October 17th, 2020 – Saturday Afternoon
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” ~Hebrews 10:19-26
On Tuesday I challenged myself and all of you to engage in the spiritual war that rages around us by living godly lives and through prayer. This passage today gives us more specifics as to how to do that: 1. Our confidence or hope is not in ourselves and our abilities, but in Christ; since He has opened the way to the throne of God, let us be diligent to draw near to Him. [Earlier in Hebrews (chapter 4), we are encouraged to find the mercy and grace that we need at the throne of God’s grace.] This drawing near is to take place with sincerity and faith – not a show or a desperate attempt to change my circumstances, but as a result of genuine trust and confidence in the Lord. It is also to take place with righteousness and purity – if we have been cleansed from sin through Christ, let us live and approach God in His righteousness and purity, not in the old way of selfishness, pride, deceit, and wickedness. This drawing near is not just a once a week (or any regular time interval) exercise, but our new way of life.
2. The confidence we have in Christ is all-inclusive – it affects everything about our perspective and life, including our relationships with other believers – now we are to have a vested interest in each other and in each other’s godliness. We are to see to our own ways (and hearts) first and foremost, but then we are to see how we can help each other. This entails time and energy being invested in being together and encouraging each other; it means that you and I should be finding out how we can help each other live like Christ. Besides our confident drawing near, an important impetus for these actions and investments is the coming Day of the Lord; that day when everything will be revealed and when, whether in fear and judgment or in joy and salvation, we shall see the result of our lives. This coming day ought to stir up within each of us a deeper interest and motivation to make sure that each of us is all in.
The takeaway for today? We are living in very divisive, dangerous, and distracting times. Do not allow the world, the flesh, or the devil to gain the upper hand; the confidence that is available in Christ and the mercy and grace that can be found at the throne of grace can be ours today if we but trust and obey. This is way above anything we see going on in our nation and world and it is infinitely more important than our opinions, rights, fears, or concerns. Let us together draw near to Him and stimulate each other to love and good works; let us invest our time and energy in being together and in encouraging each other, especially since that Day is getting closer! Your brothers and sisters need your prayers, your encouragement, and your presence…perhaps now more than ever before! May the faithful God who called us and equipped us to follow Him be glorified in all things.