May 24 Devotional

NUMBERS 28 AND 29    “THE OFFERINGS REQUIRED”

As you read thru these 2 chapters we see God lays out for Moses the requirements of each offering that the Israelites were required to make through the year with the various “feast times” that were celebrated by the people of God.  God was very specific on the time of each offering as well as what was required.  Can you image trying to work that into your schedule today?  But turn over a few years in your bible and we come to the book of Hebrews, specifically chapters 9 and 10.  In Hebrews we read that the blood of bulls and goats was never sufficient to remove sin, only a temporary forgiveness.  Here we learn about a better sacrifice that has been given for us—-a single, final sacrifice that Jesus Christ himself made for each one of us.  Read the selected verses below from Hebrews.  Then take a moment to thank God for his INDESCRIBEABLE GIFT to us.

From HEBREWS 9
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as jthe high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, lhe has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
From HEBREWS 10
10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Advertisements

May 23 Devotional

Proper Worship of God

Psalm 147

Coming to public worship of Christians is one of the most important aspects of any Christian’s life.  It is doubtful that any Christian who is capable of attending church but who remains irregular in coming can be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation from other Christians. God’s plan is that all Christians should live in close fellowship with one another.  A key part of this gathering experience is worship.  All Christians need the writer of this psalm urging to come God’s house and to worship God with other same-believing people.

The focus of Psalm 147 is a praise song that reminds Christians how good God is and how good it is to worship Him.  This psalm is made up of three praise stanzas, each with its on call to worship followed by the causes for worship.  They are as follows: one, praise God for His restoration, vv. 1-6; two, praise God for His provision, vv. 7-11; and three, praise God for His protection, vv. 12-20.

May 22 Devotional

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9 ESV

This is one of those verses that can be applied in many situations, and in light of the destruction in Oklahoma brought by the massive tornado that tore through there, it is verse that certainly suits the situation. Please take a few minutes out of your day and pray that His grace and power be known in this time of pain for everyone affected. Thank you and God bless.

3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:3-5 ESV

May 18 Devotional

B.B. Warfield described the Old Testament as a room “fully furnished but dimly lit.” All the pieces of God’s story are in place, the furniture is in the room, but it is tough to see the beauty and glory of it all in full effect because the room is too dimly lit.

In today’s reading through Numbers 21 we see a hint of the coming story. As God leads his seemingly ever-complaining people to a land promised long ago, he is not slow to punish their sin along the way…

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and ewe loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. Nu 21:4–6.

The Lord condemns and punishes their constant complaining by sending fiery serpents to bite and kill the people. Sin has consequences. Sometimes we see them immediately when the snake latches on our heel, other times they come much slower. But when our sin is revealed, we, like the Israelites here, turn to plead for mercy…

And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Nu 21:7–9.

God delivered his people from the condemnation of their sin, by their looking in faith on another. Jesus uses this story in his conversation over new birth with Nicodemus in John 3.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. Jn 3:14–15.

As we’re led through the Old Testament on our yearly Bible reading plan, I hope you’ve seen glimpses and glances of Jesus and his wonderful salvation along the way. One of the most dangerous pages in our Bible is the one separating the Old from the New Testament. These stories are one grand and beautiful tale of a God who created and is redeeming a people for his own possession. This tale is ongoing still, and by God’s amazing grace we get to live in this continuing story every day  for the purpose of declaring it to everyone and anyone that will listen.

May 17 Devotional

PSALMS 136     “GIVE THANKS TO HIM–
HIS STEDFAST LOVES ENDURES FOREVER”

”Read this Psalm very slowly.  Then read it again and maybe a 3rd time.  Notice the repeats—GIVE THANKS—–TO HIM—-HIS STEDFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER—and as you read all that the Lord has done for us his creation, ask yourself, Is there anything that I can question as truth?  Is there anything written in this Psalm that is open for discussion?  No, we can only agree with the psalmist as he concludes in V 29-
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

May 16 Devotional

Praising God

Psalm 135

Psalm 135 is a call to praise the Lord, the one true God over all the earth.  It is a passionate plea to come and worship God, who is Lord over all creation and over all nations.  The author and the occasion of this psalm are unknown; the background is most likely after the return to Jerusalem from the captivity in Assyria.  The message is very clear:  praising God, who is Lord over creation, the nations and our redemption.  Notice this psalm begins and ends with the same powerful line:  “Praise the Lord!”  Also, it’s opening and closing verses also calls us to praise God.

We are to praise God at all times. God never changes and our praise to Him is not to change either.  He is always the worthy of our praise.

 There are at least five ways we can praise God:  one, praise God with excitement. We are to be unreservedly in our praise of God, not lukewarm; two, praise God continually. There is never a moment not to praise God; three, praise God publicly. We are to always gather with other Christians in places of worship to praise God; four, praise God privately. We are to have a regular daily time in our personal schedule and when we are alone to praise God; and five, praise God intelligently.  All our praise is a response to who God is, what He has done for us and what He going to do for us.  We cannot praise God enough.

May 15 Devotional

There is a question that will always arise sooner or later when telling of my faith and my love for Jesus, that is the authenticity of the writers of the bible. The Christian bible is from Genesis to Revelation. It is impossible for most to believe that 40 different men wrote the bible, and it make any sense. It is impossible for the human mind to grasp what was written and why, but we have the Word for a reason and I found out why. I had not even read the bible when I found out the truth about scripture.  It was the Author who led me to the written word (John 1:1), and it was through the living Word that I realized what had happened to me. I was experiencing what scripture was all about…my need for a savior and the price that was paid for me. It is through the 40 different writers that I can see the Authors signature. From the beginning of scripture to the end of scripture it tells of what Christ Jesus would suffer for us on the cross.  I can’t argue theological points about scripture, but if it’s good for salvation, it is a solid foundation.