Focal passage: Hebrews 10:19-36
The audience addressed in the letter to the Hebrews would be very familiar with the story of Aaron’s two sons who came to present “unauthorized fire before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1).
“So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:2). For the writer of Hebrews to say, “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place” was a powerful statement.
I believe we have lost much of our sense of awe about God. Because we have reduced God into something far less than He is, we seldom think, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Our confidence to approach God must not come at the expense of His majesty and awesomeness.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place (Psalm 24:3)? The passage for this week answers that question for us.
Those with a sincere heart — A friend pointed out to me the origin of the word “sincere.” The Latin root words mean, “without wax.”
Imperfect vessels were patched with wax, then glazed to cover the gaps and cracks in the surface. Vessels that had no imperfections were called sincere, meaning they needed no wax to prevent leaking. A sincere heart is a heart that is perfectly formed and shaped by the potter’s hands.
God tells us that He will give us a new heart and a new and right spirit. These gifts come from our faith in Jesus as the atonement for our sins.
Those in a caring community — Imagine a person in an office building suddenly becoming aware of a commotion out on the street. As she looks out her window she can tell that the people below are watching something in the sky.
From her location in the building she cannot tell what is causing all the excitement, but she knows there is something because the others see it. In those times when we get in a place where we cannot see God, we need to know there are others who still see His face and feel His presence.
Those who walk with God — You cannot walk on paths that lead to sin and still claim to follow Christ. There is a difference between those who stumble on occasion and those who “deliberately keep on sinning.”
An elderly woman was fond of saying, “It is no sin to have head lice. It is a sin to keep them.”