In Hebrews chapters 7-10, God lays out the background of Jesus as our Priest and Mediator of our faith. He did not need to offer sacrifices for Himself, for He lived a perfect life – without sin. So when He offered His life as a sacrifice for us, it was made once and for all.
And He wrote the law on our hearts, and has given us a helper to guide us – the Holy Spirit.
“… and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.”Heb 10:21-25 NIV
Therefore, and there is a therefore (verse 19), there are expectations for us moving forward. We are expected to “draw near to God with a sincere heart (Heb 10:22).” God through Jesus has given us everything we need to draw near to Him. The veil has been torn apart. The things that separate us, our sins, have been forgiven. He has done His part so that we can be in relationship with Him.
How can we be content standing at a distance when He has bid us come?
We shouldn’t be content! He has forgiven us… He has cleansed us… He has given us the promise of eternal life with Him! How can we have any other response than to desire to draw closer and closer to Him?
We are also to hold on to the hope we have in Him, for He is faithful. And in this He has also given us one another to encourage and spur on in love and good deeds (vs. 24).
And He has called us to meet together, even though some have given up on this habit. The call to stop meeting together started long before Covid. Some have bought into the lie that they can do it on their own. But God has called us to be together and to encourage one another, even more so now as His return draws near.
The lion loves when its prey has separated from the pack, as it makes it much easier to hunt it down for the kill. Our enemy, the devil, is referred to as a roaring lion…
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”1 Pet 5:8 NIV
As we look to draw closer to Him through the spiritual disciplines, may we also come together and meet together, encouraging one another and loving one another, so that we don’t fall as easy prey to the one who seeks to take us down.
Lord, we need You if we are to become all that You have created and called us to be. But You have also given us one another to strengthen and assist in this journey. As You encourage us in the faith, encourage us to be active in the local body, which You have created to be Your body, that we might live and learn together until that time when we stand before You, holy and blameless because of Your sacrifice on the cross. We pray in Your name, Jesus…