Confidence

Today there is a lot of talk about confidence.

How do we make sure our kids have self confidence?  How to improve your own self confidence?

Methods vary.  Some say to improve whatever you are lacking self confidence in.  Chasing perfection will only lead to exhaustion.  Some say to look in the mirror and say good things about yourself.  Saying good things about myself won’t change the things about me that are lacking and that do need work.

The other day one of my favorite chunks of scripture came up in my advent readings.  It speaks about confidence, a sympathetic Savior, the power of scripture, our exposure to God, and a throne of grace.

I typed it out how it looks in my notes and added my emphasis, questions, or ah-ha moments in italics.

Hebrews 4:12-16

Let us therefore strive to enter the rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

For the word of God is:

LIVING

ACTIVE

SHARPER than any two-edge sword,

PIERCING to the division of the soul and to the spirit

DISCERNING the thoughts and intentions of the heart

(The word of God is living, active, sharp, piercing, and discerning)

And no creature is hidden from his sight but all are

NAKED AND EXPOSED

to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

There is no need to even try to hide the one we are accountable to can already see everything.  Before him we are naked and exposed.  Just like Adam and Eve trying to use fig leaves that shrivel all our attempts will shrivel and die.

Since then we HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST

who has passed through the heavens

Jesus

the Son of God

The great high priest does not just exist but he is OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST, we have a great high priest.  Our priest is not a fallen human like during the time of the Israelites our high priest is Jesus himself…wow

let us hold fast our confession

For we do not have a high priest

who is unable to sympathize with our weakness

but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are

yet without sin.

This time of year this sinks in even more deeply.  When we focus on Jesus coming as a baby.  He did not come as a fully grown man able to care for himself but subjected himself to sinful parents.  He had to go through what we all do.  All the growing pains.  All the rejection.  All of the family strife.  He felt hunger.  He fully understands the human struggle.  He understand not because he knows all from high above but because he became fully human yet remained fully God.

Let us then

WITH CONFIDENCE

draw near to the throne of grace

that we may receive mercy and find grace

to help in time of need.

This last section of scripture…be still my heart… ‘Let us then with CONFIDENCE draw near to the throne of grace’…not in pride..not in self pity…not in despair…not in confidence of self..BUT IN CONFIDENCE OF THE HIGH PRIEST WHO WE ARE APPROACHING.  The high priest who sympathizes with us because he was veiled in flesh on Christmas day and for the rest of his life on earth. 

This Christmas we can marvel at the fact that we have access to not just a high priest but THE High Priest.  We can approach the throne of grace with confidence not in ourselves but in confidence in THE HIGH PRIEST. 

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