The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(a repeat from 2013)
"In Truth and Reality"
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, and having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:19-22).
I visited a coffee shop last night with our daughters Marie and Emmie. We had a wonderful time (as anyone would with these amazing young ladies - ok, ok, I'm know that as their dad, I'm biased! But it's still true!). On the way home, Marie mentioned that she recently watched a documentary on a particular religion. Marie said that she came away from the viewing with the strong sense that the sect offers little more than a ritualistic exercise of duties and sacrifices, as opposed to the personal relationship believers have with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Emmie chimed in that she recently had a discussion at work with a woman who defended her church's practice of ritual and sacrifice. "Where's the reality in it?" Emmie asked, and then added, "And doesn't the Bible tell us that Christ made for us "one sacrifice for sins forever?" (Hebrews 10:12).
My girls have been listening all these years! :) Seriously, they have come to these conclusions through their own walk with the Lord. It thrills me, of course, that they realize the Christian gospel offers to all the possibility and actuality of the living God as known in truth and reality. Ritualistic ceremony and sacrifice passed away when the Lord Jesus shed His blood as the fulfillment of the Old Testament foreshadowings that heralded our Savior's person and work. Thereafter, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26). God desires that we know Him where and as we are, in this and every moment, as opposed to our waiting until we find ourselves in a certain place, performing a rite that may actually distract us from the blessed reality of the Christ known in the now.
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Galatians 4:9-11).
"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father" (John 4:24).
Several years ago, a gentleman who heads up a large international ministry in our area approached me after hearing me speak on the subject of reality in Christ. "Glen, I agree with you about this truth, which especially applies to our work with false religions. I tell our people that the sharing of their testimony should not only address the time when we first came to know the Lord Jesus, but rather on what He is to us today, and in this moment. We have found that many will listen when we tell them that the true and living God desires to be personal and present in our actual experience."
This truth provides the basis of ministry to every person with whom we seek to communicate the Lord Jesus. The Christ we share is present in our relating to others. We serve, as did John the Baptist, as "the voice of One crying in the wilderness" (John 1:23). Moreover, Scripture privileges us to tell the citizens of that wilderness that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit desire to "come... and make our abode" with all who will trust in the Lord Jesus (John 14:23). Ritual? Why would we ever settle for such "weak and beggarly elements" when God offers to us the transcendent glory of His everpresent spiritual reality? Thank you, Marie and Emmie, for a blessed reminder from hearts so dear to me. And thank You most of all, Heavenly Father, for Your heart, as known and apprehended in the reality of "spirit and truth."
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
"The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth."
Weekly Memory Verse
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.