Nick Poindexter

My style's like a chemical spill

Tag: Hebrews

Approach The Throne

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
-Hebrews 4:16 (HCSB)

In most kingdoms, boldly approaching the king’s throne would be an immediate death sentence. At the very least, anyone who interrupted someone of such rank and power without invitation would be in some seriously hot water. It took guts to even speak to the king, let alone doing it with boldness.

So who could actually come nearer to a king’s throne so brazenly without fear of punishment? It’s simple: a child of the king.

According to the author of Hebrews, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, that means you may do the same in regards to your King’s throne. Just like children of royalty, you may approach your personal God anytime, anywhere about anything.

Sadly, many Christians approach God in prayer with excessive hesitancy and meekness. They are too intimidated to confidently ask God for what they need. If they do get the courage to speak to him, it’s glossed-over words and dishonest thoughts. And because of that, maybe they eventually simply avoid speaking to God altogether, for fear of shame and chastisement.

Please don’t take it the wrong way… Should there be reverence for God in your life? Absolutely! It is clear from the scripture that he is your King, after all.

But he’s also your Father. And that means because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, you have unparalleled, intimate access to God that others can only dream of!

So go to God in prayer with your questions and concerns. Go to him in celebration and adoration. Whatever is on your heart and whatever you need, just go to him! God will be there waiting, promising grace and mercy.

You too may boldly approach the throne of the King. Thanks to Jesus, you have nothing to fear.

Entertaining Angels

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
-Hebrews 13:1-2 (NLT)

The author of Hebrews closes out the book by addressing his readers to continue to love each other, as they’ve been doing. It’s a “Good job, keep it up” kind of statement.

But he follows that by saying we must not forget to also extend love beyond those we already know. The author says to love strangers as well. Why? Because they might be angels.

This command is a direct reference to the story of both Abraham and Lot’s unexpected visitors from Genesis 18-19. In that passage, both men immediately open their homes to these guests, who were in fact, angels. In their day, this was Godly generosity in action. Travelers had to sleep overnight in obscure towns, so inviting someone in to stay you didn’t know not only showed hospitality, but it also pointed them directly toward your God. Also, in the context of Hebrews, many early Christians were being persecuted and were on the run. They needed hospitality from strangers more than ever!

Although foreign travelers may not be often knocking on your doors looking for food and shelter, there are people right under your nose today who need welcoming. Maybe it’s the co-worker or classmate you’ve never spoken to. Maybe it’s the visitor to your church who looks uncomfortable on the back row. Or maybe it’s that person who the opposite of you in every way, and because of that you’ve turned down every chance to get to know them personally.

We are being challenged here to be as hospitable to strangers as we are to acquaintances… To view outsiders the same as insiders… To love those that are different from us as much as we love those who are the same as us… To meet the needs of everyone whom God puts in our path.

Who knows? Maybe you too will be entertaining angels without realizing it.

Nothing Else To Do

Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
-Hebrews 10:11-12 (NLT)

Being a priest back in the day was a tiresome job. It wasn’t because the work was physically demanding or anything. The only physical labor they had to do was performing the animal sacrifices as people came to the tabernacle/temple to atone for their sins. But here’s the kicker — priests were never allowed to sit down while on the job. Chairs weren’t even allowed inside. They were to always be standing.

But why was it a big deal to walk in and find the priest sitting down?

Sitting communicated that they had nothing else to do. By standing, the priest was showing that his work never ends, that there was unfinished business. The point was that despite the constant sacrifices, none of it can completely take away sins, so it must be repeated over and over and over.

In the book of Hebrews, the author references this old system and contrasts it with a new one. He says that our High Priest, Jesus himself, was the ultimate sacrifice, so the old way of doing things was out the window. Incredibly, full and final forgiveness has officially been achieved. Everything has been covered, and everyone has been cleansed, once and for all.

With this thought in mind, it makes me wonder why some Christians today struggle with the revelation that they don’t have to do anything else to earn God’s forgiveness. Just like the Jews that this book was written to, we often feel like we still have to earn God’s love and that we aren’t fully right with him because of our mistakes.

So how do we know that forgiveness has been 100% completely given? It’s simple — look at where our High Priest is now… Seated. Jesus wiped out all of our past, present and future sins, and then immediately took a seat. And you know what that means…

Business is finished. The Priest’s work is over. Jesus has nothing else to do.

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