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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Boldness to Enter




John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The priests in the temple were quietly, reverently going about their duties in the temple that day. There was a high Sabbath, the Passover, the very next day, and preparations were being made for the holy celebration of the Jews' deliverance from Egypt. Perfect lambs would have their blood shed and poured out for the sins of others. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs would fill the mouths of devout Jews all over Jerusalem, the very next day.

None of the people could come into God's presence freely, to pour out their hearts in praise and worship, because the way was not yet made into that Holy of Holies. A thick, impenetrable curtain hung in the temple, a visible, tangible separation between the sons of men and the holy presence of God. 

Until that day. As the priests prepared the altar for the lambs of sacrifice the next day, just outside the city, God's Perfect Lamb was being killed. As the bitter herbs were gathered, the Messiah was tasting the bitterness of death. As the unleavened bread was to be broken, the Living Bread himself was being broken and His blood poured out for the sins of the entire world. 

So few realized how holy, how perfect, how just was the sacrifice happening on this day! To the spectators standing by, it was either a day of great joy that the man who had caused so much chaos was finally gone; or a day of deepest grief that the Saviour was being crucified. I wonder if any person watching the crucifixion of our Lord realized that the way was being paved, the door to the very presence of Almighty God was being torn open by the death of the One on the middle cross!

In the dim silence of the temple, the earth began to shake. Faint tremors at first, but building, growing, until it seemed as if the very skies themselves must be falling, crushing the fragile world to pieces. 

The temple was no longer silent. The roar of the earth, crying out at the death of its Creator, echoed through the massive halls. Pottery shattered, metal instruments and vessels clashed to the floor, and priests and worshippers alike scrambled for cover from falling dust and rubble.

And then, as the precious Lamb took His last breath, it happened.

The veil, the wall that none dared to touch or pass--even the high priest could be struck dead on the one day a year he entered into it--tore apart from top to bottom. Can you imagine the sound it must have made as the separation between man and God's holy presence was ripped in two? Historical records indicate that the veil was at least 4 inches thick, woven of thick, strong materials, and so heavy it took 300 men to move it. This in itself is an amazing thing--it could not have been torn simply from the earthquake. It was the hand of God, removing the barrier and opening the way to His throne because of the sacrificial death of His only Son. It is so powerful to hear of this act of God...It demonstrates so clearly that the work of salvation truly was complete. When Christ said, "It is Finished", it was. Forever.

Praise God that we no longer need to live under the bondage of the law, offering sacrifices for sin day by day! I am so thankful that I can now come boldly before the throne of grace! I can talk to God any time of day, wherever I am, with the knowledge that through Christ, I am enabled to do so. What a wonderful God we serve!
Mykaela

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Mind Stayed on Jehovah


Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

These verses are fairly well known, so much so that I feel we tend to overlook them sometimes. Just because a verse is embedded in your mind does not diminish its power! 

One important thing I have noticed recently is the word "mind" in verse 3. 

Who will The Lord keep in perfect peace and give everlasting strength to? The one whose mind is stayed on Him. The man or woman who chooses to make their thoughts be focused on the things of God instead of the world. The one who has temptation come knocking and turns from it with the knowledge that to succumb would be to grieve the heart of a holy God. The one who keeps their thoughts from straying to places they should not go. 

When all is said and done, where does every sin start? In the mind. You can't steal something before you think about stealing something. You can't lie without creating the lie in your mind first. You can't become bitter and angry at someone unless you first thought over your perceived wrongs from them and chose not to deal properly with the anger. 

When your mind is stayed and fixed on the Most High, low thoughts have no place. When you are focused on the Holiest of the Holy, unholy thoughts can't enter. When you are trusting the One whose perfect compassion and love redeemed you from eternal death, how can hateful or unloving thoughts take root? 

To the one whose mind is stayed on God, there is promised perfect peace. Freedom from turmoil and unrest. A place of refuge under the shadow of His mighty wings. There is also promised everlasting strength. Strength to fight against the temptation that pounds in from all sides. Strength to stand when others are falling into sin. Strength to walk in His footsteps even when the path becomes rough and jagged. 

It takes faith and purpose of heart to keep our minds stayed on Jehovah. It's not something that will happen in one instant. But how worthwhile it is when more and more of our time is spent meditating on the things of God and on His Word, instead of filling our minds with the things of earth! How precious it is when the love of Christ begins to overshadow the temptations that come, giving us strength to endure and resist them! Is it not worth the effort? If we love Him, we should be keeping His commandments, and they are not grievous! 

This week, I want to focus my heart and mind on the King who saved me, turning away from the chaos of a wicked world. I want to fight in the strength of The Lord against the temptation that will come. I want to reach out to the lost around me with love, knowing that in Christ lies the peace that they seek.

Will you join me?
Mykaela