It is comforting to know God’s love to us cannot be any greater for our service to Him, nor any lessor for the errors from which we learn!
- NC


Let us put ourselves in the place of a Hebrew worshipper by God’s grace to know the Savior as the one sacrifice for sin, and as the ever-abiding High Priest in the Holiest of All. What a struggle would there must often have been in his mind when approaching God, because he had no visible sacrifice to offer—nothing visible on which to lean—no victim to lay his hand upon (Lev 3:2)! It would have required real true-heartedness to the Lord Jesus to enable him to draw near, and to look at everything with which he had been formally conversant as taken up with Him, so that all that he has seen before was now only to be discarded by faith as fulfilled in the Savior’s death and resurrection.

And are we not often false to Him is this matter (unintentionally—NC)? Do we not often harbor the thought that something yet remains to be done—either by ourselves of by Him—in order to our drawing nigh? Do we not often thus become occupied with the circumstantials of worship rather than with the Person—the substance? Are we not often false to Him in questioning our title to draw near, because we find distance in our own hearts, as if it was the warmth of our affections, instead of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which brought us near?

How false (unknowingly—NC) to Him the church has been! The worshippers are often pressed down by a burdensome ritual, and allowed neither to know that they are once and forever purged, nor that all is prepared for their entrance into the Holiest. They are turned back again to that which is visible, and go through the daily routine of service (though sincerely—NC), never getting farther in than the door of the tabernacle. They are in the place of distant Jews, instead of that of priests sanctified for heavenly ministrations and worship.

And how continually do we see souls led to put the act of worship in the place of the Person who is their Life! Surely this is not to draw near with a true heart (Heb 10:22). A doubt harbored as to the all-sufficiency of His sacrifice, or the perfect efficiency of His Priesthood, or His tender sympathy and compassion, is not to draw nigh with a true heart. If we shrink back into a distant place after all He has done, are we true-hearted to Him? What positive treachery to Him is it to set up and order of men as in greater nearness to God than others—virtually putting them within and virtually putting others without?

To lean on priests, clergy, or ministers in worship, as if they were needed to that end (to effect personal service to God—NC), is absolutely denying the virtue of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. But such things are the off-springs of departure from the truth of the believer’s position before the Father, which was by the one sacrifice of the Son. And if a sinner’s justification before God by the Blood of the Savior be not seen, much less will entrance into the Holiest of All by that same Blood for worship be allowed as the common portion of the saints.

But even where the truth as to justification has been recovered and is preached we still see a form and a ritual of worship altogether subversive of the truth. The access (personal relationship—NC) proclaimed in the Gospel preached is not permitted those who have believed that preaching. Thus the saints are practically kept in a place of distance, and thereby taught (ignorantly) to be false to the Lord Jesus! Surely we might say, if every church and chapel in the country were closed, and all the ministers of the Gospel shut up in prison, that true-heartedness to Him would lead His saints to assemble themselves together for worship, by faith, in the Holiest of All—knowing that there, the ministry of the Great High Priest, can never for a moment be suspended. So “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith!” (Jam 4:8)

- WM Kelly

Devotional Anthology by M J S