Thursday, September 29, 2011

I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Boy do I need help.  And so do you!  If the truth be told, every moment in our lives is a time of need, because apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5).  The "secret" is coming to the realization that we need Jesus every minute of every day.  Ah, but that is another study for another day.

Today's Scripture in context reads:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin.  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 4:14-16)

I don't know about you, but I am sure glad Jesus became human and took on flesh and blood just like us (Hebrews 2:14).  I realize that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit know everything.  But there is just something comforting, I guess, in realizing that Jesus really knows because He lived as a human on a fallen planet among sinful men, just like we do.  Like us, Jesus was tempted.  Unlike us, Jesus never sinned.  Therefore, He always knows the path of victory over temptation, and we can discover it, too, at the throne of grace.

Recently my emotions have been all over the map:  anger; joy; satisfaction; exasperation; anxiety; triumph; aggravation; peacefulness; name it...I have been there.  Now, you may not have experienced all these emotions in as compact a time frame as I have, but over the course of your life you have experienced them all.

So did Jesus.  Jesus felt very strong emotions, but He never sinned.  He never let the emotions rule His spirit and thus rob Him of faith in the Father.  So Jesus can sympathize, because He has been there.

Our strong emotions are not necessarily sinful, but when we experience strong emotions (especially hard ones), we are perhaps most vulnerable TO sin.  We can easily cave into fear...or succumb to sinful desires...or wallow in self pity....or erupt in destructive anger...or...

Jesus indeed sympathizes with our infirmities (weaknesses) but He never sympathizes with our iniquities (sinful patterns from the faulty wiring in our souls).  True, "hurt people hurt people", but that is not the way it is meant to be.  Being hurt ourselves does not give us a license to hurt others.  Being sinned against does not grant us Divine permission to sin back.  Two "wrongs" never make a "right."  Two wrongs make two wrongs.

There is a place where we can go to avoid sin and defeat temptation.  It is the throne of grace.  We can go there confidently because Jesus, our great high priest, has already gone before us, bringing the necessary sacrifice on our behalf.  The sacrifice was Himself.

Run to the throne of grace today.  Pour out and pray out all that is on your plate and all that is on your heart.  Come with humility to receive grace, because God promises to give grace to the humble (James 4:6).  And you will find the help you need.

So don't waste a moment trying to figure out how to make life work by yourself, seeking to solve your problems on your own.  You were never meant to do that and you can't anyway.  But Jesus can.

The throne room door is open 24/7.  The Lord is there on the throne of grace, waiting and eager to show you the way out of temptation and into victory, to give you the grace and mercy you need in this time of need.

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