For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy. “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.”
Exodus 29:37,44-46 NIV
We stand on the shoulders of giants. It has been said many times but we truly are a product of the experiences of our family for generations past and we lay that foundation going forward. Aaron laid the foundation for the Church of today in consecrating himself for God in service. How blessed we are that so many over the course of generations and thousands of years have dedicated themselves for this holy purpose! God resides with those who dedicate themselves to Him. How am I giving of my life to ensure the future of His Church? It is such a great practice to offer a time of dedication to the Lord, each month, season or year. I need to use some time in this season of uncertainty to dwell on what is sure, God’s faithfulness.
They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. John 8: 6-8 NIV
How I marvel at the patience of Christ! When others come offensively at us, how hard is it to not provide a knee-jerk reaction? He helped others take an introspective look and then kept quiet. He let the Holy Spirit do its work. In these days, stressors can come at us from all angles but let us take a deep breath and be intentional with our words and actions, especially in response to others toward us.
For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. Proverbs 5: 21-23 NIV
The passage of Proverbs 5 begins with the practical side of warnings against adultery, very important in looking at the culture of infidelity that pervades today. For better or for worse, the Lord knows our hearts. We are always getting a little better or worse with each passing day in every aspect of our walk with Him. It is very difficult to stay the same. I am at my best when I take a daily examination of my day, the way the Lord “examines our paths”. Taking a critical look at how we best served the Lord, and when we didn’t, over short periods of time, can help us realize patterns to change, avoid getting in ruts of sin which hold us back but also build on successes. The latter every bit as important as the former.
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Gal 4:6,7-18-20 NIV
It is hard to think of a much more drastic transition than from slave to child. Neither identity is chosen. The unconditional love of a parent regardless of what a child may do versus the constant negative connotation of the ownership and punishment of a slave. When we truly know our identity in Christ, we open our hearts to the unconditional love that is offered. The Father who would do anything for us but also pushes us on in love to be better.
Dear God, Be with me this week to take the long view in my walk with you. Mold my actions and conversations to build up your Church for generations to come. Start with the simple and help me to think big. Use your son(daughter) in passionate but patient, humble service. Amen.