A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The phrase, “let us” is used 15 times in the book of Hebrews. It is meant as a command, not an invitation. This letter to Jewish Christians was largely about helping the people see their need to draw near to God. The writer saw that these new Christians were trying to make the Gospel of grace fit into the old way of the law. They were being persecuted and were close to abandoning their faith in Jesus altogether.
After worshipping a sometimes seemingly distant God for generations, the Jewish people had a hard time accepting grace. They didn’t fully understand the uniqueness of Jesus. We know that God was never distant from the people, even before Jesus, but through Jesus, we are now able to see how God walks and talks among us. Through the resurrection, we are able to see how Jesus remains with us.
God is always near, always calling us toward himself. But it is up to each of us to listen for God’s voice and look for God’s action. It is up to us to turn our hearts toward God. This drawing near is not a physical act. It is an invisible act of acceptance, love, submission, and humility. As the writer of Hebrews tells us, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.” Amen.
God, I sometimes struggle to believe you are with me. Forgive me for not noticing your presence. Please help me become more aware of the way you are working with me and for me. Show me the big and small ways you are guiding me, calling me, and providing for me. Give me the courage to proclaim your presence and live in gratitude for your constant grace. Thank you, Lord. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.