Leviticus 6:13 (NLT) Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.
Our God is always inviting, waiting, ready and willing for us to come into his presence. His fire—the fire of His mercy and grace, the fire of His cleansing blood, the fire of His Holy Spirit—is always ready, always lit to burn away all our sins, any hour, any minute of the day.
Through our Lord Jesus, God’s throne is open and accessible 24/7. What a wondrous truth. We desperately need that. We have sinned at various times of our day. Temptations come at us every opportunity it gets. Praise God for many times of victory. But we have times of failure. Praise God that when we fail—when we sin—we don’t have to wait for a year, for a month, a week, a day, not even for an hour for us to ask for forgiveness—for us to be cleansed. We don’t have to bear the load of guilt sin and shame—not for a single moment. At the instance we fall, we can immediately and sincerely confess our sins to him; and as he promised, He is just and faithful enough to forgive us of all our sins and to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness.
Thank You Lord that you have already provided us the ways and means—all that are necessary for us to come to You any time of any day. Through the death of our precious Lord Jesus, through His sacrifice—His shed blood on the cross—we no longer have to wait to be forgiven. We no longer have to come up with our own animal sacrifices; we don’t have to delay until we could find the proper time; we no longer have to suffer—weighed down—for a prolonged period of time, as we struggle to complete the grueling task of gathering all the necessary requirements and performing necessary sacrifices—to the strictest detail. Our cleansing, restoration, and refreshing are available to us any moment of our day. Because of you, we get to always live light and free. Thank You Lord—in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Isaiah 43:2 (KJV) 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Our God is able. He divided the Red Sea (or Sea of Reeds); He stopped the flow of the Jordan River; He quenched the violence of a fiery furnace. Through all of them, He saved His people. He is mighty to save. He has shown us repeatedly what He can do. He subdued kingdoms…stopped the mouths of lions…turned armies to flight. A young shepherd boy slew a battle-hardened giant, parents received their children back from death, powerful kingdoms were subdued (see Heb. 11).
This God is with us. We’re with Him. We live for His glory. We’re His people; through us other’s see Him and hear about Him. They see His uniqueness, His love, His power, His beauty. From generation to generation His reality is experienced. With all His awesome wonders, He still does new things. He’s God; He’s Sovereign; He’s free to do whatever He wants to do. His interventions in our affairs, His salvation, His miracles still abound.
He does things to us, in us, and through us. He has honored us with His covenant. He can do everything perfectly all by Himself, but in His love, He invites us to join Him. He wants His children to have fun. Our friends do not understand why and how we can turn away from our former ways. We’ve been unshackled; we’re free. What things still binds people have no more power over us. We testify; we gladly and lovingly proclaim God and His salvation. Some get saved; some go slandering us. That’s not something to cause us to give up all the wonders of life in Him.
Luke 3:18 (AMP) 18 So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people.
John courageously prepared the way for the Lord Jesus through bold exhortations and preaching. He unflinchingly told it like it was. Doctrine, correction, rebuke, instruction – whatever was necessary, He spoke clearly, and bravely – no batting of eyelids, no fear of the potential of unescessarily offending others. He preached what people needed to hear – wanted or not. He preached the bad news and the good news. Despite being associated often only with radical rebukes, He did both: appealed and preached the Good News.
News ought to be uncompromisingly truthful. This is our special call as privileged bearers of the eternal truth. Many a times, there’s a tendency to gravitate towards either the pleasant, encouraging words or the fearful warnings and judgments. Those who joyfully preach the God of love look down on those who still engage in preaching hellfire and brimstone as preachers of legalism and condemnation. Those who adamantly preach about the God of holiness and justice look down on those who continually preach on the God of grace and mercy as shallow, compromising and advocates of licentiousness. Faithfulness requires fullness of the message. No matter what’s our propensity or inclination, no matter what’s our preference, we are to boldly speak them all: bad news and good news. Different personalities will yield different approaches – some, even interesting ones; it’s great; let’s just make sure we proclaim the same full Scripture message.
Dear God may we be faithful bearers of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – in love, with wisdom and gentleness, so help us God.