Wednesday 9/18 ~ All 600?

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

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“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 ALLof 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 likes it. He said so himself.

 

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Sunday 9/8 ~ Nero and your government

The scripture for today, September 8 (9/9), is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Have you prayed for your government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.”

At the time of this writing, Nero was Caesar. First-century historian Tacitus said this about Nero in his Annals 15:44:

“But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Christians” by the populace.

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

“Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

If the Apostle Paul could pray for such a government leader, can you not follow his instructions? Why don’t you stop and pray for your own government right now?

 

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Sunday 9/1 ~ My constant companion

The scripture for today, September 1 (9/1), is Psalm 9:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.”

I knew a lady many years ago who talked to God all day as though he was sitting or standing beside her, whether she was cleaning floors, washing dishes, going shopping, or had just received a telephone call. She talked to God about everything she was doing. God was her constant companion.

Your throne, oh God, rises above and far beyond everything I know or can comprehend.  Glory greater than the brightest star radiates from you.  The dome of the universe is your mantel of holiness. Rays more dazzling than the sun shoot out, penetrating the darkness surrounding my soul and bringing me into everlasting day. A path of mercy you make for me lighted up with love. I tread that path day by day knowing it leads to you. With all my filthiness, you allow me near. How I worship you.

Thank you, God, for a good summer. We had somewhat of a drought, but my plants were strong and most survived. How I love walking through my garden and pulling up a radish to nibble on, a strawberry to devour, a handful of peas to feast on. I did nothing to make them grow except keep the weeds away. You are the one who took my tiny seeds and turned them into delicious food for my table. That’s when I feel a little like a creator with you. Thank you, my Lord, for all this.

 

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Monday 8/26 ~ I don’t know what to ask for

The scripture for today, August 26 (8/26), is Romans 8:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is always linked with communication between God and Man. Even the miracles, made possible by the Holy Spirit, were a guarantee that the words and teachings accompanying the miracles were from God. This was needed before the New Testament was written. But the Holy Spirit does more than this.

God speaks to you in his Word, the Bible. Then you speak to him in return in prayer. But sometimes all you can do is bow your head in silence and know that God understands ~ His Spirit communes with your spirit.  Further, you do not know the future, so do not know what will be best for your situation.

Yes, there are some things we know for sure are God’s will such as someone becoming a Christian and saving their soul from hell.  Most things, however, we do not know if it is God’s will.  You may pray to get that new car because you have the money for it. But God knows there will be a storm that will destroy your house or apartment, or a family member will be hospitalized and insurance will not cover all the bills, or your company will go out of business and you will lose your job. 

Life is so uncertain. No matter how hard you pray for something, may you always end each prayer or even each “groaning” with “Your will be done”.

 

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Saturday 8/24 ~ Faith gone? You can still hope.

The scripture for today, August 24 (8/24), is Romans 8:24f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-4+4-Strip Child's Cartoon-Medium“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Sometimes you go through a period of your life in which it is difficult to have faith that God exists; or even if he does exist, that he cares what happens to you. During those times, you may not be able to have faith.

But you can HOPE. You can hope that God exists, you can hope he cares what happens to you. Even the weakest person can hope. Hope holds you until you are strong enough to, once again, have faith.

So the next time your faith wavers (and it happens to everyone at some time in their life), remember, you can still hope.

Ah, Lord God.  My logic tells me you are there.  But my heart is lost right now.  Satan is attacking me. I cannot find you.  Cling to me, Lord, as I wander until I can see you with clear eyes once again. Lord, come quickly.

 

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