Lord, we draw near to You with confidence.
Read HEBREWS 10:19–25
A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, 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. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I pause to give thanks for the person(s) who has most strengthened me in my faith, who has encouraged me in my journey of discipleship.
With the word ‘Therefore’ the writer begins to spell out the implications of all that he has been teaching in previous chapters. However, since he has enjoyed ‘turning the diamond’ of the excellencies of Jesus our Lord, let me also do so, from chapter 1 – Jesus is greater than the prophets, the angels, Moses, Joshua, David, Melchizedek, Abraham, Levi, Aaron, and every other priest. He offers us a better hope, a better covenant, based on better promises; He is a better priest who, through his unique, unrepeatable self-sacrifice, has achieved for us a once-for-all eternal redemption. He is the outshining of the Father’s glory, the exact facsimile of the God we have never seen, the one who always lives to intercede for us, the perfect Mediator. There are still other better things to come in this letter, but for the moment – Jesus, I offer You my praise and worship for all that You have been and are and always will be for me.
Now I turn my attention to the two occurrences of the word ‘since’ and the three occurrences of the phrase ‘let us’ in today’s passage (NIV). ‘Since’ gives us reasons for assurance; ‘let us’ gives substance to the writer’s exhortations. The passage is full of golden words and phrases: living way, sprinkled and washed, hold unswervingly, draw near, spur on. I roll these words around my heart and taste them as deeply as I can. Which speaks to me most strongly today?
John Bunyan wrote that his aim was ‘not to run a little now and then, by fits and starts, or halfway or almost thither; but to run for my life, to run through all difficulties, and to continue therein to the end of the race, which must be to the end of my life.’ (G Offor, Works of John Bunyan, Vol 3, 1885, p381)
I renew my resolve to do the same, encouraged by the approaching Day.
Lord, thank You for the boldness by which to enter Your holy presence, a privilege that can be neither bought, nor sold.
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