Picking and Choosing

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.
Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALL of the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God wants it. He said so himself.

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Teasing and Tantalizing

10-Daniel-KindleMediumI praise and laud you, my God, for you perform great things for me, greater than I realize. You are always doing something to help me that I do not know about. You are concerned about me in ways beyond my comprehension. You say the war is not against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers in spiritual places ~ Satan’s angels, Satan’s demons, Satan himself. What have you defended me against? What have you sent your angels to intercede for me over? I may never know, but this I do know: You will always protect me from forces too strong for me and will never make me face anything I cannot handle. My mind staggers to comprehend it all, and so I worship you.

Thank you, Jesus, that you gave me eyes that can see.  I have a friend who has never been able to see.  I cannot describe color to that person because they have no idea what I am talking about. I long to share the delight of color, but it is not possible. That is what you go through in trying to describe our life in your world, heaven, isn’t it? I shall try but realize you have wonderful surprises awaiting me when I arrive.  Thank you for teasing and  tantalizing me with promises of delights I cannot begin to imagine.

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The Son is also the Father

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-MediumThe scripture for today, September 6 (9/6), is Isaiah 9:6 , as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

“For to us, a child is born! To us, a son is given! And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called  Wonderful  Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!”

This is one of the most amazing scriptures in the entire Bible, explaining how God is One and self-existent. It is as astounding as John 1:1,14 that says, “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

This child predicted to be born unto us was both Father and Son and God. He created Himself. He was self-existent.

He is the image of the invisible God; God materialized, ”For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:15, 19; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4). The men who saw Jesus Christ saw God (John 12:45, 14:9). God’s blood (God’s Word in flesh) was shed on the cross (Acts 20:28).

In America, we sometimes say about a son, “he is the spitting image of his father.”  Jesus said, “If you want to look at the Father, look at me.” God is a Spirit but created us in a material world. So, sometimes God materialized in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, he materialized as Jesus.

This is so amazing. And we have been so blest beyond full comprehension.

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Me, Lord? Me?

00-hero-alone-cover-kindle-mediumOh Lord, my God. I do not always understand you. But I trust you no matter what happens in my personal life, in my city, my nation, the world. I know you have everything under control. You step back sometimes to let the true motives of bad people be seen at the expense of people they hurt. I do not always understand you. But I trust you no matter what happens to my body during plagues and to the earth during natural disasters. No matter what happens, I will trust you and praise you. I will never turn away from you as long as you give me strength to do so. May I die praising you.

My Father, thank you for making me your child. I am a child of the Creator of greater things than I can ever see or understand ~ me just a spec in the cosmos! How is that possible? I am a child of the King over all kings, the Lord over all lords. I am a child of the self-existent one who chose to make me, protect me, and love me. Me, Lord?  Me?  I fall at your feet in gratitude and heart thanks.

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Goodness in every country on earth

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnailThe way you designed the trees is so much like the growth of my soul.  We start out life as a little ball, so tiny and full of wonder.  Then as toddlers, that tiny ball develops into a bud with just a touch of color peeking through. Finally, we open up in full bloom and our faith in you is so innocent and pure. Then we reach our teens and doubts creep in. One by one the sweet-smelling blossoms lose their colorful leaves. But, in young adulthood after we come out of our dares and doubts, we form into something else. The flower has turned into a miniature green fruit, a promise of things to come. In full adulthood the fruit becomes yellow or red or whatever it is supposed to be and adorns the branch it has grown from. In middle age we are plucked and become nourishment to others. Finally, in old age, the tiny seeds that fall from the fruit are buried once again, some day to start all over again as a little green ball, tiny and full of hope. May my life blossom the way you intended and, after I am gone, may the seeds I leave behind develop into a brand-new generation to carry on your work and your glory.

Thank you that I live in a free country to do whatever kind of work I desire to do, to live where I want, and worship you freely. And, thank you, for the other countries of the world. They may not have the freedoms I have, but many of them have opportunities not available here. And they live in areas full of so much ancient history, much of it having been lived out in your Bible. How exciting for them. There is something good in every country. I thank you for helping me not become arrogant and think my country is better than anyone else’s country. Thank you for opening my eyes.

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