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Friday, December 9, 2011

Grace to Enter the Presence of God

Hebrews 10: 16 - 23, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled 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. NKJV

I have had the privilege of visiting Africa on a few occasions and sharing the Gospel there. I was both humbled and blessed to see how the African people honor ministers who preach the "Good News." I never got the sense that the team that served us while we were there were man-pleasers, but rather they recognized the hand of God on us and showed great respect for the anointing. When you compare the respect of the African people for those in ministry to that of people here in America, you soon realize that not all Christians honor the gift or presence of God the same. The purpose for me sharing that brief story with you isn't an attempt to shame American believers, but to draw your attention to an even greater matter.

Jesus said, "If they have kept My saying, then they will keep yours also." When you witness to someone in the name of Christ, and they accept your testimony, you can know that they have first acknowledged and honored the presence of God on your life. If they reject your testimony, don't be offended at them because they haven't rejected you, but rather the Lord's presence that is on you. As humans, we can sometimes under-value the gift and favor of God. We do this when we misuse or misappropriate His gifts or His favor to benefit our flesh and not our walk. The purpose of Jesus coming to earth and shedding His blood was to fulfill God's desire to have mankind reconciled back to Him. Once Jesus accomplished God's will on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn from the top all the way to the bottom. At that moment, God was revealing to the world that "the way" had been made for us to come into the presence of the Holy God. Through the shed blood of Jesus, we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. 

As Christians, we can access the throne of Grace and become closer to God through the work of Christ. This is the intended purpose for God's grace being extended to sinful man. You already know that not everyone honors or appreciates the price that was paid or the significance of having the opportunity to be reconciled to God through Jesus. Some will attempt, as the believers in the church at Rome, to misappropriate or cloak grace in order to have a license to partake of the ways of this world. God didn't send His Son to suffer at the hands of evil man and to be hung on a Roman cross, just so we could have a license from Him to continue in sin. Anyone who misuses and abuses the blood of Christ and the grace of God to continue in sin or to justify a carnal lifestyle is treading on very dangerous ground. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. For God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 6).

I will conclude today's word with this last thought. If you are in need of salvation from sin, a deliverance from bondage, or a healing in your body, there is grace for you to obtain the help that you need today. Through God's mercy and grace, He has chosen to forgive us our sins without us having to pay the sin-debt ourselves. Why would we want to frustrate the grace and goodness of God by desiring sin instead of holiness? Apart from God's grace, no one would have the power to become holy, as He is holy. Even so, now, through His grace, we too can become holy as we leave the ways of the world behind us. Allow this word to be one of encouragement and one that will challenge you to access God's grace as a means to grow closer to God and to become more separated and distanced from the ways of the world.

Thanking God for His Grace,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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