I can. It’s easy to feel a failure at both of these tasks and the truth is that without God I would absolutely be a failure in my attempts.
‘But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.’
I’ll never be a High Priest in the way that the Old Testament and old covenant Priests were encouraged to live their lives to conform as closely as possible to what they had received as the directives on how to live and minister from the law that was given to Moses, but there’s still a temptation to build a ministry, or a temptation for us to build a Church, which is bigger, better, more noteworthy and which receives more favour than others we see around.
But here’s the rub and here’s what I think the writer to the Hebrews is trying to say: without Jesus, all efforts to do something good in ministry are fairly pointless, and not really ministry at all. It’s because Jesus did what He did that any of us are able to be followers of His and minister in the power of His name at all. None of us should minister in our own strength. There’s no point me praying ‘in the name of Haydon’. That won’t achieve anything, but if God writes his law on our hearts, his law of love over all things, mercy triumphing over judgement, people who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him every moment of their lives then, and only then, we might have some hope of being used to build a Jesus ministry, a kingdom ministry, one which does the things that Jesus does and has the world-transforming outcomes that all of us dream of but I wonder how many of us truly hope for. Do we want to see the world changed? Set aside our own ambitions and get in line with God’s and commit ourselves to His cause. Then great things can happen.
Something To Do
Write down or draw the ambitions you have for your life. Who are you trying to please? If you get everything you want, who will benefit?
Something To Pray
Ask God to give you an opportunity to show His love and power to someone today.