Daily Reading: Hebrews 10:19–25

Let us draw near to God . . . having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. 10:22)

The shadow of the past prevented an entire generation of Haitians from getting to know Jesus. Haiti’s roots came from a people who believed in freedom. After being stolen from their homeland, the slaves were taught that black was bad and white was good. Political freedom brought life to their bodies, but their souls were still enslaved by lies.

Haitians can see thirty-two separate shades of brown skin. The elderly Haitians believe the color of skin is an outward expression of how “bad” that person is. The darker the skin color, the less chance they would have of ever being good. So when a white person comes to share the goodness of God, that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s something they don’t think they can experience because their skin color disqualifies them from God.

Hebrews 10 tells us to encourage each other and be confident because of Jesus’ work. There is no “pre-qualified” race or generation. There is no application, no questions about the past. There is no reason not to persevere in faith.

How many times have I avoided coming to God because I didn’t feel “good” enough? I put qualifications and standards on myself that God does not require of me. Just like the Haitians, I can come to the Lord with whatever is going on because I believe Jesus made a way for that to happen.

Pray about a standard or a preconceived notion that keeps you from encouraging another.