Saving Christians (3)

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11 KJV

Did you hear that? Me neither, wait, maybe…  God is talking, but it is a strain in the silence to hear it. Each one of us is pushed out in faith to one degree or another and He is even quieter as He watches to see if we seek Him and His voice all the more diligently and urgently.  Meanwhile, in the waiting and silence – many sleep.

Dear Heavenly Father – Please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. And please do not let us grieve your spirit; forgive us Lord, for how much we already have! Wake us Lord, Shake us Lord, Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us during this time. Thank you for your guidance, let us be still enough to hear you. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

I am calling this series “Saving Christian” because I look around and see many who are not moving with the flow of the Holy Spirit. Quite frankly they are snoring.  And I am not talking about the architype of the battered soul that comes from chaos into church and snores because as he finds peace, and God gives him rest. In that rest is healing and God delivering. That is a blessed snore.  The snores I am speaking of are delayed “amens” said after everyone else – they come in the form of a “good sermon, pastor” while the snoozing Christian wanders aimlessly out of church.

OK – Let me try to bring it back around to explain a different way.  Do you go to church every Sunday? Pastor gives a good message, doesn’t he – a little shout and some passion – whoo he was on fire! Am I right? You got your hugs and blessed all your friends and jumped in your car and off to Sunday dinner.  Some of us now have it at home, some of us in our masks get to the restaurants. Every Sunday the same thing. Monday comes and you wouldn’t remember what the sermon was, except someone posts a quote from it on social media. Ya better click like, but can’t read it now, because you are supposed to be working.  The 2 pm lull in your day comes and you grab candy and gossip about the cares of this world at the vending machine – or if working from home you raid the kitchen and call your work bestie to gossip. But the truth is every single day is the same and feels just like that passionless, tired 2 pm lull.  Maybe, just maybe – you are asleep.

Sunday night, you dread Monday. Monday you cannot wait to punch off the clock, just to move from sitting one place to sitting another. Didn’t you used to read and have hobbies? Didn’t life once seem more interesting?  By Tuesday night all the snacks are gone and you have finished binge watching that new season – maybe now you can chat with the work bestie about that instead of their problems. Wednesday night, church is having a service – but you really should do the dishes and stuff because how is it Wednesday already? Thursday you can’t wait for tomorrow – Friday you can’t wait to punch off the clock. For what? In the middle of a pandemic, there isn’t much to look forward to except “having to” go to church on Sunday.  Every week, without joy, always the same, “Good service, Pastor” – where are we going to eat?

Don’t pretend you don’t know. We have ALL been there. Asleep.

Nehemiah said the joy of the Lord is our strength – but we feel like we crawl and are drained of energy and there is no strength. Let’s just binge watch another show.

“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” Revelations 3:2-3 ESV

Those of you who are awake, you want to catch those who are asleep? Next Sunday when you see them, tell them you will see them next Sunday IF the Lord tarries that long; if not, hopefully you will see them sooner.  The Bible actually tells us to make plans this way.

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:15 NIV

Then, those who are asleep hear this and a panic comes over them. They say, there are too many lives yet to be saved. But the Bible said it can be at any moment and it will be at the appointed time when the number has been fulfilled. So, the panic isn’t for the lost, it is for themselves.

My own son is a prodigal and I pray diligently for him; yet God has given me complete peace and Jesus can come for us whenever He would like. Do I want my son to join us? Yes. But – I am submitted to the goodness of God and it is all in His hands.

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV

In this passage the word “sleep” mean dead. Not the same as those who are numbly asleep and not busy preparing for the bridegroom to return. But it does say these words should encourage, and these words DO ENCOURAGE those who are spending quality time in the presence of the Lord – Those who have a real and honest relationship with God are at peace with His will at all times.

Wake up – you are missing the point of being a Christian. You are missing the blessings that flow from a relationship with a living God. Wake up – you are missing the joy of serving Him and preparing for His return!  Wake up!!! While we all wait on the Lord, there is work to be done. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

I worry about what you are missing. I am sad to think you might not make it. And I need you, as part of the body I need you. Have you have had to get up from sitting, but your foot fell asleep?  When it happens you can’t move quickly – you must stop and deal with the pain and protesting from the foot. BUT look at the signs of the time! Look at the world – we must move quickly and we don’t have time for this!!!

Wake up! At the very least do not be part of the problem.  You have a job to do – we all do.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Luke 10:19
NKJV “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
NIV “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
ESV “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
AMP “Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Leviticus 14-15 NKJV

The Ritual for Cleansing Healed Lepers

14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This shall be the law of the [a]leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest. And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the [b]leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows—all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.

10 “And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and one log of oil. 11 Then the priest who makes him clean shall present the man who is to be made clean, and those things, before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 12 And the priest shall take one male lamb and offer it as a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them as a wave offering before the Lord. 13 Then he shall kill the lamb in the place where he kills the sin offering and the burnt offering, in a holy place; for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering. It is most holy. 14 The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 15 And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. 16 Then the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the Lord. 17 And of the rest of the oil in his hand, the priest shall put some on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the blood of the trespass offering. 18 The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. So the priest shall make [c]atonement for him before the Lord.

19 “Then the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Afterward he shall kill the burnt offering. 20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

21 “But if he is poor and cannot afford it, then he shall take one male lamb as a trespass offering to be waved, to make atonement for him, [d]one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, a log of oil, 22 and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, such as he is able to afford: one shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 23 He shall bring them to the priest on the eighth day for his cleansing, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, before the Lord. 24 And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord. 25 Then he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering and put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 26 And the priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand. 27 Then the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord. 28 And the priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the place of the blood of the trespass offering. 29 The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed, to make atonement for him before the Lord. 30 And he shall offer one of the turtledoves or young pigeons, such as he can afford— 31 such as he is able to afford, the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, with the grain offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him who is to be cleansed before the Lord. 32 This is the law for one who had a leprous sore, who cannot afford the usual cleansing.”

The Law Concerning Leprous Houses

33 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 34 “When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the [e]leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession, 35 and he who owns the house comes and tells the priest, saying, ‘It seems to me that there is some plague in the house,’ 36 then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest goes into it to examine the plague, that all that is in the house may not be made unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to examine the house. 37 And he shall examine the plague; and indeed if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be [f]deep in the wall, 38 then the priest shall go out of the house, to the door of the house, and [g]shut up the house seven days. 39 And the priest shall come again on the seventh day and look; and indeed if the plague has spread on the walls of the house, 40 then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which is the plague, and they shall cast them into an unclean place outside the city. 41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped inside, all around, and the dust that they scrape off they shall pour out in an unclean place outside the city. 42 Then they shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones, and he shall take other mortar and plaster the house.

43 “Now if the plague comes back and breaks out in the house, after he has taken away the stones, after he has scraped the house, and after it is plastered, 44 then the priest shall come and look; and indeed if the plague has spread in the house, it is an active leprosy in the house. It is unclean. 45 And he shall break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place. 46 Moreover he who goes into the house at all while it is shut up shall be [h]unclean until evening. 47 And he who lies down in the house shall wash his clothes, and he who eats in the house shall wash his clothes.

48 “But if the priest comes in and examines it, and indeed the plague has not spread in the house after the house was plastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed. 49 And he shall take, to cleanse the house, two birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 50 Then he shall kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water; 51 and he shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 And he shall [i]cleanse the house with the blood of the bird and the running water and the living bird, with the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet. 53 Then he shall let the living bird loose outside the city in the open field, and make atonement for the house, and it shall be clean.

54 “This is the law for any leprous sore and scale, 55 for the leprosy of a garment and of a house, 56 for a swelling and a scab and a bright spot, 57 to teach when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the law of leprosy.”

The Law Concerning Bodily Discharges

15 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge—whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. Every bed is [j]unclean on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And he who touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. If he who has the discharge spits on him who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. 10 Whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until evening. He who carries any of those things shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 11 And whomever the one who has the discharge touches, and has not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 12 The vessel of earth that he who has the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

13 ‘And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean. 14 On the eighth day he shall take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and come before the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and give them to the priest. 15 Then the priest shall offer them, the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. So the priest shall make [k]atonement for him before the Lord because of his discharge.

16 ‘If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening. 17 And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be washed with water, and be unclean until evening. 18 Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

19 ‘If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be [l]set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 22 And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 23 If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be [m]unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

25 ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

28 ‘But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 30 Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness.

31 ‘Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them. 32 This is the law for one who has a discharge, and for him who emits semen and is unclean thereby, 33 and for her who is indisposed because of her customary impurity, and for one who has a discharge, either man or woman, and for him who lies with her who is unclean.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 14:2 See note at 13:2
  2. Leviticus 14:3 Heb. saraath, disfiguring skin diseases, including leprosy, and so in vv. 2–32
  3. Leviticus 14:18 Lit. covering
  4. Leviticus 14:21 Approximately two dry quarts
  5. Leviticus 14:34 Decomposition by mildew, mold, dry rot, etc., and so in vv. 34–53
  6. Leviticus 14:37 Lit. lower than the wall
  7. Leviticus 14:38 quarantine
  8. Leviticus 14:46 defiled
  9. Leviticus 14:52 ceremonially cleanse
  10. Leviticus 15:4 defiled
  11. Leviticus 15:15 Lit. covering
  12. Leviticus 15:19 Lit. in her impurity
  13. Leviticus 15:24 defiled

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