Author Archives: flasky10

Proverbs 14-15; Romans 14

Honoring God requires loving and living in unity with believers. I have frequently heard Christians summarize the greatest commands given by God as love God and love people. This command is presented with so much simplicity, yet the more you read the Bible the more depth is added to the command to love. As I read Romans 14, I was confronted by the motive of love and obedience presented in this passage. The author called believers not to judge since they are the Lord’s and commended them not to cause others to stumble because Christ died for them. Believers should walk in love.

“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”

Romans 14:8 ESV

“For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.”

Romans 14:15 ESV

In verse fifteen, the author commands believers not to grieve others by what they eat; however, this does not just apply to food but more broadly to every conviction that is not foundational to salvation. The church is called to unity as we read in verse 19:

“So then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding”

Sadly, when I look at the church and believers, I usually find divisions, judgement, and comparison. This is not what the church is meant to be. The church should be unified in love and believers should be pursuing to build each other up. The trinity provides a beauty example of unity and God desires his church to display that unity, which is why we find the commands in Romans 14 not to judge or cause others to stumble.

Ultimately, I was struck by the weight of verse 15 when the author said, “. . . do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.” This is such a powerful statement. When I am tempted to judge my brothers and sisters in Christ, I must remember that Christ died for them too. If there is anything I have learned from this passage, it is to not forget the price that Christ paid for other believers and the weight of his love for them because that reality humbles me and reminds me to love them.

~ Faith

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Exodus 28-31; Philippians 2

As I read Exodus 28-31, I found myself struggling to find the modern-day application. All the regulations for the priests’ garments and the consecration of the priests that were necessary under the old covenant are no longer required in the life of a present-day believer.

Yet, as I read all the details, I was reminded of God’s character. Not only is he a God of intentional detail, but he is also holy. All the required ceremonies, sacrifices, and garments reminded me how unworthy I am to enter God’s presence. This is emphasized in the bells found on the garment of the priest which would alert those outside the tabernacle if the priest died in God’s presence due to uncleanness.

Exodus 30:20 speaks of the bronze basin saying,

“When they go into the tent of meeting, to burn a food offering to the Lord, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die” (English Standard Version).

Wow. So often I forgot just how filthy and unworthy my sin makes me. In light of the weight of my sin compared to the holiness of God, I was challenged to reflect on the beautiful gift of Jesus’s sacrifice that allowed me to become the temple of God. I do not need to go through a priest or ritual cleansing, rather I have Jesus as my high priest. Through Christ’s sacrifice, I became the temple of God and I have direct access to God. As I read through Exodus, I found many chapters containing instructions on every detail of the temple. So how amazing is it that through Jesus we have become the temple?

After having my eyes opened to the holiness of God through Exodus, Philippians 2:12 stood out to me so powerfully,

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” (English Standard Version).

Paul tells the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. I can only imagine that the Old Testament prophets enter the Holy of Holy, where God’s presence dwelt, with fear and trembling. Each step the ringing of the bells on their garments was a reminder of the possibility that if they enter God’s presence unclean they would die. If this fear Paul called the Philippian to was rooted only in their knowledge of God’s holiness, that fear would be of death or destruction; however, wholesome fear of God is rooted in both a knowledge of his holiness and his grace, mercy, and love made available through Jesus. I once heard the fear of the Lord described this way. Suppose you met a famous celebrity that you have been a fan of for your whole lifetime. You would not be scared of them hurting you, but you would be worried about embarrassing yourself in front of them or messing up. In a similar way but much greater way, we must live out our salvation with a fear of displeasing God.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross to save me from my unholiness and allow me to enter your presence blamelessly. I am sorry that I can so quickly forget the seriousness of my sin and the magnitude of your holiness. Would you fill me with a greater fear of you that motivates me to live in a way that pleases you. Thank you for your grace that you generously pour out over my sin daily.

 ~ Faith

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