The children of Israel were given strict directions when choosing a sacrifice for the Passover. They had to choose a first year male goat or sheep, without blemish on the tenth day of the month. Then they had to keep it until the fourteenth day before they were to kill it that evening. Next they were told how to apply it to their doorframe. Strict orders were also given on how to eat and dispose of the sacrifice. Even their dress code and speed at which they ate were dictated to them.
Today a sacrifice for sin is still needed.
Unlike the Israelites, none of the pressure of securing a perfect sacrifice is laid on us. Jesus was the perfect Lamb chosen by God. Jesus came to this earth as the firstborn Son of God and of Mary. He came without spot or blemish and died after living a perfect and sinless life. He met all of the requirements of a perfect sacrifice. God’s choice was perfect.
But, just like the Israelites, we are responsible for what we do with the sacrifice once it has been offered. We have to choose to apply the blood of Jesus to our life. After that He will gladly lead and guide us in every detail of our life if we surrender it to Him.
How grateful we should be that our perfect Lamb has already been chosen and sacrificed. All we have to do was accept it.
Strong friendships all have a common ground on which they are sustained: they are there for each other. If a person suffers a setback a good friend will help them get back on their feet. If a person is in need of comfort a good friend will comfort them. And if a person finds themselves in the middle of conflict a good friend will help them to fight the battle.
Building strong friendships require time, effort and vulnerability. But they are worth the price. Because friendships take so much of us, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the core of these friendships. When he is, our friendships won’t fray and our results will be blessed.
Jesus had died the death of the cross. His body was at Golgotha’s hill. Joseph, a follower of Christ, was said to have “craved the body of Jesus”.
Joseph boldly approached Pilate, the very man who sent Jesus to be crucified,
to ask if he could take the body of Jesus.
Joseph, out of love, honor and respect for The Lord risked his reputation and his life to love Christ.
Is your craving for Christ this powerful within you? Are you willing to risk whatever needed to show the world, to show Jesus, that you love Him more than you love yourself?
Jesus had a craving to be with you. He showed this love for you when he left heaven to pay your sin debt.
Streets of gold. Walls of jasper. Gates of pearl. No sickness. No heartache. No temptation. No sin. Thousands worshipping Jesus. What a beautiful place heaven must be!
Jesus left it all to go to earth, filled with sickness, temptation, heartache and pain. To go to a place where He would be rejected, scorned, beat and eventually crucified.
He did that for you. You are so loved.
Throughout the Bible we are given beautiful descriptions of a river with fruitful trees growing along the banks of it. This picture of God’s creation is also a description of our relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is that river. He is our source of life. The fruitful trees are us, followers of Christ. We gain life and strength because our roots are connected to Him. To know that Jesus, the River of Life, is supplying our need for survival is humbling. Rooted in Him we can be found not only living but growing and producing fruit. He is the Giver of Life and we are the recipients, flourishing under His care.
If we look to see God in His creation then we can learn so much about ourselves and The Creator. We will find ourselves drawing closer to Him, in awe of the beauty and symbolisms of His creativity.
A crowd had gathered. In the midst of them was a woman with a blood issue. She knew she needed to just touch Jesus’ clothes and she’d be healed. Jesus noticed when she touched him. He asked who had done it. She came before The Lord and bowed. By doing this she was strengthened and drew closer to Jesus. She became whole, a walking miracle.
Another crowd had gathered outside of a young girl’s house. She was perceived as being dead. Jesus arrived on the scene. He said she would be healed. The crowd laughed. They mocked Him when he spoke words of comfort about the little girl’s situation. Jesus told them to leave. The crowd was unable to witness the healing of the girl.
Our initial reaction to The Lord speaking to us has an affect on our relationship with Christ. The woman drew closer to Jesus. The people put distance between themselves and Christ. Our initial reactions also teach us about ourselves, as followers of Him.
Draw closer to The Lord now so that when He speaks to you your initial reaction won’t be one of disrespect and unbelief, but rather admiration and peace.
II Kings 3:16-17
God blesses His people everyday. Sometimes we don’t even recognize the blessings of The Lord. Other times we are well aware of the blessing because we are looking for it. We are ready to see it happen.
The army of Israel was preparing for battle. There wasn’t any water in the foreign land. They asked Elisha, a prophet, to ask God for water. Elisha told them to dig ditches and that The Lord would fill the ditches with water from the ground up. The Israelites dug the ditches and the water began to flow.
Daily we come before God asking for a blessing. Probably most of the time we just expect it to fall in our laps and that be that. Often times The Lord blesses in that way. But occasionally he requires us to put forth effort to receive a blessing.
The Israelites showed God their obedience to Him by doing as he commanded. They dug the ditches. This was also a representation of their faith in God. God took it from there. He blessed in ways that they would’ve never imagined when they first inquired of The Lord.
Continue to seek The Lord and His blessings. As you do be prepared to show God that you’re willing to take action so that you can become a recipient of the miracle he has in store you.
Beautiful. Precious. Without flaw. These words can be used to describe jewels. God uses them to describe His children. He refers to us as his jewels.
Followers of Christ should be found sharing what Christ has done for them among themselves. Christ hears these conversations. Christians should also be found thinking upon the ways of God. God knows our hearts. He has a book where he has written your name. Because your name is found in this book you will be pardoned of the punishment for your sin.
How wonderful it is to think that because of our choices on earth we can become as jewels to Jesus in heaven and that one day He will gather us together to be forever with Him.