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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Approaching God’s Throne

Hebrews 4 : 12 - 16, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NKJV
Isn’t it great that we were privileged to be born under the dispensation of God’s grace? I thank God that I am saved by His grace. Mercifully, none of us have to take a spotless lamb with us when we worship the Lord. By our faith in Christ, God has saved us through His grace. What is so powerful and liberating about God’s grace is the truth that you and I had absolutely NOTHING to do with it. It was God who planned and initiated our salvation. We were lost and blinded by the god (Satan) of this world. Nevertheless, when it was time, God called us, and we answered the summons to come out of sin and into His holy presence.
However, whenever people don’t know God or His ways, it’s easy for them to be afraid of Him. We see this in Exodus 20 when God came down on Mount Sinai to give Moses the Law. The presence of God descended upon the holy mountain, and there was thundering, lightning, and the ground began to shake. When the Israelites saw the terribleness of God’s power and the dark clouds that surrounded His glory, they became very afraid of God. God was seeking a closer relationship with His people, but they misread His actions. They thought that God was going to destroy them; consequently, they told Moses to go and speak to God for them.
Moses warned the people not to be afraid; God had come so that His fear would be before them to keep them from sin. You see; it is the fear of the Lord, not being frightened of God that keeps us from sinning against Him. When the people of God lose the fear of the Lord, they will enter into temptation and sin.
Isn’t it interesting that Moses walked into God’s presence, but the children of Israel wanted nothing to do with Him? They witnessed Moses go into God’s presence and walk out alive; however, they never considered that they would be allowed to go there themselves. What was the difference? Psalms 103 says that Moses knew the ways of God, but Israel only knew His acts (miracles, signs, and wonders). When people don’t know the ways of God, they will be so bound by fear and unbelief that they will distance themselves from God’s presence, instead of running into it to get to know Him.
Because of the Israelites weaknesses and how they repeatedly ignored God, He brought an end to the old covenant and established a new covenant. When you read the Old Testament, it doesn’t take long to realize that the “God” of the Old Testament wasn’t as longsuffering and gentle as the “God" of the New Testament. It’s not that there are two Gods or that God has changed. So what is different? The covenant was changed; we’re no longer under the Law. We are under grace.
When Jesus (God in the flesh) came to earth, He didn’t bring two tablets of stone in His arms like Moses did when he came down from the mountain of God. John tells us in his gospel that Jesus came filled with grace and truth. Now we can face the truth (God) without fear because of God’s grace. If there is one thing that this generation needs to stop doing, is “running” away from God’s grace. We don’t have to run from facing the truth or God’s glory because we are under grace. The reason the “God” of the old covenant is different than the “God” of the new covenant is because of His grace.
The Old Testament reveals God’s awesomeness and holiness under the Law of God, but the New Testament reveals God’s patience and love under grace. I’m grateful that God didn’t do away with the Old Testament because it reminds us of the terror of God, lest we forget His goodness and take His love for granted. Now that Christ has come and has died on our behalf, we have a High Priest who is interceding on our behalf at the right hand of God. Consequently, children of God can come boldly into His presence and throne, and not be afraid.
When Jesus spilled His blood, it didn’t change the greatness of God’s holiness. It only changed how we see God’s view of us. Instead of seeing God as being so holy and terrible that we can’t be around Him, we see Him as approachable. Today, through the blood of Jesus, you have the ability to enter the presence of God and not worry or be frightened of His presence. Although we don’t have to be afraid of God, we still need a healthy respect or fear of the Lord so that we don’t slip back into sin. I like to see God’s grace like this: Grace wasn’t given to man to see how far from God we can go, but to see how close to God we can come.
Becoming One with God in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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