“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23
We began our journey of “Found On My Knees” last night with the theme of brokenness. What an incredible time of fellowship, studying God’s Word, and worship it was! We took a good, hard look at sin and its devastating consequences through the book of Hosea, but we were also met with God’s promise of restoration and forgiving love if we return to Him, our first love, and press on to know Him! God’s Word truly thrills me! His capacity to love sinners such as us who consistently wander from the folds of His grace utterly astounds me, so I come today to His throne in desperate need of His grace again. And He meets me there.
Grab your Bibles and join me on the pages of Hebrews chapter 10. I’m not sure it’s exactly “biblical” to have a favorite book of the Bible, but I do. Although I love God’s Word in its entirety, the book of Hebrews grips my heart and draws me to my Savior’s side like no other. I’ve read through the book of Hebrews countless times, and I will continue to. I love the strong message it relays to press on, to keep going, to not give up, to not turn back to old ways and old patterns, to know Jesus Christ, and to live in His salvation. The book is filled with warnings, exhortations, strong words of encouragement, and sound doctrine. If you know me at all, you can probably begin to understand how my teaching style has been so shaped by the style of writing in this book, its blunt delivery, and its hard but much needed truth.
Today, I want us to take a look at Hebrews 10:19-23 in particular. As we approached the topic of brokenness last night, we were challenged to return to LORD, to press on to know Him even in the midst of our brokenness. One of the reasons I love this passage in Hebrews so much is because I believe it gives us clear directions as to how we are to do that. It begins in verse 19 by reminding us of the confidence we have in Christ Jesus through the shedding of His blood. When Jesus breathed His last on the cross and proclaimed “It is finished!”, you may remember that the curtain in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Luke 23:44-49). This curtain served as a separation between us and God. It covered the Holy of Holies in the temple where only the high priest could enter one time a year. When Christ died in our place on the cross, in that moment we were given direct access to God our Father. No longer did there need to be a separation and an earthly priest to mediate on our behalf. The communication lines were now opened to us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. That is the confidence that the writer of Hebrews is referring to in verses 19-20. We have that confidence to enter the presence of a Holy God every moment of every day! It is a gift that we must not neglect.
We are then met with the compelling invitation to draw near to God. Some translations say “with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith”. Because we have confidence in the completed work of Christ on the cross for us, we can draw near to God. Unlike what many of us may have been told or might believe, we are not encouraged to draw near to God once we have our act together, once we’ve cleaned up our mess, once we’re in a good place. No! Verse 22 tells us to come with a sincere heart. If you’re broken, come. If you’re hurting, come. If you’re fearful, come. If you’re in a good place, come. Just come with a sincere heart. The Lord already knows your heart anyway. There’s no need to pretend. Come just as you are, but come confident with the expectation that He is there, ready and waiting to receive you. Come with full assurance of faith.
We’ve been taking a good look at some of the promises that God has given to us as His children over the past week. We are met with another promise today. Verse 23 tells us that “He who promised is faithful”. Does anyone need to hear that today? The God we serve, the God who calls us to draw near to Him with sincere hearts, the God who has given us the confidence we need to draw near…this God is faithful to keep His promises! He can not fail. The invitation to our hearts today is this: in your brokenness, draw near to Him. In your hurt, disappointment, and heartache draw near to Him. His promise remains, and He is faithful.
1. Before studying these verses today, would you say that you lacked confidence to approach God’s throne of grace? Have you ever had a lack of confidence in drawing near to God? Why?
2. Grab your prayer journal and write a response to the Lord, telling Him how grateful you are for His promises to meet with us when we choose to draw near to Him.
3. Write out Hebrews 10:23 on a note card, and commit this verse to memory this week.