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How Do We Approach God?

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

Hebrews 4:16

NLT


One of my dogs (I have three) is a small Corgi-mix who spends most of his day sleeping on our couch in the house. He is a pretty chill doggo, who can sometimes be on the mischievous side. He likes to pull gross, smelly things out of the trash and observe the other dogs in our backyard from atop the kitchen table while I am gone. Pretty standard mischief for a dog. Most days, when I come home from work he is at the door, jumping and pawing at my legs to welcome me back and ask for some head scratches. However, I don’t have to guess when I walk through that door whether or not he has done something wrong. One those days he either slinks into the room with his body low to the ground, his ears back, and his eyes sad, or he just completely hides from me. He was abused in his last home, so he always expects major backlash when he has messed up. I think this is a picture, for me at least, of how I approach God when I know that I have messed up. I either tuck tail and run away from Him, often causing more destruction as I run, or I slink into his presence too ashamed to say anything or look Him in the eye. But, for those of us who follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior, this is the exact opposite of how God tells us to approach him, even in our mistakes! Hebrews 4:14-16 says:


“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”


The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can approach God’s throne with confidence that we will only receive mercy and grace when we get there. Why is this? Because Jesus, who took on all of God’s wrath for our sin when He died on the cross, stood in our place, received the full punishment for our sins -past, present, and future- and presents us to God as complete, whole, and without sin. This verse also tells us that Jesus is compassionate when we sin and are tempted, because He was also tempted in the same ways during his ministry, but He did not sin. He knows our weaknesses and our pain. So we hold tightly to the grace bought for us by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is good news! We don’t have to approach God like a mischievous dog, waiting to be beat by our abusive master. We approach Him as a beloved child who is always welcomed in His presence.

My Prayer For You

Father, I thank you that we can pray, worship, and come to you in confidence, knowing that we will only experience grace and mercy when we come to your throne. Thank you for providing Jesus to take on the punishment for our sins and to advocate for us when we are failing. I ask if there is anyone who is struggling to come to you right now that you would comfort them, and give them boldness. If there is anyone who has yet to accept this incredible gift of grace through Jesus, I pray that you would open their eyes and hearts to see the truth of who He is and what He has done for them. Amen.

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