For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, but without sin.

Hebrews 4: 15

Let’s face it, there are days when I am not very strong. I don’t mean sore muscles or being weary from the drain of life’s activities, and I am not referring to emotional tiredness, either. There are just times in life when temptations of various kinds are more real than is the will to turn away from them. This is a challenging aspect of living in the skin that God has provided to me as a dwelling place for my heart, mind, and soul, and these are not times that make me feel especially good about myself when I look at what I am thinking and doing from the perspective of the cross that Christ allowed Himself to occupy for my sake. This contrast between my depravity and Christ’s holy yet bloodied presence makes me want to go away and hide in a dark corner with my shame and guilt covering me.

However I may feel about these things and in these dark hours of my soul, Christ calls to me to come out and to engage with Him in the truth of His gospel of love, grace, and redemption. My self-imposed cave of regrets is not the place where my redeemed soul is supposed to reside. My sinfulness does have consequences, and there is always human fallout to deal with, but isolation and separation are not the answers that Christ provides to me. Christ knows the intensity of the challenge that life in this world of brokenness and temptation provides as He experienced life in this place to its fullest without succumbing to those same temptations. Additionally, there is nothing that we can do or any place that we can journey that will take us beyond the grace and the forgiveness of the cross of Christ. Our Lord’s blood is more than adequate to cover any sin that we can commit.

Jesus wants each of us to live fully in His presence. He also desires for us to live out His calling to be people that proclaim the eternal glory of God in every aspect of our lives. We cannot do this if we allow our times of weakness to overcome Christ’s mission for our lives. However, we are directed by God to be people that recognize the destructive nature of sin and who, therefor, turn to God in repentance and with a desire to open up our areas of weakness to the restorative work of the Spirit. Sin does not need to win in this contest for our loyalty, for, in Christ, it has already lost the battle for the soul. Thus, our sins have been forgiven on His cross, we are granted mercy and grace by Christ, and His Spirit works within us to strengthen our resolve to live as holy and righteous people. As the writer of Hebrews went on to say,

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4: 16 

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Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4: 16

 

In this thought lies one of the greatest aspects of the transformed reality that is ours in Christ Jesus. There is a human tendency to fear authority, and this is especially true when the sort of authority that we are facing has power over and control of our comfort, freedom, and feeling of well-being. Most of us have experienced the dread that comes with the prospect of going to see the school principle, of having a parent discover our misdeeds, or being summoned to the boss’s office. The heart rate elevates and palms become sweaty, and the mind starts to build images of the worst of all possible outcomes into something that is like absolute fact; so, we don’t want to go and face the music.

 

However, Christ calls, He summons us, and the Lord seeks after us to come before Him. The words that He needs to say may very well be words of correction, for we might need more than anything else to have the way that we are thinking and living straightened out and changed; still, Christ calls us to receive mercy and to be blessed by the kiss of grace. He hands us the receipt that has been signed and sealed by the highest court possible that tells us that the fine for all of our misdeeds, all of our sin, has been paid in full by Christ; more so, it indicates that the sum that was paid was the sacrifice of the one and only perfect and blameless lamb, Jesus.

 

Now everyone can come to God under all circumstances, at any time of the day or night, and in whatever state of being that we may find ourselves; and we can do this with total and complete confidence and with the understanding that we will be received with the open arms of love that the Father uses to greet His most beloved children. You see, because of Christ’s sacrifice, an act that He willingly performed for my sake, I am now cleansed of all of the impurity that had previously created a barrier between God and me. Also, I have Christ’s promise that He does stand before the Father to tell God that I am His own, and I know with the sort of confidence that can only come from the word of truth that is Christ that I will be touched by God’s love, healed from my brokenness, and transformed into His glory.

 

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4: 16

 

Grace is a characteristic that is lacking in this world. We are a people that are in a hurry to get on with all of the urgent and important activities and actions of the day, and we have almost no time for hearing the stories that others may need to tell. Yet, in Christ, we all have a hearing for all of our needs. He came to everyone with the grace of God, and He gives that grace absolutely and completely without condition and for all circumstances.

 

When we receive the grace that Christ provides, we are standing in a high and holy place, for we are the recipients of one of the greatest treasures that God, the High King, has stored up in His throne room. When we come to Christ, He seems to lift us up out of the darkness and despair of this world, and He places us at His side in the holy place that is God’s residence. Christ also goes before us to that place, and His righteousness covers all of our sinful shame. Therefore, we can walk confidently into the eternal presence of love, mercy, and grace. Through Christ we are now living in the glorious home of the author of all that is good, and that place is now our dwelling place.

 

As we are now residents of grace; so, we should now be givers of it. Christ grants us the confidence that we need to set aside our personal agendas and our safety nets of rules for living and for interacting with our world. He tells us that we can be people who grant the grace of a moment and the mercy of a thorough hearing to others who are in need. When we do stop the busy course of our day long enough to give a smile or to grant an understanding ear to someone who has been battered and beaten by what life has given, we are experiencing the true splendor of heaven, and we can bring the other person into direct contact with the loving grace and mercy of Christ.

Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4: 16

 

In this thought lies one of the greatest aspects of the transformed reality that is ours in Christ Jesus. There is a human tendency to fear authority, and this is especially true when the sort of authority that we are facing has power over and control of our comfort, freedom, and feeling of well being. Most of us have experienced the dread that comes with the prospect of going to see the school principle, of having a parent discover our misdeeds, or being summoned to the boss’s office. The heart rate elevates and palms become sweaty, and the mind starts to build images of the worst of all possible outcomes into something that is like absolute fact; so, we don’t want to go and face the music.

 

However, Christ calls, He summons us, and the Lord seeks after us to come before Him. The words that He needs to say may very well be words of correction, for we might need more than anything else to have the way that we are thinking and living straightened out and changed. Still, Christ calls us to receive mercy and to be blessed by the kiss of grace. He hands us the receipt that has been signed and sealed by the highest court possible that tells us that the fine for all of our misdeeds, all of our sin, has been paid in full by Christ. More so, it indicates that the sum that was paid was the sacrifice of the one and only perfect and blameless lamb, Jesus.

 

Now everyone can come to God under all circumstances, at any time of the day or night, and in whatever state of being that we may find ourselves; and we can do this with total and complete confidence and with the understanding that we will be received with the open arms of love that the Father uses to greet His most beloved children. You see, because of Christ’s sacrifice, an act that He willingly performed for my sake; I am now cleansed of all of the impurity that had previously created a barrier between me and God. Also, I have Christ’s promise that He does stand before the Father to tell God that I am His own, and I know with the sort of confidence that can only come from the word of truth that is Christ, Himself, that I will be touched by God’s love, healed from my brokenness, and transformed into His glory.