Focused Forward

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a few days with my daughter-in-law and son after the birth of their second child, a precious baby boy —Charles Walker.  His big sister, Emma, has a WHOLE 14 months on him!  Needless to say, my daughter-in-law has her hands full. She and my son were definitely sleep deprived and in need of some strength. And with no immediate relief in the future (and least for the next few years). Quite frankly, by the time I left to head home, I was pretty sapped myself. How easy it is to forget the energy it takes to care for two little ones under the age of 14 months. Grandmama loved every minute of my time spent with Emma and Charles, and helping to cook and clean, but I was worn out! But I also knew rest and a quiet house were in my future.

Sometimes life is like that —it just saps our strength. In times like these it’s hard to think beyond the moment (and that can be a good thing, but that’s for another post). There are times when life gets so full and busy that it feels as if things are swirling around us like a tornado. Perhaps you’re in a situation where you’re in need of a break! Just a few hours of sleep, an energy boost, just something to give you a little more strength. Emotions take over and you’re on that roller coaster. Perhaps you find yourself weighed down and weary by an ongoing situation in life, one that just won’t seem to quit. You’re having trouble moving forward, you’re stuck in a rut, and came seem to find your way out. This will definitely sap your strength and steal your joy! Let’s spend some time today in Psalm 84. There are some great lessons we can glean from this passage when our strength is sapped and we find ourselves stuck—unable to move forward! Continue reading “Focused Forward”

Get Real: Living Free, Letting Go!

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Jeremiah 17:5-14 paints a wonderful contrast between the person who trusts and depends on the man/self/the flesh for strength and the one who trusts in the Lord for his strength. Where we place our trust and where we find our strength affects so many aspects of our lives, including the sense of freedom and joy we experience.  Read through Jeremiah 17:5-14 and list the contrasts you see between these two.

We all have an independent nature about us that wants to have it “our way” and to control circumstances and people in our lives as we see fit —Scripture refers to it as our “flesh”.

The enemy loves to keep us independent and operating in our own strength…our flesh.  There are many tactics he employs to keep us focused on our self-sufficiency.  I’d like to focus on a few that we tend to struggle with as women:  Continue reading “Get Real: Living Free, Letting Go!”

Free and Fearless Confidence

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16

Last week, I shared some thoughts on the last half of Hebrews 4:16. Nothing like looking at a verse in reverse!  But I needed the encouragement Hebrews 4:16 offered at the end, a lesson in frapping!  So today, let’s jump back to the beginning of this verse.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace…

To begin, we need to be reminded of the original audience for whom this letter was written and intended —believers who were in a time of trial, who were discouraged and whose faith was wavering.  Most of whom are understood to be Jewish believers who were tempted, because of the trials and persecution, to return to Judaism. Therefore, the author of Hebrews uses many references to the Old Covenant ways for approaching God and as a means to a relationship with Him.

In the Old Testament, God established through Moses the law and the tabernacle as the means to a relationship with Him and to provide for the forgiveness of sins.  You can read about the tabernacle, its construction, components, and God’s requirements in Exodus 25-30 and specifically about the Most Holy Place, the ark of the covenant in Exodus 25:10-22.

Daily the priests ministered in the tabernacle performing various duties but once a year, and only once, the high priest would enter the tabernacle, behind the veil, to the Most Holy Place where God’s presence dwelt on the altar.  This was the throne room.  The high priest entered once a year to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people.  There was no direct fellowship or relationship with God for the people.

Throughout the book of Hebrews, the author has been emphasizing that Jesus is superior!  Jesus is better!  He is superior to all the old ways.

With this in mind, the writer of Hebrews states in 4:14 that Jesus is the Great High Priest.  He has entered once for all, to cover all sin.  The veil has been removed and we may now freely enter God’s presence and find mercy for the forgiveness of sin and grace—His undeserved favor to help us at any time, for any reason, always!  And Jesus, our Great High Priest is one who can sympathize with our weaknesses.

Sympathize— to enter into one’s experience and feel their heartache.  Jesus is able to sympathize because He became flesh and dwelt among us.  Fully God and yet fully man who experienced the weakness of the flesh and was tempted, YET did not sin.  Jesus is the superior High Priest because no other priest had ever been able to make this claim.  This was (and still is) life-changing news!

So we might be tempted to ask, why?  Why on earth would they want to go back?  Back to the old ways, with its rituals, requirements, and limitations?  I believe fear and unbelief are two of the greatest reasons.

It makes sense in my own life. When I’m pressed hard, in a difficult situation or relationship, I am tempted to run to what is comfortable and known. Even if that thing is not what is best. I am tempted to try to work it out in my own confidence, in my flesh, in my own strength.  It never ends well!

SO! The writer of Hebrews encourages them (and us):

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace…

Let’s break it down and look at some of the words in the original language in which they were written:

let us then –  there, consequently, these things being so.

What being so?  Hebrews 4:14 tells us we have  great high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, on who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Because we have Jesus! let us…

confidence –  free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance. This type of confidence is possible as the result of guilt having been removed by the blood of Jesus and manifests itself in confident praying and witnessing.

draw near – to approach, come near, draw near to

throne of grace – the throne seat, a stately seat of power and grace being goodwill, lovingkindness, favor.  Figuratively or spiritually grace is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.

We can come boldly, without fear, with freedom, and with cheerful courage to the throne of grace.  The place where Jesus sits at the right of the Father living to make intercession for us and help us in our time of need.  We can pour out our hearts to Him.  We can ask for mercy and grace to help when tempted to sin. We can ask for mercy and grace when the waves of life are washing over us.

But we must enter with confidence — free from fear and unbelief.  So when you are in need, step boldly, step confidently, step courageously to the throne of grace and find grace and mercy to help in your time of need.

Remember last week?  That help is described in the word picture of frapping.  Frapping for your flailing vessel.  Frapping —that strengthening and securing of a vessel when it is threatened to capsize or drift away.  And His help is always available to us — any time and in any place.

Step freely and fearlessly into the Throne room!



©2013 Susan Cady,

Need Some Grace for Frapping?


Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,

that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

I’ve been meditating on this verse lately as I study through Hebrews.  Take a look at what God’s been revealing to me.  I hope it encourages you today.

First, a few words in the original language (of course!)

Help – “boētheia” – aid, help; specially, a rope or chain for frapping a vessel.  Frapping means to bind with a view to secure and strengthen.

Need – “eukairos” – well-timed, opportune.

Grace – “charis” – that which affords joy; the good will, merciful kindness by which God, exerting his Holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens and increases them in faith and knowledge.  Especially God’s divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life, including gratitude.

Frapping —my new favorite word!  I love the picture the original language provides for this word, help — the frapping of a vessel.  We CAN, with confidence and assurance,  approach the throne of grace. We CAN call and cry out ANY time we need some securing and strengthening.  His grace is the rope used for “frapping” our vessel when it is drifting or sinking.  Grace!  Read that definition above again and really take it all in.  I love how the God of grace, the God of all comfort is always ready when I need “frapping” and it is always well-timed!  When the waters are washing over me and threatening to sink this ship, He is right there!  I just have to call out. In His presence I am secure.  In His presence I find the strength I need for the moment.

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