Tag Archives: alive

Numbers 12-14, Psalm 28, Colossians 2

I am continuously in awe of the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for me, the injustice he received- my justice. The older I get and the more I look around at the world around me both locally and globally, again, I am in awe of the place the Lord has me in. I wonder why I have been so incredibly blessed to live where I live, have the family that I do and the stability that probably 90% of the world does not. It’s actually disturbing to think about sometimes.
When thinking about the timing that I was born, I have often reflected on what it would be like to have lived 3,000 years ago when Moses walked the Earth. If we put our belief and faith in the fulfillment of Christ, their faith (for salvation) was in the promise of what was to come. Would I have had faith in something that had not happened yet? Or would I have been like the Israelites, always complaining and grumbling? They didn’t stop to reflect on God’s goodness so they forgot. They didn’t remember God’s faithfulness to carry them through so they were fearful. They didn’t offer thanksgiving but were discontent and grumbling. They missed it and subsequently missed out (on the Promised Land).
So what do I miss out on because I forget all that Christ has done for me? What do I miss because I am too busy trying to make up and or follow “rules and regulations”. I am often looking for the “right way” to do this or that, the next best self-help or self-improvement book or bible study. In my day to day life I forget all that Christ has done for me. I look to myself or others for help in what I should do. I forget that Jesus paid it all and instead, I have bought in to the lies in the world that tell me there is an ounce of good in me and it’s that good that Jesus wants. When I get on that hamster wheel, the cycle of performance, failure and guilt spin round and round. But Paul reminds us as believers we already possess all the knowledge we need to live in this world when we believe. We not only have the knowledge, but the power because of Christ and that should cause us to be thankful. Colossians 2 says:

6 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

I am reminded by this passage that when I crossed the line of faith, I became been filled with Christ. I am in him and he is in me. In him I have died to trespasses, circumcised, buried and raised. I was dead but am now alive, forgiven and free. Christ “cancelled the record of debt that stood against me with it’s legal demands.”
When I try to rely on my own goodness, my own good deeds and my own rules and regulations I set up in my life, it only leads to pride and a judgmental spirit. It leads me further from Jesus and shrinks the cross. When I listen to the conflicting messages from the so called Christian world around me, I am tempted to subscribe to man-made rules instead of living in the freedom that Christ died for me.

16 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?”

Lord, Jesus, please forgive my sinful heart for wanting to fall back into slavery to man-made rules and regulations that you came to fulfill. Thank you for your sacrifice that bought my freedom both here on Earth and in eternity. Amen.

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Filed under Colossians, Numbers, Uncategorized

Leviticus 7; Psalm 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thessalonians 1

Thanksgiving in Spring…that’s what this time of year is for me. 

I reflect back to yesterday when my wife and I spent the day in Washington, DC enjoying the magnificence found in the height of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Millions of people converge on this spectacle every year…and if you’ve ever walked through the canopy of branches holding those small pale pink flowers with the occasional precipitation of tiny pedals raining down, you know why.  It’s hard not to be taken to a different place while meandering through this fairy tale like environment.  It’s hard not escape from the worldly pressures we live in every day.  It’s hard not to stop and be thankful for being alive.

Partway through our walk, we pulled off to the side of the path and spread out a blanket in a slightly secluded pocket away from the crowds.  We sat, talked, dreamed and took in all that was around us.  We watched as others were doing the same thing.  Parents with their children, business men on their lunch break and even a couple of seemingly rebellious teenagers stopping to pick just a single flower from one of the trees when they thought no one was looking.  I was so thankful for being alive.

As I laid there staring up at the floral canopy above me, I read through Leviticus 7.  I’ve read through this chapter before a few times over the years and I always categorized it in Old Testament ceremonial traditions that had no real relevance to me today.  It was in a time of rules and regulations that preceded the freedom that Christ gave.  This time reading through it was different though.  As I read through the specifics of how the offerings were to be made, it resonated with me how difficult it was to meet the details that were required to make these offerings acceptable.  The payment needed was not easy to fulfill.  The gap that needed to be bridged couldn’t be made by some artificial placeholder.  There was one way to fulfill it and anything outside of that method was deemed unacceptable. 

Here on this Easter Sunday, I’m faced with the same revelation of how Christ satisfied the stiff and narrow requirements placed before me.  I was cut off from my people…I was destined for an eternity of fire.  But…

            He came…

                        He sacrificed…

                                    He fulfilled.

And now…I am alive

                                    …because He is alive.

This is my Thanksgiving in Spring.

~chefdave

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament