Approaching His Throne

Day 1:  Our view of authority

Praise:  Before or after the devotion, please take time to praise God for the things He’s doing in your life and the opportunity you have to engage with the weak, sick, injured, strayed and lost.

Pray:  Remember to pray and ask God to open your heart and eyes to His work.  Rejoice in His provision for you and the opportunities we have to build His Kingdom.  Ask God to guide you to and through those opportunities.

Read:  Hebrews 4:14-16

How do you view/regard/react to authority?  I’m sure, as a congregation, we’re all over the map on this one.  My perspective on this has changed a bunch over the course of my life.  As I’ve mentioned before in these devotions, I was blessed and fortunate to have grown up in a great family.  Authority wasn’t something I really recognized.  My Dad was my Dad.  My Mom was my Mom.  If they asked or told us (I’m the oldest of 5) to do something, we did it (for the most part…).  If we didn’t, there were consequences.  When I left home for college and subsequently military service, let’s just say my view on authority developed, then changed, then deepened, and started to become something I attempted to turn into practices of my own leadership.
But how does this translate to the authority of God?  As I learned more about leadership, from the beginning of my education on such, the element of love did not seem to me to be an integral part of being a good leader.  A good leader needed to be tactically sound, physically fit, and never subject subordinates to something that he or she was not willing to endure.  But where does love fit in?  I didn’t realize it at the time, but love is a huge part of being a leader.  Willingness to put others before self is a critical trait of leadership.  What it has taken me a long time to learn, however, is, “Who has done that to a greater degree than God?”  Have any of us willingly endured the sacrifice of our son to atone for the sins of anyone, let alone the whole world?  God sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay a price that He would never ask us to pay.  What higher measure of love is there?  What better example of true selfless leadership is there anywhere?  
We simply will not find a better example than God.  Why?  Because He’s supernatural.  By definition, then, He is greater than ANY CREATED THING!  So, the message is that we can take solace in the deep and genuine LOVE that our Heavenly Father has for us.

Please give that some serious thought and see if it doesn’t change your perspective, not only on authority, but also on how much God loves you.  He really does.



  
Day 2:  A personal view

Praise:  Before or after the devotion, please take time to praise God for the things He’s doing in your life and the opportunity you have to engage with the weak, sick, injured, strayed and lost.

Pray:  Remember to pray and ask God to open your heart and eyes to His work.  Rejoice in His provision for you and the opportunities we have to build His Kingdom.  Ask God to guide you to and through those opportunities.

Read:  Philippians 4:6-7

One of the things I’m working on lately is to take deliberate action to give God the priority in my life that He deserves.  That may sound trite, but I have found that, if I look critically at the way I live my life, I have many idols.  There are many times that my convenience, my family, my job, my schedule will come before God.  I’m starting to realize, though, that God is bigger than all of these things!  It is easy to say that I believe this, but really grasping that my God, the Creator of the universe, loves ME like the child of His that I am, takes effort.  But it is absolutely amazing!

Give that a bit of thought…

Let it really sink in that, as my wife mentioned from a post that she read lately, “The same God who created the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, thought specifically that one of me (and you too!) was important enough to create also.”
So, how “big” is God to you?  Is He really supernatural?  That’s tough to get through my mind, but if He really did create the universe, why do I think that anything that causes me stress would even cause God to have a second thought?  I’ve been working on keeping “how big my God is…” more in the forefront of my thinking and my daily life.  Thus, when I begin to worry, I have been putting deliberate effort (and my wife is helping too – because she knows this is an area on which I’m focusing in my Christian walk) into praying instead of continuing to worry.
And it works.  But just like the Word says, “…His mercies begin afresh each morning…” (Lam 3:23), so, unfortunately, does our doubt (well, maybe yours doesn’t, but mine does…).  So, instead of beginning the day and letting worry set in, I choose to begin the day praying to my Heavenly Father.  He created the universe and us too; He can handle it.  Let His peace then “…guard your heart and mind…” (Phil 4:7).







Day 3:  Changing my path

Praise:  Before or after the devotion, please take time to praise God for the things He’s doing in your life and the opportunity you have to engage with the weak, sick, injured, strayed and lost.

Pray:  Remember to pray and ask God to open your heart and eyes to His work.  Rejoice in His provision for you and the opportunities we have to build His Kingdom.  Ask God to guide you to and through those opportunities.

Read:  Ps 125

I’m a fan of this psalm.  I can’t say that I’ve read it often, but I’m a fan now.  During my life, I chose to measure myself (success, progress, effectiveness, professionalism, etc.) by many different things:  parents, friends, classmates, teammates, colleagues, military service members, etc.  I wish I’d understood it more clearly as I was going through those phases of my life, but my measuring system was terribly flawed!  The world is imperfect, flawed, broken, etc.  So, if I was measuring myself against things of this world, how can it be anything other than flawed also?  I wish I’d known to turn to the Word and this scripture.  
Trust, security, protection, justice.  These are the promises of this scripture and of God for us.  This is the change that I’m working to apply in my life and I invite you to choose to do the same.  Rely on God.  Take His Word to heart.  Consider the change in each of our lives if we start to truly take God at His Word!




Day 4:

Praise:  Before or after the devotion, please take time to praise God for the things He’s doing in your life and the opportunity you have to engage with the weak, sick, injured, strayed and lost.

Pray:  Remember to pray and ask God to open your heart and eyes to His work.  Rejoice in His provision for you and the opportunities we have to build His Kingdom.  Ask God to guide you to and through those opportunities.

Read: Hebrews 4:14-16

Imagine for one second that you have entered into the Throne Room of God.  The majesty is breathtaking and the awe you feel is overwhelming.  Can you get that feeling?  There is a weight of respect, wonder, and fear that sweeps over you.  Let that all sink in as you gaze across that expanse of this room and imagine the throne off in the distance.   Looking out across the room, you see many people from a variety of different backgrounds and levels of faith before you.  Some are just starting out and seem as shy as you feel.  Others seem to be comfortable in their presence in this room.  
Where do you go at this moment?  If you are like me, in an uncomfortable situation like this, I tend to hang in the background and stay out of the way.  Some feel the need to make themselves relevant or known by making jokes or lightening the mood around them.  Imagine seeing the throne before you and just feeling drawn to it.  Do you go closer?  Do you wait for an invitation?  What if you step too far forward and show off too much bringing too much attention to yourself?  
In this passage, we see that in this image that we just painted in our heads, we are being beckoned forward, seemingly being invited to approach the throne.  Not a couple of steps forward, but a continuous movement forward.  To be “always drawing nearer” as the original language calls us.  You are invited and the scepter has been extended and now, you can with confidence, not shy reserve or held back concern, approach His throne and bring your requests before Him!

How do you struggle in seeing this idea?

What makes you stay back as you imagine this scene played out in your mind?


Day 5:

Praise:  Before or after the devotion, please take time to praise God for the things He’s doing in your life and the opportunity you have to engage with the weak, sick, injured, strayed and lost.

Pray:  Remember to pray and ask God to open your heart and eyes to His work.  Rejoice in His provision for you and the opportunities we have to build His Kingdom.  Ask God to guide you to and through those opportunities.

Read: Hebrews 4:11-13

As we have gone through the book of Hebrews in this study, I am certain that many of us have wrestled with some deep thoughts in trying to understand all of this.  I know I have, for sure!  It is important that we remember that God’s word changes us, not that we change God’s word for us.  As you have wrestled through Hebrews, how does your thought of what verse 12 means changed in this study?
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