Leviticus 8-11; Psalm 110; Hebrews 4

So this is a morning where I need to be reminded of God’s great gift in Jesus. You see I forgot about my needing to post a devotional. How does that happen? I don’t really know. Perhaps too busy. So I take great refuge in Hebrews 4 this morning.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16 [ESV]).

Where have you struggled this past week where you could have or did rely on the priestly office of Jesus helping you. What weakness (forgetfulness?) have you struggled with where Jesus can help you? What besetting sin do you struggle with that Jesus can give you hope in? 

With this knowledge working in me, hopefully I won’t forget next Monday. Thank you for reading our daily thoughts on God’s Word.

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Leviticus 4-7; Hebrews

Sin and Blood. Choosing to do what is right. Always. God cares.

Every atonement for sin requires blood.

Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the tent of meeting. He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the Lord in the tent of meeting. The rest of the bull’s blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Leviticus 4 NIV

Unintentional, unknowing sin matters. Even if I do not realize I did what was wrong, it is still wrong before the Lord and the absolution requires blood. For me, that blood is in Christ. Forever in the Cross stark against a darkening sky… and the blood of Jesus poured out. So thankful.

13 “‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt 14 and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting. Leviticus 4 NIV

 

Jesus in my High Priest. And I can ask Him for forgiveness every day for wrongs known and unknown. His blood and perfect sin offering stand forever.

17 “If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. 18 They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven.  Leviticus 5 NIV

I ponder this. The Lord requires His people to be fully upright and stand for truth (5:1). Speak up when it is needed. Tend carefully to the belongings of others and things entrusted. There is no room for shifty living. All things upright and in the light. I need this reminder and exhortation. Help me examine my life carefully, Lord.

[h]The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor,or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering.  Leviticus 6 NIV

 

Hebrews 3- a call for a tender heart. A reminder of identity.

Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.[c   

ESV

 

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  ESV

 

A watchfulness is needed. I must watch over my heart and my life. Take care… hold fast. Confess and repent. Sin is deceitful and hardening. It can dull and deaden a life and deceive. O! so deceitful.

Lord, search my heart and mind and see if there is any evil way in me. Please cleanse my heart and mind. Strengthen me to do right and to put way any wrong things in my life immediately (or as quickly as possible). Lord, in Your grace, make the wrong so very clear and unrelenting that I am unable to rest until I repent and restore if needed. Help me be strong and courageous if needed. Help me to see clearly to recognize the wrong. Thank you forever for the blood of Jesus! Revive and awaken me to this blood that avails for me even minute by minute. Jesus! Let my repentance be real and true and I pray You be strong in my life. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Leviticus 1-3; Psalm 27; Hebrews 2

Procedures for the Burnt Offering

The LORD called Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you present an animal as an offering to the LORD, you may take it from your herd of cattle or your flock of sheep and goats.” (Leviticus 1:1-2 NLT)

Through Moses God gave the Israelites very detailed instructions on how to prepare sacrifices to him. He wanted the Israelites to obey him and pay close attention to what he had Moses say to them.

A Warning against Drifting Away

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? (Hebrews 2:1-3 NLT)

God’s intention of the Israelites’ sacrifices to him was for people to revisit what he said more regularly so that they wouldn’t get too caught up in other things and forget him and his promises.

What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. (Hebrews 3:9-10 NLT)

Dear Jesus,

What you’ve done is so important to me. Thank you so much for sacrificing yourself so that I can live. You know how precious time with you is to me and how it helps me. Please help me to make you even more of a priority of my life so that I don’t begin to forget any of the amazing things you’ve done. I love you. Amen.

Lanie (llilly2017)

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Exodus 38-40; Hebrews 1

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My wife and I celebrated a little bit earlier in the week.  We attended a Comedy Night sponsored by Focus on the Family.  Leland Klassen is one of my favourite comedians and he did not disappoint.

I still remember the day I gave my heart to Jesus, still one of my favourite memories when it comes to matters of the heart. He promised to be with me always, to never leave me, to guide me and lead me in my life and for His purposes.

Those moments I experienced were usually not as intense as when the children of Israel were crossing the desert, however, His peace was just as reassuring.

 No matter where the people traveled, the Lord was with them. Each day his cloud was over the tent, and each night a fire could be seen in the cloud. – Exodus 40:38   CEV

There is something about giving my heart to Jesus that changed quite a few things in my life – but today I will tell you two of them.

First, there was a change in me from how I viewed life.  I was a mean kid, made my older brother mad and made my younger brother cry.  I was a bully at school. Love has a way of reaching into an angry heart and soothing it.  Jesus gave me eyes like His and I saw things differently and saw the needs of others more clearly.

Secondly, I noticed I was different from others and others noticed I was different than them.  Often people would come up to me and ask me how I stayed happy even when they could see the world against me.  I would gladly tell them of Jesus.

You loved justice
    and hated evil,
and so I, your God,
    have chosen you.
I appointed you
and made you happier
    than any of your friends. – Hebrews 1:9  CEV

It is my prayer today, that as we celebrate with the one we love, that we remember the One who loved us first.  I have found my love for Him is an incredible foundation and reservoir of love for me to give away.

Father, thank you for loving so much and giving so much love that when You asked me to love I had more than enough to give away.  I do thank you so much for my wife.  I love her more than any other person and am so happy that she is part of my life.  Today, as I take a moment to remember the day You became the holder of my heart, my love for You knows no bounds.  How often the English language fails me in expressing my love for You.

Erwin

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Exodus 35-37; Psalms 26; Philippians 4

“Come, all of you who are gifted craftsman. Construct everything that the Lord has commanded: the Tabernacle and its sacred tent, its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases; the Ark and its carrying poles; the Ark’s cover-the place of atonement; the inner curtain to shield the Ark.” Exodus 35:10-12 NLT

My one word for the year is TRUST. But, since I had a difficult time narrowing it down to just that word, give and create are also on that list. I’ve come to realize they both fall under the umbrella of trust. I have to trust that God will take what I offer him and use it for his purposes, even if I can’t see it now. He cares about the big and small details. So many details went into the making of the Tabernacle, Ark, Table, Lamp stand and Incense altar. He didn’t just ask anyone to make it. He chose certain craftsman (Exodus 36:1 NLT). This is such a great reminder that when my calling feels small and insignificant, he sees me and gave me unique skills that only I can do.

“Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering to the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps.” Exodus 35:4-8 NLT

The people were generous in their help donating material things towards the completion of the sanctuary. They gave. They didn’t hold back. What might I be holding back from the Lord? Being generous and living in community will cost me something… time, energy and resources. Do I trust that God will supply what I need like Paul did?

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward in kindness. At the moment I have all I need-and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:11-19 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for your provision. I pray that I wouldn’t let fear hold me back from what you called me to do. Help me to love others and share my life with them. Amen.

“I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” Psalms 26:1&12 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Exodus 32-34; Philippians 3

The Apostle Paul puts forth the most compelling truths in all of Scripture. Salvation has nothing to do with anything but faith in Jesus Christ. He writes:

‘But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— ‘

Philippians 3:7-9 (ESV)

Without Jesus and Him alone we are lost for all eternity. Graham Kendrick’s song of some years ago is based on this passage of Scripture:

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die

Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music,
http://www.grahamkendrick.co.uk

I’m also reminded of those awesome words of Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.”

Have you put your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation? It is not too late. Do it today. Stop holding on to things that will not save and trust Him only for your salvation!

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Exodus 28-31; Philippians 2

Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. Exodus 29:38-39 ESV

Exodus 29 details how the Israelite priests are to be consecrated and lists some of their duties. Throughout their consecration, the priests are to present offerings to the LORD as part of His commandment. I no longer have to present food, drink, and peace offerings to the LORD since Jesus fulfilled the law, but I can still offer myself up to him.

Even if I (Paul) am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:17-18 ESV

Paul poured out his life into serving and preaching the gospel and the Philippians’ faith was also declared a sacrificial offering to Christ. Paul told the Philippians to rejoice with him, despite suffering and to follow God.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights of the world. Philippians 2:14-15 ESV

Paul calls the Philippians to be lights among a dark and corrupt generation, to let their pureness shine out to show Christ to the world. He called them to a life that reflected Christ and His life.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:4-7 ESV

Dear God, please help me follow and trust in You. Please help me be a light in the darkness and to look out for others’ interests over my own. Please give me the strength to choose Your way and to pursue You. In Your Holy Name, Amen.

Nathanael (nborger2017)

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