God approves (a 40-day devotional series)

(In 2017, I wrote this series for the 40 days prior to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of Jesus’ resurrection.  I’m reposting the series now for the 40 days after Easter to encourage us to follow through, living in the risen Savior and King.)

wpid-devotionals.jpeg“You can’t come in here without an I.D., sir.”

It was the winter of 2002.  I was a little shocked and more than a little nervous during my first deployment.  As a Chaplain for over 400 Soldiers ready to cross over into Iraq at any time, I wanted to get around to see as many of them as possible as often as possible.  Most of our guys were pretty accessible – hanging out in the warehouse where we slept or walking around our small camp for the zillionth time.  Some of them, however, were more difficult to reach.

Our Command and Staff personnel had a temporary setup in a building with high security, and the only way in was through an armed guard’s post.  Those who didn’t have a pass had to call for an escort. I didn’t normally spend a lot of time checking on those more senior leaders.  They were a fairly mature and healthy group.  Occasionally, however, it was important that I could go quickly and directly to talk with the Executive Officer (second in command) or our Squadron Commander.

After going through that painful procedure with the guard three or four times, I applied for the security pass.  A few days later, I had my pass and needed to speak with someone in that building.  As I approached the guard shack, I pulled out my new I.D a good 50 feet away, just to get ready. When I stepped in, he simply glanced at it and motioned me to go inside.  What a difference that was.

That’s exactly the kind of access that Jesus gives us to God.  We have no right to come into the presence of the Holy God, the Commander of the universe on our own authority.  But when our faith in Jesus alone, He stamps us with His approval of forgiveness; we are given a new “I.D.” by His Holy Spirit living in us; and we are welcome every time.

Got a problem?  “Come to Me”, He says.  Need wisdom?  His presence is the right place. Hebrews 4:14 says we have “a great High Priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, (so) let us hold tightly to our confession.” Go to the Father with confidence.  With Jesus’ sacrifice in your place, you are approved.  You don’t have to worry.  He has secured your access – 24/7.  There’s no waiting, and no escort required.


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