It Is Finished!

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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 what 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, as it was 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. 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.


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God’s Got the Details by Katelyn Erickson

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 – 22Proverbs 2Psalms 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.

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Glory of the Lord

“31 And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: 32 When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses. 33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. (Exodus 40:31-33)

When I read about the tabernacle I’m always amazed and thankful our God cares so much about the smallest details.

Let’s be grateful for all the beautiful, interesting parts of life that God gives us each day, but it is so important to not get overwhelmed, bogged down, or anxious over all the details. 

“As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:15

As God gave out each instruction, the Bible says that Moses simply obeyed “as the Lord had commanded Moses”. 

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:15, 21

At the end of the book of Exodus it says “So Moses finished the work.” (40:33) We sometimes can get distracted by the complicated intricacies while really we need to keep our focus on the simplicity of just loving Him and keeping His commands…while leaving life’s nitty gritty details in His hands.

Then, we too will be able to finish the work that He has given us in this life that He has blessed up with.


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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, and high taxes. 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.


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Stiffnecked

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 – 18Proverbs 31Psalms 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 previous post from today’s reading passage – “Willing Servants,” and “Beaming.”

“….for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.” (‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33‬:‭3‬ – ‭5)‬‬‬

Reading this chapter brought back some memories of me as a six year old boy at my great-grandmother’s house and hearing her say, Gerald you are so hardheaded!!

We see the Lord upset with the children of Israel, and it’s not his first time nor will be his last that He has been grieved by them and it’s just amazing that He never just destroyed every last one of them… but can’t the same thing be said about us?

We cannot talk enough about the mercy of God!

The Bible says that we are “but dust.” Know what that means? It means we are NOTHING!

Just take a second and think about how often we grieve our God. Too many saved, children of God, like myself that live like this. Why? Why are we so full of ourselves that we think we know better than the KNOWER of all things!?

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

So flippantly we say Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, and we know that means we are born again, but is He LORD of us? Do we live like He is? Is He Master? Does He call ALL the shots? Or does the creature know more than the Creator?!

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭46‬)

Why do we walk around living a life that screams to God, “I got it!” We live as though we were entitled to salvation or for some reason were worthy of it! We act as though we deserve to be treated a certain way in this world, when you take a step back and think about how we will never receive what we truly deserve. It ought to stop you in your tracks!

Hey every day outside of hell is a good day, NO MATTER WHAT! Without Christ, we are nothing. He is the only thing that makes us special.

We read a lot about the children of Israel and their fickleness, but we must be careful not to look our noses down at them because far too often we are guilty of the same inconsistencies. Think about the things we complain about so much in others that we do ourselves. We look at other “dirt clods” and cast them down, and promote ourselves to better, when at the end of the day, we’re all just dirt.

We must get honest with who we truly are and where we lack spiritually and do something about it.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James‬ ‭1‬:‭22‬)‭

Look Is He worthy of our absolute total trust in Him or not? Has He not proven countless times the obvious answer? Has our flesh proven that it’s not worth trusting with any moment of our lives, yet which do we yield to more ?

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John‬ ‭3‬:‭30‬)

Gerald, Jessica, and Troy Hicks

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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.


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Serving Together as a Family

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 – 14Proverbs 29Psalms 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.

Read previous posts from this passage – “Interceding on Behalf of God’s People,” and “I’ll Meet You There.

“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” (Exodus 28:1)

The context of Exodus 28 and 29 mostly involves the consecration of Moses’ brother Aaron and his sons in their roles as priests who were consecrated to serve in the Tabernacle, ministering to God’s people. The Tabernacle was the center of worship for the entire congregation of Israel and the place that God would meet with his people (Exodus 29:42). The priests not only officiated in the temple, but they were also responsible for teaching people the Law (Deuteronomy 33:10). Chapter 28 deals primarily with the garments worn by the high priest, Aaron, as well as the less elaborate clothing worn by his sons, the priests (Click here for graphic of High Priest’s Garments.). Chapter 29 discusses the initial installation and dedication of this family of priests for their service in the Tabernacle.

The thought that captured my attention this morning was the fact that Aaron had the awesome privilege of serving the Lord along with his sons. They served the Lord together as a family. In Bible days, the sons typically followed in the father’s footsteps and served in the family business, whatever that was. Aaron was chosen by God to be the first high priest, and his sons were anointed along with him to serve as well as priests.

Getting to serve the Lord by yourself is wonderful enough, but being able to minister for the Lord with your family by your side is a dream come true. I have the wonderful privilege of serving as the pastor of our church along with my wife, my son-in-law, and two of my daughters. For nearly eighteen years I also had my son and daughter-in-law serving here with us as well. It was awesome to have them here for all of those years, but God called them to serve Him in a church in Texas. We certainly miss them, but we are thankful for all of the years that God gave us to serve together.

Aside from my relationship with the Lord, I treasure my family more than anything else in my life. I enjoy very much serving the Lord together with them. Even when my children were very young, my wife and I would include them in just about everything we did for the Lord within our local church. We took them out visiting with us, and we made sure that we worshipped together in the church services. When there was a church work day, they came with us and worked (or played) along with us. The church was not something that separated our family, and it should not be something that keeps you from yours. My children enjoyed being a part of the local church ministry with their mom and dad.

I want to encourage you to serve together with your family. Include your spouse and children in all that you do for the Lord. Take them with you soulwinning and out on visitation. Make serving the Lord fun and enjoyable for your family. Of course, you should also do other things that are not ministry related with them as well, but you will not regret including them in your service for the Lord.


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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 quantity. 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.


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Following Through

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

(Second Milers also read – Luke 8 – 9Proverbs 27Psalms 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.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Living in Canaan

“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” (Exodus 24:3)

In chapter 24 of our reading today in the Book of Exodus, we see Moses telling the people the words that God had given Him, which included the Ten Commandments. (See Exodus 20 – 23 for Moses account of what God told him to tell the people.) God had given many laws for the people to live by and the people were very pleased with what the Lord had said, and at the time they committed to cheerfully obey what God had commanded them. However, we will soon discover that when Moses goes back up to meet with God and is gone for a long period of time, the people will completely forsake Him, and create their own idol to worship. (If you want to read ahead, you can see the story in Exodus 32.) The point is that when God was with them and all the excitement of the smoke and thunder and lightning was in front of them, they were perfectly willing to follow God, but after 40 days of Moses’ absence, and none of the excitement they had previously experienced, they decided that they would try to create some excitement of their own; but they abandoned God.

Right now at our church we are experiencing some wonderful days. People are coming back to church and seem to be hungry for the Word of God. We are seeing quite a few new people and some are getting saved; and lives are changing. It certainly is exciting to see and experience what God is doing. His presence has been felt in our services, and I am looking forward to what God is going to do in the days ahead. Right now, it seems that everybody at our church wants to do right and live for the Lord. However, I know that there will come a day when the excitement will recede and we will have days when the crowds will be smaller and the zeal will not be as strong. My question is this: will the people still want to follow through with the decisions that they made in the exciting times when the excitement goes away?

Our kids just came back from camp and they are excited. God spoke to them in wonderful ways and they made decisions to do right. But, will they follow through with those decisions when the excitement of snow camp is a distant memory?

My point is that we need to develop our Christian character to the extent that we follow through with what God wants for us regardless of the emotional temperature of any given day. We need to do right and continue to follow the Lord’s will for our lives, even when the crowd is not with us, cheering us on, and regardless of how we feel. I hope and pray the spirit of revival continues and increases in the days ahead. I love living on the mountaintop, but I also pray that if I have to go through a valley that I will remain faithful to the decisions I made back on the mountain.


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Grown-Up and Disrespectful Children by Ashley Acosta

Today’s Passage – Exodus 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 – Luke 7 – 8Proverbs 26Psalms 126 – 130)

Read the “0126 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – Come As You Are,“ and “Sound Advice

“1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:1-12)

“13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:13-17)

Here we see where God meets with Moses on Mount Sinai and gives the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel. We see the process that goes into them even receiving these words, so we understand the importance of God speaking them. This is such a pivotal moment in the Old Testament. These were the fundamental principles that God sent for them to follow.

For us today the ten commandments are a reminder of the standards of Holy living required by God. Obviously, things are different in the New Testament, and we are under grace and not the Law; but God definitely puts a huge importance on them throughout the New Testament and refers to them often. There are so many nuggets of truth to go through here, but one that God has really been convicting me about is the extreme importance God puts on honoring your parents. Sometimes as an adult we tend to think that this commandment is just for children or teenagers, and we are somehow exempt from this commandment. God has been tugging on my heart recently that I am not honoring my parents today. It’s really sad when you see the older generations being treated so poorly by their children. Once we become adults we suddenly think we really know so much and almost look at our parents as less than, or we have a condescending tone to any of their remarks. Maybe we have been hurt by our parents, or maybe they aren’t walking with the Lord. God doesn’t give us a list of exceptions for not honoring them, He says, “Honor your parents.”

As our parents get older it’s even more important to take care of them and honor them. My husband has parents that are now my parents. I think God wants me to honor and respect them too, and not discourage my husband with any negative thoughts I have. Sometimes, I don’t always agree with things my parents do, but the absolute last thing I need to be doing is talk poorly about them or bash them to other people, even if it’s my siblings. It’s also extremely prideful of me to think that I am perfect and my parents just don’t have it together like me. God put this in the Ten commandments for a reason; it’s important to Him. Let’s stop rolling our eyes or acting like our parents are less than. If we were little children we would be extremely disrespectful in doing that, but as adults we feel no remorse. Maybe, someone is hurting today and your relationship with your parents is not good. Perhaps you hurt them or they hurt you. You need to restore your relationship with your parents before it’s too late. There is also a promise here that God is telling us: IF we honor our parents our days will be long on the earth. He is equating this commandment to Life and Death; that’s how serious it is. Let’s honor our parents in every stage of our life.

The Acosta Family

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Remember Sunday?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 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 – Luke 5 – 6; Proverbs 25; Psalms 121 – 125

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

Read a previous post from this passage – Sound Advice.

Read the “0125 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” – (Exodus 16:29-30)

I remember when I was a young boy just about everything was shut down on Sunday. The supermarkets were closed, the department stores were closed, the home improvement stores were closed; it seemed like everything was closed. I remember when the first supermarket in our area opened up on Sunday. It was big news. Soon, all of the other supermarkets started opening. At first, Sunday was the worst sales day of the week for the retailers. I remember the managers telling me that it was a waste of time to even open because they didn’t do enough business to justify it. Fast forward to today and Sunday is the best sales day of the week. How did we ever get away from Sunday being a day when just about everyone had the day off, and most people went to church? I bet those businessmen that started it all thought that it would be a way for them to get a little ahead of their competitors. I wonder if they would look back on their decision and consider it a good thing? Come to think of it, the particular company that started it in our area is bankrupt today. What a shame.

In our passage today, God says that He would supply the Israelites with enough manna on the sixth day so that they would not have to gather it on the seventh. Now, before you fuss at me: I am well aware that the Sabbath for the nation Israel was Saturday, not Sunday. However, for Christians, the day that we set apart for worship and rest has traditionally been Sunday, the day of the resurrection. I think America was a much better place when she observed a day of rest on Sunday. Just about everybody went to church, with very few people who absolutely had to work.

The devil and the world have made it very difficult for Christians to be faithful to the Lord in setting aside Sunday as the Lord’s day. It has always been my conviction to keep Sunday as the day that our family worships the Lord. We have always made it a practice to attend both the morning and the evening services at our church. It is the Lord’s day, not just the Lord’s morning, and we are supposed to gather together “so much the more as we see the day approaching.” God has always been faithful. He has always met all of my family’s needs. We haven’t lost a thing by keeping Sunday as a day set apart from the rest of the week for the purpose of rest and worship. However, if you are like me, you may not be getting much rest on Sunday because you spend much of the day in the work of the ministry. I actually kept track of my hours on a recent Sunday. My day started at 4 AM and I finished just after 9:30 PM, with only about a half an hour lunch break. Therefore, if I am going to be in obedience to Lord’s principle of resting one day out of seven, I must choose another day.

Christian, if I can offer you one piece of advice from this passage, it would be this: set aside Sunday as the Lord’s day. Do everything in your power to get the day off from work. It may take a while to arrange your affairs so that this can be done, but work toward it. Go to church and then spend time together as a family. Eat a meal together on Sunday afternoon. Take a nap, or maybe have a little fellowship with some family and friends.  Make Sunday a special day; a day that you look forward to all the week long. Don’t worry about how you will be able to meet all of your obligations due to the fact that you have eliminated a day of earning income. Remember God is able to give you enough in six days to cover the seventh. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” and He will take care of everything else.

I hope to see you this Sunday at church!

“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 10:23-25)


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