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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Knowing as much as you think you do

3 Great Kings Kindle-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, September 9 (9/9), is Zechariah 9:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Most people think Jesus riding on a donkey made him humble. Not at all. Donkeys and mules were rides of kings.

Judges 5:9-10 says, “My heart is with Israel’s princes….you who ride on white donkeys.” Supreme Judge Jair led Israel 22 years and had 30 sons who rode 30 donkeys (Judges 10:3-4). Supreme Judge Abdon, who ruled Israel 8 years, had 70 sons and grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys (Judges 12:14).

II Samuel 18:9 says Absalom, King David’s son, rode on a mule. In I Kings 1:33,38,44, David ordained that his son, Solomon, ride on his own mule through the street as one proof that he chose Solomon to be the next king.

The people of Jerusalem knew Jesus was not only riding the ride of kings when he entered their capital city, but he was also, at last, fulfilling the centuries-old prophecy they all knew so well (today’s scripture).

This is the humility that Jesus did exhibit: He rode on the colt of a donkey.

Do you blindly follow whatever our religious leaders tell you? Do you know the scriptures as well as you think you do?

Glory in learning new things about your King of Glory.

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Smarter than God

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-MediumThe scripture for today, September 2 (9/2), is Job 9:2 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Though one wishes to dispute with Him [God], he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.”

There are so-called sophisticated intellectuals in the world who want to come up with all the answers about God. Many even make God in their image instead of we being made in God’s image. They try to reduce God to complete human understanding.

I smile sometimes when I hear TV evangelists declare, “God likes it when you…” or “God approves when you…” or, “God thinks…” and they’re all different.  He must look down on it all, shake his head, and think, “You know nothing.”

This was Satan’s temptation and Eve’s desire ~ to know everything God knows. She bought into Satan’s lie.  How can we even begin to figure out God?  There are two trillion galaxies out there ~ not stars but galaxies. And one hundred thousand stars in each galaxy.  And God is larger than them all. Dispute with the all-knowing God?

That cannot be! If we could understand everything about God, He would not be God! He has told us everything about Himself in his Word that he wants us to know and that we are able to comprehend.  Actually, He has poured out his heart to us in His Word.

Let us rejoice that there are things about God we do not understand. Let us rejoice that there are events in our life that we do not understand with our finite minds. Let us rejoice that such a God loves us in our finiteness. He said so Himself.

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Ordering demons around

The scripture for today, August 29 (8/29), is Matthew 8:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Medium” ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ “

If you are not familiar with this passage, these are the words of a demon. If you have ever studied demons in the Bible, you will find they never tried to spook or scare people. They never made dishes rattle or lamps fall over.

All they did was cause physical problems during the lifetime of Jesus and his apostles. There is no evidence of demons doing this in the Old Testament before Jesus, nor after his apostles died, either in the Bible or in the writings of the apostolic fathers. It is as though the demons were loosed for a season so Jesus could show his power over them also ~ Ephesians 1:20-21.

Notice, demons never said bad things. If they talked at all, it was out of fear of Jesus and honesty.  James 2:19 says all demons believe in Jesus. In the book of Matthew, they knew who Jesus was. They called him the Son of God.

Jesus told them to be quiet. Why? He didn’t want evil beings telling people who he was; he wanted goodness to tell people who he was. And Jesus never did incantations or any begging to lure demons out. He demanded them to leave, and immediately, they obeyed him.

The movies have warped our understanding of demons. Let us search the scriptures to find out their true nature. Then we no longer have to guess. We can know.

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Who are you, anyway?

The scripture for today, August 25 (8/25), is John 8:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-MEDIUM” ‘Who are you?’ they asked. ‘Just what I have been claiming all along,’ Jesus replied.”

They knew who Jesus was.  He had made people’s arms and legs grow back, he had fed multiple-thousands on a plate of food, stopped storms, and brought lifeless people back to life.  They knew! 

Besides this, they knew the prophecies. They told King Herod he was supposed to be born in Bethlehem and that he was to be a descendant of King David. They knew babies were slaughtered after his birth. They knew he would live in Galilee and teach in parables. They knew all this.

But they kept asking Jesus who he was because they wanted a different answer than the obvious one.

 Jesus and his apostles tell you certain things in the Bible. Sometimes, you read them over and over and still don’t get the point. Perhaps you have been blinded by well-meaning religious leaders or family or friends who tell you over and over, “It doesn’t mean what it says.” Are you wanting a different answer than the obvious one?

Dare to read the teachings of Jesus and his apostles in the New Testament with open eyes and open heart. When you read something, just accept it. Your soul is at stake. These are the words of the God of the universe, your Creator, the Lover of your soul, and the only one who can let you into his home ~ heaven. 

Do you prefer that God fit your mold, or you fit God’s ~ that of his child? Dare to follow what God has been telling you all along.

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