“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” 

Hebrews 10:22

It’s one thing to be invited; it’s another thing to enter in.

The story is told of a wealthy man walking down the street and spying one of his high school classmates he’d not seen since graduation over 20 years before.  The man, who’d been one of his best friends while growing up, had fallen on hard times.  He was jobless and homeless.  His clothes were tattered and his personal appearance was unkempt.

But, that didn’t stop the well-to-do classmate from embracing his long-lost friend and taking him into a nearby café for a meal.

As the haggardly man stared in disbelief at his benefactor, tears began streaming down his cheeks as he remembered “days of yore” and what once had been.  His successful friend’s heart was moved by his sad tale and he quickly reached into his coat pocket, pulled out his checkbook and wrote him a check for $1,000.00.

“Here,” he said, handing the check to his dear friend.

“Use this to get a place to rent and buy some new clothes.  I’ll check back on you in a couple of weeks and see how you’re doing.”

And, with that they hugged each other and parted company.

Two weeks later, to his chagrin, the well-dressed, well-heeled, successful businessman found his friend on the same street corner, wearing the same clothes and begging just as usual.

“What are you doing?!?” he asked in exasperation.

“What did you do with the check?!?” he continued.

With downcast eyes, the beggar replied “I was afraid to go to the bank and try and cash it because of how I looked.  I was afraid they’d think I’d stolen it.”

“My dear friend,” the astonished friend said with a combination of hurt and anger in his voice, “It doesn’t matter what you look like when you present the check; what matters is whose signature is on it.”

Dear Pilgrim, too often, we’re afraid to “draw near to the Lord” because of our feelings of guilt or unworthiness.  Or, we’re half-hearted or lukewarm in our love and service to Him.  But, that should not and need not be, weary one.

Instead, we’re invited to “draw near with a true heart with full assurance (Grk. ‘plerophoria’ —entire confidence, fully persuaded, to make full proof of, etc.’) of faith. . . which comes as our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”  We know the “sprinkling” refers to Jesus’ Blood (Heb. 9:14).  And, the “pure water” represents our “walking in His Spirit” (Jn. 4:13-14; Rom. 8:1) and our being “washed with the Word” through our daily rendezvous with Christ (Eph. 5:26).  No need to shrink back any longer, Pilgrim; draw near to Jesus now.  He’s waiting.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 4, 2011

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