Sunday, January 17, 2016

Heads or Tails?

Deu 28:13  And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Deu 28:14  And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
If the children of Israel keep the commandments and serve the LORD their God, not turning aside to other gods to serve them, then they will be the head and not the tail. Right standing with the LORD keeps you in an honored position. We can apply this to the Christian as well, in that as we love the LORD our God with all our heart and serve him. Our focus is on heavenly things, walking in his light. This keeps our heads out of the darkness of the world. Evil may call us evil and seek to put you down, but God is the truth and he says we are the head and not the tail. We have the word of life for a lost world.
This does not mean that we become proud and arrogant. Jesus taught us that we are to be servants of all. Jesus was above all, but humbled himself as a servant and a sacrifice for our sins. We are not to be like the proud who would be leaders of the world, seeking power and self glory. Jesus calls us to be servants.
Mat 20:25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Often a person who has broken the law will be given a sentence of so many hours of community service. To the world's people, this is a punishment, but to the people of the Lord it is an honor to serve with heads up. A shepherd of the LORD cares for the sheep, even as Jesus loved and cared for his sheep even dying for them. We are to protect and care for the sheep; the Lord's chosen family. Heads up people of God as we serve and obey the Lord.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Not Man-made

Deu 27:5  And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. 
Deu 27:6  Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God:

Our pastor believes that we should have an altar in the church for the people to seek the LORD. Many churches have taken away the altars, but we have two. They are wooden platforms, like fine cabinets of hardwood. Last year the pastor wanted to have stone tops made made for the altars. He was searching for the right size and almost decided on a material that was man made.  He changed his mind and procured granite tops for the altars. They had rounded edges and a polished surface. As this was talked about, I thought of these verses in Deuteronomy. Using all natural materials was good, BUT, no iron tool was to touch the stones. We no longer offer burnt offerings on stone altars, but we are to offer ourselves, as in Romans 12:1 and 2. We are living sacrifices. Why were they not to use iron tools on the stones? Perhaps to keep it all God made and not man-made. When men start making things, sometimes the things become objects of worship, like the brazen serpent that Moses made; King Hezekiah had it destroyed.
2Ki 18:4  He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

We offer ourselves to God, not by works that we have made, but by faith completely in HIM.
Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Titus 3:6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It was the tools of iron, the terrible iron nails that hung our Lord Jesus Christ on that cross. Jesus has become our spiritual place of sacrifice. He suffered and died so that we may live, as forgiven people of God. Thank you Jesus, my Lord and my God.