Pornography and Bean Soup

Hebrews 12:16-17 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

As I studied this passage, I saw a list of 6 things from verses 12-17 that I thought the writer of Hebrews wanted to warn me about when I was experiencing trials (Desire to quit, disunity with others, lack of concern for other’s salvation, bitterness, sexual immorality, and godlessness). Of that list, “sexually immoral” and “unholy” were the last two. What I didn’t see at first was that the word “or” was not drawing a distinction between those two words, but was actually a “related alternative.”

Sorry. I nerded out for a second.

In other words, the writer of Hebrews thinks sexual immorality has a relation to the story of Esau.

What was the story of Esau and the birthright?

Genesis 25:29-34 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Esau and his Birthright – This is the story of a fool who traded great wealth and blessing for a bowl of soup (not even good soup!). This is the story of a man who traded lasting, full satisfaction for immediate gratification. This is the story of a man who “despised his birthright.” Esau allowed his desires to dominate him. He lost the sense of the importance of his birthright. His body overwhelmingly told him that his birthright was not nearly as important at that moment as the satisfaction of a full stomach. The scales of his heart were tilted toward the immediate, and the rest of his life he would pay for that terrible miscalculation.

Sexual Immorality – It is the story of a fool who trades great wealth and blessing for eye candy. It is the story of a person who trades lasting full satisfaction for immediate gratification. It is the story of a man who “despises” his spiritual birthright. It is the story of someone who allows his desires to dominate him. He loses the sense of the importance of his spiritual birthright. His body overwhelmingly tells him that his birthright was not nearly as important at that moment as the satisfaction of sexual gratification. The scales of his heart are tilted toward the immediate, and the rest of his life he pays for that terrible miscalculation.

Hebrews says that Esau wanted to “repent” of his decision to sell his birthright. He might have regretted his actions, but he regretted the consequences of his actions more. He wanted to repent of the consequences. He cried, but his tears could not change anything.

How can we guard ourselves from sin? How can we seek forgiveness? The answer is the same.

Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

1. Draw near to God. In the presence of God, darkness flees. He dwells in magnificent light. Darkness cannot live there. Although we are not worthy, we can go confidently by the blood and body of Jesus Christ, who was torn, beaten, and drained for our sins. His sacrifice on our account is perfectly accepted by the Father, and through his stripes, we are healed and cleansed from our sins. Jesus Christ is the perfect mediator between us and the Father, assuring that, as we draw near, we will not face his wrath, but instead his love.

Our consciences are purified by remembering the story of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Our consciences will never feel pure if we feel like we must atone for our own wrongdoing, or heap enough good actions to bury our guilt and shame in the bottom of our hearts. “Not because of who I am, but because of what you’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.” We must believe, not in ourselves, but in the one who makes us righteous. He is faithful. He is worthy of our trust. He has done it all for us.

2. Draw near to one another. Church Community is so important to our growth for many reasons: 1) We need to hear someone else telling us the truth of the gospel 2) We need to hear someone else saying they struggle with what do, to give us hope 3) We need to connect with people who have walked ahead of us and can show us the way 4) There is power when a group of people gather around eternal principles, rather than temporal pleasures 5) Darkness runs from light. The more light we shine on our lives with others (transparency), the less darkness will be able to have control over us.

Your birthright includes adoption as a child of God, a loving relationship with the God of the universe, the inheritance of eternity, lasting peace and joy, and, most importantly, life. Jesus Christ purchased your birthright with his blood. It was costly, difficult to obtain, and given to you freely.

Don’t sell your birthright for a bowl of beans.

How Loyalty Promotes Intimacy

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and unashamed.

In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked and confident with one another. This nakedness and confidence extended beyond the physical to the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. In the verses immediately after these, Adam and Eve both sinned against God by disobeying his only command to them. That disobedience had effects on their openness and confidence with one another.

Genesis 2:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 

What changed? Why did they suddenly feel the need to cover themselves up? Why didn’t they feel open and confident with one another anymore?

It does not state that they suddenly became ugly. Their confidence in nakedness could not be because of the quality of their bodies. After they sinned, I think there are three reasons that they felt ashamed and wanted to cover themselves.

  1. Because they felt guilt and shame for the first time in their relationship with God and felt the anxiety of their relationship with Him being in peril.
  2. Because guilt and shame about sin always causes us to be less open, less transparent, and less intimate with one another.
  3. Because they did not feel safe with the other person anymore due to the other’s sin. Adam could not trust Eve to love him perfectly because she acted selfishly, which made him want to build walls to protect himself.

God actually affirms their need for clothing. Rather than demanding that they take their clothes off and return to their state of innocence, God killed an animal and used its skin to make them clothing to cover their shame.

How God’s Loyal Love Frees us to be Confident and Open with Him

Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. 

The truth is that we are all naked to God, physically and in every other way. God knows the deep, most intimate secrets of our lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our inner thoughts, our most carnal desires, and who we are in our most secret moments. God is a Holy God, and our sin, especially our secret sin, is fully known to him. If our secret sins are shameful enough for us to keep us from being open with other sinful human beings, how much more ashamed should we be about our known sins to a Holy God. They are an embarrassment that not only causes emotional pain, but also indict us to judgment from an angry God.

We put on all kinds of “clothing” in order to cover the insecurity, shame, and guilt that we feel in front of a Holy God. We may try to cover our guilt and shame by doing good things like going to church, giving to charities, or “paying it forward.” In this way, we hope that we will feel less shame and somehow pay off our guilt before God. We also may try to cover our guilt and shame by sinking further into our sins, in some kind of hedonist frenzy. In this way, we at least try to numb our shame and guilt with pleasure. We also may try to completely disavow any knowledge of wrongdoing (1 John 1:8-10), denying any sense of morality and even denying the God who made us Psalm 42:1).

None of these options work. Whether we feel shame or not, and whether we admit guilt or not, the truth is that we are completely naked and known before God. To recount, a 1) Perfectly Holy God 2) sees all of our most shameful sins 3) and will punish us justly and fully for all of our sins. Oh, 4) and there is nothing we can do to hide, cover, or avoid that punishment.

Many people have the mistaken notion that the Bible teaches how to be good and how good makes up for bad that we have done. THAT IS NOT THE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE. The gospel tells us that we are far more shameful and guilty that we could ever know or feel, but that God made a way for us to be forgiven and loved.

The Son of God came to earth as a man in order to die on a cross and come back to life three days later. In his death, he took all of our shame, guilt, sins, and punishment on himself. If we believe trust in his sacrifice, we can be completely forgiven for all of our sins, even our most shameful sins. Through his death, we do not have to fear his punishment.

The gospel teaches us that God completely knows every part of us, but still offers free forgiveness. We are complete exposed to God, but, rather than being ashamed at our sin and guilt, we can be confident that he loves and accepts us. If we believe in Christ, we cannot lose that position of confidence before God. We are adopted into his family once-and-for-all. He will never love and accept us more, and he will never love and accept us less. That is good news for those of us who struggle with shame and insecurity.

Hebrews 10:22-23 Let us draw near with a true in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience … Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 

How Our Loyal Love Frees us to be Confident and Open with One Another

God loves us with an amazing love that can never change! If we could lose his love by sinning today, then we would not have confidence before him, but rather we would live in a constant state of fear and anxiety.

This is why loyalty is necessary for any relationship, and especially in marriage. If I am worried that my wife might leave me if I mess up, then I can never have confidence in our relationship and never be completely open with her. If our relationship is based on performance, then we will never feel acceptance and love, and our marriage will not make it.

However, if the foundation of our relationship is loyalty, then I am free to pursue her good, not out of fear, but out of genuine interest in what would be best for her. A loyal relationship binds two people together so that petty arguments–or even large arguments–do not threaten to destroy the relationship, because performance doesn’t define the relationship. In a loyal relationship, two people are free to be completely naked with one another without shame and fear.

Application

How can you pursue loyalty in your relationships?

  • Affirm your commitment to other person through words of loyalty, hugs, sacrifices for them, and gifts.
  • In the middle of an argument, remind yourself and them that you remain loyally committed to them and the argument cannot do anything to change that. In fact, one of the fastest ways to reconciliation is to perform an act of loyal love for the other person while still in a fight. This can be a word, a gift, physical affection, or in an act of sacrifice for them.
  • In a marriage relationship, delete “divorce” and “break” from your vocabulary.

Let’s allow God’s loyal love to fill our lives and cause us to be confident before him. Then, let’s take that love and bend it outward in our relationships with others, and especially with our spouse.

Note: This blog is a general rule about the benefits that loyalty can have on a relationship, but there are exceptions to this rule. In cases of abuse, abandonment, and total apathy within a relationship, other steps may need to be taken to protect, challenge, and correct those who are involved. Because these exceptions are complicated, this blog has not tried to discuss what to do in these situations. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us

How to Start Your New Family: Part 3

Many relationships have committed to a marriage covenant and have agreed to make the new family primary over all of our other family relationships, but how do we actually begin the process of weaving a life together? This third post we will focus on the third part of our key verse, “and they shall become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

One Flesh: By ourselves we are just a ball of yarn, but with our spouse we are a beautiful tapestry. To “Weave” two lives into one is to weave two different color threads into one tapestry.

This includes-but-is-not-limited-to joint bank accounts, synced calendars, shared vehicles, unmarked cartons of milk in the fridge, parenting style, vacation plans, investments (no prenups!), church attendance, future plans, future goals, and much more!

I love real Christmas trees. Every year, my dad would take our family out to a tree farm (or sometimes the woods!) and we would go looking for the perfect tree. Sometimes, the process took hours (as I remember it), but my dad always found a perfectly tapered, full, well-sized tree for our Christmas traditions. Each kid was given a turn to use a rusty old saw (which I still use) to cut down that year’s Perrott Christmas tree.

However, my wife did not value that tradition as much as I did. The sticky sap, dead needles, daily watering, and timely disposal of a real Christmas tree ruined her nostalgia. Each year, my wife and I had a disagreement about the Christmas Tree in early December. While I was probably a bit stubborn, my wife saw how important that tradition was to me and chose to weave my old family tradition into our new family tradition. My wife has been gracious enough to agree that, for now, our family tradition will include going to a tree farm to cut down a real tree! That was a sacrifice on her part in order to weave our two separate lives into one!

I met someone one time who was thinking of getting married. The only problem was that their fiancé of several years lived on the East Coast while they lived in Iowa, and they had no plans to move near to one another. This is not two lives woven into one. This is two separate lives remaining separate but gaining tax advantages.

The “roommate syndrome” can be just as bad as two people in different states. This is where both spouses become so busy with their own lives and goals that the only thing they share is a house, and maybe a favorite TV show.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

When two spouses are truly united together in life, they are nearly unbreakable. They can face financial difficulties, deaths in the family, moves, job loss, sickness, and anything else without breaking. However, when one partner starts to pull away and become independent, both the marriage and the spouses are vulnerable. We need to work at union with our spouse in every area of our life–not being needy, but mutual dependent–so that, when difficult times attack us, we can overcome them together

One Flesh: To “Receive” has the idea of gently and graciously accepting the other person just as they are (this does not mean that we accept their sin, but it means that we love them while helping them to overcome their sin). This is intimacy or “into-me-see.” The next verse, Genesis 2:25, comments that Adam and Eve were both “naked and unashamed.” I don’t think this is something that is merely physical. I think that Adam and Eve were able to be completely emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually naked and unashamed with one another. They each accepted one another graciously, and they each were completely intimate with one another.

This kind of intimacy cannot be found in a relationship where one person is thinking about leaving. This intimacy can only be found in a relationship that is glued together. The foundation of “receiving” one another is “holding fast” to one another. In other words, in order for two people to experience this level of intimacy and acceptance, both spouses must be all-in on the relationship.

How can you practically “receive” one another?

  • We must risk transparency. Some have been hurt or damaged by others, but everyone can experience the intimacy that they long for in a faithful, committed relationship with someone else.
  • We must respond to one another gently and gracious. This is especially when the other person is opening up to you, because this affirms that you are a safe person to whom that they can open up.
  • We must restore one another humbly and freely. We will wrong one another, but we need to forgive and ask forgiveness freely. This means no strings attached—just as warm, willing, free forgiveness to our spouse.

Sex within a marriage commitment is a beautiful and wonderful thing. As both spouses love each other graciously and risk transparency, they become one flesh. This is a beautiful and good thing as long as there is no risk of hurt or unfaithfulness. Sex becomes an insecure and fearful thing when there is a risk of hurt or unfaithfulness. This is why marriage is necessary for sex: not because God likes to keep us from fun, but because God wants us to enjoy secure, transparent, loving intimacy, rather than risk-filled, selfish, insecure transparency. God’s command to keep sex within marriage is a kind command for our good.

The Gospel and One Flesh

There is only One who completely sees everything about us.

Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. 

We can try to fake who we are to God, but he knows the truth. We can try to hide our sins and cover them up with good works, but he knows every dirty secret about us. Every sin is an insult to God’s goodness and holiness. Every sin makes us an enemy of god. Our exposure to him is a dangerous thing:

Hebrews 12:29 Our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God

God’s Word does not tell us to cover our sins away from God’s sight through good works. The gospel tells us that although God sees us exactly how we are, he is willing to forgive our sins and accept us.

Romans 3:20, 23-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

The consuming fire of God’s wrath for our sin was poured out on Jesus Christ so that we could be forgiven. Anyone who trusts in God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ does not have to fear exposure to God. Instead of fear, we can have confidence before God and draw near to him, knowing that he has forgiven us and loves us.

Hebrews 4:16 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.

A Rest for the People of God

Do you ever feel like your life is a whirlwind of activity that never stops and never slows down? You aren’t alone. Many studies have come out that indicate Americans are busier than ever with work hours, household chores, kid’s activities, family responsibilities, volunteering opportunities, and more.

And yet, there are other studies that indicate that Americans aren’t actually as busy as they think they are. These studies suggest that the same people who feel too busy also enjoy hours of TV each day. So what’s the truth? I think the issue comes down to the fact that many Americans do not know how to rest well, and therefore feel more tired, more stressed, and more busy. The time they do have off does not become a re-energizing time, but rather becomes fleeting opportunities for distraction. Rather than pursuing relaxing activities that refresh their mind, heart, body, and soul, they seek cheap thrills by watching a TV.

When I was recently evaluating my own leisure time, I came across a passage that profoundly shaped my view of rest. Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” This passage is packed with so much gospel truth. Let’s take it chronologically.

God’s Rest

“For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” (4:4)

Though God did not need rest, he established a precedent that still lingers today. Our calenders follow various astronomical events as a way to keep time. Years represent the amount of time it takes for us to orbit the sun. Months represent the lunar cycle. Days represent the time it takes for the earth to rotate. But what about weeks? We have no event that correlates to a seven day group, other than the example that God set for us. Through this, he was  teaching us the value of rest for our physical body, but he was also teaching us a deeper spiritual truth.

Sabbath Rest

“So then there remains a Sabbath rest …”

The law records that we are to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” in Exodus 20:8. Here, God not only sets an example for us, but also gives us a command to set the seventh day apart for rest. The Israelites were not to do any work on the seventh day. The Old Testament is jam-packed full of illustrations of greater spiritual truths, and the Sabbath command is no exception.

Gospel Rest

” … for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”

The word “works” takes on an intentional double meaning in this passage. In the preceding verses, “works” is used many times, but they refer to God’s works in the creation of the universe. However, later in this book, “works” is used about mankind three times. Twice, it is an exhortation to repent from “dead works” and believe in Christ’s salvation. Our dead works are vain attempts to keep God’s law and earn his rest. This means that God, from the creation of the world, set up a weekly example of gospel truth for us to remember. Just as we must take a break from our work in order to rest each week, we also must turn from our works in order to enter God’s rest.

The gospel teaches us that we cannot earn God’s favor through being good. None of our works are good enough to find rest for our souls. Instead, because our works are sinful, God is just to be wrathful because of our dead works. The gospel teaches us that in order to be saved from that wrath, we must believe that Jesus Christ took our sin and dead works on the cross. There, he suffered under God’s just wrath for our sin. In exchange, we are given Jesus’ perfect life, so that as God looks at us, he sees Jesus’ righteousness. Jesus died on the cross and came back to life three days later. Because he lives, we know that we too will live and enter the final rest of heaven.

However, the author of Hebrews says, “has entered,” not “will enter.” This means that the people of God can have rest today that will be fully realized one day in heaven. Through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from our dead works, we have Jesus’ rest today. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So what? These are great theological and philosophical truths to consider, but how does this impact our life? Here are a few practical steps that could promote gospel-centered rest in your home.

  1. Separate one day each week for you and your family. Do not allow work, extra-curricular activities, or anything else to creep into this day.
  2. Avoid TV or screen-related activities. Those things are not necessarily bad amusements. However, the goal is not to just amuse (literally means no thinking), but the goal is to rest. Amusement and rest are not the same thing.
  3. Spend extra time on this day resting. Find something that refreshes your soul. It could be fishing, or playing a sport, or doing a hobby, or anything else. Figure out your rest, and do it.
  4. While you are enjoying your rest, project that joy into your spiritual life. Understand that whatever rest you have in fishing (or whatever), you have a much great rest in Jesus Christ. Consider the gospel. Consider how frantically you would be trying to do good works without Christ, but how all your works would mean nothing. Meditate on the joy that you do not have to work for your salvation, but you can simply rest in Christ’s work on your behalf. Thank God for the rest that you have in your soul because of Christ.
  5. Spend time with people who you love and who loves you. There are many introvert-extrovert analyses out there, and there may be some truth to them, but everyone needs to be in a loving relationship. Both giving love and getting love refreshes and rests the soul.
    1. Dads, spend extra time with your kids and your wife. This may involve putting off chores, projects, and watching the game.
    2. Moms, spend extra time with your kids and your husband. This may involve putting off chores, projects, and watching your favorite TV show.
    3. Teens, spend time talking and enjoying your family. Don’t stay up too late the night before. Turn off your phones, iPods, iPads, computers, TVs, and video games.
    4. Kids, play with your mom and dad.
    5. Friends, get together. Laugh hard. Talk long. Enjoy silence. Do friend things.
    6. Christians, pray for one another and with one another. Share burdens. Be transparent. Get personal.
  6. Spend extra time in prayer and Bible reading. No one has ever been unrested after they did.

The danger of “do’s” after a blog on rest is pretty obvious. If you pursue these things out of obligation, you will not find rest for your soul. Embrace Jesus Christ and his works on your behalf. Start small and do them out of a desire to understand God’s rest even better.

I’ll close with the next words in the book Hebrews. These words challenge us to examine our hearts to see if we have really found rest in Jesus.

“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 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..” Hebrews 4:11-13

Confidence

Hebrews 10:19-22 “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with out hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

How does the gospel help me today?

That is the question that we have to ask ourselves every day. So often I find myself struggling with confidence. Some people are rocks, constantly moving forward towards their objective. Not me. I struggle with confidence every day, and especially when I am exhausted. I lack confidence in my abilities, in my relationships, in my purpose, and in my circumstances.

There are generally two ways that people deal with their lack of confidence: they sulk or they become prideful. Both the person who sulks and the person who is proud have a basic insecurity and lack of confidence, but they try to cope with that insecurity in two opposite ways.

The only thing that can help me when I lack confidence is remembering my security in Jesus Christ.

Often, Biblical authors start with the reasons why you should do something, and then they tell us to it. The same is true of this passage. We are told to “draw near with a true heart with full assurance of faith, with out hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

The first step is to draw near to God. In James 4:8, we are promised that if we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. Insecurity and a lack of confidence have a way of pushing us far from God, but God invites us to draw near to him. How? We are not able to draw near to God through our abilities or goodness with confidence, because my abilities are imperfect and my goodness is flawed. We can only come close to God with confidence through Jesus Christ.

Full assurance in Christ’s righteousness does not just happen. We must struggle to rest. We have to remind ourselves of the gospel truth that we are fully accepted by God through Christ, that God loves us absolutely, and that our relationship with him will never change.

Secondly, we are told to be cleansed. How can we draw near to God without confessing our sin? We cannot hug our sin and God at the same time. It is one or the other. Drop your sin and turn from it. Confess your filthy heart and actions to God, and he will forgive you (1 John 1:9).

Why should we confess our sins and draw near to God? Because God has opened a way for us to have confidence before him. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God.”

We can come close to the Heavenly Father who loves us through the blood of the Jesus Christ. This is not an old, dead way to try to have confidence, like trusting in my abilities or goodness. This is a new and living way, through a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus not only is our sacrifice, but he is a priest who perfectly understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-16) and can minister to them through his salvation.

When I struggle with insecurities and a lack of confidence, I must battle to remind myself of the confidence I have to draw near to my Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. As I come to him, I can rest with full assurance that I am completely loved and accepted because Christ has earned my position near God through his sacrifice on the cross.

Join the battle to rest fully assured of your position near God, not because of your abilities or goodness, but because of Christ’s great salvation for you.