Posts Tagged ‘christ jesus’


Under Gods Command

God wants a relationship with you

Philippians 1:9-11

9I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation— the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ*— for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

We studied these verses at one of my Bible Studies. It stuck with me for these reasons of my own. The only way to grow in knowledge and understanding is more than going to Church on Sunday. How can you understand what really matters to live a pure and blameless life if you don’t understand the requirements according to Gods standard?

Get involved with a Bible Study or Life Group. Start a reading plan of your own and ask God to give you the wisdom to understand. Read the first 4 books of the Gospel to get to know this Jesus that we always mention and most of us don’t know anything about Him.

Commentary Life Application Study Bible NLT broke it down like this

Often the best way to influence someone is to pray for him or her. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be unified in love. Their love was to result in greater knowledge of Christ and deeper understanding (moral discernment). Their love was not based on feelings but on what Christ had done for them. As you grow in Christ’s love, your heart and mind must grow together. Are your love and insight growing?

Paul prayed that the Philippian believers would have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. We ought to pray for moral discernment so we can maintain our Christian morals and values. Hebrews 5: 14 emphasizes the need for discernment.

“The day of Christ’s return” refers to the time when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ. We should live each day as though he might return at any moment.

The “fruit of your salvation” includes all of the character traits flowing from a right relationship with God. There is no other way for us to gain this fruit of righteousness than through Christ. See Galatians 5: 22-23 for the “fruit of the Spirit.”

Let’s Bring It Home: How many of us can really say we Love the Lord? Jesus said, how can you love me and hate your brother.

 


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Disobedience can Kill

10:1-2 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihua took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

What was the “unauthorized fire” that Nadab and Abihu offered before the Lord? The nature of Nadab and Abihu’s wrongdoing is debated, but it clearly involved the burning of incense. The “unauthorized fire” could mean “foreign” (as in Psalm 44:20; 81:9), and thus “unauthorized” (see Exodus 30:9) or even “pagan.” Apparently, Nadab and Abihu used fire from a source not approved by God (Numbers 3:4; 26:61), possibly even a pagan source. It has also been suggested that the two priests gave an offering at an unprescribed time. Whatever explanation is correct, the point is that Nadab and Abihu abused their office as priests in a flagrant act of disrespect to God, who had just reviewed with them precisely how they were to conduct worship. As leaders, they had special responsibility to obey God. In their position, they could easily lead many people astray.

Aaron’s sons were careless about following the laws for sacrifices. In response, God destroyed them with a blast of fire. Performing the sacrifices was an act of obedience. Doing them correctly showed respect for God. It is easy for us to grow careless about obeying God, to live our way instead of God’s. But if one way were just as good as another, God would not have commanded us to live his way. He always has good reasons for his commands, and we always place ourselves in danger when we consciously or carelessly disobey them.

Lets Bring it Home: If God has commissioned you to lead or teach others, never take that role for granted or abuse it. Stay faithful to God and follow his instructions.


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)
Leviticus 6:12-13

12The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.
13The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. 
While the previous offerings and sacrifices were ones that the people did, the section from 6:8–7:38 deals with general and continual priestly duties. The burnt offering was presented in the morning and evening for the whole nation (see Exodus 29:38-43). The holy fire on the altar had to keep burning because God had started it. This represented God’s continual presence in the sacrificial system. It showed the people that only by God’s gracious favor could their sacrifices be acceptable.

Lets Bring it Home: God’s fire is present in each believer’s life today. He lights the fire when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, and he tends it so that we will grow in grace as we walk with him. When we are aware that God lives in us, we have confidence to come to him for forgiveness and restoration. We can carry out our work with strength and enthusiasm.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

Sweets can be rejuvenating and delightful. Solomon used honey for his comparison. It is good for reviving a hungry man (I Sam 14:27). Honey also tastes sweet for pleasure in eating it (Ps 19:10). Honey illustrates two blessings of wisdom – it revives the soul and provides much pleasure. Wisdom also rewards with certain success (Pr 24:14).

The proverb before you is the first half of a metaphorical comparison with wisdom. Here is the second half: “So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Pr 24:14). Gaining wisdom is energizing and delightful, and then it leads to rewarding prosperity.

Honey was a common food in Israel during Solomon’s reign (Lev 20:24; Is 7:15; Matt 3:4). Eaten in right amounts, it was invigorating and very pleasant. Too much of it could make you sick, but that is not considered here (Pr 25:16,27). Its properties to rejuvenate and delight the soul are what he used to illustrate and exalt the value of wisdom.

Have you experienced the sweet exhilaration and pleasure of honey? Or much rather, do you know the reviving delight of wisdom? Once you have tasted honey, other sweeteners or substitutes are easily detected. Once you learn God’s wisdom, even the world’s best ideas are bland or bitter to your heart and mind, for they are far inferior by comparison.

David used a similar comparison. The creation, especially the sun, reveals God’s glory, so that men are without excuse for ignoring Him (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-21). But far better than what nature shows is the wisdom of the Bible (Ps 19:7-9), which is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Ps 19:10). Like the wisdom lesson here, the scriptures also save men from trouble by their warnings, and they bring great reward (Ps 19:11).

If you know honey rejuvenates and delights, would you want cabbage when famished and desiring a lift? Once you taste the good word of God, why would you consider anything the world has to offer? This latter contrast is far worse, for the world and its wisdom are opposed to God, and He is fully committed to destroying both (I Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20).

Do you pursue and approach the preaching of God’s word with the desire and joy a famished man would show toward honey? Or do you despise prophesying as the Bible warns (I Thess 5:20)? Do you resent sound doctrinal preaching like modern so-called Christians (II Tim 4:3-4)? Confess your foolishness and humble yourself before the great God, thank Him for His inspired word and its wisdom, and find yourself a Bible preacher.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

The fountain of life has been found! Drink from it now, dear reader! The man who fears the LORD will be greatly blessed (Ps 128:1-6). The man who does not fear the LORD will be destroyed by the deadly snares of this ungodly world (Pr 10:27; 22:5; Eccl 7:17).

This is one of the best proverbs of Solomon. Here is a superb promise, a sober warning, and spectacular instruction. The wisdom of this short sentence is wonderful. You have learned many things in life to get where you are today, but this is better than all of them. There are many traps to destroy or kill you in a sinful world, but the lesson will save you.

The fear of the LORD is sober reverence and holy desire to please God that rejects sin and confidence in one’s self (Pr 3:7; 8:13; 16:6). It is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10), as those without it are hopelessly lost in self-love and human opinion. It is closely connected to the law of the wise (Pr 2:1-22), which also is a fountain of life (Pr 13:14).

The man or woman who fears the LORD has the wisest impulses and strongest motivation of any living in the world. He or she will be successful in the sight of God and good men, as measured by divine standards. This person will have a glorious life and be saved from the snares that trap others in dysfunctional and painful lives of death and hell.

What can save a man from great attraction to a strange woman? His wife? His mother? His pastor? His children? Not really. The fear of the Lord is the strongest antidote to her beauty and seduction (Eccl 7:26). Nothing else comes close, for only reverent fear of God’s judgment and a great desire to please Him can cause a man to reject her advances, like Joseph did (Gen 39:7-9). Salvation from her wiles delivers a man from the hell and death to which fornication and adultery certainly lead (Pr 2:18; 5:4-5; 7:27; 9:18).

What will keep a marriage happy and prosperous? Both parties fearing the LORD! A husband who fears the LORD will love his wife with the tender affection her Creator intended. A wife who fears the LORD will love her husband with the reverent service that makes for peaceful homes. Two that fear the LORD will make love according to the Inventor’s instructions and solve problems by the Counselor’s wisdom! Therefore, it becomes of greatest importance that spousal selection fix on the fear of the Lord above all else (Pr 31:30). Disregard for this point will cost you fifty years of death. Mark it.

The fountain of life, which is a perpetual supply of good things that make for abundant living, is not dependent on circumstances, for a little with the fear of the Lord is superior to treasure with trouble (Pr 15:16). Ah, dear reader, is it not a treasure here (Is 33:6)? Men search diligently for a fountain of life for physical longevity, but a successful life that pleases God and men is a much greater goal, and the means to it is in this proverb!

Christian parent, this is the most important thing to teach your children. Forget even reading, if it competes with this gift. The fear of the Lord will serve them far better than any academic pursuit, physical exercise, or entertainment. It should be taught as the whole duty of man and the conclusive purpose of life (Ps 34:11; Eccl 12:13-14; Eph 6:4).

It can be established by a godly father living its example and enforcing its claims toward each child. If you love your children, then take time this very day to warn them of His judgments, show them His statutes, and offer them His promises. Point out to them the vanity and vexation of life without the fear of the Lord and the prosperous peace with it.

The fundamental cause of folly, frustration, and pain in life is the lack of the fear of the LORD, which the wicked know not at all (Ps 10:4; 36:1; Rom 3:18). It is only by grace of salvation that men are given this fountain for their parched souls (Jer 32:40), and then they must be taught it, as David and Solomon taught their children (Ps 34:11; Pr 2:1-5).

Jesus Christ feared God like no other, even when facing the torture and death of the cross, and His fear provided a fountain of eternal life to save God’s elect from the death wages of their sins (Heb 5:7-9; John 4:14; Rom 6:23; II Tim 1:9-10). Those who love Him will find a church where God is worshipped with reverence and godly fear (Heb 12:28-29).


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus 5 (The Sin Offering)

1-6:     1“ ‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.   

  2“ ‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean)f even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;

4or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty.

Have you ever sworn to do or not do something and then realized how foolish your promise was? God’s people are called to keep their word, even if they make promises that are tough to keep. Jesus was warning against swearing (in the sense of making vows or oaths) when he said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Lets Bring it Home: Our word should be enough. If we feel we have to strengthen it with an oath, something is wrong with our sincerity. The only promises we ought not to keep are promises that lead to sin. A wise and self-controlled person avoids making rash promises. 

5:When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and 6as a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin. 

The entire system of sacrifices could not help a sinner unless he brought his offering with an attitude of repentance and a willingness to confess sin. Today, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we do not have to sacrifice animals. But it is still vital to confess sin, because genuine confession shows realization of sin, awareness of God’s holiness, humility before God, and willingness to turn from this sin (Psalm 51:16-17).

Lets Bring it Home: Even Jesus’ death will be of little value to us if we do not repent and follow him. It is like a vaccine for a dangerous disease—it won’t help unless it enters the bloodstream. 

In this way the priest will make atonement for the man’s sin, and he will be forgiven. (This statement is mentioned 5 times in Chapter 5 after each Offering).


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus 1

WORSHIPING A HOLY GOD (1:1—17:16)

The Israelites have arrived safely at the foot of Mount Sinai, and the Tabernacle has been completed. The people will spend a great deal of time here as God shows them a new way of life with clear instructions on how sinful people can relate to a holy God. These instructions help us avoid taking our relationship with the same holy God too lightly. We learn about the holiness and majesty of the God with whom we are allowed to have a personal relationship.

Leviticus 1:1-17 Instructions for the offerings

1The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.

The book of Leviticus begins where the book of Exodus ends—at the foot of Mount Sinai. The tabernacle was just completed (Exodus 35–40), and God was ready to teach the people how to worship there.

This “tent of meeting” where God met with Moses was the tabernacle’s tent. This was the centerpiece of the tabernacle complex, with its surrounding courtyard, and it contained the sanctuary (or Holy Place) in one part and the Most Holy Place with the ark in another part. These two sections were separated by a curtain. God revealed himself to Moses in the Most Holy Place. Exodus 33:7 mentions a “tent of meeting” where Moses met God before the actual tabernacle was constructed. Many believe it served the same function as the one described here.

    3“ ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tenth of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. 4You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you.

The first offering God describes is the burnt offering. A person who had sinned brought an animal with no defects to a priest. The unblemished animal symbolized the moral perfection demanded by a holy God and the perfect nature of the real sacrifice to come—Jesus Christ. The person then laid his hand on the head of the animal to symbolize the person’s complete identification with the animal as his substitute. Then he killed the animal, and the priest sprinkled the blood. He symbolically transferred his sins to the animal, and thus his sins were taken away (atonement). Finally the animal (except for the blood and skin) was burned on the altar, signifying the person’s complete dedication to God. God required more than a sacrifice, of course. He also asked the sinner to have an attitude of repentance. The outward symbol (the sacrifice) and the inner change (repentance) were to work together.

5You are to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 9You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

    10“ ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect. 11You are to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 12You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 13You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of them and burn them on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.  

The “aroma pleasing to the LORD” is a way of saying that God accepted the sacrifice because the people’s attitude was pleasing to him.

Why are there such detailed regulations for each offering? God had a purpose in giving these commands. Starting from scratch, he was teaching his people a whole new way of life, cleansing them from the many pagan practices they had learned in Egypt, and restoring true worship of himself. The strict details kept Israel from slipping back into their old lifestyle. In addition, each law paints a graphic picture of the seriousness of sin and of God’s great mercy in forgiving sinners.

 14“ ‘If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, you are to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16He is to remove the crop and the feathers and throw them down east of the altar where the ashes are. 17He shall tear it open by the wings, not dividing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is burning on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 

Israel was not the only nation to sacrifice animals. Many other religions did it as well to try to please their gods. Some cultures even included human sacrifice, which was strictly forbidden by God. However, the meaning of Israel’s animal sacrifices was clearly different from that of their pagan neighbors’ sacrifices. The Israelites sacrificed animals, not just to appease God’s wrath, but as a substitute for the punishment they deserved for their sins. A sacrifice showed faith in God and commitment to his laws. Most important, this system foreshadowed the day when the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) would die and conquer sin once and for all.

Lets Bring it Home: it is important to remember that neither sacrifice nor repentance actually caused the sin to be taken away. God alone forgives sin. Fortunately for us, forgiveness is part of God’s loving nature. Have you responded to God’s offer to forgive you?