Archive for the ‘Sacrifice’ Category

THE ONE REQUIREMENT

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Day 220

“You servant was tending his father’s sheep”
1 Samuel 17:34

What is the one overriding characteristic of our Father in heaven? It is His love for us. First, He created us with the explicit purpose of being partakers in His divinity and having fellowship. He proved to be unchangeable in this purpose. He has never deviated from His original plan in spite of man’s rebellion. Everything He does points to the completion of His eternal plan.

The recorded history of God’s relationship with us continually demonstrates His love. He first loved us. He seeks us. He restores us. He is faithful, even when we are not faithful. He continually thinks on us. He sustains, girds, strengthens, and prospers us. And, in our weakness and wickedness, He sent His only Son to show us the way back. And for that He paid a price of suffering and death. All for us.

Do you aspire to minister? There is only one requirement. When David made his case to challenge Goliath, his reason was that he took care of his father’s sheep. Go all the way to Jesus’ last days and listen to His conversation with Peter; “Do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter the same question three times. Each time Peter said yes and the Lord’s answer was, “Feed My lambs,” “Shepherd My sheep,” and “Feed My sheep.” There is the one requirement; you must have a compelling and practical love to the point of laying down your life for God’s people. It is as He Himself has shown us.

“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever; from generation to
generation we will recount your praise”
Psalm 79:13

TAKING UP THE CROSS

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Day 167

“Carrying the cross . . . Jesus”
John 19:17

Simon of Cyrene had just come from the country to Jerusalem. He encounters a crowd following Jesus carrying a cross as He was headed to His crucifixion. Simon stood near the front of the crowd to see Him. Tired, beaten, mocked for hours after His trial, Jesus was struggling with carrying the cross. The soldiers then compelled Simon to help in carrying the cross.

It’s told that Simon was reluctant and initially refused to carry the cross. That is why he was finally forced by the soldiers to do it. Undoubtedly he knew who Jesus was. Why did he have to be forced? Did he know what was happening? Jesus said, “If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” [Matthew 16:24]. Every one of us is called to take up the cross. We are to deny ourselves and lose our life. How opposed this is to our world that says to affirm ourselves, build our self-worth, etc.! To know Him we must lose our self-life and put on Christ. It requires a cross, the cross that Christ bore to set us free.

Literature reports later that Simon and his children became Christians. Simon, even though he was forced, found eternal grace and was redeemed. He may have come to Jerusalem for other purposes, but he had a Divine Appointment that day. It was a cross that he shied away from, but in the end he was saved through it.

“Whosoever will lose his life
for my sake shall find it”
Matthew 16:25

THE RED HEIFER – PART 2

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Day 144

“The ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those
who are . . . unclean sanctify them so
they are outwardly clean”
Hebrews 9:13-14

What great provision God makes for us! Even in the days of leading His people out of Egypt He saw their need and established a Tabernacle system to deal with their sins so He could be present among them. And He not only dealt with the sins committed at the time, He made provision for the future through the red heifer offering. By this sacrifice, the people knew they could be cleansed in the future. What hope! What grace! What mercy!

The Israelites dealt with many enemies, were involved in many battles and often became unclean and defiled. We also travel in a world where we touch many things every day that influence, defile and cause us to get dirty. God has made a provision for us to be continuously cleansed through Him. Our outer man can be renewed and refreshed through Him. We’ve but to lift our hearts and mind to Him in praise and worship and He will inhabit our praises.

There is more. The red heifer offering only cleansed the outer man. In Christ the whole man is cleansed. It is not only man’s sins, but his nature of sin that is dealt with by Christ. The sacrifice of the Cross not only forgives our past sins, it forgives our present sins and makes provision for future sins. Read 1 John 1:9 in the Amplified version. He continuously cleanses us so that our nature is brought into conformity with His righteousness.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9 [Amplified]

THE RED HEIFER – PART 1

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Day 143

“The ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those
who are . . . unclean sanctify them so
they are outwardly clean”
Hebrews 9:13-14

The worship order of the Old Testament and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness conveyed great principles of eternal truth through outward signs and symbols. The sacrifices, in particular, demonstrated how sin was dealt with and the price that had to be paid. All the offerings used bullocks and rams, which were slaughtered and offered to God for sin-offering, the burnt offering or the peace offering. All these dealt with the sins of the people to meet the present day needs.

In the midst of these offerings there is an exception – a heifer (female cow). Numbers 19 records this unusual and different offering. The entire ceremony that surrounds the heifer offering is different. It was not offered on the Brazen Altar, or eaten by the priests. It was taken outside of the camp of Israel, killed and all of it burned to ashes. The only exception to of being burned to ashes was a little of the blood was taken by the priests and sprinkled seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle.

What was the purpose of the red heifer sacrifice? Its purpose gives us a great truth – it wasn’t for the present need, but for future needs. God made a provision that His people sins could be dealt with that day, but He knew as they traveled they would be become defiled and unclean. The red heifer was the provision for the future – it became the way for them to be cleansed. Yes, our God has made complete provision for us – today, tomorrow and eternally.

“He is faithful and just and will forgive us
our sins and purify (continuously cleanse)
us from all unrighteousness”
1 John 1:9