Get On A Schedule – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – Numbers 27 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 9 – 12; Proverbs 25; Psalms 126 – 130

Read the “0225 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season. And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even…” (Numbers 28:1-4)

“These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 29:39-40)

Good morning. Between the two passages above, God gives Israel a schedule for their sacrifices, and everything involved. We should be on a schedule too, if we want to get anything accomplished. Our schedule is going to look a little different, depending on our priorities. Our first priority should be God: schedule your Walking With God time. Start with prayer time: praise Him for what He’s done for you; confess what you failed to do; make your requests known (others, you); thank Him for what He is going to do and ask Him to show you something from His Word. That brings us to Bible Reading. Schedule a time to read your Bible daily. Keep a journal of verses or passages the Holy Spirit wants you to focus on as you read.

Secondly, schedule time for your wife and family. Not TV time. Quality time. Take them to the park and throw the Frisbee around for a while. Do something to make good memories. Believe me, the time goes too quick.

Thirdly. Everything else comes third. Work, church, soul winning, sleep, hobbies, etc. When you put God first, everything will fall into place.

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

A Strong Message

pinchas

Today’s Passage – Numbers 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 5 – 8; Proverbs 24; Psalms 121 – 125)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0224 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

 “And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” – (Numbers 25:6-8)

In Numbers 25, we have a very strange story. It seems that as the people of Israel were sojourning in the land of Moab on their way to the Promised Land, some of the men began to get cozy with the women of Moab. God had a big problem with this for several reasons; but the main reason is that these women were not Jews by birth or by conversion. They were an idolatrous people, having entirely different standards of morality as well as an idolatrous system of worship. It wasn’t long before the people of God began to participate in the sacrifices to these false gods. This was a violation of God’s sternest warning to the people when they left Egypt. The Israelites were to be a separated people. God didn’t want them to fellowship with any other people because He knew that they would eventually turn the Jews away from Him.

God was furious with the people, and He wanted Moses to do something in order to purge this idolatry out of the camp of Israel. Eventually, a strange thing happens. A man took a Midianitish woman into his tent in the sight of Moses. I do not think they were going in there to have a Bible study. Anyway, this was also witnessed by one of the priests: a man named Phinehas; and he, in his zeal for the Lord, went into the tent and thrust a spear through both the man and the woman at the same time. At first glance, we might think that God would not support this kind of action, but on the contrary, He is very pleased with it; and He rewards Phinehas and his family for doing it. Why? Because what Phinehas did served two purposes. First, it appeased the wrath of God, and secondly, it sent a strong message to the people of Israel to stay away from the inhabitants of the land. God is a jealous God.

By the way, these people were from the land of Moab. Remember yesterday’s blog about Balaam. Balak, the king of Moab wanted Balaam to curse the children of Israel. Balaam was unable to do this because God would not allow it, but it appears that the people of Moab were able to as much damage to Israel by fellowshipping with them as they could have done by fighting them. We really need to be careful who we fellowship with. My preacher used to say: “we are now, or we soon will be, who we hang around.” I believe that is a true statement more often than not.

I believe that today our churches are being inundated with sin and compromise. Most of God’s people, including many preachers, are looking the other way. We have almost given up the fight against sin. We need a Phinehas today, that will stand up and send a strong, yet loving message against it. We need some bold Christians that will stand against the incoming tide of immorality and cultural idolatry that is flooding the lives of the people of God.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – (Ephesians 5:11)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

 


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

Which One Is The Jackass?

Double-donkeys-24-May-2013-25-1024x574

Today’s Passage – Numbers 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 1 – 4; Proverbs 23; Psalms 116 – 120)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read the “0223 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12)

“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” – (Numbers 22:28)

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” – (2 Peter 2:15 – 16)

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” – (Jude 1:11)

Chapter 22 of the Book of Numbers presents a very interesting and familiar story of a mule that was given by God the ability to speak audibly to her owner, Balaam. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to carefully read the passage in order to get the most out of what I am about to say. Besides, what God says in His Word is far more important that what I will say in this blog, so don’t skip the reading.

Anyway, in this passage we have the prophet Balaam, who is living in the land of the Moabites. Why he lived there and not with the people of God is a mystery. The king of the Moabites is watching very closely the nation of Israel as they are sojourning very close to his border. He wants them out, so he goes to the man of God and asks him to place a curse upon Israel. He doesn’t go himself, however, he sends some of his princes to do his bidding. After hearing their request, Balaam inquires of the Lord, and the Lord tells him not to go with these men, and not to speak anything against Israel because they are a nation blessed by God. Balaam the prophet goes to the men and gives them God’s answer. The men return a short while later and press him to reconsider. Now this is where Balaam begins to err. He already asked God, and God had already said no; but the princes promise him if that he would go with him, their king would give him great honor and a lot of money. Now, he should have just repeated what God had already told him; but instead he tells them that he will go back and ask God again. He wanted God to give him what he had already been told that he wasn’t going to get. Balaam’s problem is that he really wants God to curse the Israelites, because it would mean that he would receive great riches from this Moabite king. God is not at all pleased with Balaam, but he allows him to go. He permits him to do what is in his heart. He was not permitted to curse Israel, but he was permitted to cozy up with the enemies of Israel, and receive the rewards that came with it. So, I ask you the question: which one was the real jackass?

This is not the only time in the Bible that God has permitted things that were against His will. He gave Israel a king because they kept asking for one, even though He knew that it wasn’t what was best for them. Notice another example of God granting the continual request of a complaining people when the Israelites complained to God as they wandered in the wilderness:

“They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:13-15)

I know many people today who keep asking God for things that are clearly against His will. Why don’t we just take “no” for an answer. God knows what is best for us. Don’t keep pestering him to give you what He has already closed the door on. Too many Christians are practically breaking doors down that God has chosen to keep closed.


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

Look to Jesus

2016 Theme Looking Unto Jesus with logo and date

Today’s Passage – Numbers 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 25 – 28; Proverbs 22; Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song –Proverbs 27:15

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” – (Numbers 21:8)

I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”

Look and live, my brother, live!

Look to Jesus now, and live;

’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!

It is only that you “look and live.”

In today’s passage we read the very wonderful story of the brazen serpent. The people of Israel were tired: tired of travelling, tired of the mannah; and frankly they were tired of Moses. The Bible tells us that they began to speak against Moses, and against God. Bad move. God sent fiery serpents among them, and many were bitten, and some died. The people quickly realized their sin, and they confessed it to God, and asked Moses to pray for God to do something. The last part of verse 7 is one of the sweetest sentences in the Bible. It reads: “And Moses prayed for the people”. How wonderful it is to know that someone is praying for you. Anyway, God tells Moses to make a serpent out of brass and attach it to a pole. Moses was then to lift up the pole and cause the people to look upon it, and whoever looked upon the brasen serpent was healed of the sickness caused by the snake bite.

There is a wonderful parallel to this passage in the New Testament that references this story:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – (John 3:14-15)

Jesus tells us there that all we have to do in order to be saved is to look to Him. There is nobody else to look to.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – (Acts 4:12 )

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – (John 14:6)

Faith is simply looking away from everything else, and looking toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is simple. You must first recognize your need. You are a hell-deserving sinner, and you are helpless to save yourelf. Then you must turn to the one who was lifted up on the cross of Calvary for your sin. He offers salvation to you as a free gift. Receive Him today. Look and Live!

For more information on salvation, read the “Are You Saved?” page on this website.

And Christians, we need to keep our eyes on the Lord even after we are saved:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – (Hebrews 12:2)

Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

Standing Between the Living and the Dead

1238_Numbers-628x250

Today’s Passage – Numbers 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 22 – 24; Proverbs 21; Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 121

Read the “0221 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” – (Numbers 16:48)

The passages of Scripture that we have been reading the past few days tell the story of the Nation of Israel as they travelled through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. The trip should have taken them only a few weeks, but because of their lack of faith in God they were sentenced to wander for 40 long years until those that doubted the power of God were weeded out. In fact, only two of the original group of adults that left Egypt would actually cross over into the the land Canaan. This travelling group of Israelites was not only fearful and faithless, they were also very “fed up”; and their discontentment caused them to grumble. Now grumbling is a sin which the Lord absolutely hates. In fact, I think if you were to carefully study the Bible, you would discover that God killed more of His people for grumbling and griping than He did for any other reason.

Not only did they complain because of their discontentment, they also challenged the God-given leadership of Moses and Aaron. They thought Moses “[took] too much upon [him]“, meaning that Moses was making himself a lord over God’s heritage. I dealt with this rebellion of Korah and others in  another post. (Click here to view post)

My thought this morning, however, is found in verse 48 of chapter 16. Notice there that it says that Moses stood between the living and the dead. It seems that no matter how bad the people got in their lack of faith, their fear, and their discontented complaining, Moses never stopped interceding to God on their behalf. There were times that God wanted to wipe them all out and start over again building a new nation from the seed of Moses; but Moses always reminded God of His covenant with Israel, and He always begged God to forgive them. He reminds me of another man, named Jesus, Who years later was rejected, beaten, and hung on a Cross, yet one of the last phrases that came out of His mouth was “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. And then later there was a man, named Stephen, who was preaching Christ to the Israelites who in turn stoned him to death; but here again, this man interceded on their behalf and said, “lay not this sin to their charge”. These men all stood between the living and the dead.

We get a chance to stand between the living and the dead in this generation also. We can intercede to God through prayer on behalf of a people that do not yet know Him. We can also go to them bringing the truth of the Gospel, which if received will restore their broken relationship with God. Oh that we would be more like Moses, Stephen, and especially Jesus, and stand for the Lord in middle of a generation of people who are dead spiritually, interceding for them and proclaiming to them the Truth that will bring them life.


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

Obstacles

Today’s Passage – Numbers 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 19 – 21; Proverbs 20; Psalms 101 – 105)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0220 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” – (Numbers 14:8-9)

What do you see when problems or trials come your way? Do see the trial, or do you see the God Who is much bigger than your trial? How about obstacles? Is your God bigger than your obstacles? In Numbers 13 and 14 we see the twelve spies going into the land of promise to check it out. It is amazing how that all twelve witnesssed the same things, but only two of them saw that God was bigger than the obstacles. Ten of the spies came back with nothing but negativity. It is too difficult; the giants are too big. We can’t do it. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, didn’t pay too much attention to the giants, because their God made the giants look like little children in comparison. They saw nothing but victory, and the goodness of God in the land that they were to receive.

Let me ask you he question again. What do you see. Do you see the Christan life as something too big or too difficult? Do you see God’s will for your life as impossible for God to do through you. Let me share some verses with you:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – (Philippians 4:13)

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – (Luke 1:37)

“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” – (Mark 10:27)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – (Hebrews 11:6)

God was well pleased with the faith of Joshua and Caleb. They were the only ones that got to go into the Promised Land. Will God be well pleased with your faith?


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

We Could Use Some More Spirit-filled Preachers

JPEG Pro

Today’s Passage – Numbers 11 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 16 – 18; Proverbs 19; Psalms 96 – 100)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0219 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.” (Numbers 11:26-30) 

Today’s reading contains an interesting story about two men, Eldad and Medad. These men were apparently appointed by Moses to be among the seventy that God had called to help him bear the burden of the people of Israel. These seventy men were gathered together at the Tabernacle where the Lord had caused his spirit to rest upon them. However, Eldad and Medad did not go with the seventy to the Tabernacle, but the Lord caused His Spirit to rest upon them in the camp anyway, and they began to prophesy in the camp. Apparently this break in protocol concerned Joshua so he went to Moses and requested that he make them stop. Moses, however, instead rebuked Joshua, and told him that he wished there more than just these two men that were Spirit-filled and speaking for God in the camp.

There is a similar story in the Lukes gospel:

“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:49-50)

In this story it is John who is concerned about a man who is casting out devils because he wasn’t one of the twelve disciples. Jesus rebuked John stating that what the man was doing was good, and that because he wasn’t working against the cause of Christ, he was actually advancing it.

Sometimes we become a little envious, and even skeptical of other groups within Christianity who don’t dot their I’s and cross their T’s exactly the way we do. They may not run in the same circles, and they may not belong to the same denomination or fellowship, but they are doing a work for God. They may not do things the same way we do, but if they are doing something for God, we shouldn’t try to hinder them. We ought to applaud anyone who is advancing the cause of Christ. We need more people who are Spirit-filled, and preaching the Word of God.


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

What’s That Sound? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 13 – 15; Proverbs 18; Psalms 91 – 95)

Read the 0218 Evening and Morningdevotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” (Numbers 10:1-2)

Good morning. In chapter 10 of today’s reading, the LORD tells Moses to make two trumpets, each using a whole piece of silver. Did you know that silver will give more of a clearer tone than brass? The people needed to hear a clear sound from these trumpet throughout the camp. Numbers chapter 1 can give us an approximate idea of how many people made up the nation of Israel at this time.

“So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.” (Numbers 1:45-47)

So if you take the 603,550 from the 11 tribes, and add the tribe of Levi, all the wives and children, and those who were too old and unable to go to war, you would have at least a population of 1 million people. These two silver horns had to give a loud, and clear enough sound to reach everybody in this multitude.

“And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.” (Numbers 10:3-7)

There is a real Heaven and a real Hell. Around 55.3 million people die each day. How many have trusted Jesus, and are in Heaven? How many have not trusted Jesus as their own personal Saviour, and are in Hell? How is your trumpet? Is it sounding a clear, understandable warning? Do you want to be a better soul winner? Here are some tips that could help you do this…

1) Set a goal.

If your goal is nothing, you will hit it every time. Back in college, we were required to make at least 5 gospel presentations per week. How many do you make now? I’m not in college, so how many am I required to make?

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Jesus said to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Jesus also said…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

And that brings us to Tip #2…

2) You have to love people.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1Corinthians 13:1-8)

If you have not charity, or love, the sound you make is like sounding brass, a blast that is not as bright as silver, nor as pure and clear. Or it is just a tinkling cymbal: the sound is not that loud enough to reach everybody, or even anybody. You need to love people: God loved you…

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God gave us a way out by coming down from Heaven and dieing on a cross to pay sin’s wage which was death. That’s how we should love others… even our enemies…

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew 5:43-47)

That means you need to love ISIS, but not the evil they do. You need to love the LBGT community, but not their abominable acts of lust. You need to love the Liberals, poor and misguided, they have no idea of the damages they are inflicting on a nation that wants to turn back to following the true and living God. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. You have to love people.

3) Know the Gospel

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2Corinthians 4:1-5)

Know the Gospel of the Roman’s Road…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…” (Romans 5:12)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

And be ready to give assurance. Jesus said…

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

4) Know the LORD

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1Corinthians 3:5-7)

Tap into His Power and you will become a better soul winner…

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Peace!


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

The Voice of God

2010febvoice2

Today’s Passage – Numbers 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Proverbs 17; Psalms 86 – 90)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0217 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.” – (Numbers 7:89)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” – (John 10:27)

Chapter 7 of Numbers is certainly a long chapter, and not exactly what I would call great devotional reading. However, as with the rest of the Bible, this is a very important passage. Here we see the heads of the tribes of Israel all presenting to the Lord their offerings at the dedication of the Tabernacle. Each tribe had to offer the same thing which includes some gold and silver; incense and flour; and an assortment of animals. We certainly can see from this passage, and from many other recent chapters that the Israelite were certainly dedicated in the area of giving; but they not only gave what was required, they also gave over and above what was asked of them.

The last verse of this long chapter tells us that after the offering was made, Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with God, and he heard the voice of God coming out from between the cherubims on top of the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to hear the audible voice of God; to actually hear Him speak personally to my physical ears. I can, however, hear the voice of God today as much as I desire to because He speaks to me through His Word. The Bible is God’s voice. He spoke to me this morning about this dedication offering. He also gave me some wisdom from Proverbs 17. And then he motivated me and stirred me as I read about Peter and and the other apostles and people from Acts.

God speaks to me in other ways also besides the Bible. Sometimes, as I walk and pray in the mornings, God will speak to my heart. Now, we have to be careful about these “still small voices” that we hear in our heads and our hearts. We need to be sure that it is God that is talking to us. Sometimes our flesh and even the devil will put thoughts in our heads that are not of God. One way you can tell if it is actually God talking is if the thing that He tells you is in agreement with the Word of God. He never goes against His Word. It always disturbs me when people tell them that God had told them to do something that was a complete contradiction to His clear revelation from the Bible.

Have you listened for His voice today? Did you open up your Bible this morning, along with your heart and mind, and hear what God has to say to you? Have you waited on Him today in your prayer closet to hear Him speak to you about specific areas of your life? It is not that God is not still speaking today as much as it is that His children are not listening.

 


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

The Lord Bless Thee

autumn-leaves-wallpaper

Today’s Passage – Numbers 5 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 7 – 9; Proverbs 16; Psalms 81 – 85)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”  (Numbers 6:24-26)

In chapters 5 of the Book of Numbers, God is instructing the children of Israel about what they should do if a man suspects that his wife has been unfaithful to him. The Bible talks about “the spirit of jealousy” that comes upon a man if there is something going on behind his back. I believe the same holds true for the wife. I know that today we don’t often think of jealousy as being a good thing; but interestingly, the Bible records that God is very jealous over his children. I do not think it is wrong either for there to be a healthy dose of jealousy within the marriage either. A man should love his wife to the extent that he cannot bear the thought of her being with anyone else. The same applies to the wife. Jealousy is, I believe, a God-given emotion. Now it must be controlled, just as all of our other emotions; and we cannot let it cause us to sin, but I believe it to be a good thing nonetheless.

Chapter 6 primarily deals with the rules concerning the vow of the Nazarite. When a person took this special vow of consecration in Old Testament days, he would not cut his hair or his beard, and he was not permitted to touch any alcohol, or come near anything (or anybody) that was dead. This vow was a vow of “separation unto the Lord”. The person that took this vow was declaring that his or her life was wholly dedicated to God. Usually, a person would be under this oath of separation for a period of time, not for his entire life. By the way, don’t confuse a Nazarite with a Nazarene, which is a person that comes from the city of Nazareth. Jesus was a Nazarene.

I was captivated this morning by the prayer of blessing found at the end of chapter 6. It seemed almost strange for this beautiful prayer to be place in this particular place. I mean, we have been reading a lot here lately about a bunch of commandments, sacrifices, rules, etc. Here, God tells Aaron that he wants him to pronounce this prayer of blessing over the people. I think God just wanted to remind the people that he loved them and that He was for them. I think we can learn a couple of lessons from this as well. First, we need to be reminded that God loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. We often will think about God as this angry, cold dictator that is ready to pounce upon us when we do wrong. That is not God. He loves us and He wants to give us the richest blessings, and a life full of abundance.

The second lesson that we should learn from this is that when we are trying to teach our children, we need to remember to let them know often that we love them. Yes, we need to give them all of the rules, commandments, and instructions; and yes, we ought to discipline them when they do wrong; but we also need to make sure that they know that we (and especially God) are in their corner, and that we want nothing but the richest blessings for their lives. This would be a good lesson for preachers and other mentors to learn as well. In our zeal to instruct, we sometimes come across as being uncaring and unloving. You have heard the old saying: “People do not care about what you know, until they know that you really care.” Well, we ought to really care, and we ought also to express that love and care often to the people that we are trying to help.

 

  


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

A Job For Everybody

Help Wanted sign held by man.

Today’s Passage – Numbers 3 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 4 – 6; Proverbs 15; Psalms 76 – 80

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0215 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.” (Numbers 3:6)

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” – (Romans 12:3-8)

In chapters 3 and 4 of the Book of Numbers we see God’s instructions to the families of the tribe of Levi. They were placed in charge of the ministry of the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons were the priests, and they were put in charge of the service of the other families. The Gershonites were responsible for the setting up, taking down, and transportation of all of the curtains and coverings of the Tabernacle with the exception of the vail. Only Aaron and his sons were to remove the vail, and it was to be placed upon the Ark of the Covenant. The Kohathites were responsible to transport all of the furniture in the Tabernacle, though they were not permitted to touch any of the “holy things”, or even be present when they were being covered by Aaron and his sons. The Merarites were responsible to set up and transport all of the boards and bars that served as the framework of the Tabernacle. Each family had their responsibility, and each family had their place where they were to camp around the Tabernacle.

The thought I had this morning regarding this passage is this: what if one of the Merarites didn’t want to transport bars and boards? Maybe he wanted to transport coverings instead like the sons of Gershon. The point is that these people were not given the choice about what they wanted to do. They were assigned a task by God and were expected to do it. It is sort of like the military. They don’t really care about what you want to do, but they are going to assign you a duty and you will be expected to do it.

It is not at all like this in the local church today. We tell people that they can do whatever they want to do. We tell them that they have the liberty to choose where, why, and how they can serve the Lord. But, should it really be that way? Shouldn’t we still be seeking to discover what the Lord’s will is regarding who will serve and in what capacity. There are many guidelines given in the Bible regarding service within the local church, and that certainly is where we should start the process, but we also ought to be very careful that we are very prayerful about what each person is given to do within the body. We also need to be careful about just sticking people in positions simply because there is nobody else to do it. We see a perceived need, so we place anybody we can find in the position. I believe that if the need is genuine, God will supply the right person. Maybe we are creating needs and positions that are not of God. I remember at one church we were serving in years ago, I felt that it was my duty to fill every perceived need that was present. I was working with the youth, junior church, bus ministry, Sunday School, and much more. The problem was that it wasn’t God’s will for me to be doing all of those things, so I began doing them in the flesh, which profited nothing. And maybe somebody else was missing out on their true calling because I was doing too much.

I believe that God has got a job for everybody to do within the local church, and I also believe that God has got the right person for every need within the body. Leaders need to be admonished to pray earnestly about finding the right, biblically qualified person to do the job; and the people need to be willing to fulfill God’s will for their lives, whether it be teaching people or cleaning toilets. Every task within the church is important, and every worker within the church is equal in the sight of God, as long as they are doing what God has called them to do. The ministry is much more than just preaching and teaching the Word of God. In order for ministry to take place in a local church there are a lot of tasks that need to be performed. God has gifted certain people to perform each of these duties. I believe that all ministers need to be willing to do whatever is necessary in order for the ministry to function, but we also need to be constantly on the lookout for people who will be willing and able to do all of the things that need to be done. Every duty is important, and every person that performs these tasks are also important to the cause of Christ. The janitor that does his job well is just as much in the center of God’s will as the preacher who prepares, prays, and preaches.

What is your job within the local body of believers? What has God equipped you to do? Find your niche within the church, and help your church fulfil the Great Commission.


Posted in Thoughts from Numbers by with no comments yet.

The Center of the Camp

Today’s Passage – Numbers 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Proverbs 14; Psalms 71 – 75)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 51

Read the “0214 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.” – (Numbers 2:17)

In Numbers chapter 2, God gives us a description of what the camp of Israel looked like when they were not on the move. A careful reading of this chapter will reveal that the nation of Israel was divided into 13 different groups, which included 11 of the original 12 tribes; and also the two half-tribes of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim). These groups were all strategically placed around the tabernacle. Immediately surrounding the tent on all four sides was the tribe of Levi. They were placed there as closely as possible to the tabernacle because that was their place of service. They were the ministers and priests of the Lord. Beyond the Levites the remaining twelve tribes and half-tribes were positioned by threes in each direction. For instance, on the east side of the tabernacle, beyond the Levites, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon. There were also three tribes on the west, south, and north. The thought that I am trying to develop here, however, is that the tabernacle was in the very center of the congregation. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt, between the cherubims on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. God, and His chosen place of worship was the very center of the lives of the people of Israel.

Now let’s fast forward a few thousands years to the time of the local church. I realize that today God dwells in the hearts of His children, but the local church is God’s chosen place for corporate worship, and it is the place where we are to be organized in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” – (1 Timothy 3:15)

God should still be at the center of our lives; and the local church should be at the center of the life of our family. I have been a pastor now for many years, and I have been involved in God’s work as a layman even longer. I have observed that the families who place a high value on the local church, recognizing it’s importance, tend to be stronger and happier than the families that do not. Don’t misunderstand, I do not think that the church has a higher priority than the home but I do believe that successful homes are built around a strong, Bible believing, New Testament church. The church’s role is critical to healthy marriages and to the spiritual development of our children.

Take a moment to consider the role that the local church plays in your life; and then consider the role that you play in your local church. We need to keep our local churches strong, and I believe that there are many ways that you can help:

1 Participate in the local church – attend the services and find something that you can do that will serve others. God has uniquely equipped you in certain areas that can be used in the local church.

2 Pray for your church and your pastors and leaders. The ministry can be very discouraging, but you can be an encouragement to the people that minister to you simply by lifting them up in prayer. It wouldn’t hurt for you to let them know on occassion that you are praying for them.

3 Support your church with your tithes and offerings. The work of God cannot go forward without the tithes of God’s people. When you don’t give you are telling God and the church that they have no place of value in your life. You can also support the church by not bashing it. Let people know where you stand. If you are for the ministry, speak out for it, and don’t let others run it down in your presence. Negativity and complaining are like cancers inside the church that will destroy it from within.

Is the local church important to you, or isn’t it? God says that it should be. Remember, He died for the church. It’s His body. He places a great value on it, and so should we.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

The Choice is Yours

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 26 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 19 – 21; Proverbs 13; Psalms 66 – 70)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0213 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “The Choice Is Yours” and “First Things First

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;” – (Leviticus 26:3)

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;” – (Leviticus 26:14)

In our passage today, in Leviticus 26, the Lord places a choice before His people. In verses 3 – 13, God promises all kinds of wonderful things to His people if they would continue to love Him, and be faithful to Him. Beginning in verse 14, the Lord explains what will happen to them if they forsake Him. You will notice that the latter portion is much larger than the former. God goes to much greater lengths to clearly explain and warn the people of what would happen to them if they were to disobey.

First, let’s look at the blessings. God promised to:

1 Provide for them.

“Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.” – (Leviticus 26:4-5)

Everything they needed, and even much of what they could desire, God promised to give them.

2 Protect them from their enemies, and from natural calamities.

“And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” – (Leviticus 26:6-8)

3 They would proliferate (multiply)

“For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.” – (Leviticus 26:9)

4 They would be in partnership with God.

“And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” – (Leviticus 26:10-13)

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Almost sounds too good to be true, but it was. God held up to His end of the bargain. Unfortunately, the people of Israel didn’t choose to continue to follow the Lord. Slowly, but surely, they began to get away from the comands of God, and go their own way. Eventually the land was filled with idolatry, apostacy, and immorality; and then God was forced to do the things that are listed in verses 14 – 46. The provision and protection that God had once given them was removed, and the people suffered the consequences of their choices.

God has a lot of the same promises to Christians today. He said that He would meet our needs, and that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Yet, many of His churches and children today are forsaking Him, just as the Israelites did. Why are we so foolish? Let’s draw nigh unto God; let’s love Him and submit ourselves to His will for our lives. He has our best interests in mind. Choose God. He is the wise choice.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

The Mind of the Lord

samplesermon

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 24 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Proverbs 12; Psalms 61 – 65)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0212 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.” (Leviticus 24:12)

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

In our reading passage today in Leviticus 24:10 – 16, we read about a man who had a mother who was an Israelite from the tribe of Dan, but his father was an Egyptian, presumably one of the mixed multitude that followed the Jews out of Egypt. The story tells us that this man (the son) “blasphemed the name of Lord and cursed”. The Israelites brought the man that cursed to Moses, but they were not sure what should be done to this young man by way of punishment, so they put him in prison (“in ward”) until they could find out “the mind of the Lord”. In other words, they were trying to discover God’s will.

My thought this morning has little to do with the fact that the man blasphemed. Nor does it have anything to do with the mixed nationalities of his parents. What caught my attention was the fact that Moses and the Israelites did not react hastily to the situation, they waited until they knew what God wanted them to do. They want to make sure they had “the mind of the Lord”.

What a great lesson this is to all of us reading this passage today. So many times when faced with new or difficult problems, we react rashly before we carefully discern the will of God regarding the situation. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 states:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

There is a recipe for discerning the will of God that contains four ingredients:

1  Wait – don’t do anything until you know for sure that you are doing the will of God. Too many of us rush into a decision before we have had a chance to determine what God wants us to do. My children would sometimes come to me asking for permission to go with a friend somewhere, and sometimes they would need an answer right away, and in those cases the answer would always be no. Why? Because I didn’t want to be rushed into making a bad decision.

2  Study – Go to God’s Word and see what it says about the problem you are facing or the decision you need to make. Bible principle will answer so many questions before they are even asked.

3  Pray – Ask God to give you wisdom to help you specifically apply His word to your unique situation. In our story today, the specific situation that Moses faced had not clearly been addressed in the Law, so they needed God’s help to figure out what to do in this unique set of circumstances.

4  Counsel – Seek the wisdom of others who may have already faced the situation that you are facing. Seek the he help of those who are students of the Word, and have the ability to discern God’s will through study and prayer. “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

We may be tempted to think that the punishment for this young man’s crime was kind of harsh, but at least we know that the decision to stone him did not come from Moses or one of the other elders of Israel; it came from God. Moses and the men of Israel made sure that they were doing exactly what God wanted them to do.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

The Feasts Of The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 22 – 23 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 15 – 16; Proverbs 11; Psalms 56 – 60

Read the 0211 Evening and Morning devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” (Leviticus 23:1-2)

And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:44)

Good morning. Here in Leviticus 23, between verses 2 and 44, are listed the Feasts of the Lord. Leviticus 23:3 is The Sabbath. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is Leviticus 23:4-8. The Feast of the Firstfruits is Leviticus 23:9-14. The Feasts of Weeks is Leviticus 23:15-22. Leviticus 23:23-25 is the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement is Leviticus 23:26-32. And the Feast of Booths is Leviticus 23:33-43. But these are not the feasts I am waiting for, I’m waiting for two other feasts…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:17-21)

Can you imagine, when we return with the Lord, with the word of His mouth He will turn His enemies into a feast for all the birds. But the best feast comes just before…

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

What’s The Difference

sheepgoatbig

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 13 – 14; Proverbs 10; Psalms 51 – 55)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” – (Leviticus 19:2)

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – (Leviticus 20:26)

In the passages we have read from Leviticus today, we see that God intended there to be a difference in the people of Israel from the world that surrounded them; or actually, would surround them when they finally entered into the land of Canaan where God was bringing them. God warns them not to be like the people of the land. God was removing them (the Canaanites, etc.) from the land because of their sinful lifestyles. God’s people would have to be different, or God would expel them out of the land as well.

In the three chapters that we have read today there are many different commandments from the Lord regarding how they were to be a holy people, set apart from the rest of the world. I will not take the time to deal with all of them, but I will mention a few here in this devotion. Think about the world we live in today as we examine these thoughts; and see if we, as Christians, are as “set apart” as we should be. Let’s take a quick look at how the children of Israel were to be different:

1  They were to be different morally. Much of chapter 20 deals with sexual sins such as adultery, homosexuality, and even bestiality. God says that the previous inhabitants of the land were all guilty of these things. The people in our world today are also very perverted in their ability to live morally pure lives. We live in the era of “if it feels good, do it.” God says that His children are to be different.

2  They were to be different in their compassion for others. They were to make provisions in their crops for the poor and the stranger. God reminds them that they were strangers at one time. He wanted them to leave the corners of their fields, and the gleanings for people who needed help. How concerned are we today about helping people? Many of us have been blessed of God with abundance. God wants us to share part of that blessing with others. I think the key here is that God wants us to remember that it all comes from him anyway. We are often like the kid who was eating with his dad at McDonalds. When his dad reached for a french fry out of his son’s meal, the son pulled them away. Not very wise considering the dad supplied the meal in the first place, and would be the supplier of many future meals.

3  They were also to be different in their faith. The people of the land were very superstitious. They worshipped all kinds of “gods” and idols. Some were even guilty of sacrificing their own children. God wanted the people of Israel to stay far away from all of that stuff. No wizards; no witches; no familiar spirits; no divination; no astrologers; no soothsayers; none of that junk. God wants his children to be wholly dependent upon Him; and He does not want to share His glory; or His worship with anybody, or anything else. We have a lot of “idols” in our society today also, don’t we. They may not be little statues, but they are there none the less. An idol is anything that comes between us and God.

4  They were to be different in their respect for the older folks. I think that we are getting away from this in our world as well. There used to be a time in America when Granddad and Grandma were the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family. They were deeply revered and respected by their children and grandchildren. It isn’t like that any more; but we need to get back to it. Today, even young children will mock their elders, and answer back to them. Christian parents need to be very careful that they do not tolerate such behavior in their children.

5  They were to be different in their business dealings. They were to be fair and honest with people; never cheating them with unjust balances and such. The world today is replete with people who will are trying to steal money away from others. There are myriads of scams out their designed to rob others. God’s people should never be involved in any business dealing that is not providing a good product or service at a fair price.

These were just a few thoughts from the passage. There are many more examples contained in the text. But how do we fare today in this present world that we live in? Are we any different from them? Or are we just like them with the exception of the “fish emblems” on our cars. As time goes by, there ought to be more and more of a striking difference between God’s people and the people of this world. Just a thought.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with 1 comment.

There Is A Fountain

muka-Gospodina

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 11 – 12; Proverbs 9; Psalms 46 – 50)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

Read the “0209 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this morning’s passage – “It’s Still in the Book

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” – (Leviticus 17:11)

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”– (Hebrews 9:22)

In Leviticus chapter 16, we learn about The Day of Atonement. This was the one day in the year that the high priest, which at this time was Aaron, would be permitted by God to go into the most holy place, called The Holy of Holies. On this day the priest would go into the most holy place where the ark of God was, and where the presence of God dwelt between the cherubims on the top of the mercy seat, which was the covering for the ark. He would go in first with the blood of a bullock which he offered for his own sins and for the sins of his family; and then he would go in with the blood of a goat which was for the sins of all of the congregation of Israel. This was the only day that he was allowed to enter into the presence of God. If he attempted to go in at any other time; or if he did not go in with the right heart, his offering would not be accepted and he would be smitten by God.

This Day of Atonement served as a sort of temporary appeasement of God for the sins of the people. The New Testament is very clear that the sacrifice of an animal could never really atone for man’s sins. It did remind man and God annually, however, that there would someday be the perfect sacrifice; the Sinless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He would someday come, and shed all of His blood for the sins of all men. The Old Testament Day of Atonement was merely a picture of the only true sacrifice that could be accepted by a Holy God. His blood was shed for you and me. I love the hymn, “There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood”. It reminds us of the awesome love that God has for us; and, praise God, sinners are still being plunged beneath that flood in order to have their sins completely and permanently cleansed and forgiven.

Have you applied the payment that the Lord Jesus made to your eternal account yet. He made a deposit 2000 years ago of His precious, perfect blood in order to pay the price for your sins and mine. I received that payment, by faith, over twenty years ago. I pray that if you haven’t done so yet, that you will receive it today.

And by the way: remember how the high priest could only go into God’s presence once per year. Things are different now. God has ripped the veil that separated a Holy God from a sinful people through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And now we can enter into His presence anytime we want; all because of the precious blood of Jesus.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – (Hebrews 4:16)


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

Leprosy in the House

Mold-Removal-Remediation-Kahului-Maui-1

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10; Proverbs 8; Psalms 41 – 45

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

“When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;” – (Leviticus 14:34)

As we continue reading in chapter 14 of the Book of Leviticus, we come across this curious passage that deals with leprosy within a house. This leprosy spoken of here would not be what is commonly called leprosy today (Hansen’s Disease); but rather this leprosy that appears on the walls of a house seems to be a type of mold or mildew. I remember when I was in Bible College down in Longview, Texas, there was a man there that was on the staff of the college that had purchased a beautiful home, but shortly after moving in they discovered that there was a mold problem in the house. Now I’m told that some types of mold can be very dangerous, and can cause many physical problems for people that come in contact with it. Anyway, this dear brother and his family had to eventually move out of the house for several months until the mold was completely removed from it. From what I understand this was no easy undertaking either. I believe if I remember correctly, that most of the drywall had to be removed and replaced after the framework was cleansed.

We have had a little trouble with mold in our house here in Galloway as well. We had to completely “gut” two of our bathrooms during our time here. One thing that I have learned about mold is that, like leprosy, it starts out very small; and often can be growing within the walls, as well as without. In fact, it probably grows better inside the walls where there is no light and perhaps a little moisture. In the right conditions, and if left untreated, it will quickly spread. It must be removed early and completely.

Even though this leprosy is not the same physical disease that was spoken of involving humans, it is still a picture of sin. We must be careful that we are vigilant about keeping sin out of our homes. We must watch for it, and remove it as quickly as possible; and then strive to keep the area as clean as we possibly can. If sin is allowed to multiply and grow, it will eventually destroy our homes from within. When it gets that bad, it will require much more than a little cleaning. We will have to “gut” areas, or possibly the whole home. It will take major reconstruction to fix the problem. Don’t let sin gain this kind of a foothold in your home. Nip it in the bud as early as you can.

I want to challenge to think for a moment about your home. Ask God if there is anything in your home that needs to be removed and cleansed. If there is, do it now, before it grows into a huge problem that may not be easily fixed.

Added Thought from Chapter 15

“And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.” (Leviticus 15:25)

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” – (Luke 8:43-48)

Notice in chapter 15 the instructions given regarding a woman who had “an issue of blood” that continued beyond the normal period. She was to be separated from everybody, and had to constantly wash everything she came in contact with. Notice the New Testament reference (above) of the woman that was healed by the Lord Jesus after having an issue of blood for twelve years. I am not sure if she strictly observed all of the rules mentioned in Leviticus involving her separation, but I am very sure that her disease was not only very debilitating physically, but also caused her a great deal of problems with her relationships with people. I am sure she was somewhat isolated from family and friends. Can you imagine finally being pronounced “clean” by the Lord Jesus Himself, after twelve long years. By the way, Jesus wasn’t troubled at all by the touch of this “unclean” woman. Sometimes we have to rub shoulders with people that are “unclean” in order to help them. Just a thought.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

Unclean

leper

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 7 – 8; Proverbs 7; Psalms 36 – 40)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 19

Read the “0207 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” – (Leviticus 13:45-46)

This morning we have been reading all about the plague of leprosy from Leviticus 13. Leprosy was certainly a horrible disease which, I believe, was fatal in almost all cases. If a person was determined by the priests to be a leper, he was separated from all others in the congregation, including his family, and was required to live outside the camp presumably among other lepers. If they were ever in a situation where they were in a close proximity with non-lepers, they were required to cry out unclean, unclean, so as to warn the people to keep their distance. This policy may seem to be harsh to us, but it was the only way to keep leprosy from spreading throughout the entire congregation of Israel.

Leprosy in the Bible is a picture, or type, of sin. Sin is like leprosy in many ways. It starts out on the inside, but eventually works its way out to the outside. It starts out small, but soon covers the entire body. If not dealt with, it will also spread to everybody. It causes us to be separated from God, and the people we love; and it leads eventually to death. We are all sinners, so we should all be able to relate to this dreaded disease. Fortunately for us there is a cure, a cleansing for this spiritual leprosy that we are plagued with. It is called the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the song says, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” What a blessing it is to know that there is a cure for the penalty of sin in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we are unclean in our flesh, He comes near to us and cleanses us from our sin. Praise the Lord!

One more thought regarding the leprosy of sin. God spared no precaution in trying to keep the people away from leprosy, and He feels the same way today about sin. He wants us to stay as far away from sin as possible. We are supposed make much of sin, instead of trying to minimize it. Don’t try to justify the sin in your life; do your best to eradicate it. We will never be able to remove the presence of sin in our life altogether. There is no such thing as “sinless perfection”; but we can get as close to God as possible, and through our closeness to God, see sin as He sees it. Maybe then we will strive to keep sin as distant from us as Israel attempted to keep leprosy from their congregation. This does not mean we loathe the sinner; we are commanded to love them, and pray for them, and do everything we can do to help them get to the cure; just as somebody helped us


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

Creeping Things

Today’s Passage –Leviticus 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 5 – 6; Proverbs 6; Psalms 31 – 35)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0206 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.” – (Leviticus 11:43)

How would you like to wake up with one of those creepy crawly things (above) on top of you? I thank the Lord that this particular bug is not native to our area. It is found far away from here in the Philippines. Remind me to never go there. The worst that we have to deal with here in Galloway Twp. is the Camel Cricket (below), which is an ugly looking critter, but is also harmless.

In our passage this morning, God is explaining to the children of Israel which animals, fish, and bugs were safe for them to eat, and or touch. Frankly, I am not sure about the reasons why God declared certain animals to be clean, and others to be an “abomination”.  The people of God just had to obey the law by faith, believing that the omniscient God that created the universe knew better about what was best for them.

We know that in the New Testament period we are not under law regarding any of these things, and we will not face judgment for touching or eating any of these animals, etc. However, I can’t help but think that God had  good reasons for banning these critters from the menus of the Israelites.

My thought this morning is not regarding what we should or shouldn’t eat, however. I got to thinking about all of the “creeping things” that God wants us to stay away from today. There are a lot of things out there that will hurt us if we “touch” them or partake of them. For instance, many of the philosophies that spew out this world system are “creeping things” that shouldn’t be touched, and certainly shouldn’t be allowed to enter into our minds. There are also many doctrinal heresies coming from some so-called theologians that attack the very foundation of our belief system. We should steer clear of these “creeping things” as well. There are also some pretty “creepy people” out there that should be avoided. People who have an ungodly perspective on living. I am not saying that we shouldn’t love these people and try to reach them with the gospel, but we shouldn’t run with them either, allowing their lifestyles and doctrines to influence us.

The “creeping things” today are not the same as in Moses’ day, but they are to be avoided nonetheless.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

Strange Fire

strange-fire

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 3 – 4; Proverbs 5; Psalms 26 – 30)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Joshua 1:8

Read the “0205 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

This is a very scary passage of Scripture. God kills the two sons of Aaron for offering “strange fire” before the Lord. This story reminds me of when God killed Uzza for putting his hand upon the ark of God in an attempt to steady it and keep it from falling off of the cart that it was being transported on. (See 1 Chronicles 13) On the surface, these accounts make God seem to be unfair in that He kills people over minor infractions, but let’s consider this “strange fire” passage before us in Leviticus.

Why was God so upset about the “strange fire”?

1 They were supposed to take the fire from off of the brazen altar and use it to burn the incense. Apparently, they had violated God’s clear command and had taken a short-cut to accomplish their purpose. God does not like when people do His work in their own way. (See Exodus 30:9; 34 – 38)

2 Though we cannot be sure, it appears from the context that they may have been drunken when they were serving in the Tabernacle. Notice what God commands Moses in verses 8 – 11, just after this event takes place:

“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” (Leviticus 10:8-11)

God is very serious about His service. People who minister for the Lord need to be extremely careful that they are serving God His way, and that they are giving Him their absolute best. God may not kill us today for taking the ministry lightly, but just think about all of the people who will suffer spiritually when we serve God in our flesh and don’t give Him our best effort.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with no comments yet.

This Is The Law Of The… – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 5 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 1 – 2; Proverbs 4; Psalms 21 – 25

Read the “0204 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.” (Leviticus 6:9)

“And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.” (Leviticus 6:14)

“Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.” (Leviticus 6:25)

“Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.” (Leviticus 7:1)

“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 7:11)

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight…” (Colossians 1:19-22)

Good morning. Leviticus chapters 6 and 7 show the Laws concerning the various offerings to the Lord. Colossians chapter 1, verses 19-22, concludes that our peace with God is only due to the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we are holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight. What about the sight of others? Maybe it’s a good thing that the unsaved don’t know this verse? Do they see that we are unreproveable, unblameable, and holy? Or do they see that we are reprove-able, blamable, and unholy? There is a simple, 2-part check you can make. You see…

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Jesus is your best friend. He will never leave you nor forsake you: He is always with you. Your best friend. Now… part 1… How is your prayer life? You always want to talk to your friends, right? Prayer is how we talk to Jesus, our best friend. Sometimes, if we do wrong to a friend, we try to avoid talking with them. So once again, how is your prayer life? Part 2 is a simple question also.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

How is your Bible reading? If there is something wrong in your relationship with your friend, you may not want to hear from them. A true friend will tell you like it is, and you may not want to hear that. But something can be done…

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

The problem is with us. God sees us as unreproveable, unblameable, and holy. We see ourselves from the mess we just made, and can’t face the reality of sin in our lives. But God did everything for us…

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:1-25)

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

It Is Finished!

blog_ldquoit-is-finishedrdquo

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 23 – 24; Proverbs 3; Psalms 16 – 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4

“And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:” – (Leviticus 4:33-34)

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – (Luke 23:34)

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” – (John 19:30)

I must confess that as I was reading the 4 chapters from Leviticus this morning, I kept thinking to myself: “what am I going to write about from this passage?”. The four chapters are all about the Old Testament offerings. We read about the burnt offering, the meat offering, the peace offering, and the sin offering. I have been a student of the Bible for many years, and I still don’t have all of the Old Testament offerings straight in my head. I really was not looking forward to writing a devotion on one or all of these Old Testament sacrifices. But, then I read the “second miler” passage for this morning from Luke 23. I read where Jesus said, “Forgive them”, and I thought about when He said in John’s gospel, “It is finished”; and then I got excited. I realized that I don’t have to know  all of the details of the Old Testament sacrificial system because all of those sacrifices and offerings pictured and pointed to one thing: the sacrifice that Christ would make on the Cross of Calvary. It truly is finished! We don’t have to run down to the Tabernacle or Temple every time that we sin. We do not have to keep it all straight, because Jesus Christ paid for it all when He died for our sins. Praise God!

The next thing that I thought about this morning was that I don’t fully appreciate what the Lord did for me on the Cross. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live in Old Testament Israel. It certainly would have been very burdensome to live under the Law; and it was also impossible to live it perfectly. Do you think that even the best of the Israelites did everything the way they were supposed to. Do you think that every time they committed a sin of ignorance (and didn’t get caught) they went down to the priests with a sacrifice. I doubt it. But then that must have led to a lot of guilt, because they knew in their hearts that they were not fully obeying the Lord. What a relief it is to know that all sin: every sin, whether they be sins of ignorance or not, are forgiven. They are all under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I feel like speaking in tongues right now! (just kidding) Praise God for Jesus!!!!

Oh Oh! I just got another thought: a thought about sacrifices. There is one more sacrifice that I should consider today: the living sacrifice. I am to present my body a living sacrifice to the Lord. I am no longer my own: I am bought with a price, and I belong to Him; and that is my reasonable service. It is the least that I can do to live for the Lord since He was willing to die for me.

All of those thoughts from what I thought at first to be a dry and tedious portion of Scripture. Thank God for the Book of Leviticus!

Did you also notice with many of these offerings or sacrifices for sin that the man that committed the sin was the one who had to kill the animal? That makes it very personal. I do not like to kill things. I guess I am a little squeemish. I don’t even like to kill bugs. When I find one in the house, I usually bring it outside. For me to have to kill an animal every time I sin, would certainly be enough to cause me to not want to sin anymore.

Now think about the Lord Jesus. Did you ever think that every time you sin, it is like you personally crucifying the Lord. It is you and me that are piercing His brow and His side. It is you and me that are driving the nails into His hands and feet. Think about it. If every time you sin, you thought about having to slay the Lord of glory to atone for it, wouldn’t that deter you from wanting to sin anymore. I guess that is what the Bible means when it says the love of Christ constrains us. He loved us so much He was willing to die for our sins, and it was our sin, my sin that put Him on that cross. Think about it.


Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by with 1 comment.

The Glory of the Lord

The Glory of the Lord

Today’s Passage – Exodus 39 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 21 – 22; Proverbs 2; Psalms 11 – 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0202 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” – (Exodus 40:34)

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” – (Leviticus 9:24)

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” – (2 Chronicles 7:1)

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” – (1 Kings 18:38)

The first two verses referenced above deal with the event that is taking place in Exodus 40, the dedication of the Tabernacle. Moses and the people of Israel have completed all that God had asked them to do regarding the construction of the Tabernacle. They had followed God’s instructions perfectly, building everything precisely as God had showed Moses. They anointed Aaron and his sons, and now everything is ready for God to put His blessing upon it. Exodus 40:34 tells us that the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Leviticus tells us that a fire came down from Heaven. You will notice that 2 Chronicles tells us that later in Israel’s history, in the days of King Solomon, that the fire fell again when they dedicated the Temple. It also fell in the time of Elijah when God was showing the people of Israel His power on Mount Carmel.

I remember years ago when Pastor Rick Wedemeyer and a handful of people first started the Christian Bible Church in South Tom’s River. There is no better way to state it than to say that in those early days the church was “on fire”. It was new, and it was fulfilling the purposes of glorifying the Lord and winning souls for Christ. The people were committed wholly to the Lord and His will for their lives. And the fire fell. God put a zeal, a fervor in the hearts of those people; and within a very short time the church had grown as many people were saved; and converts were being discipled and getting involved  in the service of the Lord.

I also have seen the fire of the Lord fall upon our ministry here at Jersey Shore Baptist Church, but unfortunately it has only been at certain seasons, and for a limited time. There have been times when the people were revived, and very zealous for the work of the Lord. Then there have been other times when the church seemed very lethargic. I pray constantly for the Lord to revive me, and our people; that He will once again set us on fire for His work, and His glory. I believe if God’s people will separate themselves from the world, and then dedicate themselves to the Lord and His purposes, the fire will fall once again. It really is all about what we desire. In our passage, the people of Israel were wholly focused on the Lord. And the fire fell. And if we were to wholly focus on the Lord in our lives and ministries, we would also see the fire of God fall to bless His work. Remember when you first trusted Christ as your Saviour? You were probably more “on fire” than you are now. I don’t know why, but it just happens that Christians, as well as churches, cool off in their spiritual zeal. However, now that we recognize that the fire in our hearts is not blazing as it once was, let’s confess our apathy to the Lord, and then ask Him to stoke the embers of our hearts and revive us. And the fire will fall once again.


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with 1 comment.

Too Much?

3.3-Giving-1857345-Offering

Today’s Passage – Exodus 36 – 38 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 19 – 20; Proverbs 1; Psalms 6 – 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

“And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.” – (Exodus 36:5-7)

I am always amazed when I read this portion of Scripture. This seems to be the first building fund in the Bible, and it may even be the first special offering. God asks the congregation of Israel to give to Moses an offering of the necessary materials to build the Tabernacle and all of its furniture. The people gave generously, and gave more, and kept on giving; so much so that the workers were complaining that there was way too much stuff given. They didn’t know what to do with all of the gold, silver, brass, skins, wood, and fabric that the people were anxious to offer to the Lord to be used in this tent of worship.

I know that many of you have seen this passage before, and no doubt, you may even have heard messages from this text; but when was the last time that you heard a preacher get up and tell you to stop giving. Can you imagine me standing at the pulpit this Sunday morning and announcing to the congregation that we have more money than we know what to do with? Can you picture me saying, “please stop giving!”? I can’t either. Why is it that in the ministry today there seems to be such a shortage of the things that are necessary to do the work of God. We seem to always be “behind the eight ball”, so to speak. Why is that?

I believe that there could me many individual reasons; but I will offer some of my thoughts. One reason that I believe people are reluctant to give today is that they do not understand the clear teaching of Scripture. The Bible gives a lot of instruction regarding giving, both by way of commandment as well as encouragement. Many people just don’t know (or don’t want to know) what the Bible teaches about the subject.

Another reason that people may be reluctant to give is that they just don’t trust the stewardship of the local churches. There has been a lot of financial corruption and scandal in recent years involving church leadership and people wonder if their money is really going to the work of the Lord, or is it lining the pockets of the spiritual leaders. Maybe they feel that the church is spending too much money on facilities, etc. Even in our independent, fundamental churches we have gotten used to luxurious accommodations. Now, don’t misunderstand, I think the church house should be comfortable, and beautiful, but I think that it should also be very functional and practical. Church leaders need to be very conscious of the fact they have been given stewardship of the Lord’s money, and it should be spent very prayerfully and wisely.

I will offer one more thought regarding the lack of commitment on the part of the people of God in the area of giving. People today are just not as committed in general. Think about it. In Moses day, there was nothing else for the people but God. The Tabernacle would literally be at the very center of their lives. Today, the worship of God is hardly at the center. It may be a part, even a big part of some people’s lives; but to say it is the center would be a far stretch. We are very busy and very distracted today; and we have a lot more to spend our money on. What were the people going to do with that stuff anyway? Where were they going to spend it? They didn’t even have houses to live in. But we do, don’t we? And with them big mortgages and rents, and car payments, and phone bills, and cable bills. You get the idea. If we are ever going to get the people of God back to where they once were, we will have to help them realize that God needs to be at the very center of their lives. Putting God back at the very core of people’s lives will help them to remember what’s really important, helping them to prioritize their lives; not just in the area of finances, but in every other area of their lives.


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with no comments yet.

Beaming

darknesslight

Today’s Passage – Exodus 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 17 – 18; Proverbs 31; Psalms 1 – 5 (Jump start on February because it is a short month)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0131 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s reading passage – “Willing Servants

“And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” – (Exodus 34:28-29)

In chapter 34 of the Book of Exodus, Moses is back up on Mount Horeb receiving the Law of God for the second time. You will recall that the first two tables of stones were broken by Moses upon his return from the first trip. The people had corrupted themselves by creating and worshipping the golden calf. At any rate, this time he comes back and finds that the people had behaved themselves. What a blessing it is to return home from a trip and find that there are no problems.

My thought this morning is not about what Moses saw when he returned from his 40 days with God; rather, I want to give you a few thoughts about what the people saw in their leader. They said that his face shone. I believe that these people actually saw some kind of physical radiance beaming from the face of Moses. I do not think that what they saw could actually be duplicated today, but I do believe that people should be able to see a difference on our countenance, and in our attitude, when we have spent time with the Lord. I remember when I first became a Christian, we went to a conference to see a particular preacher. When we arrived, the preacher, whom I had never seen before, was standing in the front of the auditorium, and fellowshipping with a few other people. For some reason, I was able to spot him out of the crowd. There was just something about him. His presence revealed that he had been with God. He literally had God all over him. I wonder if people can see the presence of God in my life? Can they see Him in you?

In our passage, we see that this radiance came about after Moses had spent 40 days in the presence of God. He didn’t eat or drink during that time. He didn’t have access to a television or the internet, or even his  iphone. There was no other people to share the experience with him. It was just him and God, alone, free from any type of distraction. I wonder what God could do in our lives if we had a similar experience. We may not be able to spend 40 days in His presence, but how about 40 minutes. What could God do in your life and mine if we just spent 40 minutes of time alone with Him. I bet it would show up on our faces as well. I bet people would say about us that we were “glowing”, or “beaming”, or “shining”. The presence of God will lighten up our lives, and through us, the lives of those around us. Why not peel yourself away from other people today; away from the cell phone, the television, and the computer; and get alone with the Lord. Let Him light your life up.


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with no comments yet.

Called of God, Filled with the Spirit, and Gifted with Abilities

blueprints

Today’s Passage – Exodus 30 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 15 – 16; Proverbs 30; Psalms 146 – 150

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read a previous post from this passage – “Who Is On The Lord’s Side?”

“See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, … And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;” – (Exodus 31:2-3, 6)

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 4:19)

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:” – (Romans 12:4)

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” – (1 Corinthians 12:18)

I just want to give a quick thought from chapter 31 of the passage in Exodus that we are reading together today. I was tempted to write something from chapter 32, but I decided that this thought was more appropriate for the people of Jersey Shore. I am thankful because this message is a little more encouraging than what I would have said about chapter 32.

In the preceding chapters God has been instructing Moses regarding the Tabernacle. God gave him a complete set of blueprints, with detailed instructions about how to go about building it. The problem was that Moses was not necessarily gifted in the area of construction. He was a great leader, but he certainly did not possess all of the skills necessary to do all that needed to be done; nor would he have the time to do it all himself. God understood this, so He raised up men who were gifted in construction, at least the type of construction required for the Tabernacle and all of the furniture and coverings involved with it. They were going to oversee the building of the tabernacle so that Moses could do what he needed to do.

I remember when we were building our little addition to the church building. It was only a 900 square foot addition to the auditorium, but honestly I knew very little about what was needed to complete it. God raised up a man in our church to oversee the construction. The project was completed on time and under budget. Everybody congratulated me on what a wonderful job I did with the building, but truthfully I had very little to do with it. And, because I didn’t have to focus on the construction, I was able to fulfill, without distraction, my primary duties of ministry. Thank God for Don Price who was gifted and used of the Lord in a great way to fulfil this particular task.

God equips the local church with what it needs to do what God wants it to do. Part of my job as a pastor is to try to figure out what the gifts and talents are in the people, and put them to use. People who are not being used are unhappy people, and unhappy people will not stay long and their talents will be wasted. God also equips each and every one of us with what we need so that we can fulfil His will. He will never ask us to do something without providing the tools and materials that are necessary in order to get the job done.

Have you discovered what talents and abilities that God has equipped you with? What gifts has God entrusted to your life? Are you allowing Him to use all of those things for His honor and glory? Why not find a place to serve in the local church where your talents can be used to the fullest? God wants to bear fruit in your life. Allow Him to use you.


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with no comments yet.

Interceding on Behalf of God’s People

Interceding

Today’s Passage – Exodus 28 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 13 – 14; Proverbs 29; Psalms 141 – 145)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read the “0129 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial. (Exodus 28:9-12)

” And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. (Exodus 28:15-21)

Exodus 28 gives us a description of the garments that Aaron the high priest was to wear when he went into the presence of the Lord. You will notice from the verses above that he was to wear the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel both on his shoulders and in the breastplate upon his heart. These names reminded him that he represented the people to their God.

There are two thoughts that I would like for us to consider from this passage:

1  The Lord Jesus Christ also carries His children upon His shoulders and in His heart. He bears our burdens for us and He thinks about us continuously. He intercedes on our behalf before His Father. What an awesome comfort it is to know that our Lord loves us and watches over us. I reminded of the story Jesus told in Luke 15 of the shepherd who found his lost sheep and when he found it he carried it upon his shoulders. I know there have been many times in my life that my spiritual strength was so weak that the Lord had to carry me. What a wonderful Lord that loves and cares for us!

2  God’s ministers today are also supposed to shoulder the burdens of the people they minister to by interceding for them through prayer, and they should also keep the people close to their hearts. The Apostle Paul told the church at Philippi that he had them “in his heart”. (Philippians 1:7) When someone in our congregation is experiencing a trial I find myself thinking about them constantly, almost brooding over them, which causes me to pray for them. I want to fix their problem for them and remove the trial, but I am most often powerless to do so. But, I can pray for them, and I can love them and let them know that they are close to my my heart.

It is amazing how these Old Testament descriptions of the Tabernacle and its ministers paint a wonderful picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also provide practical principles for us today as we minister in the New Testament Church.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” (1 Timothy 2:1)


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with no comments yet.

A Sanctuary For The Lord – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 25 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 11 – 12; Proverbs 28; Psalms 136 – 140

Read the “0128 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:1-8)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Corinthians 6:19)

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Corinthians 13:5)

Good morning. In our passage this morning, the Lord wants a sanctuary, a tabernacle, a temple, so He can dwell with His people. God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build it and what material to use, even the quality. How is your temple?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16)

It all starts with Jesus. God said in Exodus 25, verse 2, “…bring Me an offering…”

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:2)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:14-18)

Also in Exodus 25, verse 2, God said, “…of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.”

When you realized you were a sinner and on your way to Hell, you brought the only offering you could with a willing heart… yourself. And Jesus received you as His own.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

He did all that for us. He sacrificed Himself for our sins. He took the punishment that we deserved. And all because He loved us. And yet, we don’t obey Him. We do what we want to do. We drag Him through all the muck and mire of all the ungodly places we frequent. What do you think of the following verses?

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

“Quench not the Spirit.” (1Thesselonians 5:19)

We grieve the Holy Spirit by doing the things we should not be doing. We quench the Holy Spirit by not doing the things we should be doing. So let me ask again, how is your temple? Is it what it should be? Is it a sanctuary for the Lord? Jesus said…

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world…” (Matthew 28:20)

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

Living in Canaan

Canaan

Today’s Passage – Exodus 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 8 – 9; Proverbs 27; Psalms 126 – 130)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11

Read the “0127 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” – (Exodus 23:27)

In Exodus 23, we see the nation of Israel travelling in the wilderness on their way out of Egypt and into Canaan, the land of promise. The verse cited above is one of those promises that were associated with the land. A careful reading of the chapter will reveal that God promised his people prosperity, which included abundant provision and divine protection if they were to obey Him. God promised that the inhabitants of the land would be driven out, and all of the enemies of Israel would flee from them. Again, these promises were contigent upon the nation’s obedience in wholly following the Lord.

In this passage we see a picture of the Christian life today. God has also delivered us out of Egypt when He saved us. He wants to bring us into the spiritual land of Canaan, which is the Spirit-filled, Christ-centered life. Canaan of the Old Testament is not a picture of Heaven. You will remember the people still had battles to fight there, and there will be no more battles to fight once we get to Heaven; but Canaan is a picture of spiritual victory. Entering Canaan today for the believer is also contigent upon our submission to the will of God. Too many believers today are content to wander in the wilderness of their own reasoning and understanding. They are doing their thing instead of God’s thing. What’s worse is that there are also many genuine believers who live with their backs turned from Canaan and their focus still on Egypt (the world).

It is my desire to live in Canaan. I want to have the victories that God promises those who are surrendered to Him. I am tired of wandering in the spiritual barreness of the wilderness. How about you? God has an abundant life prepared for you which also includes provision, protection, power, and a wonderful purpose; but you cannot do it your way. You must surrender your will to the perfect will of God. Let the Holy Spirit of God control you and guide you, and you will experience the wonderful blessing and abundant life that God desires for you in your spiritual Canaan.


Posted in Thoughts from Exodus by with no comments yet.