Bekah Shaffer

Coasting Mode or Serving Mode?

Coasting Mode or Serving Mode?

So that we may serve the living God! (Heb. 9:14) Four years ago, my husband and I decided I would leave my full-time job to be a stay-at-home wife. Though I planned to do freelance work to help supplement our income, we both felt led to make this change so I could...
A New Manual

A New Manual

But when Christ came as high priest. (Heb. 9:11) Like most households, we have a plastic tub full of manuals for all the appliances, gadgets, and tools that make our daily life run smoothly. When something malfunctions, we drag the tub from the shelf, find the right...
Victory Is at Hand!

Victory Is at Hand!

The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. (Ps. 20:6) Each of us battles with temptation. The constant need to be vigilant as we follow Jesus tests our courage, our strength, and our...
There Is No Better

There Is No Better

The ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs . . . since the new covenant is established on better promises. (Heb. 8:6) The ministry of the priests of Israel cost them little. The ministry of Jesus cost him his life before and after the cross. He lived to...
Always Give Your Best

Always Give Your Best

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. (Heb. 8:3) Showing up empty handed is a social mistake in certain circles. For example, etiquette dictates that an invited dinner...
Top of the Ladder

Top of the Ladder

We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb. 8:1) When you have a problem with a product or a service, who would you rather speak with: the counter clerk or the owner of the company? Usually the higher up...
Deeper than Skin

Deeper than Skin

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him. (Heb. 7:25) Beauty is only skin deep, but Christianity is through and through. The deeper beauty of a believer in Jesus Christ is not that he or she looks good on the outside, but is good on...
Power, Not Position

Power, Not Position

Not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. (Heb. 7:16) Many things are passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps you have a special memento or keepsake in your home from generations past. Maybe...
Time for Change

Time for Change

If perfection could have been obtained through the Levitical priesthood . . . why was there still need for another priest. (Heb. 7:11) Inventors do not usually succeed on the first try. Thomas Edison failed many attempts to create the light bulb. When asked about his...
He Really Loves Me!

He Really Loves Me!

They are more precious than gold. (Ps. 19:10) For years pastor Keith prayed for the salvation of one of his neighbors. When prayer needs were shared at church, Pastor Keith would often request, “Please pray for my neighbor. He needs God so badly.”The day...
Accurate Communication with God

Accurate Communication with God

He has become a high priest forever. (Heb. 6:20) Zimbabweans use the word amadlozi often. They view amadlozi (the spirits of the dead) as having two important roles. First, they are to watch over the living members of their family. However, amadlozi can be rather...
I Can’t Do It by Myself!

I Can’t Do It by Myself!

Love your enemies. (Matt. 5:44) A South African advocate for apartheid had thrown a bomb into the sanctuary where many had gathered to worship. This congregation was made up of Europeans, Xhosas, Indians, and Asians. The newspaper reported that at least fifteen had...
Press On!

Press On!

I press on toward the goal. (Phil. 3:14) Umfundisi Moyo preached, “Paul’s depiction of running the race is about obtaining sanctification, not salvation. In other words, the people running the race are believers who are called to spiritual...
Shine for God

Shine for God

Shine among them like stars. (Phil. 2:15) I was spending the night in an African village. Because they don’t have any electricity, the villagers’ routine is to go to bed early and wake up early. I didn’t mind going to bed early, but waking up...
Helping to Carry Others

Helping to Carry Others

We were encouraged. (1 Thess. 3:7) Umfundisi (Pastor) Moyo and I were traveling on foot. When we started out, the slight chill in the air energized us. Our steps were quick and deliberate. Ahead of us was a band of boys. As they were walking, they were also playing...
The Most Important Need

The Most Important Need

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul . . . behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. (Heb. 6:19–20) When we were missionaries, I had many opportunities to speak in different churches while doing home ministries. At one...
The Worthy God

The Worthy God

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. (Ps. 18:30) In the Isenheim Altarpiece, Matthias Grünewald depicts John the Baptist standing to the side of the crucified Jesus. With an outstretched arm,...
For the Mature

For the Mature

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:14) Got milk? The iconic dairy ads of the 1990s and early 2000s were designed to show the relevance of milk in a rapidly progressing society. Adult...
Salvation for All Who Obey

Salvation for All Who Obey

And, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. (Heb. 5:9) Children often ask why. Why does the sun only shine during the day? Why do the birds always fly away when I chase them? Why do dogs bark and cats meow? When my youngest...
Passion and Obedience

Passion and Obedience

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears. (Heb. 5:7) Charlie knew the road ahead was going to be rough. His terminal cancer diagnosis was a devastating blow to his wife and their two small...
Leading with Humility

Leading with Humility

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. (Heb. 5:5) The world’s poorest president. This was the title given to the former president of Uruguay, Jose “Pepe” Mujica. Pepe spent most of his life laboring in...
Strength in Weakness

Strength in Weakness

He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. (Heb. 5:2) The role of the high priest was extremely important in the social and religious life of the Jewish people. The high priests were called by...
Late-Night Rescuer

Late-Night Rescuer

He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (Ps. 18:17) My anxiety hits after dark. I dread going to bed on those nights. One night, the intensity of it felt all-consuming. All I could do was shiver uncontrollably and fight the urge...
Being vs. Doing

Being vs. Doing

For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” (Heb. 4:4) We are in the process of getting our house on the market to sell. We are purging, cleaning, repairing, restoring, and...