Jesus Loves ME
Memorable Moments Hebrews
Hebrews 13:9 ESV
I have a confession to make…
I am a midwestern girl born and raised in the heart of Kansas City. I was raised in church and was a partner in church ministry for over thirty years.
Then on a new journey by myself, I was Director of a Healing Prayer Service and I facilitated Bible Studies.
God called me to go to Seminary late in life when I was 54 years old. I argued with God about that, but God would not budge. Sooo off to Seminary I went.
It turns out that it was a great journey and after I graduated I was glad God called me to it.
In addition to that when it came time to choose a language I had decided to study Koine Greek because it was easier.
Once again, God had other plans. God wanted me to study Biblical Hebrew. I’d heard it was freakishly hard so once again I made a good argument to God about not studying Hebrew. Once again, God would not budge. Sooo off the Hebrew I went.
The first three semesters of Hebrew were incredibly difficult. Hebrew grammar almost killed me, but I barely survived. My grade for Hebrew Grammer was by far and a way the lowest grade I’d ever received in my life. I went to see the Registrar and I asked if I had to repeat the class. He told me it was a passing grade and they would accept it. Then he said my overall GPA was high enough that it would barely make a “blip” (those were not his exact words but you get the drift),
Overall I do not consider myself to be a worldly person.
I do not usually understand crude humor. If someone tells me a risqué’ story I have to ask them to explain it and then I get really embarrassed when they do.
I’m not happy or sad about that…it’s just a fact.
The point is, Jesus has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of learning about Jesus was when I was three years old. I remember singing “Jesus Loves ME” at the dinner table and getting in trouble for singing at the table (it WAS 1956).
I probably did it to make my big brother mad because the emphasis was on ME! Jesus Loves ME (insinuating not you). I WAS a mouthy ‘lil snip. Back to the point…
In Hebrews 13:9 the author tells us, “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.”
We have to remember when we read scripture written in the 1st Century that the people who wrote the text either knew Jesus personally or they converted to be a follower of Jesus as an adult.
Peter, James, John and the other disciples knew Jesus. Mary Magdalene knew Jesus.
It was Jesus who approached Paul (as an adult) on the Road to Damascus.
While the author of the book of Hebrews is unknown, scholars believe every person who might have written these words most likely followed Jesus as an adult.
Why does that matter?
It doesn’t really, except that psychologists know today that when we learn concepts at a very early age AND hthose concepts are etched in our memories, we accept them and go back to them when times get tough. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stray from what you learned, but in my case the simple faith I embraced as a child is very much a part of my DNA.
We have to remember that every faith journey is unique. When I was very young, Jesus was MY friend.
Jesus has been my friend and constant companion all my life. Embracing Jesus as my friend as a child was like breathing.
In some ways I’ve lived in a protected environment. When I was younger and I started a new job I looked for like-minded friends.
The point is that you need to know yourself. You need to take a good hard look at your own faith journey.
If you are new to the faith, surround yourself with seasoned believers who can help you recognize strange or false teachings.
On the other hand if you are a seasoned believer who readily recognizes strange teachings, you can help others who are new to the faith.
One side note that relates to the subject is that the gift of discernment can be very helpful when you are faced with strange or false teaching.
If you do not have the gift of discernment in your top five spiritual gifts, it will be helpful for you to surround yourself with believers who have the gift of discernment.
If you do not know anyone who has that gift, ask God to send you someone who can help you.
One last note, remember grace. Jesus loves YOU. Literally.
Spiritual Practice: Embrace Jesus
Tell yourself over and over again today ‘Jesus Loves ME’. By Grace, Jesus Loves.
In God, Deborah