From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Today is the last day of classes for the January Short Courses. Students, I hope each of you performed to your full potential. Next week, FHU will officially start the spring 2013 semester. Let’s pray daily that God will bless us with a great semester. During the fall semester, God smiled on the university in numerous ways. The devotional thought for today will continue to examine “Reasons to Rejoice.” We have reviewed twelve of Peter’s explanations for Christians to be glad, excited, and constantly displaying a joyful disposition (I Pet. 1:6, 8). In I Peter 3:22, the thirteenth reason to rejoice is given because Jesus has returned to heaven and is now at the right hand of God.
Peter writes that Jesus, after His resurrection, entered into heaven. In heaven, Jesus is sitting in a seat of authority or power on “the right hand of God” (I Pet. 3:21-22). While at God’s right hand, Jesus occupies numerous statuses and performs many roles of which one, according to John, is to serve as our advocate (I Jo. 2:1). The word advocate literally means “called to one’s side for aid” (Vine’s). Jesus is presently before God speaking to Him on our behalf. He is using His influence to help us. Jesus is not just our advocate; He’s our friend (Jo. 15:13-14). What a comforting thought to know that we have a friend before God speaking on our behalf. Thus, Christians have nothing to worry about (cf. Matt. 6:25ff; I Pet. 5:7). What a friend we have in Jesus! He’s never too tired and He always has time to help or speak on our behalf - His friends. So, today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter, let us rejoice and be glad. We have an advocate, a friend, in heaven (cf. Rom. 8:34)!
Why do we need an advocate? John says “if” signifying when we sin, relax it’s okay because we have a friend who serves as our advocate before God (I Jo. 2:1). Sin separates us from God (Rom. 6:23), but Jesus is working daily on our behalf to restore us to complete fellowship with God. Christians can relax because if we confess our transgressions, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from our sins (I Jo. 1:9).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews shares a comforting, yet powerful fact about our advocate – Jesus Christ. He communicates that Jesus is well capable to serve as our advocate because He understands – He knows of our trials and temptations. The writer states,
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with ourweaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:14-16).
Our advocate, Jesus, knows about our life’s experiences and He is able to save us (cf. Heb. 7:25). It’s comforting and exciting to know we have a friend who is able to look into the eyes of God on our behalf. Therefore, today we should rejoice and be glad in it. If you haven’t, please let go of whatever is keeping you from rejoicing and enjoying the Christian life? Don’t forget you have an advocate in heaven!