Pastor Schreiber's Devotions

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"One and Done!"- Hebrews 9:24-28

One and done. Sometimes such a phrase marks a good thing but sometimes not. In sporting events there are often single elimination tournaments, where one loss or failure is a conclusion to a team’s participation in that event.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews could also have used that phrase, but it would have been a victory chant.  He clearly understood what it was that Jesus came to accomplish and had accomplished through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. He wrote:

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.

One and done!

Jesus accomplished in His life, death and resurrection what the Jewish high priest could never do. Jesus was and is God’s absolute victory over sin, death, and the devil. Jesus lived the perfectly obedient life under God’s Law, then He gave Himself up as the totally innocent sacrifice for sinners. Then in total victory He rose from His grave to return to His heavenly home to be reunited with His heavenly Father. One and done!

Just as important is the fact that Jesus gave His sacrificial life for you and me! In Jesus¸ and only in Jesus can we say and celebrate, “ONE AND DONE!!”

"You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"- 1 John 3:1-3

There was a hit song some years ago that had the catch phrase “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Improper grammar and spelling aside I do believe the song made a strong statement that St. John would have appreciated and understood.

John had walked with Jesus, sat at the Lord’s feet as He taught, witnessed and even performed miracles, even took his Master’s mother into his own home when Jesus was crucified, but he had seen nothing, yet. It probably didn’t appear to him as he gazed into the empty tomb or stared into the vacant ascension sky, either. John was even given a vision of heaven to come, and glimpsed into heavenly things (as recorded in The Revelation to Saint John). But John just KNEW that something important, something grand beyond words, was going to happen to him and all believers in Jesus Christ!

It all began with Jesus. It will be fulfilled with Jesus. John wrote in our text:  

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (I John 3:1-3)

For those of us who have lost loved ones to death and disease, to human tragedies of any sort, to those of us who mourn the deaths of loved ones and friends this comes as a comforting word of hope. We are even now God’s children, and what we will be has not yet appeared. “But,” as John wrote, “we know that when he appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

We are confident even in sorrow because of Jesus. We can rejoice even when suffering the bitterness of separation from loved one and friends because God offered up His only begotten Son – that whoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John gazed into the empty tomb and believed. He stared into the empty sky and he believed. He received the glorious vision of his risen and ascended Lord in power and great glory in heaven – and he believed. So can we, because we “ain't seen nothing yet.”