Priest or Doctor

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 – 8Proverbs 7Psalms 36 – 40)

Read a previous post from this morning’s reading – Unclean

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 if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.” (Leviticus 13:8)

I never really made this connection before I read this passage today, but the Old Testament priests had so many more responsibilities than just ministering spiritually to the people of God. As we can see from today’s reading, the priests were also the doctors for the congregation, and they also served as the Board of Health or Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In Leviticus 13, we read that the priest had the responsibility of diagnosing and distinguishing leprosy from other, less dangerous diseases. Leprosy is known today as Hansen’s disease and can be cured with a multi-drug therapy. In Bible days, however, it was slow and debilitating, and ultimately, a death sentence. It was also, in most forms, very contagious. The priest, while determining the condition would isolate and observe the patient until determination could be made. If leprosy was the final diagnosis, however, the patient would then be permanently separated, not only from the congregation, but also from his family. They would have to dwell outside the camp or city, and if anyone approached them, they were to cry out, “unclean, unclean.” It was up to the priest to make that determination. As far as I can see, the only mention of medicine or physicians other than the priests in the Old Testament was in Jeremiah:

“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22)

In Old Testament Israel, it was up to the priests to oversee the health of God’s people. Today, the pastor / preacher would certainly not be the primary choice for health needs, but the Bible still is a tremendous source of principles for healthy living, both in the spiritual and physical sense. A person cannot be wholly healthy, unless they are spiritually well, and it is the preacher’s job to give out God’s prescription – the Word of God – in order to minister to God’s people.

By the way, the Old Testament priest was also the local butcher, and was an expert in the anatomy of the animals used for sacrifice. But, that is a subject for another blog article.


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You Are What You Eat? – The Saturday Morning Post

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)

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

“Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.” (Leviticus 11:21-23)

“And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey…” (Mark 1:6)

Good morning. Have you had breakfast yet? And I don’t mean to “bug” you about this, but did you know it was okay to eat locusts if you were Jewish. The Jewish dietary laws were strict, but locust is on the menu. Look at the picture above. The Greek New Testament word for locust means: as pointed, or as lighting [LANDING] on the top of vegetation. But God doesn’t make mistakes. Did you know that locusts are 50% to 60% protein and only 12% fat? And the fat breaks down to 44% saturated fat, and 54% unsaturated fat (2% other). As a plus, the carbohydrates are very low making them great for the Atkins Diet. Some people describe cooked locust as similar to smoky flavored bacon and reasonably tasty. And, like I said, God doesn’t make mistakes: He wanted His children to have a well balanced diet of things that were good for them.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 11:1-3)

“These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 11:9)

It would appear that the fowls of the air that you could not eat were scavengers: they ate the remains of dead creatures. And all this seams to be a good thing if you want a healthy diet. Just remember that we, as Christians are not under the Law, we were given these guidelines…

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:28-29)

And remember Peter’s vision…

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:9-15)

In case you would like to try, here are some recipes from the United Nations’ website…

Tinjiya (Tswana recipe): remove the wings and hindlegs of the locusts, and boil in a little water until soft. Add salt, if desired, and a little fat and fry until brown. Serve with cooked, dried mealies (corn).

Sikonyane (Swazi recipe): prepare embers and roast the whole locust on the embers. Remove head, wings, and legs, in other words, only the breast part is eaten. The South Sotho people use locusts especially as food for travellers. The heads and last joint of the hindlegs are broken off and the rest laid on the coals to roast. The roasted locusts are ground on a grinding stone to a fine powder. This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey. Dried locusts are also prepared for the winter months. The legs, when dried, are especially relished for their pleasant taste.

Cambodia: take several dozen locust adults, preferably females, slit the abdomen lengthwise and stuff a peanut inside. Then lightly grill the locusts in a wok or hot frying pan, adding a little oil and salt to taste. Be careful not to overcook or burn them.

Barbecue (grilled): prepare the embers or charcoal. Place about one dozen locusts on a skewer, stabbing each through the center of the abdomen. If you only want to eat the abdomen, then you may want to take off the legs or wings either before or after cooking. Several skewers of locusts may be required for each person. Place the skewers above the hot embers and grill while turning continuously to avoid burning the locusts until they become golden brown.

Peace!


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Do As Your Told … by Gerald Hicks II

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 – 4Proverbs 5Psalms 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.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Strange Fire.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.” (Leviticus 8:1-5)

The Lord gave a command for Moses to follow and he did as he was told.

“And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.” (Leviticus 9:6)

Moses then explained to Aaron and his sons what God commanded him to tell and show them so they could follow suit, and what would be the result if they listened to the Lord’s command.

“And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. 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 9:22-24)

The thought for this morning is to simply trust and obey the Lord God, Our Maker, Sustainer, and Friend.

Sounds simple?

But yet we make listening to Him more complicated than it needs to be.

Constantly hearing this is happening, this is going on, this is coming down the pike, look out for this not, knowing what’s true or not.

The feel of everything in our world, specifically our country, our churches Just feels strange, feels off balance, feels unknown, just wondering what’s going to happen next.

I want to remind you of a few things that we can never forget:

  1. Let’s never forget Who sits on the throne in Heaven above
  2. Let’s never forget Who’s not feeling strange or uncertain 
  3. Let’s never forget Who ALWAYS knows the unknown!

One thing I keep coming across either from praying with others or just thinking from time to time

Is that right now as Christians , in this world right now, in this America we are living in: we need wisdom! God’s wisdom!

Every time I consider the word wisdom 

I think of this acronym:

When 

Stop

Depending 

On

Myself

When I stop relying on my strength, my power , my abilities, my intuition and words and wit to figure out and do everything my way or what I think is the best way

And rely fully upon Him and His Words – applying His will to my life — those are the wisest options we have at our disposal!

We know our country is in rough shape but hey let’s pick ourselves up as Pastor Erickson says by our boot straps and keep pressing on — keep going — keep serving — keep doing what’s right — keep living for the Lord

4. Let’s never forget THERE IS A REMEDY

And His name is Jesus Christ!

this is a wake up call obviously the Lord knew we needed in America spiritually speaking — maybe to get us gospel centered — being more gospel minded — I don’t know

This is our time to wake up!

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12)

Does America need to hit Rock bottom? I hope not obviously.. but Maybe it’s what America needs! I have no idea and it’s not our job to try to figure out God — His ways are not our ways – His thoughts are not our thoughts – it’s our job to just listen and do as we have been told — trust and obey

5. Let’s never forget Who saved us and what He called us to do

That’s a living a Spirit led life

That’s getting the gospel out

How concerned are we really with these concepts?

6. Let’s never forget the Mighty God we worship

Praise Jesus!!

Aren’t you glad you’re saved!?

In the midst of the storms and distractions around us!

Aren’t you glad you have a calling on your life!

We have a mission!

Our Saviour saw us worthy enough to take on a task so awesome, so powerful — to tell people about Him!

Praise God!

Keep going.

Don’t quit.

Trust Him!


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Acknowledging God … by Ashley Acosta

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 – 24Proverbs 3Psalms 16 – 20)

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

I want to take a detour today into  Proverbs. Proverbs 3:5, 6 are very familiar verses to us as Christians. They were some of the first verses I learned as a child, and have helped shape my Christian walk for years. I turn to them often when I feel confused about the future, or not sure what decisions to make. God recently has opened my heart to something in these verses.

“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)

I want to focus on the end of verse 5, and beginning of verse 6.  “…and lean not unto thine own understanding.” We do get understanding from the Bible, but Solomon is referring to “our” understanding, not wisdom that God has given us. Where did we get this understanding from? We were born into this world with none, so how have we adopted so much of “our” knowledge.  Our understanding has come over time from education, experiences, peers, family, social media, news, or even celebrities. Our understanding is worldly and fleshly. Why are we leaning on this worldly and fleshly understanding? Have you ever stood in line at an amusement park on a hot summer day? You lean on the railings, or your friends because you’re so tired of standing. No matter how hard you try to get relief nothing works. Why do we lean on unreliable, faulty things?  Priscilla Jane Owens penned the great hymn that says it perfectly

“We have an anchor that keeps the soul. Steadfast and sure while the billows role, fastened to the rock which cannot move, Grounded FIRM and DEEP in the saviors love.”

This brings me to the beginning of verse 6, and the main truth that God has showed me:

“In all thy ways acknowledge him.” (Proverbs 3:6a)

If on Sunday Morning, we all attended church and as Pastor got up to preach we all walked out of the building one by one, I think Pastor would be very confused and hurt. If we all decided that we didn’t acknowledge his position in our congregation, unfortunately he would have to leave and we would have to vote in a new pastor. A definition for acknowledgment is: “to recognize the rights or authority of.” Do I acknowledge God’s position? I have always seen that as acknowledging his presence, but am I acknowledging him as God? If his own children aren’t acknowledging him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, during this important time in America, how will others acknowledge him? I have been so convicted by this. Is God not God? Is he on the throne or isn’t he? When we lean on our own understanding, we are literally not acknowledging God as God. We are saying no Lord you aren’t powerful; you aren’t mighty, you aren’t all knowing. We are taking him out of his rightful place.  

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27)

“Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

 “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” (Psalm 62:11)

The verse goes onto to say, and he shall direct thy paths. I think the future gets a lot clearer when we acknowledge God as God, and put him back in his rightful place.

My prayer is: “Lord, I acknowledge your power, I acknowledge your wisdom, I acknowledge your infinite mind, your all healing hands, your almighty truth. You. Are. God.


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Finished On Time and Under Budget

Approved Addition to Jersey Shore Baptist Church

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

“Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they. And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, the tent, and all his furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, and his pillars, and his sockets, … According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:32-33, 42-43)

The construction of the Old Testament Tabernacle with all of its “furniture” is the first congregational building project in the Bible. God had given Moses:

The Plans

“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. … And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” (Exodus 25:8-9, 40)

The People

“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, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work 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; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,” (Exodus 31:2-7)

God equipped the congregation of Israel with wisdom that they needed to build what God planned. Bezaleel and Aholiab were the chief engineers behind the project. They supervised the construction and made sure that congregation would know what to do and how to do it.

The Particulars

“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. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” (Exodus 25:2-9)

God also provided all of the materials necessary to build the Tabernacle through the free-will offerings of the people. He actually had to hold them back from giving, because they actually collected too much (Exodus 36:6 – 7).

Finally, in Exodus 39 and 40, the Tabernacle has been completed. It was finished on time and under budget. It had to be a good feeling for this congregation to work together and complete the project that God had given them.

Now here is the practical application. God has led our congregation to add on to our existing building. We have been praying about exactly what God would have us do for many years now. The engineering work has been drawn up and the project has been approved by our local planning board. The detailed architectural plans are completed. God has been providing the necessary funds as the project has developed, but much more money will be needed before we can break ground and finish the job. God has also given us some men who are overseeing the project, and I am sure at least part of the interior work and landscaping will be done by members of the congregation. We are almost ready to start the actual construction. Pray for us that we will be faithful to complete what God has given us to do. We are still quite a ways from the finish line.


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The Heart-Stirred and Wise-Hearted Servant by Issan Acosta

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 – 20Proverbs 1Psalms 6 – 10

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

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:  Exodus 36:1-2

When I read this passage of scripture the first thing that comes to mind was my first Winter Camp a couple of months after I got saved. Brother Charlie Clark was preaching the last message of camp on the topic of “Living for God”. That night, I surrendered my life to the Lord. I did not want to waste my life away pursuing treasures on earth. From that night forward my heart was stirred for the work of the Lord, much like Bez’aleel, Aho’liab and the men mentioned in Exodus 36:2.

In chapter 36, we see God continuing to give Moses instruction on the the design of the tabernacle: the curtains, the boards and the veils to be specific. This spectacular structure that would be assembled and disassembled as they wandered in the wilderness was the Lord’s dwelling place and was not any ordinary tent that was to be put up. I would like to focus your attention this morning to verses 1 and 2 of chapter 36. God used men that had these two key characteristics for the work of the Lord:

Wise-hearted-  It is so easy to serve the Lord in the capacity of our own understanding and way. We get accustomed to it and learn that we can get by with it well through out our Christian life. As servants of the Lord it is critical that we ask the Lord for wisdom when we are serving and working for him.

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

Very early in ministering for the Lord I learned that not every problem and issue we may come across has a cookie cutter solution to it. A saw and a utility knife are both important tools to a carpenter, but they both can yield very different results depending on how and when they are used. When was the last time you asked God to give you wisdom when ministering for him?

Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established Proverbs 24:3

A Stirred Heart – The fumes of going through the motions in serving the Lord will only get you so far before your flesh, the devil and the world tell you to call it quits. The best fuel for serving the Lord is a stirred heart. I can tell you from experience that it is very difficult for your heart to be stirred for the work of the Lord when you are living for yourself and are spiritually anemic. Spending time with the Lord in his word and through prayer is key to developing a heart that is stirred for the work of the Lord. Serving God with a stirred heart takes the pressures off of ourselves and allows us to give God the Glory!

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2

Issan and Ashley Acosta

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The Presence of God

If God Doesn’t Come With Us, I Don’t Want to Go

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.”

“Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33:13-16)

In chapter thirty-two, the people of Israel had sinned greatly against God by my making and worshipping a golden calf. This happened while Moses was away from them, up on the mountain getting instructions from the Lord. Not only were they worshipping an idol which they had made themselves, but they also were naked and dancing (Exodus 32:19; 25). God was very angry. Three thousand people died as a result of this rebellion against God (Exodus 32:28).

In chapter thirty-three, God tells Moses that His presence would not go with this “stiff-necked” nation as they continued to travel to the Promised Land (Exodus 33:3). The people repented and they mourned for what they had done. They took off their “ornaments,” which were items of jewelry that they had brought with them from Egypt. These ornaments reminded God of the worldly place that they had been delivered from. Remember, in the last chapter the people used some of these ornaments (“earrings” – Exodus 32:3) to make the golden calf. God wanted His people to be separated from what they were delivered from. By the way, the people would later take these ornaments and give them to the Lord to be used in His Tabernacle (see Exodus 35:22).

Moses then intercedes for the people and tells God that the people needed God’s presence with them as they journeyed through the wilderness or they would not succeed. He reminds the Lord that Israel was God’s nation and the thing that would distinguish them from all of the other nations was the very presence of God. Thankfully, God agrees to go with Moses and the congregation as they journeyed toward Canaan.

The thing that sets apart God’s people today from the masses who do not know the Lord is also God’s presence. One of Jesus’ names is “Emanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Jesus told the disciples that Holy Ghost of God would not only be with them, but He would also actually be IN them. How cool is that. God lives in us and also goes with us.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

Jesus said that He would be with us “alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He says He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), even when we sometimes leave him by doing our own thing instead of yielding to His will, or by loving this world instead of looking unto Jesus. I’m glad He goes with us, because, like Moses, I don’t want to go if I have to go alone.

Another thought – I don’t want to have church if God isn’t there. Sometimes church services can be so dry and dead, it seems like God isn’t anywhere near the church house. But, there have also been many sweet times when the presence of God could actually be felt in a big way. Results could be seen through people being saved, and through the unrestricted singing and uninhibited rejoicing of God’s people. The Word of God was preached with power and the conviction of God was evident as people wept at the altar. Such sweet services. Let’s be careful not to hinder the working of the Spirit of God as he moves in our church services. Pray for God’s Presence. Yield to God’s Presence. Rejoice in God’s Presence.


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Truth Or Consequences – The Saturday Morning Post

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

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold… …And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.” (Exodus 32:31 & 35)

Good morning. Have you ever noticed that when you sin there is always a price to pay? The price may not manifest itself right away, but it will eventually get there. And how soon we forget. In Genesis chapter 32, we find that Moses had gone up to mount Sinai and was communing with the LORD. He was gone a long time, and the people corrupted themselves. They gave Aaron gold, and he made them a golden calf, a false god, an idol to worship instead of worshiping the only true, living God. The result: around three thousand men were killed by the swords of the Levites, and the LORD plagued the people.

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psalm 115:1-8)

The first and second commandments tell us…

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 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: 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:1-6)

Jesus told us that He is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. And Jesus is the Life: the way to life is only through Jesus, and that’s the truth! When we try other ways, other than the Truth, there are consequences…

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

Yes, the wages of sin is still death. That is the consequence of not believing the Truth. But…

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

The Bible calls out what is the Truth and how you can know Him and be st free no matter what the circumstances…

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:12-13)

Know the Truth or suffer the consequences.

Peace.


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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 (for ten of those 18 years) 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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I’ll Handle It – by Phil Erickson Jr.

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 – 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.

Every time I read about the children of Israel wandering through the desert, and I read about them obeying God, then disobeying God. Back and forth, back and forth. Doing right, doing wrong. I get flashbacks of my childhood. I think back to my dad telling me to do something, or how to do something, and I would do it how I was supposed to for a little while. Then, I would decide that my way was better, and it would all fall apart. I can still hear my dad saying, “Phil, would you please just listen to what I tell you to do.”  In Exodus 24:20 – 33, God is telling the people that He will take care of everything for them. Whatever they might come up against, He would handle it. They would just need to be patient and trust Him to do what He said He would do.

I’ll Handle It

Exodus 23:20-22 – Behold, I will send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions:for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

God assured them that He would take care of any enemy, any obstacle, any sickness. He would make sure they had food and water. He made sure they would live longer. He  even made sure that their enemies would be so afraid of them, that when the enemy heard they were coming, they would turn their backs and run. In verse 28, He said they wouldn’t even have to fight! He would send hornets in ahead of them to drive out their enemies. But…He asked them to…

Be Patient and Trust Me

Exodus 23:29-30 – I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Even if the people of Israel had obeyed everything God had commanded, He wasn’t going to give them everything all at once. Even though they might have wanted everything all at once, God knew they wouldn’t be able to handle it. They needed time to increase in number and strength. They didn’t have enough people to handle all of what God had planned for them.  He also knew that spiritually they needed some time to grow. From verse 20 through the end of the chapter, He warns them, a few times, not to turn to the gods of their enemies (Which they had a habit of doing).

God has greater things planned for your life and mine than we can ever possibly imagine. He tells us that what He has for us is greater than we could ever ask or think. But He wants us to trust Him. So often, we don’t trust God and try to handle things on  our own. And much like the younger me with my dad, God is looking down saying,  “Why don’t you just do what I ask you to do?” Or, we start to trust Him, but we get impatient. We have to trust that if things aren’t happening as fast as we would like, that He probably has a really good reason for it. Know that He’ll handle it, be patient, and trust Him. 


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