From the Blog
|A Prayer That We Draw Near to God with Confidence|
“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…”—Hebrews 10:19-22
When Old Testament High Priests entered the Holy Place and went behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies, they sprinkled blood on the Ark of the Covenant, making intercession for themselves and the people.
Tradition says that a rope was tied around the High Priest’s leg so that if he died there in the presence of God (perhaps because he failed to heed God’s exact instructions), he could be pulled from behind the curtain without anyone needing to enter the sacred place. Although God dwells everywhere, this 15’x15’ room was where God’s presence was localized.
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|A Prayer That God's Word Would Penetrate Our Hearts|
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”—Hebrews 4:12-13
We should not be surprised that the Word of God is compared to a sword. A Roman sword had two edges; it cut both ways. God does not use the sword of the Word to destroy His people, but rather to wound them that He might heal them. In fact, the word “sharper” used in this verse is from a word that means “to cut.” It is the language of surgery—the language of dissection. The Word of God does not divide the soul from the spirit, but rather it penetrates both soul and spirit. In brief, it goes to the heart of what and who we are—it lays us bare. In the presence of the Word of God, there is no pretense.
Consider other characteristics of the Word of God:
First, it is “living and active,” that is, it actually has power; it converts the soul. We are born again “not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). When the Word of God acts, God acts.
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