February 26 “Confident settled trust”

Hebrews 11.6 says without faith it is impossible to please God. But when we’re walking in faith, that confident settled trust in Him, we can have inner peace and joy in the midst of difficulty.

Confident settled trust

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 21 & 22
Psalm 27.10-14
Proverbs 10.13-16
Mark 5.21-43

Leviticus 21 & 22:

Standards for leaders

In chapter 21 we see the high standard that was set for the priests. God has always required more from those who would lead and teach His people (1 Tim. 3.1-13, Tit. 1.5-9).

Titus 1.5-9:

5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

In 21.5 we see commands not to shave their heads or cut their beards or their flesh. These were pagan practices associated with grief. God does not forbid anyone to mourn. In fact, Solomon said, there is a “time to mourn” (Eccl. 3.4) and Paul said we should, “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12.15). In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5.4). But we are not to mourn as those who are without hope (1 Thess. 4.13). We need to remember that those who die in Christ will be with the Lord and we will be reunited with them one day. Continue reading

February 9 “Minimum payments on our sin”

minimum payment on our sin

The Old Testament sacrificial system only provided a temporary covering for sin, like making minimum payments on our sin debt. Even though we no longer sacrifice bulls or lambs, many of us live much the same way, thinking a good deed there or showing up at church once in a while will keep the Creditor off our backs. Only to have the interest, the guilt and consequences of sin, pile up. But there is good news …

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 29.1-46 & Exodus 30.1-38
Psalm 20.6-9
Proverbs 7.6-23
Matthew 25.1-30

The Final Sacrifice

Exodus 29.1-46 & Exodus 30.1-38

Imagine … this Sunday morning before going in to worship, you have to stop outside the church and sacrifice a bull, then take some of the blood and put it on the altar with your finger and pour the rest of it on the altar. Afterwards you take the fat that covers the intestines, the fatty part of the liver, and the two kidneys and burn them. Then you take the bull’s waste, the skin, and the rest of the flesh out in the parking lot to be burned! All this after baking bread, having oil poured on your head, and taking a ritual bath! (And you thought just getting the family out of the house was hard!)

It’s a funny picture, but a serious subject. Why would God require all of that? And why would He want us to understand? Because it pictures the seriousness and the cost of sin. Continue reading