I’m reading today in Hebrews chapter 9. Honestly, I find the book of Hebrews difficult to understand sometimes. At the same time, Hebrews builds my faith as I read the reports of those who have gone before me. When I read about Christ and his qualifications for being my Savior, my confidence is built, my hope rises and my doubts turn into security. Hebrews 9:9 “This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings – external regulations applying until the time of the new order”. Meaning the new-order would clear the conscience of the worshiper; the new-order being the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
I wonder how many times I have offered to Christ a gift all tied up in a nice neat little package hoping it would bring vindication from the sin in my life. How many times have I tried to avoid confessing a sin by bribery; did I think He wouldn’t notice. How many times have I gone before Christ in prayer and talked about everything but the elephant in the room? How many times have I tried to do the letter of the law, a ceremonial washing or an external ritual rather than get on my knees before God and get real?
There are times in my life when I am more than happy to confess this thing or that thing but Lord, don’t ask me to talk about this with you; it is simply too shameful, to hurtful, to whatever; please Lord, don’t ask me. God will always call me to surrender those things which will clear my conscience of guilt, bitterness, shame, unforgiveness and a whole host of other things. Like Adam and Eve if my conscience is not clear; if it strives to cover-up sin, I will seek to hide from God (Genesis 3). Our relationship will suffer and potentially be severed. Having a conscience full of guilt, anger, shame and unresolved hurts leads to an unhealthy existence; spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There’s one thing Christ asks me to sacrifice; me. Not in a literal sense, but spiritually. Christ died for every sin I have committed in my past, will commit today, and will commit in the future. His death has offered me the free gift of eternal life in a world where pain will cease to exist. His death has offered me a life of abundance in eternity as well as here on earth. He asks only for a life surrendered to him in obedience. Wow, what a gift! To know I can have a clear conscience, to know I can go to bed at night in peaceful slumber, to know I can live at peace within myself today and on in to eternity is a marvelous gift.
Sounds so simple doesn’t it? In one way it truly is; yet, there is another player – the devil himself. He just loves to get in there and mix things up. He whispers in our ears, “Did God really say…” just as he did in the Garden with Eve. Or maybe you have heard these thoughts rattling around in your mind; you’re too dirty, too bad, too ______________ you fill in the blank. And my favorite, God doesn’t really love you … if God did He would ______. Or, if God truly loved you, you would not be going through this right now…. Or have this illness or _____________what is the devil telling you? Just like Eve I often listen to the wrong voice because I do not recognize the devil’s scheming. My friends this is one reason I do what I do. Why I blog; why I host online Bible studies and discussion groups. It’s important we understand the Word of God and read it on a regular basis. It’s important we recognize the voice of God. It’s important for us to encourage one another with the Word; I pray my blogs are an encouragement to you.
No matter what you have done in your life… no matter what has been done to you… no matter the thoughts you have possessed, no matter the conflict you are facing, Jesus is there to offer you a loving hand of acceptance and forgiveness. Yes, there may still be some consequences for your actions. But God forgives without prejudice, all that’s required is for you to have a conversation with Him and get real. The rest God will take care of. Please, don’t hide from Him, He is calling you to Him right now, He’s your salvation in all ways! God’s love never fails. 1:cor. 13
Well my friends, I have a conversation waiting for me ….
Until next time,
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11