Yesterday we all gathered in churches to remember Jesus’ resurrection. We were probably reminded of the wonderful story of his being raised from the dead after 3 days and us being saved as a result. That’s great.
This morning as I laid in bed having my quiet time with God I reflected upon just where I’ve been spiritually lately and some of the things that I’ve dealt with. I hadn’t been feeling close to God. I’ve been trying to work on my compassion and love for others and demonstrating that in the way that God himself demonstrates that. The one thing that kept ringing in my mind was “draw near to God.” So I did a google search. “What does it mean to draw near to God?” I found a sermon that really reminded me of just what the cross actually did for us all. It was a truly powerful message indeed.
Check it out here —> Drawing Near to God
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled (with Christ’s blood) to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
This passage really spoke volumes to me. The full passage referenced was Hebrews 10:19-22. This scripture tells us that we can always be close to God and feel his presence because Christ’s blood cleansed us forever. He made that which was unclean to now be clean. There is literally nothing that can separate us from experiencing God except that which we allow. I think about this and a light bulb goes off for me. So what does that mean when I’m not feeling close to God? It means that the only thing separating me from communion with God is whatever I have allowed to separate us. Sometimes that is the busyness of life. Sometimes that is worry and stress. Sometimes that is an unrepentant heart and not effectively dealing with my emotions. But what joy lies in this one scripture in Hebrews. It reminds me that what Christ really did was give me eternal access to the creator of the universe never having to allow my past or my mistakes to hinder me from a relationship with God. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Then there was another light bulb that came on!
As I thought about my struggles to love and show compassion to others something dawned on me. Christ did this for everyone Shell not just you. So the people that I find hard to love, understand and forgive God gives them the same access that he gave me. God forgives them 100 times over just like he does me. God showers them with grace, love, mercy, and compassion the same way that he does me. This was just so impactful. It changed my view immediately. What was once a known truth that was hard to accept in my heart is now a piercing conviction of just why the God I serve is so amazing! This opened me up to viewing the cross in an entirely different way. Yes, it is absolutely mind-blowing to think about what Jesus endured on the cross for you and I that we might be saved. But what is even more mind blowing to me in this moment is the fact that this one act cleansed me FOREVER.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The impact of this is one that I cannot even begin to explain. By one single act of obedience I am, we are, forever united with Christ. Despite the things in our character and the sin we may fall into due to our human nature not even that thing that God hates the most is able to separate us when we choose to repent and draw near to God. Man that is absolutely amazing to me. So for the person who doesn’t feel as close or doesn’t feel as connected to God or even wants to be able to partake in this promise do know that the one thing that separates you from God is only the thing that you allow to.
Romans 10:1-2 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
There’s an interesting contradiction in this scripture. Paul says that he wants the people to be saved because he knows that they are zealous for God. Wait a minute. Wouldn’t you think someone who is zealous for God is saved?! Interesting right? Paul says that their zeal isn’t based on knowledge. They’re zealous for God because of what they heard….not because of what they themselves know to be true. That’s the challenge in today’s world. Is your faith or belief in God based on what you’ve come to know to be true yourself or is it based on what you’ve always been told growing up? Have you just accepted what grandma and your long time pastor has told you is true or have you really searched the scriptures for yourself and experienced God in a way that is so personal to you that no one could ever change your mind?
It is so important to get to know and understand God in a personal way. Not your Sunday morning or holiday routine but literally digging through the scriptures, praying personal prayers, and then seeing God show up for _______ (insert your name) in a way that only _______ (insert your name) recognizes. That’s my story. My story went from what others have always told me to be true growing up to studying out the Bible for myself, realizing I didn’t stand where I thought I stood, and then seeing God move in such a way in my life in which I could never doubt who he is.
So that’s my prayer for all of you. My prayer is that you draw near to God because of the awesome gift the cross has given us. Draw near to God whether you know you need to be saved, you feel that you are saved, or you have been saved for years. Drawing near to God constantly is what keeps us close to the cross and it’s what keeps us snuggled up in our Father’s arms of protection. The even better thing about drawing near to God is that close to him is exactly where he wants you.
Yours in love,