January 7

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:19-23)

Proverbs teaches us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:10). Many people, even Christians mistakenly think that fearing the Lord is what the Old Testament is all about, since God, the righteous Judge, condemns all sin. Thus, we should tremble in our boots. However, the kind of fear to which the writer refers is not that of dreading destruction, but having great reverence and respect for God. To fear God in this way is to love, honor, exalt, and delight in His holiness, righteousness, and majesty. Some Christians are surprised to find great truths, such as this in the Old Testament. However, God gave The Ten Commandments to Israel as a unique gift from a loving Father to His children. The Law reveals God’s holy character and remarkably high standards.

When we look at the commandments, however, we cannot help but appreciate how different we are from God. We are sinners who cannot control our own hearts, let alone our conduct, to worship God as He requires and live holy lives. We have the opportunity to worship God rightly in our churches today, to know that we have a sure hope in Christ, by the shedding of His blood on the cross as our substitute. As we worship corporately, Christ attends to His bride, the Church, for His own glory, but also for our unity together with Him. The wisdom that results from our biblical fellowship is unique. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) Assurance of our cleansing and receiving the imputed righteousness of Christ adds to our wisdom. As you prepare for church, or reflect on your worship today, what was the quality of your worship with Christ’s family? How can you be more attentive to the grace of God, with the wisdom He has given you?

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