The verse of the week (week three) for the Living So That, by Wendy Blight study with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies is Hebrews 4:16. I gain so much depth and understanding by going through the verse word by word and allowing God to break His message down for me. Join me on my journey through Hebrews 4:16 🙂
~ “APPROACH“: ‘draw closer to; come very near to’ is one definition given in the Merriam-Webster dictionary but I also LOVE the second definition…get THIS: ‘to take preliminary steps toward accomplishment or full knowledge or experience of’ WOW!!!!!
When I looked at the Greek word used ~ “proserchomai” ~ many words jumped out at me to add depth to my understanding…
~ absolutely: we can approach God with absolutely everything.
~ fullness: with our whole heart and soul.
~ to attach oneself to Christ: we can approach God with confidence because we are one with Christ!!!
We can take steps days by day, to draw closer, and closer with ALL that we are, united with Christ, to the Throne of God, and receive full KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE of His MERCY and GRACE!!!
Do you want to APPROACH God by this definition?! I know I do!
~ “THRONE”: “the chair of state of a SOVEREIGN or high dignitary…the seat of a DEITY” It also represents “the POWER of the dignitary who sits on it and sometimes conferring that POWER” Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
When I looked at the Greek ‘thronos’ and its use elsewhere in Scripture, it talks about a seat for ROYALTY!!! This ‘thronos’ is for the ‘governor of the WORLD’ the one who ‘holds DOMINION‘ and ‘exercises AUTHORITY‘
Looking at these definitions in the context of Hebrews 4:16 ~ we get an insight into one of the things that our GOD, RULER, SOVEREIGN, GOVERNOR of the WORLD exercises over us…His GRACE!!!!! He is not just a God who rebukes and trains us like we learned in our week two memory verse ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17. He is also a GOD who deals out GRACE and MERCY in ABUNDANCE, and no-one can tell Him not to!!!!!
As I learned when thinking about the word APPROACH – God is not on some far off throne that we can’t come near to – He WANTS us to continually take steps to be near to, beside, in the presence of Him, but also recognize His position as SOVEREIGN over our lives!
GRACE GRACE GRACE GRACE GRACE!!!!!!!!!! What an AMAZING word to study.
Let’s start by looking at what the Merriam-Webster dictionary has to say:
~ UNMERITED divine assistance GIVEN humans for their regeneration or sanctification (Unmerited = NOT WORTHY of it! GIVEN = a GIFT!)
~ a virtue coming from God
~ a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
This is one of my favorite Greek words ~ I just think it’s beautiful!
~ ‘charis’ GRACE ~ FAVOR ~ KINDNESS! I love what the Strong’s Concordance says:
“is preeminently used of the Lord’s favor – freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is “always leaning toward them”).”
The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary says:
“An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man.”
Everywhere I look I see this repeated definition for ‘charis’ ~ GRACE is a GIFT from God – it is God leaning toward us, showing us His kind favor ~ He gives us something that we don’t deserve ~ that we have done nothing to work for ~ just because He LOVES us! This GIFT…His SON…SALVATION…ETERNAL LIFE…HEAVEN…THE HOLY SPIRIT…HIMSELF!!!
~ CONFIDENCE: Having confidence in a ‘leader’ means having “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It is a “a relation of trust or intimacy”. It is “freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment” ~ WOW!!!!! “FREEDOM from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment”. That makes tears fall from my eyes as I fall to my knees with thanksgiving and relief. It is a burden lifted and makes me think of Matthew 11:29:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
It gets BETTER!!! The Greek “parrésia” means: “freedom, openness, especially in SPEECH”!!! PRAYER ladies…PRAYER!!! We can approach God in prayer with all freedom and openness ~ no conversation is off limits with God! Why would it be ~ he KNOWS our hearts, and He longs for us to be real with ourselves and open up to Him SO THAT He can speak His love, grace, and mercy into those places that NEED to hear His Words.
This has both convicted, and encouraged. I don’t open up to God enough in my prayer life. I sometimes feel like ~ He knows my heart, so there is no need to speak it. NO! He LONGS for me to come near to His throne of freely giving favor and let myself go. He invites me to open my heart to Him. I find that in those times of prayer when I completely break down and just say exactly how I feel and the struggles I am having ~ I find His peace and rest. My circumstances may not change, but my heart does. THAT is what God gives us ~ heart change.
I encourage you to OPEN up in prayer to your Father today. BELIEVE that He will act with GRACE and MERCY. With God, there is NO reason to fear, be modest, shy, or embarrassed – TRUST in that intimate freedom.
~ “MERCY”: “kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly”, “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
BOOM!!! That’s ME…my ugly sin means that I should be treated harshly…I am an offender. BUT God FORGIVES me…He chooses to be KIND to me despite my offenses. He shows me COMPASSION rather than punishment.
The Greek “eleos” definition talks about receiving God’s “covenant-loyalty, covenant-love”. “the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life”.
After we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, we enter into a covenant relationship with Him. Even though we fail daily to life like Christ, God in His LOVE remains faithful to that promise. “if we are faithless, he remains faithful” 2 Tim. 2:13.
He shows His covenant LOVE and LOYALTY to us by showing kindness and forgiveness when we deserve punishment. WOWWWW!!!!!
I hope looking deeper at a few of the words in Hebrews 4:16 has helped you grasp the AWESOME POWER and TRUTH of God’s promise to you.
You can freely, openly, unashamedly draw near, come close, and fully experience the amazing loving, kind, favor…forgiving, compassionate embrace of the sovereign, all powerful, ruler God who has all authority to help you in your time of need!
How will you respond to that???