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Spiritual Growth: Let Jesus Intercede

Friday, April 22, 2022 @ 7:12 AM Spiritual Growth:  Let Jesus Intercede ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Dr. Robert Youngblood The Stand MORE

(Editor’s note: The other blogs in this series, along with other resources to help Christians and those interested in spiritual growth, can be found HERE.)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 NLT).

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf (Hebrews 7:25 NLT).

…Jesus replied “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me. Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”(John 13:8, 10).

Oh, precious Jesus! Look at Him! He intercedes for us. We are in need and too often unknowing of the need. Unfortunately, we focus more on the “not all of you,” especially around Easter. The story of betrayal intrigues us, but after Jesus’ death and resurrection, it certainly shouldn't be our focus.

After we’ve been saved through the blood sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God, after we’ve put on Christ as our righteousness, we need the regular intercession of Christ until we are perfected in Him. We also need to surrender to Him to grow us.

This is why we rejoice knowing our Redeemer lives for without Him being alive, we have neither victory over the wages of sin, death, nor the continued intercession of Christ. Where Christ intercedes for us is where we need to let Him grow us even more.

Why do Christians sometimes underplay the intercession of Christ?

Partly, it’s because we too often fail to comprehend the holiness of God. It is also because we think we are better than we are as we play a game of comparisons. These two seem to interact with one another in our lives.

As one apologist noted, if we play a game of comparison to see who deserves to get to heaven, eventually only one person would be there (or possibly a tie between a few?). But God doesn’t play that game. The comparison isn’t to others, but to God Himself.

Saved or unsaved, many of us think we are better than we are because we haven’t compared ourselves to the holiness of God.  

What Franklin Graham posted on Twitter is relevant: 

“Where are you going to get that holiness? You don’t have it now. But you can’t get to heaven if you don’t. That’s why Christ died on the cross...” - @BillyGraham #WednesdayWisdom

With any sin, we are God’s enemies (Romans 5:10), and this is why – even saved – we need Jesus first to reconcile us back to God and then as our intercessor. Our souls today are affected by the world and sin just as the sandaled feet in Jesus’ time were by the dust.  

Initially, I considered titling this blog “To Eternity and Beyond – Jesus’ Intercession.” But the Bible makes it clear this would have been inaccurate. There will come a time of we will be perfected in Christ, and there will be no tears.

What I’m about to suggest might bring some tears, but in a way that truly brings blessings into eternity and beyond.

While the Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, Jesus calls and tells us if we are weary to come to Him. He says His yoke is easy.

Pray for wisdom to see yourself as God sees you. Pray for Jesus to figuratively wash your feet. Pray for Him to intercede and cleanse your soul (Psalm 51:2,7). If we think this is a simple thing, then we are showing how little we truly understand God’s holiness.

This requires help from the Holy Spirit. Without His presence and help, we fool ourselves. This requires being in the Word. The Bible – when read and understood, when used by the Holy Spirit – brings the two-edged sword of truth to separate us from the lies we believe about ourselves, about others, and, most importantly, about God.

Otherwise, without God’s help, we point to the splinters of problems others may have while refusing to remove a log from our own eyes. Have you ever wondered how many splinters are in a log? Let’s just say each of us has a lot of work to do, and we should only do it when empowered by God. It's almost as if Jesus is telling us not to worry about another, just follow Him (John 21:22).   

As we do this, we must remember there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. If we forget that fact, then the Devil will try to use our sins to drive a wedge between us and the Lord. If you haven’t prayed Psalm 91 regularly before, this would be the ideal time to start and stay consistent.

If you do this, I’m nearly certain it will bring new meaning to songs that talk of having victory in Jesus. He prayed for us to be sanctified in truth, and that God’s Word is that truth (John 17:17). He said that He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10), and He reminds us in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth, and the life.

Would it be unreasonable to let the God who cares for us to grow us, to sanctify us when considering those verses above? May the Lord bless your decision to act according to His Word.

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