Tuesday, February 14

Lessons in Mercy - Part 4

Floor passes to the U2 concert, a government facility, a construction site. What do these things have in common? You cannot get access to these places unless you have a pass or know someone.

In my job I often get through security because I am on site at the request of the owner or am actually with the owner. The owner has the ultimate authority. It is his project. His site. His money. The people on site are there at his request and are working for him. Knowing I am allowed access to the site gives me confidence. I have an answer to one that might call me into account.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Let's begin with the end in mind. Let's start at the end of this amazing section of Scripture and work backwards.

Followers of Jesus Christ are invited to approach God's throne with confidence ... we are invited to come into his presence and speak freely, not conceal things, not experience fear. That is a far different picture than the one painted in the Old Testament. The OT images of temple worship often included: fear, fire, calculated movements, specific sacrifices and no guarantee of acceptance.

Not so with Christ! He is the God-Man. He is the One that can reach out and touch a holy God and an unholy people at the same time. He is the bridge.

Why do we come to Jesus' throne? We come for help! Look back at the passage. We clearly are those that require mercy, grace and help. We clearly are those that have times of need. We clearly are those that can come with confidence to Jesus and find a Lord and also friend. We will find mercy.

How is this possible?

v. 14 = Because of WHO Jesus was. Jesus Christ was (and remains) the "Son of God". He is God elect. God's choice. God's solution for our problem. God's answer to our greatest need. We are accepted by God because of HIM. We receive mercy because of HIM. We can speak of our weakness and declare our need because of HIM.

The 12 Step folks got this right. The first step in getting help is by declaring that you have a problem and are powerless to fix it. That is what it means to come to Jesus with confidence. To speak with boldness the real state of our lives (hiding nothing), admitting that we are unable to help ourselves and finding mercy, grace and help.

v. 15 - Because of WHAT Jesus did. He was really human. He was really tempted. Like Adam and Eve of old, Jesus was tempted. The big difference is that Jesus remained clean before God in all His temptations ... He was without sin. He never missed the mark.

When we have an area of strength we tend to become proud about it. If you do not struggle with cussing, it might be hard to not judge another believer who struggles with it. But when our cussing brother takes his broken heart and tongue to Jesus he finds mercy, grace and help.

Jesus Christ is God's answer for our sin and the answer for our struggles. We can come to Him with confidence and find mercy.

Do you find it difficult to be real honest with God about your shortcomings? Do you find it hard to admit your sin? Do you find it hard to ask for help?

If so, why? Do you fear His judgment? Are you afraid you will be rejected?

No, I say, drop what you are doing and fly to Jesus. Run to Him. Find in Him the mercy and grace and help you need to grow. This might be a key to spiritual growth that is lacking in our lives ... the fear of coming to Jesus for help. Coming to Him in prayer.

Don't wait until you have it all together. You are invited to come to the throne of grace with confidence ... without hiding ... with freedom in speaking what is going on.

Will you do that now?

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.