Friday, September 2, 2011

Approaching God’s Throne with Confidence

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A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV1984)
Let us then approach the throne
of grace with confidence, 

so that we may receive mercy 
and find grace to help us
in our time of need.

I guess it is hard to have a relationship with the Lord if you can’t approach his throne of grace with confidence. I meet a lot of believers, who love the Lord, go to church and read their bible but lack confidence in their relationship with the Lord. For some they feel guilty for their less than perfect lives. Others struggle with spiritual self-esteem and feel like they are unimportant or unworthy to go to Gods throne room. Yet we are told in this verse to approach the throne of grace with confidence.
For some of you this is easy because you have fully accepted what Jesus has done on your behalf and realize it has nothing to do with personal merit. It has everything to do with Jesus.

God is both loving and just and he won’t fudge on either one. In His great love He made a way to satisfy both. In his love He sent Jesus to satisfy justice. Jesus steps in and takes on the
punishment we deserve. Ephesians 2:4-10 pretty much sums it up. 
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It is really important that you get this, otherwise you will spend your days trying to measure up as a Christian. You will think, "I don’t pray enough, I’m not kind enough, I don’t read my bible enough. I’m a failure as a Christian, I don’t know why God even puts up with me".   It is not about how good or bad you are. Your very best is filthy rags, compared to the holiness of God.  Grab ahold of this truth! Jesus has done it all and because of what He has done, you can, and you should, approach the throne of grace with confidence. Go there and talk to your heavenly Father. Tell him about your day where you struggle and where you shined for His glory. He loves to be with you and in His presence you will find grace to help in your time of need.  I love 2 Peter 1:3 in the Contemporary English Version.
We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.
It has all been done for us. The enemy wants to keep you busy beating yourself up, because he knows as long as you feel like a pitiful lowly worm you will avoid God. Accept what has been done for you and begin to get to know God, not as the hard task master who is going to zap you for messing up. You might as well get over the image of the weak old man because God is all powerful and while we may deserve to be zapped for our sin He has made a way for us to return to Him. It is because of Jesus that we can boldly go before God and have our relationship with Him restored.  I will end with this passage from A Snoodle’s Tale - it is my favorite Veggi Tale and should be required viewing for Christians.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Snoodle's Tale is the 22nd episode in the VeggieTales animated series, released on November 2003 and May 2004 on both DVD and VHS formats. Subtitled "A Lesson in Self Worth", the episode focuses on teaching viewers that they are special in God's eyes, that they don't need to have extraordinary talents or resort to gimmicks to be worthy individuals.
“Are you saying that’s - me? I’d like to believe it, but, sir, I’m afraid to.”
“I know who you are,” ...He replied “for I made you.”
“I built the tower and set it in motion.
I planted the meadow - put fish in the ocean.
And I feed the finches, though most Snoodles doubt it,
Not one of them falls that I don’t know about it.”
“I’ve seen you fall down in the mud and the goo.
I’ve seen all you’ve done, and all you will do.
I gave you your pack, and your paints and your wings.
I chose them for you. They’re your special things.”
“The Snoodle-kazoo is so you can sing
About colors in Autumn or flowers in Spring.
I gave you your brushes in hopes that you’d see
How using them, you could make pictures for me.”
“Most of the Snoodles,” The old one said sadly,
“Just use their paints to make others feel badly.”

The young Snoodle pondered the things he’d been told.
Then wondering something, grew suddenly bold -
“But sir, if you made this incredible land,
Can’t you make Snoodles obey your command?”

The big one smiled warmly, then said to the small,
“A gift that’s demanded is no gift at all.”

With that the small Snoodle reached into his pack,
And pulled out the picture he’d made 10 miles back.
“They’re Far-lillies, sir, from over the bridge.”

The old one beamed bright and said,
“That’s for my fridge!”

I guess as an artist the idea of my art being on God's fridge makes me smile.
If you have not seen Veggi Tales in a while you might not remember how every episode ends-
but it is worth repeating.
"God made you special and He loves you very much"

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