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Blog-Pastor-Dave How Faith Works #11 – Reward

How Faith Works #11 – Reward

Because of God’s holiness, the Old Testament system for approaching God seemed to communicate: “Stand back!”

The architecture of their temple said it with an outer court for the Gentiles, an inner court for the women, and an inmost court for the men. After that came the temple proper, which only the priests could enter. The whole message of that architecture was “Stand back!”

Ranks of people also matched the temple’s architecture – a high priest, then lesser priests, then the men, then the women, and finally the Gentiles.

Rituals also matched the ranks. Burnt offerings were offered at an open-air altar in the sight of everyone. The altar of incense was inside the temple, seen only by the high priests and seen only dimly by them, in a shadowy room lit by seven candles. Shed blood was offered for the sins of the people in the innermost room, shrouded in complete and perpetual darkness. All was calculated to say, “Stand back!”

Against this background, because of Christ’s atoning death on the cross, the letter to the Hebrews announces “a new and living way” for approaching God (Hebrews 10:20).

We are invited into God’s presence: “Let us draw near to God” (Hebrews 10:22). For “anyone who comes to him” in faith (Hebrews 11:6). The promise is added: “He rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

You can enjoy the famous Niagara Falls partially from a distance just by driving by or looking out a nearby hotel window.

Or you could park your car and walk up closer to the Falls and watch the mighty waters going over the precipice. You would also hear the thunderous roar of the water hitting the basin. Depending on where you stand and the breeze in the air, you could feel the mist on your face.

Or you could take a sightseeing boat tour, raincoat included, which brings you close to the Falls. You would hear the roar of 600,000 gallons of water crashing down around you every second. You would feel the mist as it drenches everything.

That’s like the reward of faith. We draw near to God. We come to him. How much of Jesus we experience is determined by how close we choose to get to him. A drive by. A memorable view. Or a drenching.

~ Pastor Dave

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