Transformation Ministries with pastor and teacher Robert Lutz

My God is an Awesome God! - Hebrews 1:3

 

Hebrews 1:3 says, And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on High.  There is no one greater than Jesus Christ.  He reflects the glory of God. His character represents perfectly who God is.  His power is awesome and mighty as He holds all things together.  Colossians 1:15 says, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  God had spoken earlier through His prophets, but now He has spoken to us through His Son.  God had previously spoken to a select few, but because of Jesus Christ, I can go directly to the throne.  Jesus Christ made the world and holds all things together.  Colossians 1:16-17 says, For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

The demonstration of that power is seen not only in creation but in His death, burial and resurrection.  In Christ’s death, He made purification of sin.  In His resurrection, He demonstrated the power over death and giving us hope for eternal life.  As a result, He is worthy of my worship. No one is greater than Jesus Christ – not even angelic beings.  The Father has never given the right to be worshipped to any angel or created being.  No one else has been called the Son of God.  But of Jesus, “Your throne, O God is forever and ever.”  Jesus Christ is highly exalted.  He is at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  There is coming a day when every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

 

Sometimes I can forget how big God is and mighty a God we serve.  This is particularly true when I look at my circumstances and allow them to overwhelm me.  But it can be also true when I meet people who have influence or power.  I am impressed with who they are.  But then I remind myself there is no one greater than Jesus Christ.  While others may have power, He holds all things together by His hand.  He is all powerful and there is no one greater than Jesus Christ.  The amazing thing is He has already taken care of my greatest need – sin.  He is right in everything He does and so He is worthy of all my trust.  He is ever faithful so I can go to Him no matter what I am facing.  My Jesus is bigger than my circumstance, I must simply follow Him.  I must keep my focus on Him and trust Him.  The easiest way for me to be reminded is to sing praises to Him, reflecting and meditating on the words.  As I sing praises, I am reminded of the greatness of my Savior and Lord – Jesus Christ.

 

The Superiority of Christ - Hebrews 1:8-9

 

Jesus Christ is far superior than we can possibly imagine.  Hebrews 1:8-9 says, But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions. The Hebrew writer spends a lot of time talking on angels.  I guess not much has changed. I have noticed people like to talk of angels and if someone has an encounter with an angel, it gets noticed.  People get caught up in what appears to be the greatness of angels.  Angels serve many roles within Scripture, but primarily as messengers of God.  Their role largely deals with ministering to people on God’s behalf. But the Hebrew writer says, Jesus is far superior to the angels.  Jesus Christ is superior to the angels by virtue of His unique relationship with the Father – Christ and the Father are one.  The angels themselves worship Christ demonstrating their understand of the greatness of Jesus Christ.

 

The greatness of Christ is seen as He is on the throne.  The throne of God goes beyond the realm of time. While here on earth, we are bound by time.  But God existed before time began.  Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word is literally In beginnings meaning before time began – God existed.  Revelation 4:10 says, …will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever … Revelation 1:8 puts it this way, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  Jesus Christ is the first and the last, symbolized by the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  He is past, present and future.  God is above all things including the aspect of time and His kingdom will have no end.  He is forever, which goes beyond all human comprehension.

 

But not only do we see the greatness of Christ as He is on the throne, but in the rule of His righteousness.  The scepter is a symbolic picture of sovereignty or rule given to royalty.  His reign is based on His righteousness.  Righteousness – not discussed much in today’s society.  God’s righteousness is consistent with His character and holiness. I do not like to put God in a box – because God is so much bigger than the boxes I want to put Him in.  However, God Himself is bound by His own righteousness and holiness – which is not the same as my righteousness or society’s standards, but His own.

 

Because God is eternal and righteous, I can trust Him.  He is bigger than my circumstance.  His ways are always right.  He is in control and will always move in ways that are consistent within His character.  Psalm 48:14 says, For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death. I can look to God for He is wiser, greater and true.  He will guide me in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).  He will watch over me and care for me for there is no one like my God.

 

Dear Lord, You are great and there is no one like You.  I will praise You with my whole heart and with my lips I will sing of Your greatness.  I will trust You for You are forever and ever.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life because we serve an awesome God.

Focused or Drifting? - Hebrews 2:1

 

I remember hearing the great man, Peter Lord say, “The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.”  I found this statement to become one of life’s principles.  My biggest job today and the one I can become so easily distracted from is to keep the main thing, the main thing.  The statement says I must stayed focused and not get distracted.  Hebrews 2:1 says, For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.  The writer of Hebrews paints an incredible picture for us using nautical terms and expressions.  The first expression comes from the Greek word, προσέχειν – prosechein meaning ‘pay attention’.  It’s a technical term for bringing a ship into port which included the docking, mooring and securing of the vessel.  The ship had no motors or reverse engines – just the wind or oars. Therefore, the captain would have to use incredible skill to make sure the wind driven vessel did not come into the harbor and dock too fast or slow.  To come in too fast  would result in crashing into the docks.  To carry too little speed would result in drifting and not making the desired dock.  The fact the writer used this term with another Greek word meaning ‘more abundantly’ or ‘much closer’ makes this truth even more emphatic.  We must have incredible focus and attention on the message of Jesus Christ.

 

The second nautical expression used is drifting.  If the captain of the vessel did not maintain proper speed, the ship would drift from where it was supposed to land.  It could be impeded or driven off course by winds or currents.  Interestingly, drifting is often subtle and undetected by the people on board the ship.  This points to a gradual, unthinking movement away from the faith. The implication is clear: if I am not intentional in my faith or focused on God and His Word, then I am in danger of drifting away.  I am setting myself up to be deceived.  I don’t drift toward God.  Instead I drift away from my secure moorings.  As I am navigating in this course of life, I must deliberately focus my energies, my eyes on Jesus and His Word.  I must look to Him in everything I do and every decision I make.

 

The dangers of not being focused and drifting are real.  Hebrews 2:2 tells us if the law of the old covenant was unalterable and the breaking of that law had very negative consequences, rejecting the word and message of Jesus Christ has even greater consequences.  Culture today is uncomfortable with the concept of negative consequences being attached to our faith.  Yet, Scripture is clear.  The concept of judgement, punishment and negative consequences is an essential truth in Scripture and relates directly to the problem of sin and people’s choosing not to walk in God’s grace.

 

So how do I stay focused?  It is by spending time with God daily in His word – reading, meditating and memorizing.  It is by spending time alone with God in prayer – praising, seeking and listening.  It is by staying filled with the Holy Spirit – cleansed of sin, denying self and walking in His presence.  It is by looking to Him in all things – asking God and not social media.  I must focus, because if I don’t - I will drift.  The main thing for me today is to keep the main thing the main thing.

 

Lord, help me today to keep the main thing the main thing focused on You so I will not drift.  Now today, go live the transformed life - focused.

Jesus Set Me Free - Hebrews 2:14-15

 

In American theatre, few movies captured American hearts like Rocky (hence they made so many).  No matter the enemy and his strength, Rocky always found a way to win.  Even the most impossible of enemies, he still was able to take the punches and stand and deliver the final blow.  While Rocky was a great fictitious person, we have in Scriptures the one true man who accomplished much more than a boxing match – He defeated all of evil once and for all and His name is Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 2:14-15 says Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.  The Hebrew writer reminds us Jesus humbled himself and came to earth as a human.  Though He was God, He was also fully man.  And as a man, Jesus experienced life like us.  He was tempted.  He was bullied.  He was ridiculed.  He was falsely accused.  Lies were shared with others about Him.  He experienced grief and loneliness, and He experienced death.

 

But Jesus’ death was not the normal.  Jesus predicted His death.  He was falsely accused of blasphemy, betrayed by His one of own disciples, found guilty in a totally rigged court, beaten and flogged with a whip made of metal, glass and bone, given a crown of thorns piercing the head, nailed to a cross making it difficult to breath, and pierced by a sword in His side.  It was cruel to say the very least.

 

But in His death, Jesus did something no one else could do – He conquered sin.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus, who knew nothing of sin, became sin on that cross so we might experience God’s righteousness.  Sin has a hold on us.  It is part of the penalty of sin.  I am enslaved to sin. With sin comes bondage, fear and death. Its grip is fierce and it is Satan’s primary tool on us as humans.  But Jesus rendered the power of sin powerless when He died on that cross and thus He rendered the power of Satan powerless as well.  Satan has nothing left to hold over us as believers.  I am free from the bondage of sin.  I have no reason to fear.  I move from death to abundant life.  I can live for God as He intended.  I can walk in the freedom knowing that my past is in the past and He has cleansed me of all sin.  I am not judged or condemned, but forgiven, cleansed, and made new.  I am no longer a slave to sin leading to fear for I am loved and accepted by My heavenly Father.  I am His child and have received the power of God. The Holy Spirit will give me the strength and the power to live fully for Him and to be His witness everywhere I may go.

 

Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross so that the power of sin is rendered powerless in my life and the lives of those who believe in You.  I choose today to walk in Your power and not allow the power of sin to reign over me.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life.

The Great Builder - Hebrews 3:3-4

 

I enjoy looking at houses and other building structures.  I especially enjoy unique and different ones where the details are evident.  In Mobile, AL there is a home called Bellingrath that exquisite gardens people will visit every year.  Whenever I visit such houses, the guide will usually tell me who either owned, designed or built the house.  Even in modern houses, when one is built with incredible craftsmanship, people want to know who built it.  The buildings become a reflection of the person who did the building.  Hebrews 3:3-4 says, For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.  For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

 

While a structure can be impressive – it is more impressive to know the person who built something so magnificent.  God is worthy of all glory for He has made incredible masterpieces.  He is the owner, architect and builder of all things glorious. His creation tells of His splendor and majesty.  He is creative and makes things beyond human description.  He has made masterpieces in creation - whether it is seeing a coastline or a mountain; or a sunrise or sunset.  His attention to detail is seen in everything from plants to animals, from the earth’s orbit, rotation and tilt to the intricacy detail of the human body from the circulatory system, the digestive system and the skeleton system.  His creation is good!

 

But His building goes beyond creation. 1 Corinthians 3:9 says, “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” God has designed me to be a reflection of who He is.  Though I do not always follow His plans or specifications, He molds me as a potter does the clay and makes me something to reflect His glory.  He does it in my personal life, my professional life, my family life, my church life and community life.  He works to build my character to be a reflection of His character.  He works in me to make my speech, actions, attitudes and thoughts to be more in line with His.  God does all this through the work of the Holy Spirit who lives in me.

 

As a house cannot build itself, I would be foolish to think I can build my life without God. Some days – in all honesty more days than I want to admit – I will try.  But if my life is going to be reflective of who He is, I must submit myself to Him and follow His lead.  I must die to self so that I can live in Him.  This means when I do not understand what He is doing, I trust Him.  It means I must follow Him and obey Him.  It means I must let Him work inside me to clean me out that I may walk in purity and without any taint.  My life is to reflect Him and His glory.

 

Dear God, help me to trust You the builder, for You know what You are doing and what You are wanting to make out of me.  Help me to listen and follow You as You guide.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life with God as my builder!

Encouraging Each Other - Hebrews 3:13

 

Hebrews 3:13 says, But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  In some industries, there is a meeting that takes place once a day emphasizing safety.  They will review a key component to their overall safety plan.  It generally is not new information except for the new people. It is a review of something they already know.  Sometimes the group leader will review the importance of the safety issue or share a story of how it helped a person who applied it or hurt another that did not adhere to the principle.  Sometimes they will have the group recite the key aspects to the safety.  But why would industry spend money particularly through the time of employees on the clock to review truths they already know and practice?  Because they understand the group needs to have those safety standards in the front of their minds as they work.   We must be reminded!

 

Even more amazed was I when I was talking to a young man about a job that needed to be done.  I was sharing with him how we needed to make sure we did the project safely when he said, “Yes, my dad always said … (naming the safety rule his dad used)”.  But then the young man said, “My dad told me they would tell him this every day at work.”  The principle got so engrained in the father, it effected his son.  Not because of a one-time sharing of the truth, but the daily reminder repeated for years.

 

I am amazed at how well industry gets these concepts more than we do as believers.  Today’s verse communicates how much I need daily encouragement.  Just as industry needs daily safety meetings, I need daily reminders to live out my faith.  I need to be reminded to have the attitude of Christ, to live today is to live for God and not for myself, to live today loving God passionately and to love others as He has loved me.  I need reminding to look for opportunities to share Jesus with others and to be an encouragement to those around me.  While it is fun for me to learn a new truth, what I need more than anything is to be reminded to live out the truths I already know today.  I need to be reminded that how I live effects not only me, but those around me whether family, co-workers, friends and neighbors.  The verse says these daily reminders will keep me from being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  Just as the safety reminders minimizes the effects of injuries on the job site, daily encouragement from God will minimize the effects of sin in my life.  I am not as easily deceived by the lies of Satan, because the truth of God’s Word stays in the forefront of my mind.  My heart stays sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as I have surrendered my mind and will to Him.  The daily reminders help me to remember today I am to live for God and love Him with an unbridled passion and not to live for myself.  I need the reminders!

 

Dear God, thank You for daily reminding me of how much I need You to work in my life.  Help me to encourage my friends in the faith and the need to be in Your word every day.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life reminded to love God and love people today!

 

Scripture and Faith Unite - Hebrews 4:2

 

Occasionally I become curious about how something works.  I will pull it up on the computer and try to figure it out.  I may watch a video or read articles.  This is particularly true of home projects.  If I am truly interested, I will watch a step by step video to see if I can do it myself.  Sometimes I realize there is much more to the project and decide not to do it.  Other times, I may try to do it myself.  But mostly, I will watch others do it.  Interestingly, while I may watch someone else do it and see how it could be done, it doesn’t improve my situation or problem.  I may not do it because I realize it takes too much time or cost me money.  It also could be I realize it may require more work than I want to invest or I don’t believe I have the capability to pull it off.  So the project doesn’t happen and what I have seen doesn’t really benefit me.

 

Why is it that one person can read a passage of Scripture and it changes them while another person can read the same passage of Scripture and it not change them?  Why is it the Bible seem to work for some and not for others?  Hebrews 4:2 gives some insight to this question.  It says For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. The reason the Scripture, the good news works for some and not others is because of faith.  The word must be not be just simply read or heard, but it must be united by faith.  God wants us to use the Scripture to help us grow.  His Word must be trusted and applied.

 

Just as I will read or watch videos for home projects but choose not to do it, I may choose to simply listen or read the Scripture but not apply it to my life.  It might be I realize to apply this truth will take more time in my life than I want to give or cost me more than I am willing to pay. That is a matter of discipline and obedience.  I may think it is too cumbersome or don’t believe I can do what God is calling me to do.  But that in turn is because I am not trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me step by step or give me the ability to do it.  With Him all things are possible and I must simply trust Him to give me the strength.  When I do apply the truths and allow God to work in me, it is amazing what all is accomplished through Him.  It is a step-by-step process and I must simply apply in faith He can accomplish great things through me if I will choose to walk in Him in faith.

 

Dear God, help me to walk in faith today and not just listen or read Your Word.  Help me to walk in You trusting You to give me the guidance and power to do all You have for me.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life in faith!

 

The Need for Rest - Hebrews 4:9-10

 

Hebrews 4:9-10 says, So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  All throughout Hebrews 4, the writer talks about rest, particularly entering God’s rest.  Rest is a necessity in life.  The word rest means to cease from work or from any kind of action.  We stop doing what we are doing.  We cease from action, labor or exertion.  We cannot work continuously for we wear out.  The body must rest hence we need to sleep. The concept of rest began at creation when it says on the seventh day God rested.  The Bible is clear we are to take one day out of the week and rest and keep it holy unto God.  We are to cease from our day-to-day labors and reflect on God – it is a day set aside for Him.  But aside from physical rest there is another kind of rest – God’s rest.  So what is rest and how can I find rest for my soul?

 

Spiritually speaking, rest is to cease from working on my own to earn salvation or God’s favor.  Strictly speaking in this passage, God’s rest is to enter into His grace and trust Him instead of myself and trying to do all these good works to obtain salvation.  It is ceasing from trying to do things perfectly in my own strength and instead trusting in the work Jesus Christ did on the cross and giving all my sin, self and life to Him.  Because of my trusting Jesus Christ I am free from worry and the things that disturb me.  I am not my own for I have been bought by His blood.  I am free mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I can walk in perfect peace because I can walk in His light and in His forgiveness.  I don’t have to run in circles trying to please anyone and everyone or trying to figure out how to live by everyone’s expectation.  I can walk in the confidence of God trusting in Him, His kingdom and His Word.  To enter God’s rest means to enjoy the perfect unshakeable confidence of salvation in the Lord Jesus.  I can lean on God in everything and give all my hopes, concerns and cares to Him for I know He cares for me.  I can lean on Him for support and strength during the most difficult times.  I am blessed because I can rest in Him.

 

The rest spoken of here also has an eternal aspect to it as well.  For the child of God there is an eternal rest that comes from trusting in Jesus Christ.  It is being in the place of eternal rest – heaven when we die.  The picture given in Hebrews 4 is that of the children of Israel able to enter the promised land of rest after being enslaved to the Egyptians for over 400 years endlessly toiling.  Now they enter the land flowing with milk and honey.  Similarly, we can rest knowing God will take us to the promised land when we die – the place of rest because we are no longer bound to the fall of this world.

 

Today, all I must do is walk in Him and receive His rest for that is what eternal life is truly all about.  I don’t need to walk under my own power or strength, but simply lean and trust in Him.  Dear Father, I choose to walk in Your rest today.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life in His rest.

The Word of God - Hebrews 4:12

 

Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  I have often heard and said, “The Bible is God’s love letter to us.”  The Bible is a masterpiece of literature unlike anything else ever written.  However it is more than just a piece of literature.  Hebrews 4:12 gives us a vivid picture of the Word of God.  We see it is living and active.  We know the Bible is historical in nature.  But it is more than a historical document of a group of people and how they lived.  It is more than a collection of biographies.  It is more than a philosophical work – trying to figure out the meaning to our existence on planet Earth.  The Bible is the revelation of who God is through the arena of history through a nation, groups of people and individuals.  But unlike any other book recording a group of people from hundreds of years ago, God uses this book to speak to us.  We can learn from it.  We can understand the precepts by which we are to live by.  We can grow in faith for faith comes by hearing the word of God.  We can gain strength.  We can be encouraged and inspired.  We can begin to know the heart of God.

 

Sometimes the Bible can speak to us so clearly, it can pierce our hearts.  As a two edged sword it is able to cut through the façade we may put on for ourselves and for others and exposes what our soul and heart looks like.  It is able to see deep inside us at our motivations.  It can expose the darkest parts of our lives that no one else knows.  It shows us the ugliness of our sin and the selfishness of our flesh.  It is able to convict and hurt us that we may deal with the infection that sin can bring.  It is able to show us the cleansing power of Christ’s blood.  It can encourage us when we are down.  It is able to give us a confidence that God is with me no matter what I may face.  It looks at my heart with the new spirit, the heart now filled with the Holy Spirit and see His light shine through.  It can tell expose me and show me if I am living out of selfish ambition or for the glory of my Creator.

 

The Bible not only tells me of Jesus Christ and His life, but it tells me how He came that I may have life and have it more abundantly.  It shares not only how Jesus Christ died on a cross, but it also shares how He died to pay my sin debt so that I could receive the forgiveness of sin.  It tells of not only how people learned to depend on the Spirit of God, but how I can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit every day.  It shares of people’s lives who were changed but tells of how God can give me a new life and the new life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who gave Himself for me.

 

The Bible is not just a book to be read or studied, it is a book I need to meditate and reflect upon; a book I need to apply to my life today and live by so I may glorify Him who gave the book to me.  Dear God, thank You for Your word and help me to live by it today.  Amen. Now let’s go live the transformed life in His Word!

Jesus Christ - My Great High Priest Part 1 - Hebrews 4:14

 

Hebrews 4:14 says, Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. In the Old Testament, the Levites was one of the tribes of Israel who were descendants of Levi.  This family was chosen to be the priests who would serve God in the temple.  Once a year, one of the members was chosen as the high priest who would enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat.

 

The events of this annual event are told in Leviticus 16.  But the high priest chosen was to follow a ritual involving the cleansing of the high priest himself because no one could come into the presence of God in the Holy of holies who was not cleansed.  He would use the blood of a bull to cover his and his family’s sin.  He would then cast lots to choose between two goats.  One would be slaughtered and the other would become the ‘scape goat.’  The blood of the slaughtered bull and goat would be sprinkled on all four sides of the mercy seat.  The blood was to atone for the sins of the people.  The priests would lay his hands on the scape goat and confess the sins – the iniquities of all the people.  The scape goat would then be led into the wilderness where it would be released. Anyone who helped the priest with the scape goat or helped in making the sacrifice and burning the animals would go through a washing themselves.

 

Sin has a steep price.  To enter the presence of God is a holy moment.  It requires purity.  To enter the holiness of God requires clean hands and a pure heart.  As a result, there is nothing I can do on my own to approach God – for I sinned.  I cannot do enough good things to merit being in the presence of God.  I can’t earn my way into God’s grace.  My absolute best is not good enough.  The animals had to be without blemish.

 

In today’s verse, Jesus Christ is my great high Priest.  He knew no sin.  He was pure and holy.  When Jesus died, He became both my sacrifice and High Priest.  He went into the tabernacle in heaven and entered the Holy of holies and made intercession for me as my great high Priest. He sprinkled His own blood.  He who knew no sin, took on my sin and paid the punishment for my sin.  Therefore, not because of what I have and have not done, but solely on what Jesus Christ did for me – I can hold fast my confession.  He is the source of my faith. I will fail again, but thanks be to Jesus whose blood covers all my sin – past, present and future.  It is not Jesus plus anything.  Jesus alone is sufficient and all I must do is totally trust Him.  Jesus Christ died for me.  Jesus Christ is my Savior.  Jesus Christ is my great High Priest.  And there is no one under heaven that is worthy of my worship but Jesus Christ alone.

 

Thank You Jesus for loving me and dying for me.  Thank You for being my great High Priest.  I will praise You and trust You with my whole heart.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life because we have Jesus as our great High Priest!

 

 

Jesus Christ - My Great High Priest Part 2 - Hebrews 4:15-16

 

Hebrews 4:15-16 says, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

In many civilizations, the throne is a symbol of power.  The king on the throne has the power of life and death in his hands.  Most people approach such a throne in fear and trepidation not knowing what is going to happen.  There is something to meeting someone who can determine aspects of your life and has the ability to make those things happen.  Judges in courtrooms have that ability to determine the future of an individual.  Employers have the ability to determine if you work for them or not.  Doctors have the knowledge to know what is happening and ability to determine the course of treatment.  Those moments can have an element of fear or anticipation.  But none of those compare to the reality that God has the ultimate authority in my life.  He is in on the throne and He is in control.  But the writer of Hebrews tells us we do not have to approach God with fear, but we can approach Him with confidence.  I can go to Him with confidence because it is a throne of grace.  Typically, thrones are seen for their power.  And while God is all powerful, the writer here chooses instead to use this throne as the throne of grace.  God is the God of grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Because I know God is gracious, I can go to Him with confidence.

 

The occupant of the throne is not some king who does not understand me.  It is Jesus Christ.  He came to earth and walked as a man.  He was tempted like we were but without sin.  He understands our dilemmas and circumstances. He knows our weaknesses and problems.  He is some distant God.  He became like us and walked with us.  He knows me intimately and He still loves me.  His love is displayed by His death on the cross.  Because of the work Jesus did we can now approach the throne of grace with confidence.  It is not a confidence based on what I have and have not done.  It is not a confidence because I go to church or did not lose my temper.  If I were to go to God because of what I have done, I have every reason to fear.  But because of what Jesus did – becoming my great high priest by dying for my sins and making intercession for me – I have a reason to go to God with confidence.

 

Whenever I need to talk to someone for the first time, I am not so sure how they will respond.  It takes a little work and I may find myself having to be ‘on my game.’  I find it easier to approach someone if another person we both know has made a connection for me.  It gives me confidence in my approach.  Similarly, I can approach the throne of God because Jesus is my intercessor, my great high priest.  I can approach God because Jesus made the connection and because of His righteousness and sacrifice.

 

Thank You Jesus, for being my great high priest.  Thank You I can come to You not because of me or my righteousness (or lack thereof).  Thank You I can come to Your throne of grace and receive help in time of need.  Amen.  Now let’s go live the transformed life with confidence!