Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works : Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:22-25
This verse tells me that I can, with full assurance, draw near to Him. My heart is sprinkled from an evil conscience, and my body washed with pure water, that precious blood of Christ! I do not need to waver with uncertainty. Instead, I can ‘provoke’ others to love and good works, and assemble together with other Christians, especially as I see the nearness of Christ’s return.
Do others make you feel condemned? Do they know the extent to which you’ve sinned? Is it hard to draw near to God, because you feel unworthy?
Please know that it is only God’s forgiveness that you need to be concerned with. He is the ultimate one who has the power to forgive, through His Son, Jesus.
When you accept what Jesus has done, you’ve been adopted by God, and are an heir with Christ. You are a brother or sister to the LORD, Himself. We are children of the Living God!
Others may have a problem forgiving, but God is willing.
There are so many stories that confirm this.
Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal left his father, and went into the world to experience wild living. When he became destitute, and found his friends had abandoned him, and he had nothing left, he returned to his father, thinking he would only be a servant. His father welcomed him with open, loving arms, and a heart full of joy because his son came home! The brother was not quite as happy, but his father rebuked him, and told him he should be happy, because he thought his son was dead, but he is alive!
There is the story of the woman who sat at the feet of Jesus. She was a woman of ill reputation. Others thought of her many sins, and wondered how Jesus could allow her to touch Him. He knew their thoughts, and told these people that she had been forgiven much, and that she loves much. They did not wash his feet, or welcome Him into their presence, but she continually showered her love towards Him.
Jesus told a story about two men who went to pray in a synagogue. The one had many sins, and could not even look to heaven, and the other did not feel he had sinned as much as this other man. The sinner beat his chest and cried out in anguish, and the other man only judged the poor sinner, and thanked God that he wasn’t like him. Jesus asked, “Who do you think went away forgiven?”
Jesus wanted us sinners to know we are forgiven, and that He accepts us, loves us, and He is over-joyed that we have come home to Him. He knows we are grieved about the things we’ve done. Jesus came for the destitute, the broken, and ones who needed Him — me!
Then, He gave us assurance that we could go to the Father, unafraid, and without condemnation.
Dear Lord, thank You for what You have done. There will always be people who make sinners, who have been forgiven by You, feel condemned. You say that when we believe on You, and have confessed our sins to You, that You forgive us and welcome us to be with You. We do not stay in our sins; we try to go and sin no more. However, at times when we fail, You are merciful. If our sins have brought us to the cross, then we do have confidence before the Father. We can know You are happy that we have come home to You. Help us to remember that confidence when others make us feel unworthy. In Your Name, Amen!