Are you reading a shortened Bible?

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

God created the universe, made some rules for us to follow, and thumps us when we get it wrong.  Do you ever feel that way?  I do.  When I am in that frame of mind, the Bible could much shorter.  A few chapters are all you need to cover the creation and the 10 commandments.  This “shortened Bible” would also make it easier to read the Bible in a year.

But, if we spent our life with the shortened Bible, what would we miss?  We would miss that God made us so he could have a relationship with us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and He wants us to know him.  The parts the fill in the rest of the Bible tell us about God pursuing us, chasing us, embracing us, and calling us as his children.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews knew this truth.  He tells us how God had tried to reach us through the ages.  How God took the form of a person, Jesus, so that he could talk to us as one of us.  God understands what it is to be us, because He has lived here.  Jesus experienced all the trials and troubles that we experience, including feeling rejected by God and abandoned by the people he loved.

In the passage our verse comes from, the writer reminds us about Jesus and our verse today is a great source of hope:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

We have access, through Jesus, to God’s throne of grace where we can receive grace and mercy.  Those are two important words.  The theological definition of God’s “grace” is God’s “unmerited favor.” God loves us, even though we have done nothing to earn it.  Merriam-Webster defines “mercy” as “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power.”

If we limit ourselves to the shorted Bible I talked about at the beginning of the post, we will miss that God didn’t just make the rules and thump us when we get them wrong.  He loves us, even though we have done nothing to earn it and He forgives us, even though we don’t deserve it.

Bad things still happen, they are a part of life.  So, what do we do?  We approach the throne of grace with confidence.  In other words, we pray.  God wants us to tell Him with our worries and our joys.  Why? Doesn’t God know everything, including everything that is bother me right now?  Yes, but that’s not the point.  The point is God wants a relationship with us.  He wants us to talk to Him about what we need, what concerns us and what we are thankful for.  And, if we watch and listen, God will respond to us.  He will meet our needs, give us peace, and give us more reasons to be thankful.  Make prayer a part of your daily routine. Here are some ideas on how to get started: http://thedigitaldisciple.net/category/prayer/.

Take some now to approach Gods’ throne of grace and receive his grace and mercy.

 

Press On!

David

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