Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

17 Faith Forgiven and Free

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Hebrews 10:22-23 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

In a day when many are falling away verse 22 admonishes us to draw near and fellowship to God. Paul was calling the Hebrew Christians to come and commune with God which in a culture steeped in Judaism would have been considered crazy. Judaism provided no direct access yet here was free access to the holy-of-holies without fear of death. These new believers had walked away from a very complex religious system and stepped into the simple faith offered by Christ. As a result they were both unpopular and unwelcome in their communities, and often ostracized by their families. As they experienced great persecution Paul encouraged them to seek the sanctuary of the Savior. Today we need to come into His presence and experience His provision in the problems. We can come to the Father through faith by the:

  • BLOOD

Because of the Savior we are no longer separated by sin. Yet today we have shied away from talking about the blood that broke the boundary and gave us access to the Father; we seem to be more bothered by the blood than blessed. But we come into His presence based on the blood of Jesus Christ and even when we arrive at the throne, we do not have a voice but that of the blood. In Egypt the only voice that caused the Angel of death to pass over was the blood. It was the blood rubbed on the doorposts and lintels of the house that provided the blessing of protection. The blood sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat paid our sin debt so we no longer have to carry the dirt and guilt that sin has stained us with. We can worship in His presence because we are washed by His provision. Not only are we forgiven and free but the blood also gives us an audience with the Almighty, the blessing of the blood means we can be:

  • BOLD

The blood should cause us to draw near to God’s presence with boldness yet one of the greatest challenges in the Christian life today seems to be communing with the Father. For many communing with God seems to cramp their style, journeying into the presence of God has become a job instead of a joy. Today we have compartmentalized the Christian life, choosing to commute between Christ and commerce as we try to coast on the comforts of capitalism. Yet Paul’s call wasn’t about calculating the cost but coming into God’s presence to do life with the Lord. How close with Jesus do you journey? Have you substituted doing life with the Lord for a split personality of straddling the fence? Trying to dancing between two different worlds, with one foot in living for self and the other for the Savior? Living with the Lord, communing with our creator is the sum total of all that we engage in, in our Christian life. Jesus didn’t tear the veil in two so we could commune in the courtyard but so that we could come in. Yet for many today we have become more comfortable doing life in the outer court than the holy of holies. Paul calls for believers to live with boldness, to advance into the inner place of peace in God’s presence. Today we have traded bold lives for boring ones choosing to live on the fringes instead of communing with the Father. Psalm 73:25-28 reminds us of the power, peace and protection of His presence “25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds” “Let us draw near to God” is a call to rest in the Redeemer instead of run from Him. Many of us are living like great Old Testament runner Jonah, God wanted to bring him and the people of Nineveh near to Himself but Jonah chose to run. You may not be running from God but if you are not resting in Him your life will still result in ruin. We all know the rich young ruler who wanted to come to Jesus on his own terms and when Jesus rejected those terms, the rich young ruler walked away from God. Today you may have pushed God away because of the pain and the problems, choosing to reject His presence yet you have no peace. Are you drawing near to God or are you drowning?

  • BELIEVE

The full assurance of faith means not only that I come boldly but I come believing, life with the Lord means looking past the impossible.   Today we get hung up with the probable and practical instead of the power. The full assurance of faith means that the words, “it can’t be done” do not come out of my mouth because I believe that Jesus can do the impossible. Having faith doesn’t mean being mindless, it is not some blind leap into the dark. Being a Christian does not mean that I lose the ability to think or that I no longer can look at the facts. Instead, it means my focus is on the Father no matter what the facts say. While the facts point to death faith is pointing to an empty tomb and today I chose to rest in the results of our risen Redeemer. Psalm 145:18 reminds us that “The Lord is near to all who call on him” Paul is calling us to come in faith, to trust in the finished work of the cross with the full assurance that we are forgiven. To come with a true heart not a hypocritical one, willing to surrender and serve to the Savior. Under the New Covenant believers have the privilege of drawing near to God through the blood of Jesus. Have you responded to the invitation to come in from the courtyard and fellowship with the Father?

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