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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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A double-edged sword cuts both ways. It slices as it goes down and as it comes up. This text talks about the word of God: sharper than any double-edged sword. There is both confession and comfort here. There is confession about how God's word uncovers us. Nothing is hidden from God. That can seem harsh and vulnerable. But that same sword cuts as deeply and sharply in giving us God's Son Jesus. As much as we are revealed, we are also comforted. As much as we are laid bare, we are also given grace. As much as we are judged, we can also approach the throne of grace with confidence.

Some of us are really good at dwelling in guilt. It can weigh on us and hold us back--even cripple us from living well. Jesus, our great High Priest, offers grace and mercy in greater measure than our guilt. That grace and mercy cuts as deep as--indeed, deeper than--any guilt or judgment.

As we bring the depth of our confessions and sins to you, our Great High Priest, let us know the cut of your grace and mercy. Let us be confident to approach the throne of grace because of your great love. Amen.

Sarah Raymond, '13
Pastor, Grand Forks Rural Parish, Thompson, N.D.

Hebrews 4:12-16 (NRSV)

12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.