Archive for November, 2012


Atonement, I Am Thankful!

I am beginning to read the book of Leviticus and the first four chapters are talking about the proper procedure for bringing burnt offerings to God. Chapter 4 focus’ on the “Sin” offering and what the Israelites were supposed to do to be forgiven of their sins. When they sinned they were to bring either a bull, goat or lamb for this burnt offering and the priest would make atonement for the sin committed and they would be forgiven. The priest would take the offering and burn it on the altar because others were not allowed to approach the altar, only the priest and he would be the one to offer the sacrifice to God and be able to give atonement to the person bringing the sacrifice.

I am so thankful that Jesus came to this world and became our sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins. There are many reasons that I am thankful for this, but the most important to me is that he made this new covenant with us and in the process, eliminated the “middle” man. We don’t need to go to a priest and trust that they are able to give us forgiveness or atonement for our sins. We can boldly approach the altar and plead directly to God the Father for forgiveness. Jesus, through His death and resurrection, bridged the gap between us and God and now affords us this luxury.

So, as you think about what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, thank God that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and allow us to come directly to Him for our forgiveness. I know I will!

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The Body is a Temple

As I read through some of Exodus, from chapter 25 to the end, I am in awe of how detailed the text is about how the tabernacle, alter, garments, ark, tables and the lampstand are to be built. An incredible amount of detail has gone into each and every piece. How it should be made, what it should be made of and who should make it. This was certainly important because it is all spelled out in the Old Testament. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be there.

But then I remember that Jesus said our body is a temple and we should treat it that way. Oh boy, I see so many getting this wrong. This should be pretty easy to follow but then I look around at the people surrounding me everyday, from work to the store, even church. We are constantly doing something that is detrimental to our bodies. Smoking, drinking, body modifications and the list goes on and on, even neglecting our bodies. If we are to be the temple and we look back to Exodus to see how detailed God was to Moses and the Isrealites on how to build it, we should take a good look at ourselves and do some behavior modifications so that we can treat our bodies like the temple they should be. (Myself included!)

9-4-10

What an amazing day! I spent the day with family. We drove up to the lake and spent the day relaxing and not doing much of anything. Around 4pm we decided to go for a walk and see this little church mom talked about. She said it wasn’t open so she could not see inside, but it looked interesting. We made it to the church and notice a few cars were parked on the side of the road and as we were walking by, I asked an elderly gentleman if there was a service going on. He told me the service that was going to happen was the last service in this little church for the summer and He invited us to take a look around the church and stay for the service.

We wanted to see inside the church so we walked up to the entrance and there was a lady welcoming people into the church for the service and again invited us to stay for a while. We said that we would love to. As we walked in I couldn’t help but notice the oil lamps on the wall and the chandeliers. There was no electricity or plumbing to the church. The organ was even a pump organ. Unfortunately, the organist wasn’t there but this didn’t stop the people from having the service and singing songs “a cappella.” It was a nice little service and the minister preached about the cost of following Christ. Everything! We then had communion in the traditional Lutheran format with wafers and wine, Stephanie was a little surprised about the wine. After the service was over, I thanked the man who had invited to this service and we walked back to the trailer.

How strange when I opened :My Utmost for His Highest” to today’s date to find the same scripture reading as the minister had preached on just a few hours before. To follow Christ we must give up everything. I am interpreting this to mean that we don’t physically give up everything to the world, but we give everything over to God to use as he wishes. My money is no longer my own. My time is no longer my own. My voice is no longer my own. Everything now belongs to God to use as He sees fit. If he wants me to sing, I will sing. If he wants all of my money to use, it is His. What a way to live my life. It certainly puts thing into perspective. All the little things throughout the day don’t seem all that important anymore.

We are Redeemed!

I recently heard a sermon which was based on Exodus 34:19-20 “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all of the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.”

At first glance this didn’t make much sense to me, except that it was talking about sacrifices. In the Old Testament there was much discussion about sacrifices and how these would either be pleasing to God or not. Then, when we got into the New Testament, the sacrifices went away.

Look a little closer at the verses above, it is asking us to “redeem” all of our firstborn sons. To redeem them we would need to sacrifice a lamb in place of our firstborn sons. Now how many of you have lambs running around your yards? My best guess would be, not that many. But, lucky for us we don’t need one because one was already provided, Jesus.

Jesus was the lamb of God who was sacrificed to redeem all of us, a sacrifice that was truly pleasing to God and one that redeemed all of us in the world yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am so glad that the sacrifice was offered for me and that God provided that sacrifice so that my life would be redeemed, your’s is too!