All-Access Pass

Photo credit here

S (Scripture):Hebrews 6: 13 When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. 14 He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants. 15 So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience. 16 People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. 17 When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. 18 So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. 19 This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

O (Observation):  God promises to Abraham that God will bring about many descendants from Abraham.  Abraham had little to do with this, other than to be patient and let God prove trustworthy.  Generation after generation are born, and we have proof of God making good on a pledge.  

Knowing that God makes good on pledges, this gives God’s people hope.   That hope includes access to what was known as the “inner sanctuary” of the temple.   This was the “holy of holies.”   This space was where only the high priests could be admitted.   And this was also where God was believed to be most fully present on earth during the times of Temple worship of God.  

And yet, in Jesus’ death and resurrection, the temple curtain was torn, and God made it known that ALL have access to God – Jesus being the first with full access to God.  Now, Jesus makes it possible for all of us to access God fully.  

A (Application):  When was the last time someone broke a promise to you?   When was the last time you broke a promise you made to someone else? 

“Yeah, I’ll be there.”   “Yeah, I can help you move.” “Yeah, I’m open that day.”

Unfortunately, as a parent, I break promises to my kids: “I’ll be there in a second,” “we can go to the playground after school,” “we will go out to see that movie.”
Whether for time or budgetary issues, I break promises, and that hurts me and my kids.   My pledges are not always kept.  I repent of that and wish to be wiser in my commitments.  

But thanks be to God that God makes good on God’s pledges to us all.  God continues to bless the world through Abraham’s descendants.  And in some amazing turn of events, we are seeing many different groups of folks blessing one another.  

The world isn’t perfect, but I can see some perfect things in the world:  the innocence in my 5 year old; people helping in response to natural disasters; my wife, as she begins working as an educational assistant for special education (and putting up with me on a full-time basis).  

Blessings abound, since we have full access to God, just as Jesus does.  God promises to make many descendants from Abraham.  God also promises to bless the world through Abraham.  

What blessings can you see?   How has God blessed you?   Or perhaps a better questions is this: How is God working through you to bless others?

P (Prayer):  Lord, help us to have hope in your pledge to be present in the world and to have access to your full presence.  Amen.  

Advertisements

An All-Access Pass

S (Scripture): John 2:13 Now the Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 He found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting at tables. 15 So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.”

18 So then the Jewish leaders responded, “What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?” 19 Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20 Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?” 21 But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.

O (Observation): Jesus was demanding that the structure set up for worship be overturned!   No animals for sacrifice?   How can one worship properly?  How can one be in the presence of God without a sacrifice?

Notice that Jesus isn’t so much upset with the money changers in this gospel.  He seems more concerned with the whole idea of sacrifices needed in order to be in God’s presence. 

Jesus challenges the leaders of the church to accept that Jesus himself IS God’s presence on earth!!!  He says to the Jewish leaders: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.”  The purpose of the Temple was for God’s presence to be made real on earth.  Now, Jesus will fulfill that purpose.  God is now accessible through the person of Jesus.  And once Jesus is ascended…access to God’s presence spans all time and space.  

(Of course, God has always been accessible… just not in our human understanding.) 

A (Application): I don’t think access to the Lord is an issue for us, is it?   I think most people today believe that we can all access God.  I think today’s trouble is that we don’t always see God in the world.  So…that drives us to places of worship, where we see God in bread and wine, water and Word.   

But the whole point of Jesus is to help people – right where they are – to know and to be God’s presence on earth.  In your place of work, at home, and also at church, we have access to God…because God is not limited to a building.  This is the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s promise that God’s Law would be on our lips and in our hearts.  

So…we do have access to God…right now…right where you are.  Seek God’s wisdom this day.  Let your actions reflect the access to God that you are blessed with. You are not going through this journey alone.  

When do you most fully feel like you have access to God?

P (Prayer): Lord, we thank you for giving us access to your Father.  We are so blessed!  Amen.