Passage of the Day: James 4: 8a – Come near to God and He will come near to you.
My Journal for Today: I love the imagery of today’s verse, which, as in Hebrews 10: 19 – 22 [below], takes its flavor and power from the picture of the Old Testament priesthood, who would regularly come to Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle for the cleansing of atonement from the blood sacrifice. The Priests of the OT could draw near to God, and He to them, in this ritual of sacrifice.
SCRIPTURE: Heb. 10: 19-22 … 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Now, we of faith in the New Covenant can similarly, but perpetually [not having to wait for an annually feast of atonement] come near to God because of Christ’s completed sacrifice; and when we come in the humility of living sacrifice, desiring to “draw near to God,” He, like the father in the parable of the prodigal will not only draw near to us, but He will run joyfully to us.
It is God’s promise in today’s verse, and from Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension that we will be cleansed and brought into His presence, He being the living Tabernacle, by the living sacrifice of a life of worship in faith (see Rom. 12: 1). And when we come to God’s altar of grace with thankful, humbled, and purified hearts (see 1st John 1: 9), God promises that He will “draw near” to our hearts.
And as the kids would say these days, “Is that not cool, or what?”
I really dig, not only the imagery of the prodigal father running to the prodigal son; but check our the word pictures in Psalm 116: 1 – 2, where God promises to stoop down to our level to hear us in our relationship to Him where we come HUMBLY and THANKFULLY with a CLEANSED spirit to Him, desiring to speak our mind. …
SCRIPTURE: Ps. 116: 1-2 … I love the LORD, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
The word picture from the Hebrew in the phrase, “He turned His ear to me,” is of a father bending down to His small child so that He can hear everything that child has to say. It is the picture of a loving Savior and Lord, who desires the closeness of intimate relationship with those whom He has created, those He has saved, and those He will sanctify. As the Psalmist also wrote in Psalm 73: 28, “ But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;..." and I feel that closeness right now as I write these words, … even as I sit in my special “quiet-time” place where I come to be with God daily, … I can come to The Tabernacle, with my living sacrifice of worship; and with a humble heart, I can draw nigh to God; and here He is … drawing near to me [See Deut. 31: 6 and Heb. 13: 5].
And with those promises, Old and New Testament, He is here with me everyday; and if you know Him as Lord and Savior, all you have to do it seek to be close to Him; and He will be there for you … just as He is for me here today. Isn't that so, so cool, … yet so, soooooo warm?!
My Prayer Today: I come to this place with You every morning; and You are always here, Lord. Amen