Wednesday 2/14 ~ Thank God for the Old Testament

The scripture for today, February 14, is Colossians 2:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“[God] having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want the Law of Moses unless they don’t want to obey ALL 600 commands and want an excuse to justify the one they do want.

They want the part that says to tithe so they can get people’s money. (Actually, the good Jew gave one-third, not one-tenth.) Or they want a separate priesthood so they can feel important.  Or they want showy things in worship like candles, incense, musical instruments (though they were only allowed the harp, lyre, and cymbal) so they can enjoy themselves more. 

Hold on! If we obey one command we are required to keep the entire Law of Moses ~ all 600 commands. Galatians 5:3 and James 2:10 say so. Are you up to it?

Our verse for today says the Law was against us; that is, it was impossible for us to keep perfectly. Try wading through Leviticus in the Old Testament. That’s where most of the old Law (“the written code with its regulations”) is.

It’s tedious. It regulated nearly every part of everyone’s daily life. It involved what we could and couldn’t eat, having to kill animals to die in our place whenever we sinned, stoning adulterers to death, having a separate Levite priesthood, giving a third of our income, reporting to priests if we had an open sore, use of candles, having to go to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year, spreading blood on our doorposts, and on and on.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament was written to help us understand that God’s new Law of Grace is much more spiritual. Read especially chapters 8 & 9. We have to make a choice: Old or New.

Hebrews was written about the time the Temple in Jerusalem was permanently destroyed, thus making it impossible to obey several things in the old Law. And a little time later the Jewish genealogies were destroyed, thus making it impossible to prove who was a Levite and eligible to be a priest.

But wait!  The Old Testament of the Bible is not the same as the Law of Moses. The Law is a small part of the Old Testament. The rest of it is wonderful praise, amazing wisdom, accounts of people who did or did not try to follow God, and those astounding prophecies of Jesus all through them.

Let us not neglect the Old Testament as so many people do. Thank God for the Old Testament.

 

Scripture for Friday, April 7 (4/7)

The scripture for today, April 7, is Proverbs 4:7 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Acts of the Apostles-Cover-Kindle

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.”

The verse just before this says, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” And the verse just after today’s says, “Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.”

How do we get wisdom? The Bible is full of it. Proverbs was written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world. Just reading and applying Proverbs would give a person wisdom. And the entire Old Testament gives examples of numerous people through the centuries who did or did not do right, and the result of their decisions.  

Many religious people neglect the Old Testament. It is not always pleasant reading. But by reading it, we can avoid the mistakes made by many, and perhaps gain the courage to imitate the courageous ones who made the right choices.

How about reading the Bible through every year? To read both the Old and New Testament through in a year would take about 20 minutes a day. Some people have read the entire Bible front to back forty or fifty times. Make this a priority in your life. It will give you wisdom.

 

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#wisdom, #knowledge, #OldTestament, #NewTestament, #Scriptures, #Solomon, #Proverbs, #understanding, #truth

Scripture for Tuesday, February 14 (2/14)

The scripture for today, February 14, is Colossians 2:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 5-FLOOD GATES-Cover-Print“[God] having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

This amazing scripture tells us that the Old Law of Moses was nailed to the cross. Why? Because it was against us; that is, it was impossible for us to keep perfectly. The Law of Moses wasn’t just ten commandments. It was over 600. Try reading Leviticus in the Old Testament. That’s where most of the old law (“the written code with its regulations”) is.

It’s tedious. It regulated nearly every part of everyone’s daily life. It involved what we could and couldn’t eat, having to kill animals to die in our place whenever we sinned, stoning adulterers to death, having a separate priesthood, tithing, reporting to priests if we had an open sore, use of candles, having to go to the Temple in Jerusalem 3 times a year, and on and on.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament was written to help us understand that God’s new Law of Grace is much more spiritual.

Hebrews was written about the time the Temple in Jerusalem was permanently destroyed, thus making it impossible to obey several things in the old law. And a little time later the Jewish genealogies were destroyed, thus making it impossible to prove who was a Levite and eligible to be a priest.

The Old Testament of the Bible is not the same as the Law of Moses. The Law is a small part of the Old Testament. The rest of it is praise and wisdom, accounts of people who did or did not try to follow God, warnings, and prophecies of good and bad. These are examples to us today.

Let us not neglect the Old Testament as so many people do. It includes the Law of Moses to help us know what to stay away from it in favor of the Law of Grace. If God wanted us to continue any part of it, he repeated it in the New Testament. It is full of examples that we need to know about. And it is full of prophecies of a Savior who would save them and us some day ~ Jesus. Thank God for the Old Testament.

#OldTestament, #NewTestament, #LawOfMoses, #LawOfGrace

Scripture for Wednesday, January 25 (1/25)

The scripture for today, January 25, is James 1:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it ~ he will be blessed in what he does.”

A lot of people do not understand that there was the Law of Moses with over 600 commands in the Old Testament, and the Law of Jesus with very few commands in the New Testament. Colossians 2:14 says Jesus nailed the old Law to the cross. Jesus’ new law is one of freedom from all the requirements of the old law.

Do we really believe this? Some people dip back into the Old Law of Moses to bring back those old forms of worship (musical instruments, separate priesthood, etc.), or to bind people to regulations that are no longer binding (tithing, burning candles, etc.).  That has all been nailed to the cross. But how are we supposed to know unless we read the Old Testament ~ not just the stories, but also the commands? Like the commands to stone for adultery, etc.

Then we can understand.

Let us truly let loose of the Old Law of Moses and cling to the “perfect Law that gives freedom” in Christ.

Then let us bow to Him in gratitude for doing this for us, and say “Thank you.”

#LawOfMoses, #Tithing, #Priests, #Music, #LawOfGrace, #NewTestament, #OldTestament

Scripture for Sunday, December 18 (12/18)

Scripture for Saturday, November 12 (11/12)

The scripture for today, November 12, is Leviticus 11:12 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

FunWithBibleNumbers-Cover-Kindle“Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.”

This is just one of the over 600 laws in the Law of Moses. They were intricate laws governing both their worship and their everyday life. This one chapter in Leviticus says in part they could not eat camels or coneys or rabbits or pigs. They could not eat eagles, vultures, kites, ravens, owls, gulls, hawks, osprey, storks, herons, hoopoes or bats. But they could eat locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. And this is just part of chapter 11!

Why did God give so many intricate laws to the Jews? To give them a chance to keep them all perfectly so they could be perfect. In the meantime, God did not give any laws to the Gentiles; He let them try whatever means they could on their own to become perfect. But during the same time period, both the Jews and Gentiles proved to themselves that it was impossible to keep their religions perfectly and thus be perfect themselves.

Now Jesus was ready to come. He lived the Jewish law perfectly, then nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Now we live under a law of grace, and his commandments revolve around loving God and loving each other.

Aren’t we fortunate to live in the Christian era?

 

#LawOfMoses, #OldTestament, #Tithing, #Perfection, #Crucifixion, #Perfection, #Salvation

Scripture for Friday, October 7 (10/7)

The scripture for today, October 7, is Joshua 10:7f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Old Testament Survey-Cover-Kindle“So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ “

We today cannot imagine a good God condoning violence, let alone promoting it. But think back. Mankind was quite barbaric in the centuries and millenniums before Christ. God never runs very far ahead of mankind, or else mankind would not understand, would get discouraged and then not even try to follow God. By the time Jesus came, God was saying, “No more violence.”

In this scripture for today, God was telling Joshua to attack people in the Promised Land ~ Canaan. This brings up another question: Why would a good God allow one group of people to kill off another group of people? God told Abraham centuries earlier, “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16).

However, in Leviticus 18:24, 28, God warned the Jews through Moses, “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled….And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.”

So God warned the Jews that, if they got as bad as the previous people in Canaan, he would drive them out too.

Further, in Old Testament times, God often punished people immediately. Why punish them? Partly to get them away from the good people. And God used armies of believers to do the punishing for him.

Today God does not expect us to do the punishing. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord. On the contrary, If your enemy is hungry feed him….Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Thank God, he has taken the terrible task of vengeance away from us. We can just forgive our enemies and hand things over to God to take whatever steps need to be taken. In the meantime, we can read the Old Testament and learn that God takes notice when people are doing bad things to us.

God does take care of us. God does love his children.

#War, #Peace, #Bible, #OldTestament, #NewTestament

Scripture for Sunday, September 18 (9/18)

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

CHANGES IN WORSHIP-COVER-KINDLE“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. (Yes, both tithes and offerings were required.)

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.

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.”

Old Testament worship was showy and elaborate. 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.

#worship, #Law of Moses, #Old Testament

Scripture for Wednesday, September 14 (9/14)

The scripture for today, September 14, is Hebrews 9:14f as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW OF DEATH-Cover“How much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts [sins] that lead to death so that we may serve the living God! For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant [testament] that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance ~ now that e has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant [testament].”

This is a very interesting passage. Just previous to this, the author was talking about the blood of bulls and goats being sacrificed for sins under the old Law of Moses [Testament]. But now that the Son of God, the Lamb of God, had been sacrificed for our sins, we no longer need any more blood sacrifices.

Further, Jesus’ sacrifice was retroactive! It reached back to the faithful who lived under the first/old covenant [Testament] and set them free from their sins too.

Aren’t you glad God did away with the old Law of Moses with all its 600+ rules and regulations, and its requirement for animal blood sacrifices, and brought us a law of grace? What a God! What a Savior! Jesus did all this to save us from hell.

Have a day of gratitude.

#OldTestament, #NewTestament, #Law of Moses, #Sacrifices

Scripture for Sunday, June 5 (6/5)

The scripture for today, June 5, is Deuteronomy my 6:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Jesus said this is the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:29). He didn’t say that any of the Ten Commandments were. He chose one of the over 600 commandments God gave to Moses in the Old Testament. It might have been lost in the crowd, but Jesus called it out and gave it special attention.

Although we no longer keep the Old Testament Law of Moses, we do have the New Testament Law of Jesus. There aren’t as any commandments, but there are some. Sometimes Jesus’ law repeats something in the Old Law such as the one above. But it was his choice what to carry over, not ours.

Some people don’t even know that they’re obeying any of the Laws of Moses. Well, then, all we have to do is read that Law and see if we recognize anything we’re doing.
Do we love the Lord our God enough to no longer keep even one of the commandments in the law of Moses, or do we say the church cannot function if it gives up certain ones? Do we love the Lord our God enough to keep all of the commandments of Jesus or do we say the church is too modern now to keep certain ones?

Let us not be like the clay telling the potter what to do. Let us love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, soul and strength.