Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mistaken for Jesus


Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” – Mark 8:27-28

We often get mistaken for someone else, whether it’s a cousin, a sibling, or a total stranger.  But can you imagine being mistaken for Jesus?  Elijah was so much like Jesus that people thought Jesus was him.  In Mark 8 when Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” He found that many thought He was Elijah.  Note that it wasn’t personal appearance that they found to be like Elijah, for they had never seen Elijah, who died hundreds of years before.  It was Elijah’s reputation that they knew, and this was what they found to be like Jesus.

What was Elijah like?  In his own words in 1 Kings 19:10 & 14 he said “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts”.  To be zealous is to be devoted with passion and enthusiasm.  Elijah loved what God loved, and hated what God hated – idolatry and unbelief.  He served God passionately, even when his own life became hunted for His service to God.

On Mt. Carmel he faced off alone against 450 prophets of Baal in a challenge to show the power of God over Baal.  The 450 prophets killed a bull and put its body on an altar and prayed, shouted, prophesied, and even cut themselves to get their gods attention.  Elijah in his zeal for God mocked them saying “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 

Then when it was Elijah’s turn to sacrifice a bull, he made an altar of twelve stones, one for each tribe of Israel, the people God loved who had turned to Idolatry.  He named the altar Israel.  In 1 Kings 19:36-37, He prayed to God saying Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”  His motive was not to find fame among the people or to be proven right.  His motive wasn’t to show a magic act and amuse the people with God’s power.  His motive was to create believers of those who had fallen into idolatry, to turn them back to God.  He loved what God loved, and wanted them to love God in return. 

In his passion to see God’s amazing power, he built a trench around the altar, and filled it three times with water to soak the ground and the stones.  He wanted not just to prove that God could do what Baal could not, but to prove that God could do what was impossible for man.  When Elijah called down God’s Holy fire, it consumed the bull, the wood, and the stones, and dried up the water in the trench!  After proving that God is all powerful even over the impossible, he captured the 450 prophets of Baal and executed them all there on Mt. Carmel.  This put his life in danger because these prophets were Jezebel’s prophets.   

To have a reputation like Elijah, we have to be willing to step out in faith, believe God will meet us.  We have to be passionate about our relationship with God, and our ability to serve Him in whatever way He chooses.  We have to be willing to walk away from what is comfortable, and safe, trusting that He will protect us.  We have to love what God loves, and hate what God hates.  When our will is aligned with God’s will, then we are most like Jesus.

Jesus said in John 8:28-29 When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 

Jesus said that He does what God tells Him to do.  This was Jesus reputation, and was much like that of Elijah.  Jesus served God in all that He did from healing the blind to making a fig tree wilt.  In everything He did, God instructed, and Jesus followed through.  When it wasn’t comfortable, Jesus was found in the garden praying “not my will, but yours be done”, and following God’s will even to death.

Some will say, “Yes, but Jesus was God…I can’t be like Him!” May I remind you that He gave you His Holy Spirit when you were saved by faith (Ephesians 1:13-14), and God said to “be holy” (1 Peter 1:16 Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7).  In James 5:16 says that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours”.  He was just a man, like us, and yet they saw similarities in Elijah and Jesus.

How many times are we mistaken for Jesus?  Is our reputation and character so much like Jesus that we cause people to see the similarities?  Is our will and our faith walk aligned with God in such a way that we love what He loves, and hate what He hates?  Are others are reminded of Jesus when they meet us?  Being Christ-like is what being a Christian is about.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Yoke

Come to Me, all you 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.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Finding rest for our souls sounds like such a wonderful thing!  Yet few of us ever find it because we don’t understand the purpose of the yoke Jesus refers to.  We read the verses and our minds stop comprehending the words at the thoughts of “rest for your souls”, and overlook what Jesus tells us to learn from Him.

In Matthew 11 Jesus has just pronounced “woes” to those cities in which He had ministered and showed greater and wondrous works, yet they did not believe.  He told them that it would be more tolerable for sin-ridden Sodom in the Day of Judgment than Capernaum.  He said that if the works He had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would not only have repented – but done so with great grief for their sins, in sackcloth and ashes.  He even says that Capernaum would be brought down to hades, because if the same things that he had shown in Capernaum had been done in Sodom, Sodom would have remained a city and never been destroyed.  The sum of the woes He pronounces was this: To those who have seen His works and denied Him, there is a greater judgment.  Through their unbelief and desire to continue living in sin, they denied Jesus the right to lead them.

In business, family, finances, education, or any pursuit it is important that if you have a leader, the leaders knows how to lead you.  They must know the best way to accomplish your goal, and the proper steps to get you there.  And when you find a leader that can truly lead you to your goals you do what they say – without question and doubt.

Jesus continues in Matthew 11:28-30 speaking of His leadership.  He says   Come to Me, all you 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.”  He is speaking to those that labor for what He offers – the release of the guilt of sin, and the power of sin in their lives.  This is what He had offered to Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Chorazin.  

Jesus asked them to “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart”. To learn from Jesus gentleness, which in some translations is called meekness, and lowliness of heart is to learn to be submissive and allow yourself to be led.  In John 5:19 Jesus tells of His own submission to God, saying “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”  He allowed God to lead Him, and was submissive to Him even to the cross, praying in the garden before His betrayal, “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done”(Luke 22:42).

A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is bound around the necks of cattle with a wooden “U” shaped bow that keeps them connected to the crosspiece.  In the center of the yoke is a swivel with a guide that can be attached to a wagon or plow, whereby the cattle can be guided to work for the leader.

Salvation removes the guilt of sin, through justification.  But release from the power of sin over you will only occur when you allow Jesus to lead you.  We all have those sins we continually come back to and cannot seem to shake free.  For some of us, they are our “pet sins” and we just love them too much to give it up.  For others, it’s a matter of weakness, a lack of self-control that causes us to continually fight those sins.  But until we come under the yoke of Jesus Christ, and allow Him to begin the sanctification process, we are in a struggle, a constant battle of flesh against Spirit.  There is no rest for our souls.  What Jesus is offering is rest, an end to the struggle, peace and completeness.

He offers completeness to His plan for your life.  Do you want success in this life?  There is only one way to measure success and that is in its eternal weight.  Earn millions here on earth?  Wonderful!  But you won’t take a dime to Heaven.  Gain fame and respect here on earth?  Lovely!  What fame and respect do you have in Heaven?  If you’re going to live their eternally, and I pray that you are, then you should be looking for success in eternal weight, the things in which God finds valuable.  Allowing Him to lead you will ensure that you operate through God’s plan for your life.  In that plan, and only in that plan, is true success found.

Read that last part of the passage again.  Jesus says “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  There is a misconception that working for Christ is a struggle.  But in all truth, it is far easier to walk through life in the way Jesus leads than to try to create your own path.  He is a strong leader, with your best interest in mind.  He is being led by God, who has seen the beginning, and the end, and knows what lies ahead.  Not even the best financial advisor in the world can offer you that kind of guarantee of success! 

Take His yoke upon you.  Come under His leadership in full submission, praying for strength from Him and leadership.  Then you will find sweet rest and peace for your soul.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father to the Fatherless

“Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH, and rejoice before Him. A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.  God sets the solitary in families…” – Psalms 68:4-6

God’s design for us was the family unit with Father, Mother, and children. He made Adam and Eve, and told them “be fruitful and multiply”, designating that each child would have both a father and a mother.  But through our own sin, we have destroyed that perfect design, and many today do not have a father in their homes.  Today, being Father’s Day, brings a grief to their hearts that often goes unspoken. 

In that same way, many have father’s that they know by name, but don’t have a relationship with them built on love and respect.  In many ways, these too are fatherless and today they feel a sorrow equal to those that never knew their fathers. 

To those of you who are heavy hearted today, those that are fatherless, I want to offer you peace over your situation.  I want you to know that this was not God’s design for your life, and He has made plans and preparations for you to be His.

The relationship with an earthly father brings many comforts to life.  They offer protection, help, advice, and love without judgment.  But God has left nothing undone in His filling the role of Father.

He, our creator, loved us before we were born, before a man was used to conceive us.  He is the FIRST Father, in that He allowed us to be brought into life.  Jeremiah 1:5 says that before He formed us in the womb, He knew us.  Long before the man who conceived you came into the picture, there was God, loving you, planning for your birth.  There are no unplanned pregnancies in this life.  God has planned each and every one. 

Long before you came to this world, God saw you in His plans, and your need for Him as a Father.  He stepped up to the plate to meet those needs, and provided Jesus, His own flesh-and-blood son to be our ransom.  Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus is the “lamb slain before the foundation of the world” indicating that His death for our Salvation was planned even before the world was made.

John further explains Jesus being planned to allow our intimate relationship with God the Father.  In John 1:10-13 we read that the world was made through Him, and to us “He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  You don’t become God’s child out of anything you do, but out of the will of God, who wants you, and wants to be your Father.

What kind of a Father is God to the fatherless? 

He is a helper, ever present, ever listening to your cries.  In Exodus 22:23, God speaks of the orphans and says “if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry”.  The Psalmist writes in Psalms 10:14 “You have been the helper of the orphan.” 

He is a provider.  Of the names given to God, Jehovah Jirah means “God our Provider”. In Matthew 7:11 Jesus speaks of Father God’s gifts to us, and compares Him to earthly fathers saying, “If you [earthly fathers] then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  He gives gifts of far greater value to us than the greatest earthly Father could give.

He is a defender and protector.  In Malachi 3:5 He says that He will be “a swift witness against” those that oppress the fatherless.  He warns of His anger towards those that harm you in Isaiah 10:2.  The Psalmist writes in Psalms 10:17-18 that God has heard your desires, and will vindicate you.  To His children He says in Joel 2:27, I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.”  In Romans 8:31, Paul writes If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Indeed, the creator and ruler of the universe, our Father God, is on our side.

If you are still fatherless, it is not by God’s design.  He offers Himself as your father through the death of His own flesh and blood, Jesus Christ, on the cross.  A relationship with Him comes only through Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”(John 14:6). If you believe in Jesus, accept His salvation as payment of your sin debt, and confess Him as your Savior (Romans 10:8-10).  You receive God as your Father, the Greatest Father of all.  He in turn, because He desires to be intimately connected to you, as close as in your heart, gives you His Holy Spirit.  Romans 5:5 says that we have comfort and hope, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  You are never alone again because God is eternally within your heart.

But you gain more than just Father God in the relationship He gives.  You also receive family.  Psalms 68:5 says that He will be Father to the fatherless, and that He “sets the solitary in families”.  God knows you need Him in the flesh around you.  You need interaction with others who are in your Christian family.  So He plants your life within the lives of those of us who love you with a unique love that only a brother or sister in Christ can offer.  We love you because He first loved us.  We have a bond that is from the heart, a bond that will last eternally.

Choose God as your Father.  It is His will to love you unconditionally, to provide for you, to help you, to defend you, and be your all in all.  In God’s perfect design, there are no fatherless children.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Microwave Minute

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4
It’s funny how times have changed and our patience has dissolved into thin air.  Growing up in the 1960’s, we had to have a lot of patience just for daily living. 
If you didn’t like what was on TV, you got up, walked across the room, and turned the dial on the TV to another channel.  Channel surfing?  It didn’t take long since you had 3 channels at best.  Sometimes, you’d even have to adjust the rabbit-ear antenna to get the channel to come in clearly, which took time…and patience.  Miss your favorite show?  Tough cookies! There were no VCR’s, DVR’s, Hoppers, are anything like that.  You got one shot, and you planned your life around when that show came on.
If the phone rang, you had to get up and answer it to find out who it was.  There was no caller ID.  And if you didn’t get there before it quit ringing, too bad!  There were no answering machines or voice mail. You had to wait for the caller to call you back.  And if you were on a party line, which means you shared a phone line with a neighbor, you had to wait for their call to be completed before you could even use your phone!     
If you had a math problem to calculate, you got out your paper and pencil.  We didn’t have calculators.  And if you mess it up…turn that pencil upside down and erase…not backspace. 
Checking out at the grocery store took longer, especially if there was a price tag missing from an item.  “Price check at register 3” was a common intercom announcement, and meant you would need to wait till they found an item like yours with a price tag.  There were no barcode scanners or computerized cash registers.
If you wanted to buy soda, you had to remember to bring your bottles with you to the grocery to exchange for the ones you bought, or you’d have to pay the bottle deposit. 
If you forgot to put gas in your car, you’d soon be made aware of it with a clunking, gurgling sound and be made to pull off the road.  You would have to sit and wait until someone had mercy on you and offered you a ride to a gas station, or gas.  There were no little red lights to come on to remind you to fill up.  There were no cell phones in your pocket to call for help.  You waited.
If you didn’t like the song playing on the stereo, you had two choices.  You could get off the sofa, walk to the stereo (which was as big as a coffee table) and move the needle on the album to the next track, or fast forward the 8-track or cassette to the next song.  Of course, if you fast forward past it, then you do reverse, and fast forward again, and reverse again, and fast forward again, continually pausing to see where you were on the tape.
If you took photos at a family gathering, you had to wait till long after the gathering was over to see how they turned out.  The film had to be dropped off at the drug store, mailed away to a photo developer, and then you returned days later to the store and paid for your photos – whether they were good or not!  If you wanted to share them with someone, you took them along for your visit with them.  And if you’d made a strange face in a photo or your hair wasn’t just right – too bad!  It was in print and recorded for history! 
If you wanted dinner, you laid out the meat to thaw early.  There was no way to defrost it if you didn’t.  You cooked dinner either on the stove top or in the oven.  There were no microwave meals, no frozen “T.V. dinners”, no heat-and-eat canned foods, and no Hamburger Helper! 
The funny thing is that without the comforts of life we now find necessary to daily living, we didn’t realize the patience we possessed!  Looking back, it’s easy to see the endurance we possessed in how we survived!  Today we nearly have a breakdown if we cannot fast forward through a commercial, there are more than 2 people in front of us at the checkout, a person doesn’t immediately text us back, or if the microwave takes more than a few minutes to cook an entire meal!
James says in chapter 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  Surely, we are lacking endurance.  We snap at the tiniest inconvenience!  Is our faith tested? Yes.  Do we fail? Most definitely.  Are we made perfect and complete? Not yet! We avoid tests of our patience, rather than accepting that this is part of the growth process of a Christian.
In this age of the microwave minute, we have to work at fortifying our patience in the same way we have to work at strengthening our faith.  We have to gathering up our self-control over situations, putting a harness on our tempers, and get rid of our lazy “I quit!” attitudes. 
In Luke 21, Jesus speaks of the end of times. He explains that we will be in times much like today, with nations rising against nations, persecution of Christians on every hand, earthquakes, hunger, diseases, and trouble.  He says that our own families will turn against us, and we will be hated because of our love for Him.  He leaves nothing hidden, telling us that some of us will die because of our belief in Him.  But Jesus instructs us to not worry about these times, not to become anxious.  He says that it will work to our advantage as a time when we can give our testimony, when we can stand for Him.  And then He tells us in verse 19, By your patience possess your souls.  It is through patience in the times of trial that we will endure the race.
In this era of the microwave minute and instant gratification, we have to stop and learn to be patient in all things so that the troubles to come will not destroy us.  We have to count to ten - maybe ten thousand - before we lose our self-control.  We have to endure the trials we are given, growing and strengthening our patience.  We have to understand that we are being put to the test so that through our patience we can become “complete, lacking nothing”. 
Patience is a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Patience is the foundation of mercy for others (1 Timothy 1:16).
Patience allows us to endure need and want (2 Corinthians 6:4).
Patience is to be pursued, a goal to be attained (1 Timothy 6:11).
Patience is expected of the sanctified Christian (Titus 2:2).   
Patience is the fruit of faith put to the test (James 1:4).
Patience allows us to endure the times to come, and strengthens our hope in the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 14:12).
Patience allows us to become “complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wandering In The Wilderness

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Hebrews 3:16-19

Back several years ago when I was in my early thirties, I had a dear friend tell me that I was “wandering in the wilderness”.  It was in the middle of a conversation that I don’t remember, but I remember her saying that I was “wandering in the wilderness”.  What’s sad is that I didn’t understand what it meant.  After spending my whole life in church, I did not have an inkling of what it meant to wander in the wilderness.  I’d carried a Bible to church every Sunday of my life, but never took the time to read it to understand more than a few verses at a time.

I was living with the volume on God turned down to a low hum in the background of life.  Life was centered on pleasing people.  My thoughts and concerns were to having the right shoes to match each outfit, driving the right car, dressing my kids in ways that would help them find favor in others, and keeping up appearances.  I miserably held on to a marriage filled with distrust and disrespect because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint family members.  I had a job I loved because it was one I could be prideful of, and I was.  I prayed daily, which went something like “Dear God, thank you for this day, give me…give me…give me…Amen.”  And yes, on Sundays and Wednesday nights we went to church. 

Was I wandering in the wilderness?  Yes.  But I didn’t know it.  The wilderness seemed pretty soothing.  I had as much God in my life as I wanted…or so I thought.  I was content with misery on several levels.  I became content with the feeling of never measuring up to people’s expectations, of never feeling equal.  I was satisfied with the appearance of a happy family life, and the title of Christian without letting go of the reins of my life, and letting God have full control.  I’d decided, without understanding the decision I’d made, to not enter the rest that God prepared for His children.

When God freed the children of Israel from Egypt, He had great plans for them.  He had prepared “The Promised Land”, which was a land “flowing with milk and honey”, a plentiful place of peace and rest.  He showed the Israelites His power in the ten plagues brought upon Egypt that finally lead to their release.  He showed them His protection as He parted the Red Sea, allowing them to escape the Egyptian army that followed, and causing it to fall on their enemy.  Without lifting a single weapon, they were delivered from their enemies and from years of slavery at God’s hand. 

When they got to the outskirts of the Promised Land, God had them send in 12 spies, one from each tribe of Israel.  For forty days they explored the Promised Land.  Joshua and Caleb came back ready to overtake the inhabitants and possess the land God had given them in full belief that He would deliver them from all harm.  But ten spies came back filled with fear, saying that the land was good but the people were like giants, so large that they felt like grasshoppers next to them.  They said “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”(Numbers 13:31)  They’d seen the battle as one they had to fight on their own [“stronger than WE”], not one that God had already promised they would win.

So all the people of Israel cried all night, tore their clothes, blamed God for putting them in the wilderness and said, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt!”  They wanted to elect someone to take them back to Egypt to again become slaves. 

Joshua and Caleb tried to reason with them, saying “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.(Numbers 14:7-9)” But the people of Israel, though they believed in God, could not in Him for their protection.  They could not trust Him for the promise of rest He had made them.

God was ready to destroy the entire generation of unbelievers right then, and replace them with a new nation of people.  He said in Numbers 14:11 “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” But Moses interceded for them, and God, in His endless mercy, allowed them to wander in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each day they explored the land, until the unbelieving generation died.  They died within a few miles of a land that would have given them rest from their labor, bountiful provisions for every day, living in the full blessings of God.

In Hebrews 3 the writer talks of the Israelites, God’s own people, wandering in the wilderness.  He says For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. They believed in God.  They believed He existed.  But they didn’t fully trust Him to be God Almighty. 

They believed He could part the Red Sea because they’d seen it done.  They believed He could kill an Egyptian army.  But they didn’t believe He could crush the Anakins that inhabited the Promised Land, their current enemy. They believed He could rain down manna from Heaven, feeding them daily without laboring.  But they didn’t fully believe they could live in a land “flowing with milk and honey”, where their labors would cease.  They struggled to believe God was God of all, able to do all that He has promised.

There came a time in my mid-thirties that I began to fully believe God’s promises.  It happened on a weekend when I heard 15 people, mostly women, speak of the many flavors of God’s grace and His presence over their struggles in life.  It happened as I watched them live before Him for three days.  I walked away understanding that God was not just a wrathful God, peeking around every corner waiting for me to sin so He could punish me.  I understood He loves me, and wants to give me rest from all my struggles.  I learned He had helped others through struggles with relationships, self-inflicted judgments, marriages and issues with raising children.  I learned He could be fully trusted, and I put my full faith in Him.  During that weekend, I left the wilderness.

If you find yourself wandering in the wilderness, unable to trust God fully with all your problems, not feeling the joy of your relationship with Him, step out!  Be a Joshua or a Caleb, and trust God to show up.  Step out on faith that He will meet you where you are.  He can be trusted with all your problems.  Come before Him with courage that He will give you the rest He has promised.

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. “ – Hebrews 4:9-16