Rabbi Schneider - Equipped to Do His Will
These Biblical benedictions represent God's blessing over the lives of His beloved ones. And so I want to encourage you today with these Biblical benedictions, to help you understand how active God is in your life and the many ways that He is everyday blessing you and blessing His people. Now this is the third episode in the series, so I encourage you to go to our website, get the entire series if you missed them. You can watch them on Youtube as well. I want to continue straight away now into the next Biblical benediction. We're gonna go to Hebrews chapter 13, verse 20 and 21. Hebrews 13, verse 20 and 21. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God abides forever.
Hear beloved one the Word of God. "Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord," get it now, "equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen". Now before I get right in to the subject matter, when I say a benediction, a benediction is a blessing bestowed by God on His people. They often times take place at the end of one of the books of the Bible, but not always. Sometimes if you're part of a conservative congregation or a more traditional congregation, your pastor or priest will end the service with a benediction. Once again, a benediction is an utterance from the Lord, bestowed upon His people. It can take place in the middle of a book of the Bible as well.
Now in the book of Hebrews, we're going towards the end of this book and looking at the subject matter of once again, Hebrews 13:20-21. Because I have already spoken about the fact that God is a God of peace in a previous episode on this series, I'm gonna focus more on some of the other content in this particular benediction. I want to draw your attention to verse number 21. Paul is speaking, or the author of Hebrews is speaking over God's people, declaring that the God of peace and here we go, would equip us, listen, to do His will. So let me read it again and I want you to particular pay attention when I say that word equip. "Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord," here we go, "equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight".
So I want to focus here on this equipping that takes place in our lives by the Spirit of God, through the Lord Jesus who shed His blood that we would be grafted in to the eternal covenant. Now it says here that this equipping, once again, this equipping of God to you, takes place because of the blood that Jesus shed, that finished and accomplished for us what is referred to as, listen now, the eternal covenant. You see beloved ones, the blood of Jesus is the seal of God's covenant with His people. And the covenant that God has made with us was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, when the Lord said that the time would come when He would take out our heart of stone, a heart that's insensitive to Him and give us instead a heart of flesh.
And that sometimes is confusing when we read there that God would give us a heart of flesh, because often times the word flesh in scripture is used to represent, you know the lower animal nature. But in this particular prophetic portion in the Hebrew Bible, when the scripture says that God would take out our heart of stone and replace with a heart of flesh, God is not speaking there in terms of flesh being part of our animal nature that needs to be overcome; but He's speaking of a heart of flesh that is sensitive. In other words, a heart of stone doesn't feel anything, but flesh if you pinch flesh, you'll feel that. If you touch flesh you'll feel it.
So God is saying, "I'm gonna take out your hard heart, your heart of stone and I'm gonna give you a heart of flesh. I'm gonna give you a heart of flesh that's sensitive to Me". And then we also read that this eternal covenant would sprinkle us and make us clean and of course we read that the blood of Jesus washes us and makes us white as snow. So I'm simply laying the foundation of the fact that this equipping that God does in our lives by His Spirit, can only take place, because Jesus shed His blood, sealing God's eternal covenant. And God's eternal covenant was a covenant of redemption, where by He would purchase back to Himself His people that had fallen in the great fall that took place in the Garden of Eden. So now that Jesus has purchased us back by His blood and brought us in to an eternal covenant.
Remember Jesus said when He celebrated Passover and instituted communion of the Lord's Supper, He said, "This is my blood," when He lifted up the Passover wine of the covenant. And so we are now grafted into this covenant, Jew and Gentile are part of this eternal covenant, through the blood of the great Shepherd of the sheep, Yeshua. And as a result of being in this covenant, this covenant of love, this covenant where by now we have become one with the Lord in terms of our union with Him through His Son, as a result of this union God is equipping us, listen now, for every good work. Now I take great comfort in this, because I have so many responsibilities to continue to feed God's people, to continue to lead the sheep, to continue to preach His Word effectively. My confidence is in, listen now, His equipping.
Now you may not have the same assignment as I. You may simply be a mother, or a grandmother, or a father. When I say simply, I don't mean any lesser than, but I'm just saying that you don't have some of the front line you know television ministry. But yet you've got a real assignment. I mean what greater assignment is there then being a father, a good husband, or a good wife, or a grandmother, or a faithful you know bond servant of the Lord, a hand maiden of the Lord? I mean the simple things in life that have to do with relationship. And as a result of this, in order for us to be a blessing to those whom God has assigned us to be a blessing to, whether it's your husband, your wife, your grandchildren, your brother, the people that are a part of your Bible study group, whoever it might be, God is the one that will equip you to continue to be a source of life and a vessel of transformation to those around you; If, listen now, if we depend on Him.
You see, we will get depleted if we don't depend on God. And often times we can feel depleted. Sometimes we are faced with an assignment and we just feel totally depleted going into that assignment. Maybe it's simply a relationship that you're needing to manage and you want to manage that relationship in the love of Jesus, you want to manage that relationship in the power of God, you want to be a blessing. You want to reflect God's light. You want to release strength. You want to release wisdom. You want to release leadership. You want to release direction. But yet in yourself, in the flesh, you feel so inadequate, incapable. Maybe you're feeling tired, maybe you're feeling drained, maybe you're feeling emotionally spent, maybe you've just been out of something very difficult and yet you still have to fulfill your assignment.
Isn't it beloved child of God, an awesome thing to know that it doesn't all depend on you and it doesn't all depend on me, that God Himself is equipping us and that He that began a good work in us will finish it? I'm just so blessed that with all the responsibilities that I have and that I know you have, we don't always have to be up to the task in our own strength, in what we feel internally or emotionally, but God Himself will be our sufficiency. So God says, "I am the great Shepherd of the sheep and I will equip you for everything," listen now, "that I've assigned you to do". I want you to hear me now. I have a man right now man right now that is going before me into the mission field and he's gone to prepare the way for me. And he's now in Africa getting ready to, to welcome us there as we come to preach the Gospel in a little over a week. And he's had to deal with a lot of different challenges on the mission field and he's there alone right now and it feels very draining.
But you know what? It's such a confidence to know for him and for me, that even though it's a strong assignment and it demands a lot, even though he feels depleted at times, it's such a blessing to know and such confidence it gives to know that God's equipping him. God is sufficient. "Now may the God of peace sanctify you entirely" and then in verse number 21 of Hebrews 13, "and equip you every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight". Once again, we're looking to Father to work within us, to work within you and to work within me, get it now church, what is pleasing in His sight. It just takes all the weight off. It's not up to me to do it all and it's not up to you to do it all, but God is the one, listen now, that's working in you and working in me that which will bring forth from us what is pleasing in His sight.
I'm telling ya, to believe this and to receive this, it takes the weight of the world off your shoulders. If we feel that it's up to us, that we've always got to be up to the task, that we've always got to be on an emotional high, that we've always you know got to be in a positive mood, that we've, you know if we think it all depends on us, that's a crushing weight. But to realize that it doesn't all depend on us even though we have to depend on God, but it depends on God, listen now, who is working in you and in me what is pleasing, hear me, in His sight. So let me read it again. "Now the God of peace who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight".
Now I want you to focus on another little phrase that's part of what I just read. He's equipping us now, get it, to do His will. Have you ever been in a relationship and the relationship was a challenge and yet you know you have to love. Maybe you're just emotionally drained and yet you, you know when we get drained sometimes you know we sink down into the flesh and we become irritable. All of us know what that feels like. Isn't it an awesome thing to know you may be stepping into a situation where you have to be a source of blessing to the people around you, like I said just a moment ago, and you don't feel that you're gonna be able to. But the Word of God says that God is equipping us, listen now, to do His will.
Every morning, every morning, get it now with me, every morning you and I can wake up and we can trust God to work within us that which is necessary to do His will that day. What a joy to realize that regardless of what we feel like, we can trust in the Word of God. We can trust in God Himself to work within us that which needs to be imparted to us, so that we can please Him, get it now church, and do His will. You see if you depend on God you will not fail. If you depend on God you will bear much fruit. You see the root of bearing fruit is humility and humility is depending on God. And as you depend on God and as I depend on God to work within us that which will equip us to do His will and that which is pleasing in His sight, as we depend on Him we're gonna receive everything we need to walk in power, to love Him, to do His will and to please Him. You see, when we depend on the Lord, the roots of our soul grow deep in God's Spirit. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who depend on the Lord. Blessed are those that are humble. You see, Paul learned a great lesson.
Remember Paul was struggling. He had what he called, a thorn in the flesh. Paul said, "There was a messenger of Satan that was sent," Paul said, "to buffet me, to come against me". It's kind of an old fashion word to buffet, but it means to torment. Paul said there was a messenger of Satan that was sent to torment him and that this messenger of Satan, he doesn't tell us exactly what it was; whether it was somebody that was persecuting him. Some have thought it was some kind of a physical challenge in his body. We don't know. But regardless of what the source was, whether it was a persecute, or something in his body, we don't know; regardless of what specifically it was, we know that it was an attack, that it was causing him torment. And Paul said that it came from the realm of darkness, that it came from Satan. And Paul said he prayed to the Lord three times to remove this thing, that his life would be easier, that he wouldn't have to be in anguish about this tormentor. And finally Paul said, after the third time when he had asked God to take this away from him, to remove it, the Lord spoke to him. And God said to him, "No Paul, I'm not gonna remove this thorn in your flesh". He said, "Because My power is gonna be perfected in your weakness".
Get that again. Paul is struggling with something. This thing that he's struggling with is causing difficulty, it's causing pain, it's uncomfortable. Paul says, "Lord take it away". And God says, "No Paul, My grace is gonna be sufficient for you. I'm not gonna take it away, because this thorn in the flesh is making you depend on Me and as you depend on Me," God said, "you're gonna be strong". And so the same is true in our life. As we depend on God we walk in strength. This is why Paul followed up that scripture by saying, "Therefore I will rather boast in my weakness then in my strength, for when I am weak He is strong, then I am strong".
And so we're talking here, beloved ones, about the truth that God is equipping us and He is working in us that which is needed for us to do His will and please Him. And this equipping takes place as we, listen now, depend on Him. Even as Paul had to go through a difficult time, this messenger of Satan that was tormenting him, in order to cause him to be fully dependent on God, so the same is true for you and I. You may be going through a difficult time right now and it's possible the reason that you're going through a difficult time right now, is God is breaking you down to become more dependent on Him, because God knows you're gonna be more fruitful for Him and walk in a way that's more pleasing to Him as you become more dependent on Him. But you won't become more dependent on Him without being broken down.
One of my favorite scriptures is in the book of 2 Corinthians the first chapter. Here's what Paul says. Paul says, "I have been burden excessively beyond strength so that I despair even of life, but this happens to me," Paul says, "that I will learn to trust in God that raises the dead". And so beloved ones, I say to you right now, God prunes us. He causes us to go through difficult times in order that we would become more dependent on Him. And as we become more dependent on Him, He works in our life in ever greater ways to walk in the Spirit, to accomplish His will and to live in a way that's righteous and pleasing in His sight. I have found in my life that following the Lord is not the easiest path to take. It's a hard way. Jesus said, "Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life". He said, "Strive to enter through the narrow way".
I used to wrestle when I was in school and wrestling as many of you know, it's a very intense sport that takes a tremendous amount of energy. Well I want you to know, that walking with the Lord is harder than wrestling, because a wrestling match is over in six minutes. Walking with the Lord is straining every day for a life time. This is why Paul said in the book of Ephesians, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood". So I want to encourage you today, continue to be faithful. Continue to depend on Him and have this confidence. As you do, God is working in you in a mighty way to accomplish in you that which will give you the ability to please Him in every way in your life, listen now, and to accomplish His will.