Jesus is Greater: An Exposition of Hebrews

In this series, we are going verse by verse through the book of Hebrews. This book is all about Jesus and how he is greater than all!

A Greater Name

October 1, 2023 | Hebrews 1:1-14 | exposition

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The book of Hebrews teaches us that the name of Jesus is greater than any other name! Indeed, Jesus is greater than anyone or anything you’re facing today.

In the book of Hebrews chapter 1, Jewish background believers were implored to rightly see that Jesus is greater than all, even the angels, and therefore even His name is greater than any other name. We can rightly see that the name of Jesus is greater.

From Brokenness to Blessing

The series is based on the eight blessings or beatitudes that Jesus declared in His Sermon on the Mount. These eight blessings of Jesus actually turn worldly wisdom upside down. For they declare that the world’s wisdom about finding happiness and blessing is actually the opposite of what is needed.

Being a Blessing

September 24, 2023 | Matthew 5:10-16 | recovery

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Every committed Christ-follower will face persecution. It’s inevitable wherever light and darkness intersect. Yet, we don’t have to be afraid. We can even live out a blessed life and be a blessing when persecuted.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus taught His disciples how to be a blessing even when people persecuted them for following Him. We can be a blessing even when we’re persecuted for following Jesus.

Keeping Our Peace

September 17, 2023 | John 14:15-27 | recovery

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What is this peace that God offers through Jesus? It is more than the absence of hostility. It speaks of a deeper peace, or as the Jews call it, “shalom.” This peace that God offers means a sense of quiet, of harmony with others, a sense of security and well-being, wholeness, prosperity, a tranquil state of the soul without anxiety or fear.

How do we overcome our anxiety, our worries and fears, to receive and thrive in God’s peace? In John’s gospel, Jesus prepared His disciples to face His soon departure by giving them His peace and teaching them to how to continually keep themselves thriving in His peace. We can receive the peace of Christ and continually to keep it.

Confessing Our Guilt

August 27, 2023 | Psalm 32:1-5 | recovery

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We want to please God, but still have sin areas that cause us to feel guilty and defeated or past sin areas that we still feel guilty about. This robs us of living the blessed life, the happy life.

What is guilt? It’s that feeling of shame and regret we feel over a sinful attitude or behavior. It can be appropriate guilt when we are indeed responsible for an offense and feel remorse for it. Or it can be false guilt when we feel responsible for something that we had no control over, yet still feel we could’ve prevented in some way. Guilt feels heavy, like baggage that we carry with us. It fills us with shame and regret.

Some will try to help us deal with our guilt by trying to convince us that we shouldn’t feel guilty. But the Bible tells us that the reason we feel guilty is because we are guilty! But it also tells us how to give it to God! In David’s Psalm 32, he described how confessing his guilt led to living under God’s blessing. We can understand how confessing our guilt leads to living under God’s blessing.

Surrendering Our Control

August 20, 2023 | Psalm 27:1-11 | recovery

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Jesus says that gentleness is the path to greatness and that meekness is the path to blessing. Yet meekness is probably one of the least admired qualities in America. We admire strength, not humility. We admire those who take charge, not those who surrender control to God. This might partly be because we don’t understand what meekness is.

In David’s Psalm 37, he instructed the people of God that living meekly, surrendering control to God, leads to a life of blessing. We can surrender our control to God to experience His blessing.

Releasing Our Grief

August 13, 2023 | Matthew 5:4, John 11:17-44 | beatitudes, grief, recovery

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For many of us, we don’t know how to grieve. We don’t know how to mourn. So, we just bottle it up. We deny it. Or we try to medicate it with booze, or pills, or overeating, or over-working, or materialism or… But the pain remains. Unresolved grief can cause us to give up on happiness.

The blessed life, the supremely happy life, is ours when we are willing to admit that we’re powerless to change, to overcome our hurts, habits, and hangups. And that we need to mourn, grieve, and trust Jesus as the only One truly able to comfort and heal us. In the gospel of John, Jesus called those who were grieving the death of Lazarus to believe in Him as the only One who could truly comfort their grief and turn their mourning into blessing. We can release our grief to Jesus to receive His comfort.

Admitting Our Brokenness

August 6, 2023 | Matthew 5:1-3; Romans 7:15-25 | beatitudes, recovery

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We all have problems. We have hurts, habits, and hangups that we can’t overcome. It’s like something inside of us is broken and it leaves us powerless to change. We’re held captive and can’t get free!

How are you doing at overcoming these hurts, habits, and hangups? For most of us, no matter how hard we try, we find ourselves powerless to break free, so we continue to be held captive by them.

The apostle Paul wrote about these feelings of brokenness, of feeling powerless to change. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he described how admitting our brokenness can move us toward God’s blessing. We can see how admitting our brokenness can move us toward God’s blessing.

The 3 R's of Parenting

Do you remember the Three Rs of Learning from elementary school – Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic? The three Rs of Parenting are Receive, Raise, Release. We all feel unqualified at times to raise our children, but God’s Word has a lot to say about children and parenting and it is a source of help for us.

Releasing Your Children to the Lord

July 30, 2023 | 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 | parenting

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Have you noticed that every child is unique? No two are the same. And as they grow, they change. So the parenting style that seemed effective when they were small, doesn’t work when they’re older. These differences need different parenting styles. Godly parents recognize their call to be leaders who make disciples. If we want to be effective, we have to match our parenting style to every child’s situation.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul told them that he had discipled them like a parent according to their situation, sometimes gentle and affectionate like a mother and sometimes strong like a father in order to release them to live up to God’s calling. We can parent our children following God’s Word to match our child’s situation with a goal of releasing them to the Lord.

For more details and to get a close look at some of the charts and graphs shared, please see Pastor Gary’s blog article: Adapting Your Parenting Style to the Child

Raising Up Children in the Lord

July 23, 2023 | Ephesians 6:1-4 | parenting

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What is your parenting approach? Where did you learn how to be a mom or dad? Was it from your parents? From friends or a book? Or are you just winging it?

Receiving Children as a Gift from God

July 16, 2023 | Psalm 127 | parenting

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In Psalm 127, Solomon wrote about the necessity of recognizing the Lord as the One builds families and watches over them. As a result, he wrote that children are to be received as a gift from the Lord.