I have been loving my time in Bible study lately. Just a few months ago, I started this new (at least for me) approach to Bible study, and it has been so incredible to see how I am learning more about God through passages of Scripture that I’ve studied for years. I’m always uncovering something new, even from words that I have been so familiar with in the past.
That is just the way of God’s Word, isn’t it?
This week, I’ve been in the book of Hebrews, my personal favorite, and I imagine I’ll remain in this book for awhile now. There is just so much packed into its thirteen short chapters, and much of it speaks to the person and work of Jesus Christ. What’s not to love?
I don’t know about you, but I often need a recalibrating of my mind, and there is nothing like Scripture to do the job well. It’s not hard for me to spiral down the road of complaining, bitterness, selfishness, and pride, and God’s inspired Word has a way of bringing my thoughts back to where they need to be.
Fixed and focused on Jesus.
That is why time spent in God’s Word is so valuable. It’s life-changing. It’s restorative. It’s illuminating. It’s everything that we need.
So, back to where I started. I’ve been reading one chapter of Scripture a day, and then I will journal my answer to two simple questions based off of my reading.
#1 – What does this tell me about God? (theology)
#2 – What does this mean for me? (application)
I love this approach. It’s simple but utterly profound. It’s doable for everyone, no matter your age or stage of life. It’s so beneficial. So, I’ve been in Hebrews, and today I came to chapter four. Hidden within this inspired chapter is a verse that I’ve loved and embraced now for years. In fact, most often, I would read the whole chapter, but only take away verse 12 because of its significance to me.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)
Today was a bit different for me, though. I definitely paused on verse 12 like I always have and celebrating its truth, but I found that my major take-away was tucked into verse 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.” (NIV)
In order to understand this in its context, you need to know that the two verses prior to verse 16 are talking about how Jesus is our sympathetic high priest. He suffered everything that a human could go through, including temptation in every way, but was without sin. Since he went through what we go through on a daily basis, He can and does sympathize with us in our times of weakness and need. That’s just who He is—a sympathetic, merciful, compassionate God.
So, when I get to the command in verse 16, the one question that keeps resonating in my heart is, “Why on earth would I lack confidence in coming to Him then?” He gets it. Whatever I could bring to Him, He understands it. Whatever struggle I’m going through, He’s been there. Whatever hurt I’m carrying, He bore on the cross.
So, why do I lack confidence?
Why do you?
Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of time in God’s Word to recalibrate our thinking. Just a look at a few verses, and it’s a game changer. Just some exposure to its truth, and we are set free from fear.
He invites us in. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. His invitation to come still stands. Come confidently today. You’ll be met with mercy and grace.