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Reward and punishment.

LEVITICUS  26  IN FOCUS

The end of the story shall either be a reward or a punishment.  Surely the trumpet will sound! Definitely, the world will come to an end. Some people will be rewarded and others will have punishment! So many ways and understanding exist and they lead to eternal condemnation, but just one way lead to eternal salvation. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

God demanded obedience from His people. Every good father would be happy with his obedient son or daughter! Every good father would be happy with his son or daughter who understands his ( the father) ways. God said to them,

“‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season,and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

“‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies,and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

“‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place[a] among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.’

They that shall obey Him will receive something and they that shall disobey him shall also receive something, but they will all not have the same happiness with what they shall all receive.

God said to them,

 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.

18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.

21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.

23 “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24 I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over. 25 And I will bring the sword on you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands. 26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my angerI will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies[b] on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. 31 I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries,and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. 32 I myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.

Apostle Peter wrote,

The Day of the Lord

1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.a

11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.bThat day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


 

HYMN

Words: Hen­ry W. Bak­er, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1861.

Lord, Thy Word abideth,
And our footsteps guideth;
Who its truth believeth
Light and joy receiveth.

When our foes are near us,
Then Thy Word doth cheer us,
Word of consolation,
Message of salvation.

When the storms are o’er us,
And dark clouds before us,
Then its light directeth,
And our way protecteth.

Who can tell the pleasure,
Who recount the treasure,
By Thy Word imparted
To the simple hearted?

Word of mercy, giving
Succor to the living;
Word of life, supplying
Comfort to the dying!

O that we, discerning,
Its most holy learning,
Lord, may love and fear Thee,
Evermore be near Thee!

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Decrees!

18 “‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.

Leviticus 25 IN FOCUS


Oh mortal man, obey your Immortal God! He works with rules; rules, meant to be obeyed! He works with rules; rules to be obeyed for His blessings! God gave the Israelite’s  rules, but for a purpose! He knows why He does what He does! Mortal man obey your Immortal God! Obey Him for His glory! Obey Him for His blessings! Obey Him for eternal salvation! Obey Him! Obey Him! Obey Him! Oh mortal man, Obey God!

 20 You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in. ‘

God takes delight in they that obey Him. His eyes are upon them and He protects them from all the works of the evil one! Obey God and see His power! David wrote,

keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.  — Psalm 34

It was said to them, 35 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. 36 Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. 37 You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.” 

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

The Israelites are not here, but we are here! It is our turn to obey our Sovereign Lord Almighty! If we fail, who would? You were chosen for a purpose! Live the purpose!  God called us to obey Him and to bear good and lasting fruits!  ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’

Jesus said,  ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.’

‘but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last’ Fruits that will last! Oh yes, fruits that will last! What fruits are you bearing? How are you obeying God? Be fruitful and multiply!  ”19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. ” Galatians 5

Oh mortal man, Obey your God! Oh mortal man, bear fruits! Oh mortal man, do what pleases  God!  Are you on the Lord’s side? serve Him well !

 a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.


HYMN

Jesus, thy blood and righteousness

Translator: John WesleyAuthor: Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf (1739)

1 Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

2 Bold shall I stand in that great day,
Cleansed and redeemed, no debt to pay;
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

3 Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which at the mercy seat of God
Pleads for the captives’ liberty,
Was also shed in love for me.

4 Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.

5 When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
This then shall be my only plea:
Jesus hath lived and died for me.

6 Jesus, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me,
For me, and all Thy hands have made,
An everlasting ransom paid.

NOTE:

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. —  Deuteronomy 30

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Olive Oil and Bread

‘The Lord said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually.’

Leviticus 24 in focus


He called! He is calling! He accepted the precious gift! He is accepting precious gifts: lives! Jesus Christ the son of the Living God is still calling! He came not to condemn, but to seek and save they that are  lost, they that grow weary and they that are  thirsty! ‘Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’  — John 6:35

Where is your oil? How are you using your oil? How do you keep your oil to keep your lamps burning continually? What do you use your oil for?

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 John 7

She saw the bread of life and she never did hide her perfume! Where is your oil and how sweet is your perfume to fit the Saviors commendation? Pour your perfume on the right person and do not hide your oil! Keep your lamps burning continually and let  your oil be clear! The bread of life is calling! He seeks for people who will pour their sweet perfume with a good heart, regardless of how sinful they are! Give your precious things to God and He shall always give you precious things! Behold! The bread of life is calling!


HYMN

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling—
Calling for you and for me;
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching—
Watching for you and for me!

 

Come home! come home!
Ye who are weary, come home!
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading—
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies—
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing—
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, death-beds are coming—
Coming for you and for me!

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised—
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon—
Pardon for you and for me!

source: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1027

 

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Keep your lamp burning

Aaron is to tend the lamps before the Lord from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

Leviticus 24 in focus


There is a lamp that does not need to grow dim! There is a lamp that must be kept burning continually! There is a lamp that needs extra oil! Keep your lamp burning! Keep your essence relevant! Jesus Christ said,

13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5

 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

You do not know the hour! Oh yes, you do not know the very moment of the coming of the son of man and the Kingdom of God. Keep your lamp burning! Light up your light and let it shine in the night, and in the day, keep your lamp burning for you may not know the hour a sudden eclipse may occur! Keep your lamp burning!

Don’t let bad situations of life make you bad! Keep being good no matter what life brings to your doorstep! Don’t let the woes of the world change your nature in Christ; stand firm to your values and do not depart from the commands of God! Keep your lamp burning. Charles Wes­ley wrote,

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!

Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall for ever die.

Continually check your oil level and ensure your lamp does not go off at the most needful hour! Remember,  You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Think about these final words from John,

The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

7“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

10Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near.11Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Remember, Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”


HYMN

Christian, walk carefully; danger is near!
On in thy journey with trembling fear;
Shares from without, and temptations within,
Seek to entice thee once more into sin.
Christian, walk carefully,
Christian, walk carefully,
Christian, walk carefully,
danger is near!

2 Christian, walk cheerfully through the fierce storm,
Dark though the sky with it’s threats of alarm;
Soon will the clouds and the tempest be o’er,
Then with thy Saviour thou’lt rest evermore. [Refrain]
Christian, walk cheerfully
Christian, walk cheerfully
Christian, walk cheerfully
through the fierce storm.

3 Christian, walk prayerfully; Oft wilt thou fall,
If thou forget on thy Saviour to call;
Safe thou shall walk through each trial and care,
If thou art clad in the armour of prayer. [Refrain]
Christian, walk pray’rfully
Christian, walk pray’rfully
Christian, walk pray’rfully
fear lest thou fall.

4 Christian, walk hopefully; sorrow and pain
Cease when the haven for rest thou shalt gain;
Then from the lips of the Judge, thy reward:
“Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Refrain]
Christian, walk hopefully
Christian, walk hopefully
Christian, walk hopefully
rest thou shalt gain.

credit:  http://hymnary.org/text/christian_walk_carefully_danger_is_near

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deny yourselves!

…deny yourselves…!

Leviticus 23  IN FOCUS


The journey to our Fathers abode demands self denial! A self denial! Oh yes, a true self deny! It is good to do good. It is good to pray continually. It is good obey God. It is good to sacrifice your all unto God, but above them all, it  is worth denying your whole self for the sake of the Kingdom of God! Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? — Luke 9

They that are of the world seek for things of the world, but they that are on the Lord’s side, do the will of God! “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

We may have wishes, but we must mind God’s will! We may have needs, but we must mind God’s needs. It is important we seek for what would make us happy. It is important we work hard for material things that may ‘complete’ our lives, but it is more solemn to know our Fathers will. Jesus said, For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. —Matthew 6

Life is less a burden without the quest for material possessions! Life is less sorrowful without a strong pursuit for the world and the things in it! When Jesus was sending his disciples, he said to them, “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” He is a God who can provide. When you give your all to Him, you get your all from Him. It may not be all that easy to give your all to Him, but He is capable of providing in our most needful times.

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

16Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’c and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’d

20“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifee or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Matthew 19

It was said, to them  to observe the day of atonement! It was said to them to deny themselves. It was said to them to offer their fruits! {Leviticus 23}. They were on their way to Canaan, but we are on our way to heaven: a precious abode. Their lives and the journey they took is an example for us to learn lessons from what went wrong, and be what went right so we may not miss our heavenly abode! Deny yourself!

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.


HYMN

Author: Isaac Watts (1707)

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

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Obey your God!

31 “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. 32 Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy 33 and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 22 in focus!


Sons of God, obey your God! Sons of God, remember your God! Sons of God, do what pleases your God! Sons of God, do not live in a manner that brings into disrepute the  honor, dignity of your God! God is watching all our actions! God is weighing all our thoughts! God is noting all our deeds! God is watching us! The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good! Sons of God, live well! No father will be happy with his son whose action brings nothing but disgrace! No father ever becomes happy with his son who always goes contrary to his command! ”When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.  2 Timothy 2 (NIV)

We do something Each day we wake up! We think about something each day we wake up ! We take a step towards something each day we wake up! We either live our lives each day to please God or to please the world! David said, 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19

Do you do whatever you do to please God or the world? It is written,  ‘23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ 

The hymn writer, Daniel March (1868),  wrote,

 Hark! the voice of Jesus crying,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting;
Who will bear the sheave away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth;
Rich reward He offers free;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I; send me, send me”?

 If you cannot cross the ocean,
And the heathen lands explore,
You can find the heathen nearer,
You can help them at your door.
If you cannot give your thousands,
You can give the widow’s mite;
And the least you give for Jesus
Will be precious in His sight.

 If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say He died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the judgment’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Saviour’s waiting arms.

 Let none hear you idly saying,
“There is nothing I can do,”
While the souls of men are dying,
And the Master calls for you:
Take the task He gives you gladly;
Let His work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when He calleth,
“Here am I; send me, send me!”

Amen.

We have a work to do today: a work to obey our God! We have a sacrifice to offer today: living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God! God said to them, ‘20 Do not bring anything with a defect,because it will not be accepted on your behalf.’ — Leviticus 22

Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, ‘‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will do His will? Who will submit to His commands?  Let us note, ‘that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in usb ?

Sons of God, obey your God! Sons of God mind your God in all that you do! Sons of God offer a better sacrifice in words thoughts and deeds unto your God!

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4


HYMN

by: Frances R. Havergal (1877)

Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers,
Other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side?
Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who for Him will go?

By Thy grand redemption,
By Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side;
Savior, we are Thine.

Not for weight of glory,
Not for crown and palm,
Enter we the army,
Raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth
Lives for whom He died;
He whom Jesus nameth
Must be on His side.

Jesus, Thou hast bought us,
Not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own life-blood,
For Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling
Each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing,
Thou hast made us free.

Fierce may be the conflict,
Strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army
None can overthrow.
Round His standard ranging
Victory is secure,
For His truth unchanging
Makes the triumph sure.

Chosen to be soldiers
In an alien land:
Chosen, called, and faithful,
For our Captain’s band;
In the service royal
Let us not grow cold;
Let us be right loyal,
Noble, true, and bold

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rules for priests

…. because priests are to be holy

LEVITICUS    21   IN   FOCUS 


A royal don’t just do anything at all. a person belonging to a noble family don’t just go anywhere at all! A knight don’t just take any step at all! It is written,

but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light — 1 Peter 2:9

Royals live royal life for they possess a royalty with a priceless dignity! Who are you? What do you follow? Why do you do what you do? Do you know who you are?

God takes delight in obedience! God is interested in they that follow His decrees! Jesus Christ said, ‘my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. — John 10:27.  They that are born of Christ are for Christ and they live like Christ. They are protected by Christ and they are always with Christ!

A priest does the work of a priest! A priest portrays priesthood in words thoughts and deeds! A simple neglect of who we are in Christ will make us live a life that does not show who we are in Christ! We were are a chosen people for a purpose! We must understand the purpose and we must know how to live according to the purpose!

Are you on the Lord’s side? Live by His commands! Are you on the Lord’s side, know who you are! Are you on the Lord’s side, please Him then! Are you on the Lord’s side? Do His work!

‘when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ”Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

‘Yes, Lord,” he said, ”you know that I love you” Jesus said, ”feed my lambs. ”

Again Jesus said, ”Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, ” Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”. Jesus said, ”take care of my sheep”

Priests have a duty! A duty towards their Father! A duty towards their Master! A duty to live according to the will of their Savior! It is written,  ‘ …Let your light shine  before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ‘ Matthew 5:16. Are you on the Lord’s side? Show His glory! Are you on the Lord’s side, obey His commands! Are you on the Lord’s side? Serve the King!


HYMN

Frances R. Havergal (1877)

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

2. Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus saveth marches on His side.
By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

3. Jesus, Thou hast bought us, not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own lifeblood, for Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
By Thy grand redemption, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

4. Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
’Round His standard ranging, vict’ry is secure,
For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

5. Chosen to be soldiers, in an alien land,
Chosen, called, and faithful, for our Captain’s band;
In the service royal, let us not grow cold,
Let us be right loyal, noble, true and bold.
Master, wilt Thou keep us, by Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side—Savior, always Thine!

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treasures!

24 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations. 

LEVITICUS   20   IN FOCUS


The Prince of peace said, ‘ In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.’  John 14:2.  They had the hope of getting to a beautiful land, but with rules! 

You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. Leviticus 20:26

Their journey to the land full of milk and honey was with rules. God likes orderliness and He expects His people to obey His rules and regulations. As our fathers had hope of getting to a beautiful land, so do we have hope of getting to a beautiful abode: heaven!

Jesus assured his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

There are many ways but He is the way to the Kingdom of God! The way to the kingdom of God however also comes with rules! Jesus Christ gave all that needed to be done to inherit the Kingdom of God.

One day He was asked,

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

If we love God, we wouldn’t do what is wrong! If we love God with all our hearts, we wouldn’t do what is not  pleasant to Him. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not do anything with an ill intention! They took a journey to a different land and today, we are also on our way to another place: heaven, our focus. Obedience to rules will lead us there successfully. Many are called, but few are chosen!

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”


HYMN

John H. Sammis, 1887

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.
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Remember somebody!

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God. 

— LEVITICUS  19  IN FOCUS


All our actions and reactions affect other people, directly or indirectly! Whatever we do, we do  because we think we have a purpose! But how justifiable are our  daily actions before God? How do we factor others in all that we do, especially those who don’t have the authority we have, and the financial strength to do certain basic things in life? God expects His children to live in peace! Apostle Paul wrote, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!‘ God expects they that have to remember they that lack. God expects us to show mercy to the needy and strangers and not just people we know or people we expect to get a good returns from!

 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God. 

It is not all that easy to do this for even the remains of our ‘vineyards’ also count as a very good part of our profit, but that is what  God expects us to do!

Don’t forget the good heart of the Samaritan towards the stranger in Luke 10 and  remember the rich young man and Jesus Christ

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 18“Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’c and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’d ” 20“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Are you an employer ? Remember God said, ‘13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.’

What thought do you have about your neighbor? Remember, 17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.’

Let us not forget that there are some people who need us! Let us remember that the remains from our fields can fill the cup of some body! We must keep in mind that it may not take a big thing to put a small smile on the face of somebody! ‘And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger’. Remember you can be the reason for the joy of somebody! When God blesses you, use it for His work! When God blesses you care for others! When Jesus Christ sent His disciples, He said to them, ‘11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.’ — Matthew 10.  Remember Zacchaeus ! ” Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19.

Mind your actions; it will affect somebody! Mind your words; it may affect somebody! Mind your steps; you may be stepping on somebody! What are you doing? Let God be the reason! What are you doing? Let Christ be a factor! God said, ‘ 37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.’

We all, all of us, have a duty to perform! A duty not as to our earthly masters, but our heavenly Father! A duty which must be pleasant sacrifice unto our Father! A duty to rescue and uplift others! Solemn duty!

Jesus Christ said,

“So when you [a]give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you [b]give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your [c]giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Who smiles because of you?


 HYMN

Charles Wes­ley , ( 1742.)

God of all power, and truth, and grace,
Which shall from age to age endure,
Whose Word, when Heaven and earth shall pass,
Remains and stands for ever sure;

That I Thy mercy may proclaim,
That all mankind Thy truth may see,
Hallow Thy great and glorious Name,
And perfect holiness in me.

Thy sanctifying Spirit pour,
To quench my thirst, and make me clean;
Now, Father, let the gracious shower
Descend, and make me pure from sin.

Purge me from every sinful blot;
My idols all be cast aside;
Cleanse me from every sinful thought,
From all the filth of self and pride.

Give me a new, a perfect heart,
From doubt, and fear, and sorrow free;
The mind which was in Christ impart,
And let my spirit cleave to Thee.

O take this heart of stone away!
Thy sway it doth not, cannot own;
In me no longer let it stay,
O take away this heart of stone!

O that I now, from sin released,
Thy Word may to the utmost prove,
Enter into the promised rest,
The Canaan of Thy perfect love!

 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.d ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23

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Lust!

You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God.Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 18  IN FOCUS


It can bring down the real dignity of a noble man: lust! It can make man unclean before God: lust! It can lead people to prison: lust! It can lead people and direct their attention towards a way  that may seem so right: lust! It is the real reason behind the daily sin of so many people: lust! It plants misunderstanding in successful and beautiful marriage: lust! Most advertisement are centered on it to get peoples attention: lust! Beware of LUST!

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

Lust has been the reason behind the downfall of so many great men and women! Lust has been the reason behind the break in the good relations between people! Oh how deadly is lust! Oh how deceptive is lust; bringing down dignity to the bear ground of dishonor and cascading the good image of nobility! Stay pure for Christ; beware of lust! Apostle Paul admonished the Church in Corinthians saying, ‘Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.’  He said to the Ephesians, ‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.’ —Ephesians 5:3

God gave His people laws concerning how they would stay pure and undefilled before Him.  God expects holiness from His people, ‘Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God said to His people,

You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God.Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

“‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter.Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

19 “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman;that is detestable.

23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. —-Leviticus 18

 

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’e 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell

Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’”


HYMN

by:    Sebastien Besnault, 1736

The ancient law departs,
And all its terrors cease;
For Jesus makes with faithful hearts
A covenant of peace.

The light of light divine,
True brightness undefiled,
He bears for us the shame of sin,
A holy, spotless child.

His infant body now
Begins our pains to feel;
Those precious drops of blood that flow
For death the victim seal.

Today the name is Thine,
At which we bend the knee;

They call Thee Jesus, child divine!
Our Jesus deign to be.