The Law of Grace (4)

24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

This is a prayer for God’s grace upon Israel and a great prayer for us to pray for one another. One of my pastors does a daily prayer and he prays this over us every day. I love starting the day with a blessing!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you!– In Jesus name we pray, Amen

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NKJV

Today in Numbers we are reading some very interesting rules – that might seem harsh or difficult in our modern world.  The purpose was to establish a people, set apart from the other people of the world. It was the point to be different, set apart and an example of our God. 
Now, we live under grace and if we accidently become unclean we are no longer cast out of our cities. But just because we live under grace doesn’t mean we can’t become ceremonially unclean, either. Grace is NOT the absence of law nor is it the opposite. As we see, law and grace worked together back in the Book of Numbers.  Now we are under grace and have only one sacrifice, which is Jesus Christ on the cross, which makes us clean when we are defiled. And it is appropriate to apply the Blood of Christ when and if we become unclean – so we can become clean again. And the application of the blood is through a simple prayer.  The fundamental principles of the laws did not change in the moment we became free from the Law – it was the work of grace at the cross which changed grace and gave grace transformative powers – it was grace that changed, nay – grace was transformed!

Let us try to reword it – grace was touched by Christ’s death and resurrection leaving the residue to that resurrection power to transform, the power that transforms death to life. Therefore grace now has the power to transform us.

Grace was “God’s undue favor” and then it was transformed into the very transformative power of resurrection – of making a sinner into a righteous man (or woman) of God.

Grace also remains being ‘God’s undue favor’ while it now has transformative powers. Just like Jesus remained to be Jesus after the resurrection. I remained being me (although very different) after my experience with grace.

The Old Testament grace needed the law and the sacrifices – and the New Testament grace has the sacrifice that transforms all things including how the law is appeased, freeing us from the burden of it.

“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24 NIV

“Justified” or transformed by grace. Not the Old Testament grace – but the grace THROUGH the redemption that came by the work of the cross – the work of Jesus Christ Himself!

So husbands no longer subject their wives to “bitter water curses’ and jealously sin offerings when they feel insecure – because grace can transform the husband and the wife in ways that burning grain never could and grace can now bring life into a marriage (and if needed, it can bring forgiveness as well).

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV

Grace now has power – power to help.  Yes, grace is God’s undue favor and that is enough to get me excited. But why am I always hung up on grace and trying to express my overwhelming gratitude for it? Why am I always saying you need (and praying you have) a real experience with grace? And if you have, why am I encouraging MORE?!  Because grace is no longer just God’s favor (even though having His favor is enough). Grace is transformation from death to life. Grace is WHAT JESUS DID ON THE CROSS. Grace is powerful help in time of need. Graces doesn’t just change us it can change circumstances and even the world.

Grace is one word that summarizes the entire gospel story and power. Grace was there in Genesis and remained throughout the entire Bible. If God is love and shows mercy – then Grace is what God does.  When God does what it is He does, when He moves, when He does what He is famous for – He is doing grace!

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: Numbers 5-6 NKJV
Ceremonially Unclean Persons Isolated

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled [a]by a corpse. You shall put out both male and female; you shall put them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camps in the midst of which I dwell.” And the children of Israel did so, and put them outside the camp; as the Lord spoke to Moses, so the children of Israel did.

Confession and Restitution

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the Lord, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged. But if the man has no [b]relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong must go to the Lord for the priest, in addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him. Every offering[c] of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they bring to the priest, shall be his. 10 And every man’s [d]holy things shall be his; whatever any man gives the priest shall be his.’ ”

Concerning Unfaithful Wives

11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and behaves unfaithfully toward him, 13 and a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and it is concealed that she has defiled herself, and there was no witness against her, nor was she caught— 14 if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, although she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing iniquity to remembrance.

16 ‘And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord. 17 The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 Then the priest shall stand the woman before the Lord, uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 And the priest shall put her under oath, and say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you, and if you have not gone astray to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be free from this bitter water that brings a curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, and if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has lain with you”— 21 then the priest shall put the woman under the oath of the curse, and he shall say to the woman—“the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your thigh [e]rot and your belly swell; 22 and may this water that causes the curse go into your stomach, and make your belly swell and your thigh rot.”

‘Then the woman shall say, “Amen, so be it.”

23 ‘Then the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall scrape them off into the bitter water. 24 And he shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her to become bitter. 25 Then the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, shall wave the offering before the Lord, and bring it to the altar; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the offering, as its memorial portion, burn it on the altar, and afterward make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then it shall be, if she has defiled herself and behaved unfaithfully toward her husband, that the water that brings a curse will enter her and become bitter, and her belly will swell, her thigh will rot, and the woman will become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself, and is clean, then she shall be free and may conceive children.

29 ‘This is the law of jealousy, when a wife, while under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself, 30 or when the spirit of jealousy comes upon a man, and he becomes jealous of his wife; then he shall stand the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute all this law upon her. 31 Then the man shall be free from [f]iniquity, but that woman shall bear her [g]guilt.’ ”

The Law of the Nazirite

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman [h]consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his [i]separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.

‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not [j]make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord.

‘And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10 Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting; 11 and the priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned in regard to the corpse; and he shall sanctify his head that same day. 12 He shall consecrate to the Lord the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be [k]lost, because his separation was defiled.

13 ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 14 And he shall present his offering to the Lord: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15 a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings.

16 ‘Then the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering; 17 and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering. 18 Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering.

19 ‘And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated hair, 20 and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.’

21 “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the Lord the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation.”

The Priestly Blessing

22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:

24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord [l]lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” ’

27 “So they shall [m]put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 5:2 by contact with
  2. Numbers 5:8 redeemer, Heb. goel
  3. Numbers 5:9 heave offering
  4. Numbers 5:10 consecrated
  5. Numbers 5:21 Lit. fall away
  6. Numbers 5:31 guilt
  7. Numbers 5:31 iniquity
  8. Numbers 6:2 Or makes a difficult vow
  9. Numbers 6:4 Separation as a Nazirite
  10. Numbers 6:7 By touching a dead body
  11. Numbers 6:12 void
  12. Numbers 6:26 Look upon you with favor
  13. Numbers 6:27 invoke

The Law of Grace (3)

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NKJV

Thank you for joining us again today, reading the Book of Numbers. This book is not one of those books many people love and it is not overly quoted. Honestly, I think it is only popular in Sunday schools and even then, many of the stories are no longer told for fear of scaring the children. Today’s reading isn’t very scary.  We continue to read about the different tribes, count them, and learn their function.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NKJV

OK, ok…. There is no “law of grace” – you have caught me. Which is exactly the point of the title!! Grace does have some characteristics about it – like we saw yesterday: we are told not to grieve the spirit of grace. I named it in hopes that it would force you to start thinking it through – and start to see the juxtaposition of grace and law, as well as the relationship between them. They are not opposites but they are different, they have similarities and they work together.

Today in Numbers we see how the grace of the Lord made the Israelites a diverse people when it comes to talents, skills and callings. We see how those very differences unifies them – everyone is assigned a different task according to their strengths and their family (or tribe) and then they are counted.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul points out how the church is also diverse and it is our differences that unify us (as we see in the opening passage).  Paul goes on to explain how each of our diverse parts works together.

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-28 NKJV

In Numbers, Moses is counting the people, assigning their tasks and setting up camp with the tabernacle at the center (as God directs) and in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is showing how we have also been assigned tasks and gifts by God and how they must all work together as a body – with Christ being the center (or the head).

God truly is the same yesterday, today and forever. Under the law, He set His people up the same way He set us up under grace.  We all have a part, a task, a job to do and we have been given the gifts and tools to do it. We were born for such a time as this and such a situation as this – and given sufficient grace.

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: Numbers 3-4 NKJV
The Sons of Aaron

Now these are the records[a] of Aaron and Moses when the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. And these are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab, the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, [b]whom he consecrated to minister as priests. Nadab and Abihu had died before the Lord when they offered profane fire before the Lord in the Wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar ministered as priests in the presence of Aaron their father.

The Levites Serve in the Tabernacle

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. And they shall attend to his needs and the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of meeting, to do the work of the tabernacle. Also they shall attend to all the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting, and to the needs of the children of Israel, to do the work of the tabernacle. And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are given entirely to [c]him from among the children of Israel. 10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall attend to their priesthood; but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 “Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine, 13 because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the Lord.”

Census of the Levites Commanded

14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, saying: 15 “Number the children of Levi by their fathers’ houses, by their families; you shall number every male from a month old and above.”

16 So Moses numbered them according to the [d]word of the Lord, as he was commanded. 17 These were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei. 19 And the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20 And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites by their fathers’ houses.

21 From Gershon came the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimites; these were the families of the Gershonites. 22 Those who were numbered, according to the number of all the males from a month old and above—of those who were numbered there were seven thousand five hundred. 23 The families of the Gershonites were to camp behind the tabernacle westward. 24 And the leader of the father’s house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 The duties of the children of Gershon in the tabernacle of meeting included the tabernacle, the tent with its covering, the screen for the door of the tabernacle of meeting, 26 the screen for the door of the court, the hangings of the court which are around the tabernacle and the altar, and their cords, according to all the work relating to them.

27 From Kohath came the family of the Amramites, the family of the Izharites, the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites; these were the families of the Kohathites. 28 According to the number of all the males, from a month old and above, there were eight thousand [e]six hundred [f]keeping charge of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the children of Kohath were to camp on the south side of the tabernacle. 30 And the leader of the fathers’ house of the families of the Kohathites was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 Their duty included the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the utensils of the sanctuary with which they ministered, the screen, and all the work relating to them.

32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest was to be chief over the leaders of the Levites, with oversight of those who kept charge of the sanctuary.

33 From Merari came the family of the Mahlites and the family of the Mushites; these were the families of Merari. 34 And those who were numbered, according to the number of all the males from a month old and above, were six thousand two hundred. 35 The leader of the fathers’ house of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. These were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle. 36 And the appointed duty of the children of Merari included the boards of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, its utensils, all the work relating to them, 37 and the pillars of the court all around, with their sockets, their pegs, and their cords.

38 Moreover those who were to camp before the tabernacle on the east, before the tabernacle of meeting, were Moses, Aaron, and his sons, keeping charge of the sanctuary, to meet the needs of the children of Israel; but the outsider who came near was to be put to death. 39 All who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord, by their families, all the males from a month old and above, were twenty-two thousand.

Levites Dedicated Instead of the Firstborn

40 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Number[g] all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and above, and take the number of their names. 41 And you shall take the Levites for Me—I am the Lord—instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel.” 42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the children of Israel, as the Lord commanded him. 43 And all the firstborn males, according to the number of names from a month old and above, of those who were numbered of them, were twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

44 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock. The Levites shall be Mine: I am the Lord. 46 And for the redemption of the two hundred and seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, who are more than the number of the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels for each one individually; you shall take them in the currency of the shekel of the sanctuary, the shekel of twenty gerahs. 48 And you shall give the money, with which the excess number of them is redeemed, to Aaron and his sons.”

49 So Moses took the redemption money from those who were over and above those who were redeemed by the Levites. 50 From the firstborn of the children of Israel he took the money, one thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 51 And Moses gave their redemption money to Aaron and his sons, according to the word of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Duties of the Sons of Kohath

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the children of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ house, from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.

“This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of meeting, relating to the most holy things: When the camp prepares to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the covering veil and cover the ark of the Testimony with it. Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins, and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue; and they shall insert its poles.

“On the table of showbread they shall spread a blue cloth, and put on it the dishes, the pans, the bowls, and the [h]pitchers for pouring; and the showbread[i] shall be on it. They shall spread over them a scarlet cloth, and cover the same with a covering of badger skins; and they shall insert its poles. And they shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand of the light, with its lamps, its wick-trimmers, its trays, and all its oil vessels, with which they service it. 10 Then they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of badger skins, and put it on a carrying beam.

11 “Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of badger skins; and they shall insert its poles. 12 Then they shall take all the utensils of service with which they minister in the sanctuary, put them in a blue cloth, cover them with a covering of badger skins, and put them on a carrying beam. 13 Also they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 They shall put on it all its implements with which they minister there—the firepans, the forks, the shovels, the [j]basins, and all the utensils of the altar—and they shall spread on it a covering of badger skins, and insert its poles. 15 And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.

“These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

16 “The appointed duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the daily grain offering, the anointing oil, the oversight of all the tabernacle, of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings.”

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 18 “Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites; 19 but do this in regard to them, that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and [k]appoint each of them to his service and his task. 20 But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die.”

Duties of the Sons of Gershon

21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 22 “Also take a census of the sons of Gershon, by their fathers’ house, by their families. 23 From thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, you shall number them, all who enter to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting. 24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and carrying: 25 They shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle and the tabernacle of meeting with its covering, the covering of badger skins that is on it, the screen for the door of the tabernacle of meeting, 26 the screen for the door of the gate of the court, the hangings of the court which are around the tabernacle and altar, and their cords, all the furnishings for their service and all that is made for these things: so shall they serve.

27 “Aaron and his sons shall [l]assign all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, all their tasks and all their service. And you shall [m]appoint to them all their tasks as their duty. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of meeting. And their duties shall be under the [n]authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

Duties of the Sons of Merari

29 As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them by their families and by their fathers’ house. 30 From thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the service to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 31 And this is what they must carry as all their service for the tabernacle of meeting: the boards of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, 32 and the pillars around the court with their sockets, pegs, and cords, with all their furnishings and all their service; and you shall assign to each man by name the items he must carry. 33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, as all their service for the tabernacle of meeting, under the [o]authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”

Census of the Levites

34 And Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites by their families and by their fathers’ house, 35 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service for work in the tabernacle of meeting; 36 and those who were numbered by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty. 37 These were the ones who were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who might serve in the tabernacle of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

38 And those who were numbered of the sons of Gershon, by their families and by their fathers’ house, 39 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service for work in the tabernacle of meeting— 40 those who were numbered by their families, by their fathers’ house, were two thousand six hundred and thirty. 41 These are the ones who were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all who might serve in the tabernacle of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord.

42 Those of the families of the sons of Merari who were numbered, by their families, by their fathers’ [p]house, 43 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service for work in the tabernacle of meeting— 44 those who were numbered by their families were three thousand two hundred. 45 These are the ones who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

46 All who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel numbered, by their families and by their fathers’ houses, 47 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, everyone who came to do the work of service and the work of bearing burdens in the tabernacle of meeting— 48 those who were numbered were eight thousand five hundred and eighty.

49 According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, each according to his service and according to his task; thus were they numbered by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 3:1 Lit. generations
  2. Numbers 3:3 Lit. whose hands he filled
  3. Numbers 3:9 Sam., LXX Me
  4. Numbers 3:16 Lit. mouth
  5. Numbers 3:28 Some LXX mss. three
  6. Numbers 3:28 taking care of
  7. Numbers 3:40 Take a census of
  8. Numbers 4:7 jars for the drink offering
  9. Numbers 4:7 Lit. continual bread
  10. Numbers 4:14 bowls
  11. Numbers 4:19 assign
  12. Numbers 4:27 command
  13. Numbers 4:27 assign
  14. Numbers 4:28 Lit. hand
  15. Numbers 4:33 Lit. hand
  16. Numbers 4:42 household

The Law of Grace (2)

“Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually,” Numbers 1:1-2 NKJV

Thank you for joining us while we begin reading the Book of Numbers. This book has drama and a long journey, which begins well and slowly goes downhill. But it begins a little slow for the readers while they begin to take their census (hence the name of the book). Hang in there – it gets good after all the counting.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NKJV

Yesterday we discussed sin NOT having dominion over us – but when we get into the book of Numbers you really begin to see the rebellion of the Israelites and their sins.  They had the laws which we just read, yet they sinned and sinned and sinned.  God disciplined them, corrected them and punished them. He even tried redirecting them by giving them more laws (as we will see throughout the book). But these grumpy, complaining people continued to sin. 

HOWEVER – There are some beautiful overreaching themes we should pay attention to while reading this book.

First, and most obvious, is GRACE! Obviously God’s favor is on His chosen people. We are also chosen by God and we have that same grace.  We have access to its transformative power while they seemed to take it for granted. Please pay attention to the grace shown throughout this book.

Second is intercession. Moses was an amazing intercessor filled and overflowing with love for the people.  Every time God tells Moses that He is mad at the people, Moses intercedes for them.  In our modern world we often think of an intercessor as just someone who prays for another person and Moses shows that it is a greater task of love. We do not just pray for the lost – we love enough to go get them. We do not just pray for this person’s needs or that person’s needs – we see if we can help meet those needs or if God can use us to lead them out of their needs or through it.

Third, leadership and order.  Intercession is a job of a good leader in God’s community.  As we read let us watch Moses, Aaron and Joshua, and how they led and followed within order. And the grace of it all – that a good leader is empty of himself, humble and just a messenger between God and the people. We see in Moses’s leadership more than all the rest, how humility really raises a person up. And how obedience to God and letting God lead is the key. (Although Moses also struggled and failed at times.)

And lastly – look at the chosen people. These stories are taught to our children in Sunday school over and over as examples of what NOT to do. Yet as I look back at my adult life I see how much I am like these people. Although that does bring us back to that glorious grace – I think we should carry it at the forefront of our minds as we read the book that, again, these are examples of what NOT to do.

When you read a book like this, where God sends deadly snakes and God sends earthquakes to swallow people and God shows His might and judgement, it is easy to forget how much grace these people had and refused. Grace is sufficient. But Moses asked for more grace for them and it was more sufficient. Yet the Israelites continued to harden their hearts that grace might abound. God forbade it then and forbids it in the New Testament and will forbid it in 2021.  There is a balancing act that must happen in your mind while reading. You must understand that: Yes, God can have the earth swallow you but only after you hardened you heart beyond the power of intercession – But you and I have Jesus Christ, Himself, as our intercessor (not Moses) and God’s own son is much more persuasive and effective as an intercessor. And because we are not under law – we can repent immediately and get ourselves right with God.

The law of grace is just that we are no longer under the law because we are no longer under sin. (Technically there is no law of grace – just grace). So unlike the Israelites we can be individually delivered from our sin and free to metaphorically die to our sin nature. Grace does have certain characteristics that jump out at us while we look at it from this perspective and that was where I came up with the silly title.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2 KJV

We can be free from sin’s bondage and therefore we would not grieve the Lord to the point of judgment. We can be free from it as individuals.  We may be free from it as communities.  I must say that I am not sure if our nations are free from the judgment of the Lord. Because as we see in Numbers and as Paul says in Romans – God forbids us from continuing in sin that grace may abound. (So this is one of those characteristics of grace that could very well be law.)

Either the stronghold MUST come down or the deliverance MUST happen – or if it is just disobedience, then discipline MUST correct it. And if none of that works – then judgment shall come – because God forbids us from continuing in sin that grace may abound. 

This isn’t a fearful thing – In Numbers, God’s chosen people were under the law and had God’s grace. But we are not under law, we are under grace alone (and can experience its transformative powers to overcome sin and death). I have experienced it myself. I said to God that I needed deliverance from addiction and He said ok – yet day in and day out I struggled with it. There was a point in which I was free, but disobedient – and therefore continued in sin.  God extended me the grace with tender mercies until I finally obeyed and just stopped and accepted the transformative grace to be changed. God did not send snakes or have the earth swallow me.

Maybe we should read the book of Romans at the same time so that we can better compare and contrast the grace without the function to transform in the Old Testament (although there are clear exceptions to this rule) and grace with the sole function of transforming and making new in the New Testament. And of course the New Testament exceptions are greater. They are the people who God has called and purposed but they deny Him because they bought the lies of the world. God has extended more grace to them to draw them in, and they are under grace, but they will not experience the transformative power of grace until they accept it. 

So, without further ado, let us begin counting the generation who would rebel to the point of not being able to step into the promise land. Because Numbers is their story. And if we find ourselves counted among them – let us repent so we won’t disqualify ourselves for our promises as they did.

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: Numbers 1-2 NKJV
The First Census of Israel

Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above—all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies. And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house.

“These are the names of the men who shall stand with you: from Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel the son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab the son of Helon; 10 from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama the son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur; 11 from Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gideoni; 12 from Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; 13 from Asher, Pagiel the son of Ocran; 14 from Gad, Eliasaph the son of Deuel;[a] 15 from Naphtali, Ahira the son of Enan.” 16 These were chosen[b] from the congregation, leaders of their fathers’ tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel.

17 Then Moses and Aaron took these men who had been [c]mentioned by name, 18 and they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month; and they recited their ancestry by families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, each one individually. 19 As the Lord commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the Wilderness of Sinai.

20 Now the children of Reuben, Israel’s oldest son, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 21 those who were numbered of the tribe of Reuben were forty-six thousand five hundred.

22 From the children of Simeon, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, of those who were numbered, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 23 those who were numbered of the tribe of Simeon were fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

24 From the children of Gad, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 25 those who were numbered of the tribe of Gad were forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty.

26 From the children of Judah, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 27 those who were numbered of the tribe of Judah were seventy-four thousand six hundred.

28 From the children of Issachar, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 29 those who were numbered of the tribe of Issachar were fifty-four thousand four hundred.

30 From the children of Zebulun, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 31 those who were numbered of the tribe of Zebulun were fifty-seven thousand four hundred.

32 From the sons of Joseph, the children of Ephraim, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 33 those who were numbered of the tribe of Ephraim were forty thousand five hundred.

34 From the children of Manasseh, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 35 those who were numbered of the tribe of Manasseh were thirty-two thousand two hundred.

36 From the children of Benjamin, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 37 those who were numbered of the tribe of Benjamin were thirty-five thousand four hundred.

38 From the children of Dan, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 39 those who were numbered of the tribe of Dan were sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

40 From the children of Asher, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 41 those who were numbered of the tribe of Asher were forty-one thousand five hundred.

42 From the children of Naphtali, their genealogies by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war: 43 those who were numbered of the tribe of Naphtali were fifty-three thousand four hundred.

44 These are the ones who were numbered, whom Moses and Aaron numbered, with the leaders of Israel, twelve men, each one representing his father’s house. 45 So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel— 46 all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.

47 But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe; 48 for the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying: 49 “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children of Israel; 50 but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle. 51 And when the tabernacle is to go forward, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall set it up. The outsider who comes near shall be put to death. 52 The children of Israel shall pitch their tents, everyone by his own camp, everyone by his own standard, according to their armies; 53 but the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the Testimony, that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the children of Israel; and the Levites shall keep[d] charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony.”

54 Thus the children of Israel did; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so they did.

The Tribes and Leaders by Armies

And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own [e]standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting. On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp according to their armies; and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be the leader of the children of Judah.” And his army was numbered at seventy-four thousand six hundred.

“Those who camp next to him shall be the tribe of Issachar, and Nethanel the son of Zuar shall be the leader of the children of Issachar.” And his army was numbered at fifty-four thousand four hundred.

“Then comes the tribe of Zebulun, and Eliab the son of Helon shall be the leader of the children of Zebulun.” And his army was numbered at fifty-seven thousand four hundred. “All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Judah, one hundred and eighty-six thousand four hundred—these shall [f]break camp first.

10 “On the south side shall be the standard of the forces with Reuben according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur.” 11 And his army was numbered at forty-six thousand five hundred.

12 “Those who camp next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon, and the leader of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.” 13 And his army was numbered at fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

14 “Then comes the tribe of Gad, and the leader of the children of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of [g]Reuel.” 15 And his army was numbered at forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty. 16 “All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Reuben, one hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and fifty—they shall [h]be the second to break camp.

17 “And the tabernacle of meeting shall move out with the [i]camp of the Levites in the middle of the [j]camps; as they camp, so they shall move out, everyone in his place, by their [k]standards.

18 “On the west side shall be the standard of the forces with Ephraim according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud.” 19 And his army was numbered at forty thousand five hundred.

20 “Next to him comes the tribe of Manasseh, and the leader of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.” 21 And his army was numbered at thirty-two thousand two hundred.

22 “Then comes the tribe of Benjamin, and the leader of the children of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni.” 23 And his army was numbered at thirty-five thousand four hundred. 24 “All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Ephraim, one hundred and eight thousand one hundred—they shall [l]be the third to break camp.

25 “The [m]standard of the forces with Dan shall be on the north side according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.” 26 And his army was numbered at sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

27 “Those who camp next to him shall be the tribe of Asher, and the leader of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel the son of Ocran.” 28 And his army was numbered at forty-one thousand five hundred.

29 “Then comes the tribe of Naphtali, and the leader of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan.” 30 And his army was numbered at fifty-three thousand four hundred. 31 “All who were numbered of the forces with Dan, one hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred—they shall [n]break camp last, with their [o]standards.”

32 These are the ones who were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers’ houses. All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. 33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

34 Thus the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses; so they camped by their [p]standards and so they broke camp, each one by his family, according to their fathers’ houses.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 1:14 Reuel, Num. 2:14
  2. Numbers 1:16 called
  3. Numbers 1:17 designated
  4. Numbers 1:53 have in their care
  5. Numbers 2:2 banner
  6. Numbers 2:9 Lit. set forth
  7. Numbers 2:14 Deuel, Num. 1:147:42
  8. Numbers 2:16 Lit. set forth second
  9. Numbers 2:17 company
  10. Numbers 2:17 whole company
  11. Numbers 2:17 banners
  12. Numbers 2:24 Lit. set forth third
  13. Numbers 2:25 banner
  14. Numbers 2:31 Lit. set forth last
  15. Numbers 2:31 banners
  16. Numbers 2:34 banners

The Law of Grace

“These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.” Leviticus 27:34 NKJV

Today we finish reading the laws Moses received from the Lord; also called the Levitical Law or the Mosaic Law. I enjoy reading law, but I know it is dry and a difficult book to push through, so CONGRATS!! to all of you doing the read the Bible in a year with me for getting through this book. 

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NKJV

It is important to understand the law, without understanding it we would not understand what Paul meant when he says in Romans that we are no longer under it. The law was required for sin – and now under grace we can be transformed and have victory over sin’s ties. And just when you think I am going to type furiously about grace (while you correctly imagine me pacing and talking fast and jumping up and down with uncontrollable passion on the subject) I am actually going to type about LAW. 

Nothing God created has ever gone away. He created us and then transforms us through grace. That is the function of grace – yes it saved us, yes it helps us get through things, yes it includes love and mercy, yes it is favor – AND YES, NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD AND THAT IS BECAUSE OF GRACE.

Grace also has a function. It transforms us, with the same spirit that helped Jesus through the work of the cross and raised Him from the dead. The same transformative power of resurrection! Grace transforms everything that experiences it.

Grace touched the Law and the very reason the Law existed was transformed. The law did not stop or end – it changed.  Which means we no longer sacrifice animals as well as other things. But with the Law, God spoke certain principles into existence and that did not change! It didn’t.

So, even if you are not reading the Bible in a year with us – read the two short chapters which are below and think back over the book.  There are cause and effect rules in place that still exist.

Leviticus 26:3 – if you keep God’s statutes, then… and God gave us promises, one after another through verse 13. And they are good and they would heal our homes and our cities and our lands.
Then God says if you do not keep my statutes, then… and God warned us about the fact that the world would be in the state it is today.

Modern Christians often think God is micromanaging us and judging every little thing (some thought the lens of a good and merciful God and some through the lens of an angry God).  But maybe God, although tender and caring about us, our relationship with Him, and what we ask as already place these causation rules in place so He doesn’t need to manage the fine details.  Remember when Job asked God “why?” (when we were reading Job). And God’s answer was – do you even understand how much I have on my plate to do every day?! Job thought that he was good and therefore bad things shouldn’t happen.  But the good antelope may have to become dinner for the lion because God takes care of the lion’s too.

God has set the rule of nature into motion, the rules of physics for the physical realm, the rules of spirit for the unseen realm, and the rules of law – throughout the book of Leviticus and God blessed them and all that stay within the order and there are also contrary effects for breaching them.

Grace does not remove all the consequences when we repent and turn from law to grace – grace transforms.  Grace is the act of God taking what the enemy meant for evil and turning it for good. Grace is the act of us being sinners being transformed.

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 26-27 NKJV
Promise of Blessing and Retribution

26 ‘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.

You shall [a]keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary:
am the Lord.

‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,

then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil[b] beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.

You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.

Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.

‘For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.

10 You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.

11 I will set My [c]tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.

12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.

13 am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves;

I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk [d]upright.

14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,

15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,

16 I also will do this to you:
I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed [e]in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

17 I will [f]set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.

18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.

20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.

21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.

22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.

23 ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,

24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

26 When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

27 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,

28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

29 You[g] shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.

30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.

31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your [h]sweet aromas.

32 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.

33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.

34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.

35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest— for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.

36 ‘And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness[i] into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.

37 They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

38 You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.

39 And those of you who are left shall [j]waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.

40 But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,

41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—

42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.

43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.

44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God.

45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.’ ”

46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

Redeeming Persons and Property Dedicated to God

27 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When a man [k]consecrates by a vow certain persons to the Lord, according to your [l]valuation, if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. If it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels; and if from five years old up to twenty years old, then your valuation for a male shall be twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels; and if from a month old up to five years old, then your valuation for a male shall be five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver; and if from sixty years old and above, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels.

‘But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.

‘If it is an animal that men may bring as an offering to the Lord, all that anyone gives to the Lord shall be holy. 10 He shall not substitute it or exchange it, good for bad or bad for good; and if he at all exchanges animal for animal, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy. 11 If it is an unclean animal which they do not offer as a sacrifice to the Lord, then he shall present the animal before the priest; 12 and the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be. 13 But if he wants at all to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth to your valuation.

14 ‘And when a man [m]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. 15 If he who dedicated it wants to [n]redeem his house, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall be his.

16 ‘If a man [o]dedicates to the Lord part of a field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it. A homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand. 18 But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money due according to the years that remain till the Year of Jubilee, and it shall be deducted from your valuation. 19 And if he who dedicates the field ever wishes to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall belong to him. 20 But if he does not want to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore; 21 but the field, when it is released in the Jubilee, shall be holy to the Lord, as a devoted field; it shall be the possession of the priest.

22 ‘And if a man dedicates to the Lord a field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation, up to the Year of Jubilee, and he shall give your valuation on that day as a holy offering to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to the one who owned the land as a possession. 25 And all your valuations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs to the shekel.

26 ‘But the firstborn of the animals, which should be the Lord’s firstborn, no man shall dedicate; whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation, and shall add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.

28 ‘Nevertheless no [p]devoted offering that a man may devote to the Lord of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the Lord. 29 No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death. 30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ ”

34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 26:2 observe
  2. Leviticus 26:6 wild beasts
  3. Leviticus 26:11 dwelling place
  4. Leviticus 26:13 erect
  5. Leviticus 26:16 without profit
  6. Leviticus 26:17 oppose you
  7. Leviticus 26:29 In time of famine
  8. Leviticus 26:31 pleasing
  9. Leviticus 26:36 fear
  10. Leviticus 26:39 rot away
  11. Leviticus 27:2 Or makes a difficult or extraordinary vow
  12. Leviticus 27:2 appraisal
  13. Leviticus 27:14 sets apart
  14. Leviticus 27:15 buy back
  15. Leviticus 27:16 sets apart
  16. Leviticus 27:28 Given exclusively and irrevocably

Weekend Reading (February 21)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

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 24-25 NKJV

Care of the Tabernacle Lamps

24 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually. Outside the veil of the Testimony, in the tabernacle of meeting, Aaron shall be in charge of it from evening until morning before the Lord continually; it shall be a statute forever in your generations. He shall [a]be in charge of the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord continually.

The Bread of the Tabernacle

“And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the Lord. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute.”

The Penalty for Blasphemy

10 Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and this Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought each other in the camp. 11 And the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) 12 Then they put him [b]in custody, that [c]the mind of the Lord might be shown to them.

13 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 14 “Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

15 “Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Whoever curses his God shall [d]bear his sin. 16 And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.

17 ‘Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death. 18 Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal.

19 ‘If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him— 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. 21 And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. 22 You shall have the[e] same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the Lord your God.’ ”

23 Then Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they took outside the camp him who had cursed, and stoned him with stones. So the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Sabbath of the Seventh Year

25 And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “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. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food.

The Year of Jubilee

‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 Therefore you shall not [f]oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.

Provisions for the Seventh Year

18 ‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.

20 ‘And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?” 21 Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.

Redemption of Property

23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.

25 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.

29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.

Lending to the Poor

35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and [g]falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38 am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

The Law Concerning Slavery

39 ‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 You shall not rule over him with [h]rigor, but you shall fear your God. 44 And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

47 ‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee—he and his children with him. 55 For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 24:4 arrange or set in order
  2. Leviticus 24:12 under guard
  3. Leviticus 24:12 Lit. it might be declared to them from the mouth of the Lord
  4. Leviticus 24:15 be responsible for
  5. Leviticus 24:22 one standard of judgment
  6. Leviticus 25:17 mistreat
  7. Leviticus 25:35 Lit. his hand fails
  8. Leviticus 25:43 severity

Under Construction

Please be patient with me as I learn a little bit of web design.

no hard-hats required while under construction

We have a new logo, branding colors and themes and all sorts of fun and nice looking stuff to add to IfNotForGrace.blog across all platforms. The issue is: I do not know how to get these platforms to customize the way I WANT!! So I am compromising where I can.

Also having internet trouble and images just aren’t loading. This is more of a curve than I thought it would be. I honestly thought I would load the pretty art and be on my way.

I appreciate you all hanging in there and being supportive. The pretty artwork is just one of the many things I have for you all while we wait for the book to be published.

As always, please keep me in prayer and I will continue to focus on the word of God and bringing it to you – and put this minor distraction aside! Content will continue to come out while I am figuring this out. I will not take the site offline. Love you all!!! Thank you again for all of your support!!!

Weekend Reading (February 20)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

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 22-23 NKJV

The Holiness of the Offerings

22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, that they separate[a] themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they do not profane My holy name by what they dedicate to Me: I am the Lord. Say to them: ‘Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has [b]uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord.

‘Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean. And whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse, or a man who has had an emission of semen, or whoever touches any creeping thing by which he would be made unclean, or any person by whom he would become unclean, whatever his uncleanness may be— the person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat the holy offerings unless he washes his body with water. And when the sun goes down he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat the holy offerings, because it is his food. Whatever dies naturally or is torn by beasts he shall not eat, to defile himself with it: I am the Lord.

‘They shall therefore keep My [c]ordinance, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby, if they profane it: I the Lord sanctify them.

10 ‘No outsider shall eat the holy offering; one who [d]dwells with the priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat the holy thing. 11 But if the priest buys a person with his money, he may eat it; and one who is born in his house may eat his food. 12 If the priest’s daughter is married to an outsider, she may not eat of the holy offerings. 13 But if the priest’s daughter is a widow or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food; but no outsider shall eat it.

14 ‘And if a man eats the holy offering unintentionally, then he shall restore a holy offering to the priest, and add one-fifth to it. 15 They shall not profane the holy offerings of the children of Israel, which they offer to the Lord, 16 or allow them to bear the guilt of trespass when they eat their holy offerings; for I the Lord sanctify them.’ ”

Offerings Accepted and Not Accepted

17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, who [e]offers his sacrifice for any of his vows or for any of his freewill offerings, which they offer to the Lord as a burnt offering— 19 you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats. 20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf. 21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. 22 Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an [f]ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the Lord. 23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any limb too long or too short you may offer as a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted.

24 ‘You shall not offer to the Lord what is bruised or crushed, or torn or cut; nor shall you make any offering of them in your land. 25 Nor from a foreigner’s hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them. They shall not be accepted on your behalf.’ ”

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “When a bull or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall be seven days with its mother; and from the eighth day and thereafter it shall be accepted as an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 Whether it is a cow or ewe, do not kill both her and her young on the same day. 29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will. 30 On the same day it shall be eaten; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord.

31 “Therefore you shall keep My commandments, and perform them: I am the Lord. 32 You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be [g]hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord.”

Feasts of the Lord

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “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.

The Sabbath

‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

The Passover and Unleavened Bread

‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no [h]customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’ ”

The Feast of Firstfruits

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a [i]sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The Feast of Weeks

15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on itIt shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’ ”

The Feast of Trumpets

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ”

The Day of Atonement

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall [j]afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall [k]celebrate your sabbath.”

The Feast of Tabernacles

33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred[l] assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.

37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.

39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the [m]fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in [n]booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”

44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 22:2 keep themselves apart from
  2. Leviticus 22:3 defilement
  3. Leviticus 22:9 charge
  4. Leviticus 22:10 As a visitor
  5. Leviticus 22:18 brings his offering
  6. Leviticus 22:22 running sore
  7. Leviticus 22:32 treated as holy
  8. Leviticus 23:7 occupational
  9. Leviticus 23:13 pleasing
  10. Leviticus 23:32 humble yourselves
  11. Leviticus 23:32 observe your sabbath
  12. Leviticus 23:36 solemn
  13. Leviticus 23:40 foliage
  14. Leviticus 23:42 tabernacles; shelters made of boughs

Saving Christians (5)

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do so that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not give false testimony, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But he was deeply dismayed by these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus responded again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were even more astonished, and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:17-27 NASB

Jesus makes an example of the “rich” (or wealthy) and “young” and “ruler”.  And this message absolutely applies to them, still today – and this message isn’t as scary as the rich young ruler thought it was (as we know God is good and wanted to show a better means to blessings).  But if you aren’t rich, you may have things so valuable in your own eyes, they stand in your way. If you aren’t young anymore and if you do not rule or have a position of authority – This passage shouldn’t be brushed off.

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” and I see all the brothers and sisters who are walking the walk and doing things right – be encouraged. Lately God is putting it on my heart to speak to the ones who prayed for years for a revival and move of God and now that it is about to happen – they are consumed by the things of the world.

How do we become disciples, do all the things God requires of us, have a relationship with Him and manage all the things we are responsible for in this modern world? This was the actual problem the Rich Young Ruler faced (how do I give it all up when I do not understand what you are actually asking of me) and it is the same problem both wealthy and poor people today have.

We all know we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). And we know we just need to prioritize God and make it happen. And we all know it is simple to say that – but NOT easy to do it. But we have to get back on track!

I am back to going to church after a time of playing the role of the prodigal. Although I was raised in an alive and powerful church where God moved – I left a dry and fleshly church. I am not speaking of the small local building – it was the same sleepiness over all the churches everywhere. When I left, I did not understand what had changed or how globally this sleep had fallen.

Now I am back and I have an extraordinary testimony – but no one can relate, because they have all been asleep (believing they are frozen in a state of righteousness and they are still good). As much as I make sure the salvation message is on the Facebook page, and on the website, and on Instagram, and in my book; and I never want to miss the opportunity to tell the good news to someone who hasn’t heard it – But I look around and wonder how many (who have heard it) will miss the boat? My heart aches for them.

They sit back and judge me and my sin struggle and give God the glory for my change but refuse to trust the Lord, because I am human and I might sin and they fail to see the holes in that logic.  My heart is going out to them, praying for them.  I want to find the solution so they can wake up and get back on track.  I too was asleep and I too had to figure out how to do all the things God requires of me in a modern world with all the responsibilities of a modern world. Stay with me while I encourage people to get back on track!

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 NKJV

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 19-21 NKJV
Moral and Ceremonial Laws

19 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

‘Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

‘Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves [a]molded gods: I am the Lord your God.

‘And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own free will. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted. Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

11 ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13 ‘You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely [b]rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

19 ‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.

20 ‘Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be [c]scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering. 22 The priest shall make [d]atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.

23 ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as [e]uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord. 25 And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the Lord your God.

26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.

29 ‘Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.

30 ‘You shall [f]keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.

31 ‘Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

32 ‘You shall [g]rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.

33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as [h]one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

35 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. 36 You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

37 ‘Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the Lord.’ ”

Penalties for Breaking the Law

20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who [i]dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I will set My face against that man, and will [j]cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. And if the people of the land should in any way [k]hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.

‘And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. Consecrate[l] 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 [m]sanctifies you.

‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.

10 ‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. 11 The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 14 If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you. 15 If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.

17 ‘If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be [n]cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his [o]guilt. 18 If a man lies with a woman during her [p]sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has [q]exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be [r]cut off from their people.

19 ‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister nor of your father’s sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an [s]unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.

22 ‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. 23 And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them. 24 But I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves [t]abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as [u]unclean. 26 And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

27 ‘A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.’ ”

Regulations for Conduct of Priests

21 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, except for his relatives who are nearest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; also his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself. Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a [v]chief man among his people, to profane himself.

‘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. They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy. They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for [w]the priest is holy to his God. Therefore you shall [x]consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I the Lord, who sanctify you, am holy. The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.

10 He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover[y] his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he go near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot—these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. 15 Nor shall he profane his posterity among his people, for I the Lord sanctify him.’ ”

16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I the Lord sanctify them.’ ”

24 And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 19:4 molten
  2. Leviticus 19:17 reprove
  3. Leviticus 19:20 punishment
  4. Leviticus 19:22 Lit. covering
  5. Leviticus 19:23 unclean
  6. Leviticus 19:30 observe
  7. Leviticus 19:32 rise to give honor
  8. Leviticus 19:34 native among you
  9. Leviticus 20:2 As resident aliens
  10. Leviticus 20:3 Put him to death
  11. Leviticus 20:4 disregard
  12. Leviticus 20:7 Set yourselves apart for the Lord
  13. Leviticus 20:8 sets you apart
  14. Leviticus 20:17 Put to death
  15. Leviticus 20:17 iniquity
  16. Leviticus 20:18 Or customary impurity
  17. Leviticus 20:18 Lit. made bare
  18. Leviticus 20:18 Put to death
  19. Leviticus 20:21 indecent, impure
  20. Leviticus 20:25 detestable or loathsome
  21. Leviticus 20:25 defiled
  22. Leviticus 21:4 Lit. master or husband
  23. Leviticus 21:7 Lit. he
  24. Leviticus 21:8 set him apart
  25. Leviticus 21:10 In mourning

Saving Christians (4)

“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalms 121:3 ESV

I had the problem two years ago, and I have the same problem still today. I have given it to God and pray over it regularly and diligently and persistently – Where is God?  I need to stay awake and not fall asleep and not slip into sin, but is God sleeping?

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” but not all are in need of saving. We all do need reminders not to fall asleep and reminders to stay the course and reminders when we are in the waiting… and we are waiting… and still waiting…. that God is still good and still working on our behalf.

“In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17 NIV

You see, the temptation to slip and slide away is in the frustration of the waiting.  Is God even listening? Does God even hear us? Is God going to answer or is His silence a: no? Why am I working so hard at this Christianity thing if God isn’t equally as invested in me?!?!

Woe! Slow down those thoughts and repent from them! We have all had them. And we must remember, God’s ways are not our ways. God’s plan is not our plan. God’s not working on answering them the way you imagine – this takes time because He is trying to answer them exceedingly abundantly beyond all that you could ask or imagine!!!

Besides, are we serving God just for what He can do for us? Are we treating Him like a magic genie in a bottle? Maybe, while we wait we should get alone somewhere with God and say: “Hey, God, remember me? I was wondering, how are you doing today? You need anything? Here I am, ready to listen.”  It is a two way conversation and a relationship. 

How easily we forget that God is alive and real, even when He isn’t granting wishes and He just wants us to acknowledge that , by spending time with Him (through reading the Bible, praying, and listening)! We should be careful NOT to accuse God and careful not to let pride and foolish thinking get in the way of the blessings God has in store for us. 

It is time to dig in with God and refresh the relationship we have with Him.

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 16-18 NKJV
The Day of Atonement

16 Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the Lord, and died; and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

[a]“Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water, and put them on. And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.

“Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

11 “And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. 12 Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. 13 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate[b] it from the [c]uncleanness of the children of Israel.

20 “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat [d]shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an [e]uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

23 “Then Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of meeting, shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and shall leave them there. 24 And he shall wash his body with water in a holy place, put on his garments, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make [f]atonement for himself and for the people. 25 The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar. 26 And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. 27 The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp. And they shall burn in the fire their skins, their flesh, and their offal. 28 Then he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.

29 This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall [g]afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who [h]dwells among you. 30 For on that day the priest shall make [i]atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. 32 And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; 33 then he shall make [j]atonement for [k]the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Sanctity of Blood

17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying: “Whatever man of the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting to offer an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, the guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be [l]cut off from among his people, to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they offer in the open field, that they may bring them to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to the priest, and offer them as peace offerings to the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the Lord. They shall no more offer their sacrifices to [m]demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.” ’

“Also you shall say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the Lord, that man shall be [n]cut off from among his people.

10 ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ 12 Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’

13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; 14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

15 “And every person who eats what died naturally or what was torn by beastswhether he is a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean. 16 But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his [o]guilt.”

Laws of Sexual Morality

18 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. According to [p]the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their [q]ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.

‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 10 The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. 11 The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father—she is your sister—you shall not uncover her nakedness. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is near of kin to your father. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is near of kin to your mother. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law—she is your son’s wife—you shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness. 18 Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.

19 ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity. 20 Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her. 21 And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit[r] the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore [s]keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be [t]cut off from among their people.

30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My [u]ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 16:3 Lit. With this
  2. Leviticus 16:19 set it apart
  3. Leviticus 16:19 impurity
  4. Leviticus 16:22 shall carry
  5. Leviticus 16:22 solitary land
  6. Leviticus 16:24 Lit. covering
  7. Leviticus 16:29 humble yourselves
  8. Leviticus 16:29 As a resident alien
  9. Leviticus 16:30 Lit. covering
  10. Leviticus 16:33 Lit. covering
  11. Leviticus 16:33 The Most Holy Place
  12. Leviticus 17:4 Put to death
  13. Leviticus 17:7 Having the form of a goat or satyr
  14. Leviticus 17:9 Put to death
  15. Leviticus 17:16 iniquity
  16. Leviticus 18:3 what is done in
  17. Leviticus 18:3 statutes
  18. Leviticus 18:25 bring judgment for
  19. Leviticus 18:26 obey
  20. Leviticus 18:29 Put to death
  21. Leviticus 18:30 charge

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