Family

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Numbers 1-2  & Luke 16

Old Testament: Numbers 1- Dry Times

Numbers 1

20140228-064915.jpgThe book of Numbers receives its name from the numbering of the people that occurred in Chapter 1 and again in Chapter 26. In Chapter 1, those who came out of Egypt were numbered. In Chapter 26, 40 years later, at the end of their wilderness journey, they are numbered again. A careful look will reveal, some of the tribes… Read More

 

Numbers 2- Family

Numbers 2:2
“Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting.”

God organized the campsite of Israel. The center of the camp was the tabernacle with the tribes encamped around it. Two basic principles governed setting up camp. First, the Lord was the central focus, every family was to camp within sight of the Tabernacle. They could hear the events transpire, smell the sacrifices and easily be part of what… Read More
New Testament: Luke 16- The Great Gulf

Luke 16:26
“There is a great gulf fixed . . .”

20140228-065056.jpgBetween man and God there is a great gulf of separation. This gap is caused by sin, and makes it impossible for us to have fellowship with God. This is precisely the reason Jesus came. He bled and died on Calvary’s cross to bridge the gap; to make it possible for us to know God now, and spend eternity… Read More

Lost And Found

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Leviticus 26-27 & Luke 15

Old Testament: Leviticus 26- Idols

Leviticus 26:1
“You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.”


Every generation likes to think of themselves as advanced beyond the previous generations. We look back on ancient civilizations and think of them as backward, and of ourselves as having progressed far beyond them in every way. This is particularly true of idolatry. We, in the western world… Read More

Leviticus 27- This Old House

Leviticus 27:14
“And when a man dedicates his house to be holy to the Lord, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.”

20140227-074948.jpgAccording to Webster’s dictionary, the word ‘dedicate’ means, “to devote to worship or to set apart for sacred use.” As Leviticus comes to a close, Moses instructs the people to dedicate their homes to the Lord. Since the family is the foundation of society, the key to Israel’s future success was in each and every household dedicated themselves to the Lord.

A few years back some friends of mine purchased a new home. Before… Read More

New Testament: Luke 15- Lost And Found

Luke 15:2
“This Man receives sinners . . .”

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Man lives as though God and eternity are a mystery. Even before I became a Christian, I had heard the pseudo–verse, “God works in mysterious ways.” Here, in Luke 15, the mysterious ways of God are revealed. We see clearly how he feels about the lost, as well as what He does about… Read More

Invitation To Come

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Leviticus 24-25 & Luke 14

Old Testament: Leviticus 24- Mind Of The Lord

Leviticus 24:12
“Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the Lord might be shown to them.”


This chapter contains one of only two narrative passages in the book of Leviticus and tells the story of two men who were fighting. One man, the son of Shelomith allowed his anger to lead to sin and he blasphemed the name of the Lord. Under the old covenant this was a crime punishable by death. Because of the seriousness of his… Read More

Leviticus 25- You Deserve A Break

Leviticus 25:2
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord.’”

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Moses refers to the Sabbath over twenty times in Leviticus; instructing Israel how to worship the Lord. The Sabbath was a very important facet in the life of the children of Israel. God designated a weekly Sabbath day, then every seven years was a Sabbath year, and every forty-nine years, a special Sabbath year, called the year of Jubilee. One of the Ten Laws… Read More

New Testament: Luke 14- Invitation To Come

Luke 14:15
“Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”


Jesus tells a story to reveal His desire for all men everywhere to be saved. The cast includes God, played by the man giving the feast; the Christian, played by the servants sent out to invite people to the feast; and the population of planet earth, played by those who receive the invitation. Notice the excuses given by those who reject the offer. Two of the three… Read More

Best Of The Best

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Leviticus 22-23 & Luke 13

Old Testament: Leviticus 22- Best Of The Best

Leviticus 22:20
Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf.”

20140225-070519.jpgI once heard of a farmer whose cow had given birth to twin calves. In his excitement, he decided to dedicate one to the Lord. As the days passed, his wife reminded him of his promise, she inquired if he had decided which calf was the Lord’s. Sadly, one of the calves became ill and the farmer did all he could to nurse the animal back to health. Late into the evening, he returned… Read More

Leviticus 23- Retreat

Leviticus 23:2
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.’”

FullSizeRender.jpgIn addition to establishing laws to govern the nation, God also, established a calendar to organize their year. This calendar set aside certain times of the year for feasts of dedication. The whole nation would stop their normal pursuits and gather around the Tabernacle for worship, sacrifice and the study of the Word. As Israel’s history… Read More

 

New Testament: Luke 13- You Are Loosed

Luke 13:12
“Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”

woman-thou-art-loosed.PNG-ig.jpgI imagine what the scene must have been like in the Synagogue that day. The crowd had gathered like they did every Sabbath. For some it was no more than a religious duty, for others, it was how they expressed their devotion to God. The scene suddenly shifts from the normal activities of prayer and Bible reading to a woman with a serious medical condition. She had been suffering for eighteen years and nothing could be done for her. Without hesitation Jesus called her to Himself, and when she responded to the call, He healed her. Imagine being there! Imagine the joy that would fill … Read More

Retreat

Leviticus 23:2
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.'”

FullSizeRender.jpgIn addition to establishing laws to govern the nation, God also, established a calendar to organize their year. This calendar set aside certain times of the year for feasts of dedication. The whole nation would stop their normal pursuits and gather around the Tabernacle for worship, sacrifice and the study of the Word. As Israel’s history unfolds the biblical narrative records a handful of times when these feasts were celebrated. We find some common elements that are true each time the people gathered at the feasts. First there were times of worship. The people brought gifts and offered them to God in thanksgiving for all He had done. Second, there were times of introspection as the people examined their lives in light of the covenant. Third, there were times of revival. The people never seemed to leave as they had come. They were transformed by setting time aside to corporately seek the Lord.

It is a good idea for the believer today to set time aside to seek God. Daily devotions and weekly church attendance are the foundation of time with God, but it is also valuable to get away from the normal routine and go on retreat. Perhaps it would be a good idea to find out when the next retreat, conference, luncheon or night of worship is taking place at your home church. Take the step of faith necessary to sign up and see what great things God might have in store for you.

Jim

Consecrate Yourself

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Leviticus 20-21 & Luke 12

Old Testament: Leviticus 20- Consecrate Yourself

Leviticus 20:7-8
“Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”

Consecration is an important part of Christianity. A person who desires to walk with God, must set himself apart from the world and to the Lord. We cannot successfully follow the Lord when only a portion of our lives is given to Him. Jesus said it is impossible to serve two masters because we will be loyal to one at the expense of another (Matthew 6:24). It is also impossible to serve the Lord when we continue to bring things into… Read More

Leviticus 21- We Have Hope

Leviticus 21:1
“And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘None shall defile himself for the dead among his people.’”

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Under the old covenant God set the levites apart so they might be involved in ministry. Because those who serve the Lord also become a representative of the Lord, very high standards were placed upon the priests and levites.  These standards went so far as to instruct them regarding how they were to react… Read More

New Testament: Luke 12- Get Rich Quick

Luke 12:13
“Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’”

20140224-065840.jpgJesus tells the story of a rich man who believed true life was found in great possessions. He worked hard and was very successful. His success caused him to evaluate his life. His conclusion, he needed to work harder so he might acquire more, and be able to retire in comfort. He began to increase his efforts, acquire more, build larger storehouses for all his possessions. All the while, hoping… Read More

We Have Hope

Leviticus 21:1
“And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘None shall defile himself for the dead among his people.'”

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Under the old covenant God set the levites apart so they might be involved in ministry. Because those who serve the Lord also become a representative of the Lord, very high standards were placed upon the priests and levites.  These standards went so far as to instruct them regarding how they were to react to death. 

Leviticus 21:5
“They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh.”

Shaving heads and cutting their bodies were common reactions among the heathen when a loved one died. Because they did not understand death and because they had no assurance of what happens after a person dies the people would invent bizarre practices of mourning. Moses instructed Israel that they are to have no part in those type of behaviors. In other words they were to have a different view death than the nations around them. 

The same is true today. The child of God should look at death differently than the unbeliever does. There are many beliefs that people hold to out of ignorance. It is not uncommon to hear people say in response to the death of a loved one something like, “Our loved ones are watching over us” or “I can feel their presence with us” or “Everyone goes to a better place.” These statements stem from a failure to understand what the Bible teaches about what happens to a person when they die. Regarding those who have trusted Christ for salvation we know that they are immediately in a glorified state in the presence of God. They do not cease to exist, they do not watch over us and they do not visit us. Frankly because we do not need them to. The Bible teaches that the Spirit of God and the angels of God are commissioned to assist the believer. In times of sorrow, weakness, fear or doubt we do not need a visitation from a loved one, we need a realization of the presence and power of God. 

Because the believer has a different view of death we should also have a different reaction to death. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”

Sorrow is a natural part of loss and an important part of the grieving process. For believers this sorrow can often be more intense because our love relationships are deeper, but this sorrow must not consume us. We cannot become like Jacob who refused to be comforted. We must realize that those who have died in the Lord have gone on to be with the Lord and we must receive the consoling work of the Spirit for our lives. After all we can be certain that there will one day be a grand reunion before the throne of God.

Pastor Jim