Posted in Hiding His Word

Poor and Needy, Yet…

Leviticus 15:1-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14

Poor and Needy; Yet…
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou are my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. – Psalms 40:17

An Issue of Blood
And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. – Leviticus 15:25-28

This passage makes me think about the woman with the issue of blood (found in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, and Luke 8:43-48).  She had 12 years of continuous bleeding and so 12 years of separation and uncleanness. Imagine what she was going through and her desperation as she went through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. She had to have touched others because, according to scripture, there were many pressing in. She couldn’t have been proclaiming “unclean,” as was the law. She went for it. Had she not been healed, perhaps she would have been killed by those she “defiled” that day. This woman took a great risk. Her risk shows us how strong her desperation was but even more how strong her faith was. She was poor and needy, yet Jesus met her there!

Why Separate them?
Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them. – Leviticus 15:31

The children of Israel had to be separated when they were unclean because God dwelt in the tabernacle that was among them. Sin cannot be in the presence of the Almighty God. If a person is in sin in His Presence, they die as Aaron’s sons died. Moses and the Israelites took so much care when they went before the Lord. Have we become too flippant about that? If we carry the Spirit of God within us everywhere we go, if we are the Temple and God resides in us, should we not consider the state of our hearts?  Can God live where unholiness and sin abides? Teach me, Holy Ghost!!!

Not What Enters but what Comes Out that Defiles
And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. – Mark 7:15-16

Things that Defile
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. – Mark 7:20-23

I like the Amplified version of these verses because it explains them a bit.

And He said, What comes out of a man is what makes a man unclean and render [him] unhallowed. For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous ad destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness). All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed. – Mark 7:20-23 AMP

Understanding vs. Lack of Understanding
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction – Proverbs 10:13-14

One of the fruits of those with understanding is wisdom. Those that lack understanding will go through the discipline and pain of correction and consequences.  

This verse goes right along with some of our other scripture today. What comes out of the mouth shows what is in the heart. If understanding comes out, there is wisdom. The fruit of the mouth that is void of understanding will be destruction.

Those passages remind me of another verse:

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. – Luke 6:45

Posted in Hiding His Word

Love Covereth All Sins

Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12

Love Covers 
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. – Proverbs 10:12

Love covers all sins. ALL means ALL!!!!

Cover – to protect or conceal; to hide from view, screen; to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.

And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord.

And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the Lord.

Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the Lord.

But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean. – Leviticus 14:18, 20, 29, 31, 53

We are still reading all about cleansing, purifying, skin diseases (leprosy), and mildew! JESUS can take care of all of these and has taken care of all of these. JESUS made our atonement on the Cross of Calvary. He did it all. He said, It is finished. We have the tremendous privilege and ability to be made right by Jesus by believing in Him and confessing Him and following Him. His blood cleanses us, heals us, and makes us whole. From what? Sickness and disease, oppression and possession, things like insecurities, doubts, fears, regret, shame, and an eternal death and life in hell. Jesus paid it all.

Depart, Rest, and Pray
And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. – Mark 6:46

Jesus teaches his disciples by example that there comes a time in ministry that it is necessary to depart from everyone’s company so that you can spend time alone with God. Jesus went alone to the mountain to pray. He prioritized His time along with God. Jesus needed that particular time with God because people needed Jesus and the power and authority He carried. His time with His Father was His source of strength and power. Jesus teaches there is a time for fellowship and work, but there is equally a time for rest and solitude and communing with the Father. That time prepared Him, and it will prepare us for what lies ahead. So, what lay ahead for Jesus?

And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. – Mark 6:54-56

All those that touched Him, even the edge of His garment, were healed and made whole. His power came from His time with His Father in prayer.

Sacrifice and Offering Thou Didst Not Desire
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. – Psalms 40:6, 8

Well, a life following God is a life of sacrifice and offering. But, God cares more about our obedience than what we sacrifice or give. He opens our ears, eyes, and our hearts so that we can hear and live by His commands.  Living by His law is an action that leads to delight in His will and His ways. When you are filled with the Holy Ghost, sacrifice and offering still won’t be required, but you will give them because You will have His heart and His is a heart that serves and gives. 

Thank You so much, Father, that You sent Your precious Son, Jesus, to make atonement for my sins. Thank You, that You don’t desire or require sacrifices, but You provided the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ. Oh, heavenly Father, let me always keep Your price in the forefront of my mind. Such great LOVE that came to this earth and covered all of my sins. Such great LOVE that saved me from hell and gave me Eternal Life. Such great LOVE – His Name is Jesus!!! I am thankful, and I praise and glorify the Lamb of God today. He covered my sins. He was the atonement for ME. He did it willingly. Father, Your Word says that if I love YOU, I will keep Your commandments. Help me, God. Help me to obey and to delight in Your will more than I ever thought that I could. Help me prioritize my time with You as Jesus did that I may hear and follow Your every command immediately. Oh, Father, during this time of fasting, help me to pray like never before. Please help me to get into the Word like never before. Help me to draw closer to You than I ever imagined I could. Fill me again to overflowing with Holy Ghost. Fill me again with Your power. Anoint me to do the work You have assigned to me…and I will give You alone the Glory, the honor, and the praise. In Jesus Precious Name, I pray. Amen!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Frail…without You!

Today’s Passages – Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 10:10

And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.– Leviticus 13:45-46

Today’s reading in Leviticus would be easy to bypass. It is a lot of instructions about leprosy and skin diseases. God had to instruct the Israelites because they had never lived outside of captivity or in a wilderness. They didn’t have modern medicines, antibiotics, emergency rooms like we do. They couldn’t look up their symptoms on WebMD. If they caught a disease and someone didn’t deal with it and them aggressively, it could be tragic for the whole nation. God had to set up their government, and He also had to teach them many things, including cleanliness.

We know that God put these instructions in the Bible, which means they are eternal, so also for us today. To find the spiritual application, we must look below the surface as the priests had to look below the surface to see if a disease had defiled the body. That being said, we don’t have to look too far.

If something is on the surface, it can be dealt with quickly—a little quarantine. Serious problems can cause deeper issues if left unattended. The problem is we can’t always see that it is happening.  Uncleanliness (sin) on the surface of our lives – whether in body, mind, or spirit – shouldn’t be left to grow and fester. Sin not dealt with will threaten our eternal lives and touch everything and everyone around us, much like the effects of leprosy.  What kinds of things? Well, to name a few – jealousy, competition, gossip, bitterness, anger, lust. The list goes on and on, but these types of sins are not easily seen in their beginnings.

Reveal the hidden sins in my life today, Father, that I might deal with them now and live a clean and holy life. Help me, Holy Ghost, to yield to all You are doing in and through me. In the precious Name of Jesus! Amen!

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. – Mark 6:4

Familiarity will cause us to reject what God is doing in someone’s life. The rejection looks like unbelief but also could have roots of jealousy, pride, and bitterness. But, familiarity issues don’t have to have all that. Sometimes we don’t hear the Word from someone familiar – someone we are used to hearing preach or teach the Word. You can listen to your Pastor preach a sermon and feel almost nothing, but an evangelist can come in and give the same Word, and you respond.

Help us, Jesus, not to dishonor what You are doing in and through others!!!

Dumb (with Silence)
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. – Psalms 39:1-5, 7

It is incredible how slow life sometimes seems but how fast life can turn around. One day you are young, and the next, you are old. One day you are healthy, and the next, your body has started showing signs of age and deterioration. One day you are pleased where you are, and the next, you are looking for a smaller house, on one level, free from the steps and cleaning that once didn’t bother you at all. Life truly is fleeting.

Teach us to number our days, Lord. Teach us not to take one day for granted. To work while we are able and to also prepare for the time when we can’t. Help us trust You in each season and realize that even if we are still young, we are all very frail…without YOU!!!

He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall. – Proverbs 10:10

My dad always taught me not to trust anyone who winks. He must have read this verse because in my opinion, the message of this verse is that one who winks does not take wickedness and foolishness seriously.

Had the priests in Leviticus not taken leprosy seriously and had they winked at the uncleanliness of even one person, that uncleanliness would have spread until it couldn’t be contained.

There is no room to ignore (or wink at) any sin or wickedness. There is no room to wink at (or ignore) the person committing that sin and wickedness. Yes, we are to love the sinner and hate the sin, but we need to be very careful in our “loving” them, that we do not give a wink to their sin in any way.

People need to know that their sin is of the enemy, and it is not WHO they are.  God created them to live for Him and believe in His Son and follow Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost.

But, the enemy comes to drag them away to the life of sin. The person in front of you is precious to God, but the sin is not. He doesn’t wish that any should perish, so He won’t, and we shouldn’t ignore the sin and uncleanliness that festers. If we do, it can be as tragic as it would have been for the children of Israel.

If someone calls out sin in your life, don’t despise it. It might not feel wonderful at the moment, but they didn’t wink at your sin, which is the most loving thing they can do. One glorious day, someone called out my sin, and I often think where would I be, had they not had the courage to confront me.

Give us boldness and great courage, God, to take the authority given to us by Your Son Jesus to confront the evil all around us. In Jesus Name, fill us with Your FIRE to work today for You and all for Your Glory. Amen!!!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Sanctify Yourselves

The One Year Bible passages – Leviticus 11:1–12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 10:8-9

Be Holy For I Am Holy
For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. – Leviticus‬ ‭11:44-45‬

The theme of Leviticus is holiness. The word “holy” is in Leviticus more than any other Bible book. God wanted the children of Israel to be clean and holy in every area of their lives. He wants the same from His children today.  In the New Testament, God removed many of the dietary restrictions. However, God did not remove the spiritual principle of  being pure, living a clean life, and being set apart for the Lord. Those principles are as binding today as they were in the days of Moses. We still should distinguish ourselves from the world by eating, drinking, and dressing in ways that honor God. We should not participate in the things of the world that are ungodly and morally impure. But even more than the way we act, we should live with a heart that is pure through and through. That would be a heart of love, a heart that knows Jesus and seeks each day to follow Him and look more and more like Him. Living a life that is holy and pleasing to God is the only way to live in true peace.

Sanctify – to make holy; set apart as sacred; to purify or free from sin

This Song is My Prayer!!!

Go in Peace
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague
. – Mark‬ ‭5:34‬

Peace – the normal, non warring condition of a nation; a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations; freedom from any strife or dissension; freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, obsession, etc; tranquility, serenity; silence, stillness

Forsake Me Not
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me
. – Psalms‬ ‭38:9-10‬

Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. – Psalms‬ ‭38:21-22

Panteth – To breathe hard and quickly; to gasp for air; to long with breathless or intense eagerness; yearn. To throb or heave violently or rapidly

Wise in Heart
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
– Proverbs‬ ‭10:8‬

Prating – to talk excessively and pointlessly; to babble; to utter in empty or foolish talk

Posted in Hiding His Word

Strength in the Time of Trouble

Leviticus 9:7–10:20; Mark 4:26–5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7

Glory of God
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces
. – Leviticus 9:23-24

When the Glory of the Lord appears, you will fall on your face before Him.

Strange Fire
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
– Leviticus 10:1-3

These men died because they did something they were not instructed to do. It was disobedience. What is strange fire? A fire offered in your own way or for your own purposes. It is something offered in disobedience. God’s instructions are to be followed exactly.

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
– Leviticus 10:9-11

Here good reasons not to drink – that you can distinguish between what is holy and what is unholy; what is clean and what is unclean. And that you can teach the Lord’s laws.

Kingdom of God is Like a Man that Scatters Seed
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come
. – Mark 4:26-29

Growth happens day and night, and the farmer can’t understand precisely how the transition takes place, but he knows it is happening all the time, little by little, and he patiently waits for the harvest because he knows it is coming. Once the fruit is seen, he immediately gets to work to gather the harvest.

Kingdom of God is Like a Grain of Mustard Seed
And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it
. – Mark 4:30-32

Although in its beginning a seed is tiny, it grows as we care for it and flourishes more and more each moment, and we find it has become mighty in time.

Jesus is Our Strength
But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him
. – Psalms 37:39-40

Blessings of the Just
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall ro
t. – Proverbs 10:6-7

Posted in Hiding His Word

Prepare Your Heart

Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31 – 4:25; Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 10:5

Prepare Your Heart for the Harvest
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” – Mark 4:3-9, 13-20

“And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” – Mark 4:24-25

Harvest is a scriptural term and an agricultural term. And we understand seedtime and harvest. There is a time to plant a seed and a time together what the kernel has produced – harvest. That is the way we get our food. So if you are a farmer, when you put the seed into the dirt, you want it to yield fully to its full potential. So Jesus is talking here about different kinds of soil.

The kind of soil we plant in dictates the type of harvest we get. The seed can be excellent but planted in not-so-awesome soil, it will not produce a great crop. But the good seed planted in good soil does bring forth a great harvest.

Jesus was teaching in parable form, and this is a famous parable. It is pretty easy to understand because Jesus interpreted His parable.

We all want the hundred-fold, bountiful harvest. We don’t just want to see it in others. We want it in our own lives. Maybe as we think of gardening and the harvest, we should focus less on missionaries, church outreach, and sharing the Gospel. Those things are wonderful and essential, but first, maybe we need to worry less about whether someone hasn’t heard us because of the condition of their lives and turn to see the state of our own heart. See our hearts as a field of soil. So I ask myself, what kind of soil is in my heart? Whatever type of soil is in my heart will dictate the harvest, no matter how good the seed is.

God nourishes us through His Word every day. His Word is a good seed. But is my heart good soil for His excellent seed? If the seed falls and cannot take root, then it is just going to lay there on the surface, and it is going to get snatched away.

If my heart is hard and stony and difficult, then there is nowhere for the seed to take root. If I am distracted and anxious and full of worry or if I am distracted and chasing other things, other desires, then the soil of my heart is thorny, and it is going to choke the seed out.

We’ve all seen rocky and thorny ground, and we can visualize and understand how difficult, if not impossible, it is for a bountiful harvest to grow under those conditions. In the same way, if our hearts are in that condition, we will not yield that harvest we long to gather.

God is going to do His part. But we each have our part. I have a role to play. I have some gardening to do. It is time to dig up the stony ground and do away with any thorn bushes that I have allowed to grow and overtake. It is time to make my heart fertile and ready for anything God wants to bring into my life today.

Prepare Your Heart for the Glory
And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you
. – Leviticus 9:5-6

Prepare Your Heart for the Famine
The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied
. – Psalms 37:18-19

Prepare Your Heart to Gather
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
– Proverbs 10:5

Jesus, thank You for this wisdom. You have made it abundantly clear what You desire and the path I am to take. I. know many of the hard places in my life. Reveal others, Lord, that I may work on the soil. Reveal the thorny area and the shallow spots. I need Your help, Lord. I need You to guide me and show me how to become good soil. So come Holy Ghost as I meditate on and consider this, I invite You to come in and take over. Have Your way, Father. I ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen!!!!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Keep the Fire Burning

One-Year Bible Passages: Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-30; Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4

Keep the Fire Burning
The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. – Leviticus 6:13

In this passage, we read about the fire on the altar never going out and burning continually. A plume of smoke rose from the altar day and night. The children of Israel could always smell the burning of the wood and the sacrifices. It was a sweet aroma to the Lord, but it was also a sweet smell of sacrifice to the Lord that reminded them of God who saved them and the one true and living God they worshiped and served.

Our prayers in Revelation are compared to the smoke of sacrifice mixed with the atoning work of Jesus and rising as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God. Shouldn’t we be preparing for that day even now by keeping the FIRE burning through worship, prayer, and knowing our God!!!

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. – Revelation 8:3-4

A House Divided
And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: – Mark 3:22-29

Jesus healed a blind and dumb man, and the scribes and Pharisees used the miracle to attack Jesus. They called Our Lord by the name “Beelzebub,” which is another name for the devil and means “master of the house.”

Jesus took that opportunity to teach them a thing or two. He said if it was by the power of satan that He cast out demons, then satan was fighting against himself. That would mean that satan’s kingdom was divided and on the verge of collapse. The devil held this demon-possessed man tightly because he doesn’t ever want to lose any territory. He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy as many as he can. But the fact that Jesus delivered this man was proof that He was and is stronger than satan and that satan could not stop Him.

Jesus went on to explain the seriousness of what they had let come out of their mouths. Our words reveal what is in our hearts and what is in our hearts determines our character, conduct, and destiny. What we say can be very costly. Jesus warned these leaders that they were in danger of committing an eternal and unforgivable sin. They were in danger of blaspheming the Holy Ghost by attributing to the devil the Holy Ghost’s works.

I believe we need to take His warning to the religious leaders to heart when we judge what we think is the work of the enemy because it doesn’t exactly fit our doctrine. It is one thing if it does not line up with Scripture, but if it just doesn’t line up with doctrine, we need to be careful. While it may well be of the enemy, we should first take it to God in prayer and let the Holy Ghost direct us. Take it to God and the Word and then act or speak – we can’t go wrong there!!!

Stop Being Envious of the Wicked
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. – Psalms 37:1-9

Here it seemed like the wicked were prospering, and God wasn’t doing anything about it. So David gives four assurances to believers who question how God is running His world. The first one is part of our reading for today.

  1. The Lord can be trusted.
    David gives several instructions in the first nine verses about being assured that God can be trusted.
  • Fret not
    Fret – to burn, to get heated up.  When we see evil, we should feel holy anger at sin, but to be jealous of wicked people only leads to fretting, and fretting leads to anger that isn’t holy. The wicked will not always be here. One day they will  be gone, like the grass that either fades away or is cut down and burned.
  • Trust in the Lord and do good
    When you fret you are not trusting God. Trust God and wait on Him for what He will do in your life and in the lives of others. While you wait,  do good things, because faith and works go together.
  • Delight in the Lord
    Delight – comes from the root that means “to be brought up in luxury, to be pampered.” If you delight in the Lord, you will want to know Him better. The Lord will surely satisfy that desire!!!
  • Commit your way to the Lord
    Commit – to roll off your burden. God doesn’t take our burdens away so we can sit around and do nothing. He takes them away so we can serve Him better.
  • Rest in the Lord
    Rest – to be silent; be still.  It describes calm surrender to the Lord

Unless we learn to wait silently before God, we will never experience His peace and His joy. Peace and joy and fretfulness cannot coexist. For us to get upset because of the evil schemes of the ungodly is to doubt God’s goodness and justice and when we choose that path we forgo His peace and His joy.

Your Soul Will Not Suffer
The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. – Proverbs 10:3

Suffer – to tolerate or allow; to undergo or feel pain or distress; to sustain injury, disadvantage, or loss.
Famish – to suffer or cause to suffer extreme hunger; starve

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your Word and that it is living and active in my life. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. Thank You for piercing and causing me to look deep within my heart by looking deep within the scriptures. I ask You to empower through the power of the Holy Ghost to cast out any trace of envy in my life. I want nothing of it, Father. Please help me in that area. Lord, would you continue to do work in my life to keep the FIRE always burning. Help the FIRE You have ignited in me to burn brighter and brighter each moment. Thank You that You provide for my every need, and I can cease fretting and wait on You, trust in You, and rest in You. Thank You that You give me the desires of my heart because You have given me YOU, and You are allowing me to know You. I love You, Father. I love You, Holy Ghost. I love You, Jesus…and I pray that all I do today will glorify YOU. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.

Posted in Hiding His Word

On Leviticus and the Season of Lent

The Father sends the message, the Holy Ghost teaches it, and it all glorifies JESUS!

Today’s writing is different. The Holy Ghost sent me from Leviticus to what Leviticus has to do with the Season of Lent that begins today. I hope it blesses your heart as much as it has mine.  

There are plenty of definitions out there for sin. From a Biblical perspective, sin is doing what we know we shouldn’t before God. Maybe a good practice would be to ask ourselves, could I do this in the Name of Jesus? Could I do that representing the King and the Kingdom? That might put some light on it.

God has an order to things. We see that in the Bible, but we see that also in our natural world. This perfect order, according to God’s will, is known in Hebrew as Shalom. Perfect Peace. So in effect, sin is willfully interrupting Shalom, whether in our own lives or the lives of others.

Sin is destructive and leads to destruction because it separates us from God. Living perpetually separated from God is the worst possible scenario – hell. So, any sin is a big deal.

SIN – A Toxic Poison
Sin is like a very toxic poison. If you are a parent, you don’t let your child play where you store poisonous things. No, and you impress upon your kids that that is off-limits. If they persist toward the “poisons,” we will punish them in some way so that they get the point. Why? Because if they get into that cabinet and don’t catch it and drink that poison, it will destroy them. That is a picture of sin.

SIN – The Price
There is a price of sin, and that is the message of the book of Leviticus. When the Children of Israel sin, they must bring a sacrifice to the Altar to pay the price for their sin, whether intentional or unintentional.

In our time and culture, we truly have no way to relate to animal sacrifice. At this point in One-Year Bible reading, many begin to question what it has to do with their life. It is repetitious and sometimes feels boring – laws, rules, customs that nobody lives by now. So we skim it and glaze over it, saying we don’t have to sacrifice animals because Jesus is the last sacrifice, and we brush the whole thing off.

But if we allow that state of mind every time we read Leviticus, we will always miss what is going on here, and it is something profound. God is discussing the results and price of sin.

SIN – Your Prized Sheep
Imagine you were one of the Israelites, and you sinned. What if you had sheep or goats, and they were part of your life and family? What if you had one special one, a perfect one that provided milk faithfully for your family and your little children? What if, because you sinned, you had to go and select this one (because it was perfect) to take to the priest? What if you had to kill that loved sheep before the priest and drain its blood for your sacrifice? That perfect sheep that gave you milk for your children and was perhaps their playmate over these last years?

SIN – Sacrifice is a Reminder
If you had to sacrifice your lamb, it would be a reminder that your own sin costs you something. Your sin costs!!! Sin will end up costing something beautiful. After all, sin’s price requires a perfect sacrifice, a beautiful sacrifice with no flaws or imperfections. In that culture and time, the animal served as a stand-in for what you deserved. You should have been thrown on that altar as the price, but your perfect sheep paid your price instead.

Oh, but hear this, we have a God that wants and has always wanted His people to clearly and completely understand what will destroy us and separate us from Him.

As the perfect lamb was sacrificed by first having a blade to its throat, sin is the blade at your own throat. It kills. The book of Leviticus is like a deterrent, a road-closed sign warning – don’t go down this path!!! It leads to destruction!!!

This book is not dull or only a list of laws, rules, and customs. It is LIFE!!!

Today is known by some as Ash Wednesday and begins what many people call the Lent season, which is the season 40 days before Resurrection Day. You say wait – Easter is April 4, 46 days away, so shouldn’t Lent start next Wednesday? In the Jewish tradition, Sundays are days of celebration and are not part of the 40 days of fasting. There are 6 Sundays during Lent. (There, so now we know)

Repentance and Lamentations
I didn’t grow up learning about Lent, but I do observe the season now and have for the last decade. It is not in the tradition of some churches that I observe it, but I have added it to my life as a necessary time, and I keep it because of what it stands for to me and I observe it in ways the Lord impresses me personally to.  Lent is a season of repentance and lamentations. It is a time to consider deeply where your sin is leading you.

No one would have ever had to sacrifice if there was no sin, but we all have sinned. And so that is the work of Jesus Christ.  We think of animal sacrifices as barbaric, but then we can somehow read through the Gospels about the crucifixion of Jesus with almost no real feeling.  Has the Cross become so familiar? Look at it again now through the lens of Leviticus. Jesus was the Lamb in your(my) place. Jesus was the last sacrifice for your (my) sin. My sin (your sin) cost the life of our precious beloved JESUS, our Savior! His BLOOD was spilled for me (and you).  

We should think on, contemplate, and meditate upon His sacrifice and not skim over our sins that put  Him on that Cross.  It is a time to consider that Jesus became our final sacrifice, once and for all. But the choices I make to sin today – they cost.  

For centuries, people have entered into this fasting and prayer season and repentance as we do today. 

Maybe you didn’t know the reasons behind this season, but you’ve heard discussions of what others are giving up for Lent. What are you fasting for Lent? Some fast things like – chocolate, soda, tv, social media, certain foods, certain behaviors. I am not knocking that!!! Hear me. I am not knocking it at all. Why???

One good reason to fast something we crave is that every time we crave it, it is a reminder of the sin in our lives, and it brings our minds and hearts back to Jesus and the Cross.  (There are many reasons and ways to fast during this season. We will leave that for others to share – at least for today)

Resurrection Day
This season begins with our sin and His price and then leads us right into Resurrection Day. Resurrection Day represents all things being made new. All things being made new within us again. The resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead restored us to God.

This season called Lent is a time of quiet consideration about what it took to give us life. Lent allows us to sit and see where we actually are so we can embrace the Hope for where we are going!!!

Open Your Hands and Lay it ALL on the Table
So to embrace God is to put everything on the table – not just candy or tv. To put it all on the table with open hands and say, I embrace this season, Jesus, because I embrace YOU. Make all things new in my life, Lord. I remember that sin leads to death, and I want LIFE, so I open my hands.  Reveal what is in my hands separating me from you that I may walk away from it. Show me even the things I thought were good that are distracting me from embracing YOU.  Put into my life anything that needs adding. I want to align my life with You and follow You fully.

My Prayer
Father, thank You for sending Your beautiful Son into this world to save us and to be the sacrifice for our sins. Help us not to skim over this act of love. Jesus, thank You that You sacrificed Yourself willingly for each of us. Thank You and help us not skim over these truths or this season, thinking we will wait until another day to repent and lament our transgressions. Holy Ghost, help us as we go through this season. Help us to yield as You do Your work in each of our lives. Fill us afresh, strengthen us, and guide us each moment of this precious season. I love You, and I want to show my love to You and those You love today and every day. Please help me, Father! In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen!!!!

And to think I started this blog and was going to define all the different types of sacrifices. BUT GOD…

Today’s passages from the One Year Bible – Leviticus 4-5; Mark 2:13-3:6; Psalm 36; Proverbs 10:1-2