1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedsthim with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Growing up in a family where the words “I love you” were not spoken at all, at least I can’t remember them being said, I grew up thinking that love was something that really didn’t exist. I wasn’t sure why, whether it was because I wasn’t worthy of it, or that my family didn’t know how to love. I grew up searching for the love I needed in all the wrong places because of this. I didn’t seek it in church, even though I went every single time the doors were open, because I saw some of my family go to church and put on the mask of being a Christian and then come home, take off that mask and live the life of the world. Instead of hearing words of love flung around the home, I heard words of dispersion, put downs, even name calling directed toward me from my father, and I’m not talking endearing nicknames. Instead he often used terms that said I was a fatherless child, a female dog, and that I was worthless. I saw fist flying, buckles of belts leaving welts, and hidden acts of molestation directed at me. My whole view of what family love is was destroyed. This lack of Christian and family love, pushed me away from giving my life to Christ until my young adulthood, after I became a mother, and had already made some terrible choices in life that would make me feel even more unworthy of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. My feelings toward my father and other members of my family were so estranged that after my mother passed away I couldn’t stand being around my father and a couple of my brothers. I was frightened of being alone with my older brothers, and angry at my father for making me feel like a piece of trash. When my father passed away, and my sister who was executor of his Will told me about a small amount of money each of us would receive from what my other siblings hadn’t scavaged or stolen, and asked me if I wanted it deposited or sent in a check, I told her to keep it for her expenses, and to pay for Dad’s funeral. I let her know that all I wanted from my Dad were 3 words, “I love you,” and since he was gone that wouldn’t be happening so I didn’t want anything else he had. You see by that time I knew what I was really missing were the expressions of parental and family love that every child needs.
Although my life up to then had been void of those human feelings of love, at least in return for the human feelings of love I gave, I was not without love. When I realized how much God loved me, and how he showed that love by sacrificing his only Son for our sins, how could I not accept his love. No one had ever sacrificed themselves to show me that I was worth something, or that they loved me enough to give of their own life so that I could have a better life, and the love that I needed. No one until Jesus.
As the passage in Hebrews tells us, God was willing to take on the human skin and life on Earth, so that we could have mercy. He was willing to be beaten, and suffer unto death so that we could have forgiveness of our sins. When he died on that cross it was so we could become his children and inherit all the rights of his children. Because of the sacrifice Jesus made, we can now inherit the Kingdom of God when we accept him as our Savior and Lord. But there is more to this that I am learning.
I was reading a devotion the other day that struck me like lightning. There is a ancient word that means husband, and that word is “Ishi”. When we give our hearts to the Lord, he becomes our Ishi, our Heavenly Husband. When I read this I was floored, because we know that after we are raptured into Heaven at the beginning of the Tribulation, we are welcomed into the Marriage Supper of the Lord. This is the wedding supper for our Lord and the Bride of Christ. Who is the Bride of Christ? It is all of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and are living for him. We are the Bride of Christ, and Jesus is our Ishi, our husband. Wow, the magnitude of what this should mean to men who are married! That Jesus as our husband was willing to lay down his life and die, to protect us from the fires of Hell, and from Satan. To think that as a man you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church, means you should be willing to sacrifice yourself in many ways to show your love to your wife, and be the Spiritual Leader that Christ is for the church. But women it means something for us too, something that I wish I would have learned back when I was a teenager. We as women should be looking for someone who shows us the example Jesus Christ set. We should not be looking to see who is the handsomest, or the wealthiest, or the coolest. We should be looking for someone who is living the example Christ put before they, someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for the one they love, and who is showing Spiritual Leadership in the way they live their life. This is what we should look for in an Earthly husband, someone who is following the example of our Heavenly husband, our Ishi. What a weighty thought this is! When you think about it, you can’t help but experience a whole different mindset. For those of us who want to claim that we can’t love like this, because Jesus was God come to earth and we are just humans, the passage in Hebrews takes that excuse from us and makes it mute. Because God showed his love for us as a human, a man who feels, who hurts, who bleeds, and who dies. He knew for us to understand how much God does love us, he had to show it as a human being. Through his life, death, and resurrection Jesus showed us just how much God loves us. That is the real expression of human love, to be willing to lay down your life for another.
The greatest love stories do not end with people committing suicide because they can’t be with the one they love. Laying down your life like this is showing how selfish and self-pitying you are. It’s the “If I can’t have them, then I don’t want anyone else attitude”. It shows that all you are concerned with is yourself. The greatest love stories are also not the ones that in with a murder-suicide. This says “If I can’t have you, then no one else will have you” attitude. Another selfish, “It’s about what I want” type of attitude, where you are willing to end another’s life or hurt them and call it love. These are not in any way true love. True love is being willing to lay down your own life to protect the one you love. It is being willing to quit looking at self, and what you want to bring happiness to that other person’s life. It is being willing to face death to protect them from the worse. In Jesus, we see this true love. He laid down his life to pay the price for our sins, to protect us from Satan and spending an eternity in Hell with someone who does not love us. When we realize how much Jesus loves us, and finally break down and seek his love, mercy and grace, then we see the continuous expression of His love for us, through his provision, his protection, and his answers to our prayers. He will never be the one who brings evil and harm into our life, but he will be our protector, and help us through the evil arrows that come from Satan. His greatest wish for us is to live a victorious life, to be overcomers, and to be successful in achieving the purpose our Heavenly Father had in creating us. He is our greatest encourager, our warmest comforter, and our greatest lover. He loves us as if we were the only one on earth worth loving, forgives us when we fail, and helps us up when we fall flat on our faces. His sacrifice of himself on the cross because he loved us so much that he wanted to keep us from the worse, is the greatest love story ever. The best thing is this isnt a movie where we watch it and may never experience it. This is real, and each of us can have this love, can experience his care, his compassion, and an eternity of love with Jesus, just by giving ourselves to him. By believing in Him as our Savior, accepting his sacrifice for our sins, seeking his love and forgiveness, and then living every moment of our lives in love with our Savior. Once you do, this love story becomes your love story, and nothing will ever equal it.
You see my life has been a search for someone who would love me with their whole hearts. Someone who would love me like a father should, like a brother should, like a friend should, and like a husband should. Like most women I searched for that love, often in the wrong places, and with men who were to self-involved to give anyone else love except for themselves. All this time, there was one who had already shown their love for me, who had already been seeking out my heart, and who wanted nothing more than to be my husband, my father, my friend and brother, and everything else I needed. That is what I finally found, the one who truly loved me, and gave me the greatest love story ever…that was Jesus Christ…my Ishi!