Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 4, 2016
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14
Years ago as a young minister my friend Andy Stanley came by my office at his Dad’s church and asked if I wanted to meet Billy Graham. Taken back and totally humbled, I stammered out a whispered “yes”, quickly followed by an exuberant “absolutely”! The occasion was a Pastor’s reception prior to Dr. Graham’s Sunday night crusade. When we arrived at the Georgia Dome, buzzing with activity—a team member took us to meet Billy along with other ministry leaders. I had access to a moment with Mr. Graham, because of Dr. Stanley’s character and credibility.
John describes the last beatitude given by Jesus. Those whose character is cleansed by Christ are qualified to access God’s presence here and in heaven. Blackened garments soiled by sin, but washed in the sanitizing salvation of Jesus’ blood creates a new and beautiful creation, radiant white, purified by the grace of God. With eternal life the tree of life is accessible—with blessings unknown to earthly pilgrims still on their journey of faith. The two bookends of the Garden of God in Genesis to the City of God in Revelation are encapsulated for all the redeemed to worship the Alpha and the Omega forever! Character and credibility from Christ gain access to Christ!
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
Are you hoping and praying for access to an opportunity, person or position? Perhaps the next step is to get quiet before the Lord and ask Him how He wants to deepen your inner dependence on Jesus, so you are able to manage outward success with a humble heart. The relationships you invest in now are most likely the relationships God uses to open doors in the future. Treat all the Lord leads your way as individuals who need your love and concern. Be more motivated to bless than to be blessed and the blessings you need will come. Access comes to those Christ can trust.
Most importantly, enjoy full access to your heavenly Father. He is intimate with His children who walk in integrity. Your imperfect character has access to the Lord’s perfection. Bring your brokenness and access Christ’s healing. Bring your pride and access God’s humility. Bring your weaknesses and access the Spirit’s strength. Ultimately, it’s the character and credibility of Christ that gives you unquestionable access to the throne of God’s grace. Like the air you breathe and the food you eat, seek often communion with Christ—by faith access the riches of His grace.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
PrayerHeavenly Father, mold me and make me into the image of Your son Jesus Christ.
ApplicationWhat opportunity am I praying about that requires the elevation of my character?
Related ReadingRomans 5:1-5; Ephesians 2:17-19, 3:12; Hebrews 7:18-21; 1 John 5:14
Post/Tweet todayThe relationships you invest in now are most likely the relationships God uses to open doors in the future. #WisdomHunters #character
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