Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful to all God’s house.

Hebrews 3: 1, 2

 

What does it mean, to consider Jesus? When something or someone is given consideration, they are looked at closely, regarded seriously, and valued for what or who they truly are. This is a part of what we are being asked to do here, and it seems to me that this is something that we don’t do nearly enough of in the normal course of life, either. I fear that I don’t take the time that I should to really look at Jesus, for this means that I am taking my eyes off of the many other things that attract or that draw them in. When I stop to reflect upon what I put time into and grant my attention to, there are many lesser objects that gain substantial amounts of both my time and my focused thought and emotional investment. How much of that personal capital could have been invested in knowing Christ better and in listening for His will and way of living to be imparted to me?

 

Moses is given here as an example of a person who was able to filter out the noise of his world and who thus kept his eyes upon the Lord when others turned disastrously away. Now Moses was far from a perfect person. He had his own times of doubt and certainly did not always lead well. Yet, he did remain true to the Lord’s calling for his life, and he was a faithful servant of the Lord’s will. He continued to step out in faith in front of the people that he was to lead, and Moses did continuously point them toward God and into the direction that He was taking them. This was true even hen that direction was hard and the end goal of a new home was not so easy to see. Jesus is like Moses in His faithfulness to God’s will and direction, and yet, Jesus is far greater than Moses in that He never doubted or faltered in His execution of the Lord’s desires for Him.

 

We are never directed by God to focus our attention or our worship upon Moses, for he is nothing more than an example of another human who followed God. Instead, we are directed to look upon Jesus and to worship Christ as our true Lord and the Savior of our souls. He is the one who takes us out of the wilderness of our sinful and lost states and brings us into the eternal presence of God in a state of redeemed holiness that reflects Christ’s own glory. This is the one person who has walked upon this earth who is worthy of this sort of deep and continuous consideration. Jesus is our example of absolute faithfulness to God, and He is also our true and courageous guide through the troubles, trials, and distractions of our days and into the glory of service to God and to His Kingdom. So, when I place priorities on my calendar for this day, let me choose to fill the page with, “Consider Jesus!”

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But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the LORD God of Israel is their inheritance, just as he said to them.

Joshua 13: 33

 

People are often very acutely focused on ownership. We want to have and to possess things and places. It makes us feel good, and this ownership helps us to be secure in our world. The ledger sheet or inventory of our stuff gives us a form of status among peers and sets us onto a level of perceived accomplishment in our society. It was also so for the Israelites as they settled into Canaan. Yet, for them the matter of possession of land was also a necessity, as they would be raising their food, constructing shelter, and developing their culture from the base of that land. So, for a significant portion of them to have nothing of their own meant that the rest of the people would need to produce enough excess to care for their needs and would be required to set aside some of their space for the Levites to live. In other words, supporting the priests and their families would require a real and tangible form of sacrifice on the parts of everyone else.

 

In addition to what was going to be demanded from the people in the other tribes, the people of the tribe of Levi were also being asked by God to make sacrifices. They would own nothing. They were being required to trust their neighbors for their survival and for their well being. The nature of their work made its value hard to measure in tangible terms; so, it was difficult to validate the worth of giving to their care and maintenance; this was especially true in lean years when everyone was struggling to have enough. Still, God’s plan placed the spiritual life and practice of the people at the center of all that they were about. The Lord had instructed them to keep Him as the singular central focus of their lives and to make worship of the Lord the distinctive element of who they were as people and as a nation. These Levites were given the responsibility for leading the people, their families, and the nation in this direction.

 

This entire concept seems relatively foreign to us in our cultures and during these times. There are some people in our world who have set themselves apart from the traditional forms of independence and self-sufficiency that are our general standard today. But they are few in number and most of them are, in fact, supported by large institutional church or other religious organizations. Perhaps for our times, this Levitical form of being set apart from the pressures and the necessity of self support and possession looks more like an internal perspective than it does like the external situation that these faith leaders were called to experience. The real point was one of faith and of trust. The Levites were to trust in God for everything and to have faith that He would provide all that they required for life. We too can hold all that we have and everything that we do as loosely as they were asked to do. We can set aside our striving after wealth, position, and power in order to pour our love, devotion, and energy into serving Christ. In this way, the Lord our God will be truly our inheritance too.

Yet even now, declares the Lord,

return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.

Joel 2: 12

 

God is not very demanding in what He asks from His people. The Lord simply wants all of us. He wants the portion of our lives that is dedicated to serving Him to be counted as every hour that we draw breath. God desires that this absolute commitment would be driven by the complete surrender of our hearts to His loving grace. The Lord asks His followers to be all-in all of the time with nothing held back and no reserve.

 

Jesus became God’s perfect demonstration of this when He lived among us as one of us. Christ held nothing back as He followed the Father’s will in everything. His heart was surrendered to God’s will, and God’s love, mercy, and grace poured out of Christ onto the people that He touched. Then He commanded those of us who know Him to go out into our world and to do the same and to do it out of the same motivation. We are to give our lives to Christ as that living sacrifice that Jesus fully embodied.

 

Surrender that is this profound and that empties us of all that we have been requires determination, focus, and an attitude of humility on our parts. It generally occurs at a time when our spirits are broken of our drive to control and to manage our lives. Deep surrender is always an act of worship, and God accepts it and responds to it in that same reverential manner. Our Lord cares for us with all of His great and mighty being. God enters into all aspects of our lives with this same totality of engagement. As we respond to Him with open hands, humble hearts, and confession on our lips; Christ pours Himself into us and His Spirit provides all of the love and the strength that we will need to live today as a person whose heart is fully committed to serving the Lord.