Confess

Leviticus 5-7

Leviticus 5 5 NIV

Confession – yesterday we talked about Christ’s sacrifice replacing the Old Testament offerings. I also mentioned how we often take for granted the fact we no longer have to make the sacrifices. In those sacrifices, it was just that, a sacrifice – the people had to give something that they could have enjoyed because of their sin.

Even though there was a loss, the people had no clear way to alleviate the weight of guilt and find forgiveness in their lives. God has provided another way to help with that – Confession.

Confession is something that is hard to do. Many lie, deny and push blame on others just to avoid confessing. It is something that God asks of us not for his benefit but for ours. I remember being told often as a kid the only way to fix a problem  is to realize there is one. And that is what confession is.

Further, confession gives a proper view on sin, God and ourselves.

The punishment for sin is death – we need a proper view of sin. I have often heard of people talk about their sin as “Not that big of a deal.” Sin is just that, SIN. If it is wrong, we shouldn’t do it. Sin that is not confessed and not repented of leads to missing out on the Kingdom.

God cannot be in the presence of sin – we need a proper view of God. Our God is a holy God. He expects purity not just in our actions but also our hearts. (Matt. 5:8 says the pure heart will see God.)

We cannot do it on our own – we need a proper view of ourselves. We often try to fix our problems on our own. Sin is not something we can fix on our own or earn enough to repay the debt. We need a savior and Christ is willing to step in on our behalf.

A couple tips on confession:

Confess immediately – when you know you have done something wrong do not push it off. It is easy to push it off.

Confess specifically – I hear a lot of prayer that vaguely ask for all sins to be forgiven. Make it personal and specific.

Confess honestly – Take it serious and do not make promises you know you will not keep.

Confess to someone else – this is something I push in the church. For some reason people are afraid of letting others know about their sin. Most will acknowledge they are a sinner but would never discuss their struggles for fear of other’s judgement. Find someone you trust and create an open discussion and ask for accountability.

John Wincapaw

 

Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+5-7&version=NIV

 

Tomorrow’s reading will be Leviticus 8-10 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

My Highlighter Went a Bit Crazy

Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10 36

Hello Everyone!

Wow, what a great chapter!  If you’re anything like me you probably highlighted a third of the verses for today!  Because there was so much I really enjoyed about this chapter I wanted to share just a few thoughts for the verses I liked the best.  I strongly encourage you to be an active reader for this chapter… sit down with a highlighter (or hop on your Bible App!) and highlight the verses you feel really speak to you today!

Vs. 4 and 10- I like these verses in combination because one sets up the other.  Verse 4 is explaining yet again that the previous sacrifices could not atone for the sins of the Hebrews or for us for that matter.  Verse 10 is just a great reminder that God sent his Son, and through Jesus’ sacrifice we have been made holy.  The author is again and again trying to drill into the reader’s head that JESUS is the one who saves.  It is JESUS who can atone for the sins of the world, and there is no more need for sacrifices.

Vs 14 and 18 – Again, I think these verses pair together wonderfully!  Sometimes I think the author may be repeating himself one too many times, but then I remember the original purpose for the letter.  These people were being told about a dramatic life style change, the author can’t reiterate enough the new deal!  Jesus made one sacrifice, and because of it there was no more need for them to sacrifice animals anymore.

And from here on is where my highlighter went a bit crazy…

Vs. 22-23 – What powerful language!  We have full assurance that our faith will cleanse us from a guilty conscience and wash us with pure water.  We need to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, because He is faithful!  If you were looking for a faith booster today, this is it friends!  We have a faithful God, and by having faith in Him we know that we can become pure.  What a wonderful reminder of His love and power.

Vs 24-25 – Application verses for the day!  As a body of Christ, we are called to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, to continue to have fellowship with one another, and to encourage one another as the Day of Jesus’ return draws closer.  It’s almost as if this verse is calling you to attend an amazing COG event like Family Camp or FUEL….    So let’s put these verses in action a bit; How can you spur on a brother or sister towards love and good deeds today?  Are you going to best encourage them through a kind note, through a coffee date, by helping them clear out their garage, doing a Bible study?  There are so many ways we can show God’s love to our Christian family, pick one and try it out this week!

Vs. 26-27 and 31 – These verses are a little hard to swallow.  Deliberately choosing to continue in a path of sin will lead to raging fire that consumes God’s enemies.  I’m not going to sugar coat this at all.  By making a conscious decision to live in sin after knowing truth, you are becoming an enemy of God and should fearfully expect judgement.  Notice how it specifically mentions “after knowing truth”.  Especially for those who grew up in the church like myself, we know truth and we have been taught what sin is.  I fully recognize that this can make daily living more complicated, and according to this verse, more dangerous for our salvation.  As verse 31 states, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.”  We should only live in fear of judgement day if we are consciously choosing sin in our life.  I think it is ok to let that fear motivate you sometimes!  If you’re struggling with decisions in your life, maybe you need a little fear to keep yourself in check!

Vs. 36-37 – After those previous verses this verse is a nice reminder as to why we choose righteous living.  It is so that we can receive what has been promised!  I think the author intentionally uses the word ‘persevere’ in this verse because they recognize that it is something we have to work at, and that doesn’t come naturally.  If you read the few verses before this you see that the author is describing suffering, so the language of persevere makes sense here.  Thankfully, we are not suffering in prison as was mentioned, but we certainly have daily sufferings that make it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But if you move on to read verse 37 you see that in just a little while, Jesus will return and he will not delay.  We can handle our present sufferings because we know that someday soon Jesus will return and we will receive that promise!

And finally, Vs. 39 – We belong not to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.  We have a heritage.  We have a family and a foundation.  It’s easy to feel alone at work, school, or maybe even in your own family.  But through Jesus, we have a sense of belonging.  And we are on the winning side!

I think each of these verses could’ve been pulled into a mini sermon today, but I tried to keep it short… I promise!  I hope today some of my thoughts got you reflecting and thinking on God’s word.  I also hope that you found some encouragement in the truth that we hold to, especially if you are in a season of persevering.  I love being a part of this body of Christ, and I hope you feel our history and the fellowship we have!  Life is so much easier when you have people to live it with that can encourage you in your walk of faith.  Today, seek those people out!  Or, be that person to a member who needs some encouragement!

Have a great day brothers and sisters!

Sarah Blanchard

 

Leaping into Leviticus (Chapters 1-4)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

leviticus     (page of Leviticus from an early German Bible)

Well, here we are . . . ready to delve into the third of the five books of the Law – Leviticus.
Leviticus is not known for being fun or light reading.  Most of the book is a listing of laws, consequences, sacrifices and priestly roles – and some of it can seem as foreign to us today as a totally new – or ancient – language.  But, don’t give up!  Forge on and let’s see what we can glean from its pages for us today.  In yesterday’s devotional thoughts we mentioned the importance of living holy lives – particularly for the priesthood which represents the Almighty.  In the book of Leviticus Moses instructs the Israelites on what holiness would look like.

As I read the directions for the burnt, grain, fellowship and sin offerings I was reminded of a saying I heard many times from my Grandpa Clair Alcumbrack.  Grandpa was a master craftsman who took great pains to get a job done right and generously gave most pieces away.  When his work was being admired by the lucky recipient Grandpa would jokingly say it was,  “Good enough for who it’s for.”   We always knew it was just his humble way of accepting praise for a job well done.   But it got me to thinking . . . how often do I forget who I am serving and working for – and the quality He desires from me.  Would I ever be able to come anywhere close to saying that my offerings for God were “Good enough for who it’s for”?

Eight times the phrase “Without defect” is used in the first 4 chapters of Leviticus to describe the sacrifices the Israelites were to bring before God.  These animal and grain offerings are no longer required since Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.  But, can we learn something about what God expects from His children?

Let’s all check the quality of our offerings this week.   Is it obvious – to ourselves, others, and to the Master Craftsman, by the quality of our offerings and sacrifices, that we desire to be His chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation (I Peter 2:9)?  Our Almighty Father deserves the very best we have to give –  offerings “without defect”.  What are we giving Him?   What defects need to be removed from our offering in order for it to be pleasing to Him?  A bad attitude?  A timing issue?  Poor quality control?  A long list of excuses?  How will you work to come closer to giving a sacrifice that is without blemish?

 

— Marcia Railton
( Marcia is the wife of Jason Railton and mom to 3, all of whom were at FUEL.  Marcia is thankful for her Christian parents, Ray & Susan Hall, youth leaders and teachers, Bible College staff and church family who have taught the importance of loving God’s Word.  She enjoys working with Family Bible Church, Basic Youth Group and Family Camp.  Besides long walks on the beach… she enjoys crafting, quilting, camping, and caring for preschoolers in her home.)

 

More Instructions?!? (Exodus 28-30)

By Josiah Cain

josiah garments

After yesterday’s reading I didn’t think that it could get any more thorough but it did. In this section God lays out very specific instructions for what Aaron and his sons are supposed to wear, who is to make the clothing, and how they are to make it. There are also instructions on what type of sacrifices the Israelites are to be making; God even gave directions on how to make holy perfume. It all seems a little much but at the same time I really appreciate the lengths that the Israelites went through to honor God and follow His orders.

One thing that stuck out to me in this reading was how the spirit filled those who were supposed to be doing the crafting. It is not very often in the Old Testament that we find the spirit filling people. I think it’s cool how God gave certain people the spirit so they could make clothing. It just makes me realize that everyone’s gifts are important and God may very well be blessing you with a gift that is simple, like making clothing.

I also liked that Aaron and his sons ate from the sacrifices that were made to God.The fact that God provided for His priests through what was His really appeals to me and shows me that YHWH is a God of love. Of course everything is already God’s but the sacrifices almost seem doubly God’s, if that is even possible.

The last thing that I really liked about this section is the flat census tax that everyone payed. No matter how rich or poor you were, you payed the same amount as everybody else. There is something appealing to me about that but I can’t really explain why I like it so much.

Anyway, thanks again for reading my short and humble thoughts on today’s section. God bless and have a great day!