Monday, February 22, 2021

Draw Near

 I love our Sunday night men’s Bible studies at the First Baptist Church! There’s a bond of friendship and fellowship that develops quickly when men get together to sharpen one another in the faith like iron sharpens iron.

Guys, if you need a place of connection, a group of men who will encourage you and help you grow, there’s room at the table for you. Give me a call at 217-632-2488 and I’ll give you more details. And I’m not talking about a self-righteous, holier-than-thou lecture hall style meeting, but an authentic gathering of men seeking to be more faithful to our God.

Ladies, we have some great options for women’s studies, as well, and I’d be delighted to help get you connected if you’re interested. 

Our men’s group has been learning from a video teaching series by Dr. Tony Evans called “The Power of Jesus’ Names.” This past week Dr. Evans reflected on two names by which Jesus is revealed: Our Great High Priest and the Lamb of God. 

I have to confess that I while I rely humbly and gratefully upon His role as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29), the description of Jesus as the Great High Priest is one I need to better take to heart. 

Of His permanent priesthood, the author of Hebrews writes, “Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). 

Is that not a mighty word of grace? This High Priest – the one Mediator between God and man, God incarnate, Christ Jesus – has all power and authority to secure the salvation of His people, and He ever-lives to intercede for the saints according to the will of God! I mean, if that doesn’t give you confident assurance in both the strength you need to make it day by day as well as the promised hope for eternal life in Christ, then I don’t know what will! 

Of course, if you’re not a believer then you do not have access to this promise nor the assurance of heaven. And so I would plead with you to draw near to Jesus by His grace through faith now, before it’s too late! 

Tony Evans gives this encouraging word from this study: “Jesus can sympathize. He understands. He feels what you feel. That’s why He has so much compassion. And you and I can access that sympathy and compassion by drawing near to the throne of grace, where we receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. 

“But we must take steps to draw near. We must move forward in confidence. If you have a long-distance relationship with Jesus, your Great High Priest, you will never get to witness His priesthood working on your behalf. If you are only a Sunday-morning Christian, you will never experience His priesthood helping you in your times of need. In order to see God intervene in your situations, you need to confidently approach Him through the relationship you have with Jesus, the Great High Priest. You’ve got to draw near.” 

Seriously, men, you know you need this. Let’s draw near together.

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