SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Blessed to Be a Blessing
by Dave Mann
I love this passage. The first part lays out the basis for our confidence before God. The second part shows the value of meeting with other believers. (This echoes Genesis 12:1-3.)
PART ONE (vv. 19-23): What God in Christ Has Done for Us
The blood of Jesus gives us confidence to stand before God. Jesus’ work on the cross has opened a new way to approach our holy God. No longer are we trembling in fear, but rather we run into the loving arms of our Abba Father. Jesus is our great high priest, the one who intercedes for us. He represents us before God the Father. Because we are washed (baptized) into the name of the Triune God, our consciences are clean, not because of what we have done but because of what Jesus has done for us. Our hope is based on what Christ has done, as the classic hope states, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
PART TWO (vv. 24-25): Our Response
Because of what God has done for me, I am free to be an encouragement to other believers. The salvation we have received through Christ does not leave us as single individuals. Rather, we are part of a community that builds up each other. Love and good deeds do not leave us depleted. Somehow, giving to others increases our own strength and joy. As we look to the needs of others, our own reservoir is filled with confidence and hope.
Some have stated that they do not need to meet with other Christians on a regular basis. However, such people are missing out on the mutual upbuilding within the body of Christ. There are at least two ways we benefit from regular corporate worship. Sometimes even though our own enthusiasm may be lacking, the worship, singing, and praying of others acts as a wave moving us to the throne of God. Also, when I, through the Holy Spirit, manage to get outside of myself to be an encouragement to others, I discover that God can use me to be a blessing. Recognizing that the Almighty God has used me to bless others is a remarkable boost to confidence and joy.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all you have done for me. Your blessing continues as we gather together to worship you and encourage each other. Amen.