Lesson 11 -- third quarter 1997
August 10, 1997
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications
"He's got connections!"
What is the basis of our access?
In the world's system, knowing the right person in the right place is a powerful tool. To have the friendship or at least the sympathy of such an individual is most invaluable. But what about being able to exert at least a measure of influence on him or her?!
Well, my friend, we Christians don't just have connections, we have access! We may not have even shaky connections to temporal movers and shakers, but we enjoy a solidness with the ultimate source of power and authority. So let's relish it and let's "take advantage" of it!
Because of this connection, we can enter with boldness before the Lord (19). No more using intermediaries. Gone are the days of inadequate, incomplete sacrificing. The veil and the shadows are gone. He has provided a new and living way to Himself by Himself.
Because of this connection, we can exercise our faith with full assurance (22). For Him and because of Him, we can "stick out our neck" as far as we can possibly stretch it. When we risk all for Him on the basis of our connection, we actually risk nothing at all!
Because of this connection, we can stand firmly on our biblical convictions (23). Divorce will always be wrong, nonconformity will always be right, homosexuality will always be wrong, and peace will always be right. Have you ever wondered if certain truths are secure enough to stand on? Then you'd better check your connections!
Because of this connection, we can be consistent in being in the company of the believers (25). Those who avoid church meetings or shun brotherhood gatherings or despise church family potlucks or the like are giving notice that their connections may not be what they ought to be. If we love the One Who begot the church, we will love those He begot.
Because of this connection, we can endure all type of present affliction (32-34). We can live through being "museum pieces" due to our "quaint" beliefs and practices. We can join with those being reproached and help them bear their load. We can take joyfully the spoiling of our stuff (lawsuits, breakage, thievery or whatever). Have you ever backed away from mockery or got bent the wrong way over spoilage? Hmm. Me, too.
Because of this connection, we can continue on for the Lord, strongly and with great patience (35-39). We will do His will whether it's a little while yet, or another generation or two. We await His coming confidently, because we've got connections! We're not going to throw away our confidence--the recompense and the promise will be ours.
In the world, good connections come through a variety of means. Friendship, family, money, abilities, favors, and you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours relationships--these all can be parleyed into excellent connections. But none of these work with God.
Today's lesson clearly establishes the blood of Jesus as the basis for our bold access to God. We have nothing to offer of ourselves. Nonetheless, having gained access we must be careful to maintain it!
"I am the vine, ye are the branches.... Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:5,8).
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