It is frequently during the Sunday worship service that GOD gives me fodder for my blog…as it should be! What better place? I am participating in worship, prayer, preaching of GOD’s Word, often participating in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, sometimes the sacrament of baptism is taking place as well. I’m singing hymns, occasional psalms and spiritual songs that feed my spirit, to say nothing of the wealth of community that is happening before, during and after the service.
It is fertile ground for a wealth of food for my soul that enhances my blog.. Today’s word is confidence. It is not the confidence based on human self-esteem, but the confidence I have because of Christ’s sacrifice for my sin, described below in Hebrews. It is the confidence I can now have to come before the Father, even to the very holiest of places, because He has cleansed my heart and conscience with His blood!
Now I can stand before Him pure and thoroughly clean, as well as confident in His faithfulness as I encourage others and stir them up to love and good works.Now I can stand before Him pure and thoroughly clean, as well as confident in His faithfulness Click To Tweet
Greatest of his family, the glory of his people,
was SIMEON the priest, son of Jochanan,
In whose time the house of God was renovated,
in whose days the temple was reinforced….
How splendid he was as he looked out from the tent,
as he came from behind the veil!
(after offering the sacrifice in the Holy of Holies, on the Day of Atonement & surviving.)
Like a star shining among the clouds,
like the full moon at the festal season;
Like sun shining upon the temple of the King,
like a rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky;
Like blossoms on the branches in springtime,
like a lily by running waters…
Sirach 50:1, 5-8 by Joshua Ben Sira (background writing about the Jewish culture,
this is not inspired Scripture)
How much more beautiful was the picture after the death and resurrection of Jesus…when He paid the sacrifice for sin once and for all!
And every priest stands daily at his service,
offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God,
waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time
those who are being sanctified.
Therefore, brothers and sisters,
since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain,
that is, through his flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
with 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 stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We often want help with our self image or our self-esteem. But this is even better! Christ has fully forgiven us. Very few of us can honestly look deep inside ourselves and be happy with everything we see there. As much as we want to blame our problems on others around us, we can’t ignore the problems within ourselves!
When we look at ourselves honestly, it is disheartening
We deal with so much that is not pleasant, often dark and evil. We see people in need and honestly, don’t want to get down to their level and do what is needed to help them for the long term. It’s easier to put band-aids on the obvious problems and pat ourselves on the back because we did something. It’s not negligible, but we know we could have done more if we were willing to put ourselves out.
We want to love others in our lives better, but we really don’t want to change in the ways we need to, to love them better. When we get in those conversation spirals, we can’t seem to say the kind words we need to instead of the cutting words we habitually do.
And what about our thoughts? Are we willing to turn away from concentrating on those negative thoughts that are bad for us and our relationships? “She doesn’t call/visit me enough.” “I remember when she said this 5 years ago and I can’t forgive her.” “I know this action proves she doesn’t care for me.” And on it goes with my mind spiraling down and down into resentment, anger and even hatred.
Or for those plagued with pornographic or other secret habits that they can’t/won’t change? “No one will know.” (Well, except GOD!) “This is secret.” (Mercifully, GOD is going to bring it to light someday for your good. Don’t allow any more people to be hurt.)
GOD sheds light on the darkness of sin,
no matter how well hidden we think it is
GOD has a way of revealing our sinful habits, no matter how well we think we have covered them up! We need to deal with them before GOD, allowing Him to cleanse us by His grace. It isn’t easy, but He does it.
GOD has forgiven your sin. He has cleansed you thoroughly…even your conscience! That is an amazing promise! The cleansing that He promises is cleaner than clean…and thorough.
Jesus provided thorough forgiveness and cleansing!
We can trust His forgiveness and cleansing. Imagine what it does for our ability to stand before Him! Because we are clean and pure, we can stand with our heads held high…not in our own self-righteousness, but because of His work.
We know we are clean, but not because of anything special about us! It is only because of Jesus that we are able to stand in GOD’s presence. It is both a feeling of joy, confidence and great humility!