For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Heb 10:14
Yesterday I blogged about this verse, and how the word “perfect” can also be translated “complete.”
Here are a couple of other versions of this verse. I am underlining the word used for “made perfect.”
With one sacrifice he accomplished the work of setting them apart for God forever. (God’s Word Translation — GWT)
For by a single offering He has for ever completed the blessing for those whom He is setting free from sin. (Weymoth New Testament)
I like how the GWT says that the work God completed through Jesus was to set us apart for God. It describes God wants us for his very own. And this illustrates the point I made yesterday in my blog — that one way Jesus’ death made us perfect was that it made a way for us to have the Holy Spirit dwell within us. God can dwell with us, and we BELONG to God. W were created to be most effective in conjunction with Him.
I like how the Weymoth says that the offering of Jesus completed the blessing for us. God wanted to give us what is most good. This leads into the point I want to make with this blog.
We are “made perfect” because we are RICH. We have every spiritual blessing. We have every good thing.
- I pray that you may come to have a complete knowledge of every good thing we have in Christ. Phil 1:6
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Eph 1:3
God has been blessing us since the beginning of time, and especially blessing his people. But instead of expressions of gratitude towards him, his people spit in his face. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. . . But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. . . you also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. (Selections from Ez 16)
Now, those of us who are Christians have countless gifts in Christ. And we also have a difficult time being grateful. In last Sunday’s sermon at North River, Jeff Hickman told a story of a long time disciple who fell away because he allowed bitterness over being single to grow. This man focused on what he did not have, instead of what he did have — salvation from sin.
- You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. . . But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6, 8
Ungratefulness is poison that plagues our souls and spreads to others. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Heb 12:15
But if ungratefulness is a poison, gratitude is a potion. It is a well-spring of healing for our souls.
Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, has a laboratory where he conducts studies on gratitude. He found that, “In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week. . . Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals. . . (They had) higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.”
Emmons said, “People who regularly focus on their reasons for gratitude get more sleep and enjoy better sleep quality. They even experience fewer symptoms of physical illnesses. . . (They report) a more profound connectedness to others. They feel less lonely.”
Gratitude is powerful! And through the death of his son, God has given us so much. If we would just remember, how could we not be thankful?
A friend told me yesterday about Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts.” She said that Voskamp encourages the readers to transform their lives by making a list of 1,000 things they are grateful for. One thousand things! How could we think of that many things?
But I needed to drive to Montgomery last night, and as I drove, I started thanking God for as many things as I could think of. The list went on and on. I could see how I could just keep going and going. I could see how I could start with a long list of what God has done, and then go on to make a list of a hundred different things every day. It wouldn’t be hard to get to a thousand.
God blesses us in God sized way — enormously, gigantically. It is epic. And many of these blessings would not have come without Christ. We can come near to God as never before. We have the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, and so on. We have Jesus interceding for us. We have the power of prayer. We have a way to deal with temptation and die to sin. We have an example to follow on how we should live. We have a teachings that help us be effective. I could come up with 1,000 things.
Let us fight to realize how rich we are. Let us strive to be grateful. It will strengthen us in every area of our life.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. II Cor 9:8