NO TAKE BACKS!

Even though there is expensive playground equipment all over the school yard, children will resort to the age-old game called “Tag”.  Playing tag is played when you are bored, when you feel the urge to hit someone in the name of Tag, when you want to pull your group of buddies together in a group while excluding others, or for no reason at all.  Tag can also be played with no beginning or end.  It can be played anywhere at any time, even in the car.  Yes, I done that. 

Tag can be simple.  One person is “it” while the others run from “it” to avoid being tagged by “it”.  Tag can also be very complicated when the influencer of the group begins to make up rules as they go to avoid being tagged themselves.  The rules I have learned from complicated tag are:

  • You cannot tag the person who just tagged you.  This is subject to change if the leader of the game is tagged unnecessarily.
  • You must allow all to be tagged time to run before tagging.
  • You cannot tag the same person more than once, unless the leader says so.
  • The Teacher on the playground is not “base” which protects you from being tagged.
  • You can be tagged even though you are standing next to Teacher—unless he/she turns their back from seeing you.
  • “Base” can be any object or person the one about to be tagged, and is leader of the tag group, declares as base.
  • AND there are absolutely NO TAKE BACKS!  You cannot resign from being “it”. Once you are tagged you are “it” forever until you tag someone else.
  • Once “it” tags a person, that person cannot tag “it” immediately back. 
  • There are no take backs or change of mind unless, of course, the leader changes the rules which can happen at any time and is not explained until the “rules” are broken.

Whew, see what I mean?!  Tag can be simple and fun or complicated and labor intensive—it all depends on who is leading and playing with you.

Oh, the games we play on the playground of life!  We invent ways of doing this and that, making up the rules as we go along.  We change the rules when we are not winning and force others to adhere to the changes we make.  Most times, others don’t know when the rules change, because we don’t tell them.  Why?  Because not telling of the changes, somehow people feel more powerful in self-appointed leadership positions of the group.  They respond with, “Oh, didn’t you know that?  They changed the rules!”  Who is “they”, you ask?  Ah, “They” are the mysterious persons we invent and blame for the changed rules as we do life.  Aren’t we clever?  Mm.

God has a better plan.  Instead of following self while blaming “they”, how about keeping life simple by finding and following the ultimate perfect pronoun—Him?  Jesus is our Savior, our perfect example, who experienced life as a human and Son of God.  He is the One who did no wrong while living on earth so He could be the Only, ultimate sacrifice for all sin, once and for all, with no take backs on His promises.  Why not invite Jesus to not only be our Savior, but to be Lord, the leader, of our lives?

God’s rules don’t change in the middle of the game.  His Word is forever.  His ways are best for each one of His created.  His love never changes for us no matter what we have done in this life.  God’s Son, who reflects Him, is our Way to God who gives Life eternal to us.  Jesus is Messiah come to earth to save all who believe in Him.  Jesus is the SAME yesterday, today and forever in His love for us!  Yes, I want to follow Him.  How about you? 

“…we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself.”

God’s Holy Spirit might be saying, “Tag, you’re it!”  He asks us to decide.  Aren’t we tired of complicated lives? Let’s keep it simple…Follow Jesus who declares No take backs, no turning back.

HEBREWS—OBVIOUS FAITH

Hebrews 7, The Message

Melchizedek, Priest of God

1-3 Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Highest God. He met Abraham, who was returning from “the royal massacre,” and gave him his blessing. Abraham in turn gave him a tenth of the spoils. “Melchizedek” means “King of Righteousness.” “Salem” means “Peace.” So, he is also “King of Peace.” Melchizedek towers out of the past—without record of family ties, no account of beginning or end. In this way he is like the Son of God, one huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always.

4-7 You realize just how great Melchizedek is when you see that Father Abraham gave him a tenth of the captured treasure. Priests descended from Levi are commanded by law to collect tithes from the people, even though they are all more or less equals, priests and people, having a common father in Abraham. But this man, a complete outsider, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him, the one to whom the promises had been given. In acts of blessing, the lesser is blessed by the greater.

8-10 Or look at it this way: We pay our tithes to priests who die, but Abraham paid tithes to a priest who, the Scripture says, “lives.” Ultimately you could even say that since Levi descended from Abraham, who paid tithes to Melchizedek, when we pay tithes to the priestly tribe of Levi they end up with Melchizedek.

A Permanent Priesthood

11-14 If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn’t have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. But since it didn’t get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, which is why there is nothing in Jesus’ family tree connecting him with that priestly line.

15-19 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life—he lives!—“priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.” The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.

20-22 The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise:

God gave his word;
    he won’t take it back:
“You’re the permanent priest.”

This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God—one that really works! A new covenant.

23-25 Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.

26-28 So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.

Lord,

Thank you for saving my soul, making me whole and holy before you.  I love you with all my heart, mind and soul.  I choose You.  I choose to follow the sound of your voice of wisdom that speaks to my soul each morning.  I choose to obey quickly rather than overthink what you say.  Help me to keep life simple by always remembering your unconditional love for me while learning to love others in the same ways.  No turning back for me because there are no take backs of your promises to us.  I will trust in you, dear Jesus, all day long and into the night.  You are my peace.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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