“The best thing you can do to improve your relationship with Christ is to just show up and be present.”
It’s easy to want to be associated with God for the perceived prestige and brownie points that society gives. However, a vanity relationship is no relationship at all. Friends, don’t be fooled into complacency by knowing God in name only.
If you truly desire to know God, don’t be absent, show up. This happens when we bring ourselves before Him so that we may know Him. God is not looking for cookie cutter people. More to the point, we can’t hide who we are from Him, so be present.
Are you the absent piece in your relationship with God?
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1 A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the LORD spoke to Moses in the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. On the first day of the second month of that year he said, 2 “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men 3 twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, 4 and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe. 5 “These are the tribes and the names of the leaders who will assist you: Tribe Leader Reuben Elizur son of Shedeur 6 Simeon Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai 7 Judah Nahshon son of Amminadab 8 Issachar Nethanel son of Zuar 9 Zebulun Eliab son of Helon 10 Ephraim son of Joseph Elishama son of Ammihud Manasseh son of Joseph Gamaliel son of Pedahzur 11 Benjamin Abidan son of Gideoni 12 Dan Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai 13 Asher Pagiel son of Ocran 14 Gad Eliasaph son of Deuel 15 Naphtali Ahira son of Enan 16 These are the chosen leaders of the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the clans of Israel.” 17 So Moses and Aaron called together these chosen leaders, 18 and they assembled the whole community of Israel on that very day. All the people were registered according to their ancestry by their clans and families. The men of Israel who were twenty years old or older were listed one by one, 19 just as the LORD had commanded Moses. So Moses recorded their names in the wilderness of Sinai. 20 This is the number of men twenty years old or older who were able to go to war, as their names were listed in the records of their clans and families : 2122 Simeon 59,300 2324 Gad 45,650 2526 Judah 74,600 2728 Issachar 54,400 2930 Zebulun 57,400 3132 Ephraim son of Joseph 40,500 3334 Manasseh son of Joseph 32,200 3536 Benjamin 35,400 3738 Dan 62,700 3940 Asher 41,500 4142 Naphtali 53,400 4344 These were the men registered by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, all listed according to their ancestral descent. 45 They were registered by families—all the men of Israel who were twenty years old or older and able to go to war. 46 The total number was 603,550. 47 But this total did not include the Levites. 48 For the LORD had said to Moses, 49 “Do not include the tribe of Levi in the registration; do not count them with the rest of the Israelites. 50 Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it. 51 Whenever it is time for the Tabernacle to move, the Levites will take it down. And when it is time to stop, they will set it up again. But any unauthorized person who goes too near the Tabernacle must be put to death. 52 Each tribe of Israel will camp in a designated area with its own family banner. 53 But the Levites will camp around the Tabernacle of the Covenant to protect the community of Israel from the LORD ’s anger. The Levites are responsible to stand guard around the Tabernacle.” 54 So the Israelites did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
“Do well in the role that you are given and let God be God.”
Neither I nor you alone can do anything remotely as amazing as God can. Fortunately for us, we aren’t called to be God. However, many of us are obsessed with God-sized problems, failing to perform the roles assigned to us. Friends, let us be diligent in the matters that God has tasked us with.
We are only responsible for ourselves, which means we must do our own work to learn, love, and live as Christ does. Within our responsibilities, we see the fruits of peace because we are operating and sowing within our role. Remember that Christ has already won, so trust Him in all that He does.
What responsibilities have you let fall to the wayside because you’re too busy focusing on what you believe God should be doing?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate someone to the LORD by paying the value of that person, 3 here is the scale of values to be used. A man between the ages of twenty and sixty is valued at fifty shekels of silver, as measured by the sanctuary shekel. 4 A woman of that age is valued at thirty shekels of silver. 5 A boy between the ages of five and twenty is valued at twenty shekels of silver; a girl of that age is valued at ten shekels of silver. 6 A boy between the ages of one month and five years is valued at five shekels of silver; a girl of that age is valued at three shekels of silver. 7 A man older than sixty is valued at fifteen shekels of silver; a woman of that age is valued at ten shekels of silver. 8 If you desire to make such a vow but cannot afford to pay the required amount, take the person to the priest. He will determine the amount for you to pay based on what you can afford. 9 “If your vow involves giving an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD, any gift to the LORD will be considered holy. 10 You may not exchange or substitute it for another animal—neither a good animal for a bad one nor a bad animal for a good one. But if you do exchange one animal for another, then both the original animal and its substitute will be considered holy. 11 If your vow involves an unclean animal—one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD —then you must bring the animal to the priest. 12 He will assess its value, and his assessment will be final, whether high or low. 13 If you want to buy back the animal, you must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. 14 “If someone dedicates a house to the LORD, the priest will come to assess its value. The priest’s assessment will be final, whether high or low. 15 If the person who dedicated the house wants to buy it back, he must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the house will again be his. 16 “If someone dedicates to the LORD a piece of his family property, its value will be assessed according to the amount of seed required to plant it—fifty shekels of silver for a field planted with five bushels of barley seed. 17 If the field is dedicated to the LORD in the Year of Jubilee, then the entire assessment will apply. 18 But if the field is dedicated after the Year of Jubilee, the priest will assess the land’s value in proportion to the number of years left until the next Year of Jubilee. Its assessed value is reduced each year. 19 If the person who dedicated the field wants to buy it back, he must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the field will again be legally his. 20 But if he does not want to buy it back, and it is sold to someone else, the field can no longer be bought back. 21 When the field is released in the Year of Jubilee, it will be holy, a field specially set apart for the LORD . It will become the property of the priests. 22 “If someone dedicates to the LORD a field he has purchased but which is not part of his family property, 23 the priest will assess its value based on the number of years left until the next Year of Jubilee. On that day he must give the assessed value of the land as a sacred donation to the LORD . 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field must be returned to the person from whom he purchased it, the one who inherited it as family property. 25 (All the payments must be measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) 26 “You may not dedicate a firstborn animal to the LORD, for the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats already belong to him. 27 However, you may buy back the firstborn of a ceremonially unclean animal by paying the priest’s assessment of its worth, plus 20 percent. If you do not buy it back, the priest will sell it at its assessed value. 28 “However, anything specially set apart for the LORD —whether a person, an animal, or family property—must never be sold or bought back. Anything devoted in this way has been set apart as holy, and it belongs to the LORD . 29 No person specially set apart for destruction may be bought back. Such a person must be put to death. 30 “One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy. 31 If you want to buy back the LORD ’s tenth of the grain or fruit, you must pay its value, plus 20 percent. 32 Count off every tenth animal from your herds and flocks and set them apart for the LORD as holy. 33 You may not pick and choose between good and bad animals, and you may not substitute one for another. But if you do exchange one animal for another, then both the original animal and its substitute will be considered holy and cannot be bought back.” 34 These are the commands that the LORD gave through Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
“Commit to learning God’s Truth as it is a wonderful navigational resource.”
Like Little Red Riding Hood, no human is capable of following the path without detours. It’s impossible for us to be perfect. To get back on track, lean on Christ and the Truth that He brings.
Because God knew we weren’t capable of a sinless life, He sent Jesus to help bridge that gap. Get to know Christ well as He never departs from those who know Him. He’ll get you back on track.
What are you clinging to?
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1 “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the LORD your God. 2 You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD . 3 “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. 5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land. 6 “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. 7 In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword. 9 “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high. 14 “However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, 15 and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, 16 I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you—wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them. 17 I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you! 18 “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. 19 I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze. 20 All your work will be for nothing, for your land will yield no crops, and your trees will bear no fruit. 21 “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins. 22 I will send wild animals that will rob you of your children and destroy your livestock. Your numbers will dwindle, and your roads will be deserted. 23 “And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, 24 then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins. 25 I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken. When you run to your towns for safety, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be handed over to your enemies. 26 I will destroy your food supply, so that ten women will need only one oven to bake bread for their families. They will ration your food by weight, and though you have food to eat, you will not be satisfied. 27 “If in spite of all this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, 28 then I will give full vent to my hostility. I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. 29 Then you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. 30 I will destroy your pagan shrines and knock down your places of worship. I will leave your lifeless corpses piled on top of your lifeless idols, and I will despise you. 31 I will make your cities desolate and destroy your places of pagan worship. I will take no pleasure in your offerings that should be a pleasing aroma to me. 32 Yes, I myself will devastate your land, and your enemies who come to occupy it will be appalled at what they see. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and bring out my sword against you. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then at last the land will enjoy its neglected Sabbath years as it lies desolate while you are in exile in the land of your enemies. Then the land will finally rest and enjoy the Sabbaths it missed. 35 As long as the land lies in ruins, it will enjoy the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it. 36 “And for those of you who survive, I will demoralize you in the land of your enemies. You will live in such fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing. You will run as though fleeing from a sword, and you will fall even when no one pursues you. 37 Though no one is chasing you, you will stumble over each other as though fleeing from a sword. You will have no power to stand up against your enemies. 38 You will die among the foreign nations and be devoured in the land of your enemies. 39 Those of you who survive will waste away in your enemies’ lands because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 40 “But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. 41 When I have turned their hostility back on them and brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins. 42 Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land must be abandoned to enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will pay for their sins, for they have continually rejected my regulations and despised my decrees. 44 “But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the LORD their God. 45 For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD .” 46 These are the decrees, regulations, and instructions that the LORD gave through Moses on Mount Sinai as evidence of the relationship between himself and the Israelites.
“There is always something to be learn by following Christ.”
There are so many distractions in this world and many struggle to prioritize their walk with God. Growth is stagnate when you’re not putting in the time and effort.
When you approach your relationship with God as a progression and not a destination, watch how you grow. A lifetime is needed to walk with Him so enjoy the journey.
Are you continuing to learn or are you continuing to put your head down?
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1 While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the LORD said to him, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the LORD every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, 4 but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the LORD ’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. 5 And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. 6 But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you. 7 Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces. 8 “In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. 9 Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. 10 Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. 11 This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. 12 It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own. 13 In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. 14 “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. 15 When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. 16 The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. 17 Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the LORD your God. 18 “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. 20 But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ 21 Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. 22 When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year. 23 “The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me. 24 “With every purchase of land you must grant the seller the right to buy it back. 25 If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell some family land, then a close relative should buy it back for him. 26 If there is no close relative to buy the land, but the person who sold it gets enough money to buy it back, 27 he then has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be discounted according to the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. In this way the original owner can then return to the land. 28 But if the original owner cannot afford to buy back the land, it will remain with the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land. 29 “Anyone who sells a house inside a walled town has the right to buy it back for a full year after its sale. During that year, the seller retains the right to buy it back. 30 But if it is not bought back within a year, the sale of the house within the walled town cannot be reversed. It will become the permanent property of the buyer. It will not be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee. 31 But a house in a village—a settlement without fortified walls—will be treated like property in the countryside. Such a house may be bought back at any time, and it must be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee. 32 “The Levites always have the right to buy back a house they have sold within the towns allotted to them. 33 And any property that is sold by the Levites—all houses within the Levitical towns—must be returned in the Year of Jubilee. After all, the houses in the towns reserved for the Levites are the only property they own in all Israel. 34 The open pastureland around the Levitical towns may never be sold. It is their permanent possession. 35 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you. 36 Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative. 37 Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him or make a profit on food you sell him. 38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave. 40 Treat him instead as a hired worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve you only until the Year of Jubilee. 41 At that time he and his children will no longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back to the land originally allotted to their ancestors. 42 The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never be sold as slaves. 43 Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly. 44 “However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you. 45 You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, 46 passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you must never treat your fellow Israelites this way. 47 “Suppose a foreigner or temporary resident becomes rich while living among you. If any of your fellow Israelites fall into poverty and are forced to sell themselves to such a foreigner or to a member of his family, 48 they still retain the right to be bought back, even after they have been purchased. They may be bought back by a brother, 49 an uncle, or a cousin. In fact, anyone from the extended family may buy them back. They may also redeem themselves if they have prospered. 50 They will negotiate the price of their freedom with the person who bought them. The price will be based on the number of years from the time they were sold until the next Year of Jubilee—whatever it would cost to hire a worker for that period of time. 51 If many years still remain until the jubilee, they will repay the proper proportion of what they received when they sold themselves. 52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they will repay a small amount for their redemption. 53 The foreigner must treat them as workers hired on a yearly basis. You must not allow a foreigner to treat any of your fellow Israelites harshly. 54 If any Israelites have not been bought back by the time the Year of Jubilee arrives, they and their children must be set free at that time. 55 For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
God is the ultimate foundation to build your life upon. There is nothing else that is as indestructible. When you use other things, the foundation cracks because this is nothing as reliable as God’s promise to us.
If you’re tired of bottoming out due to flimsy foundations, ask God to become the focal point in your life. With Him, even the most chaotic of days are weathered because of His everlasting support and foundation.
What is your foundation?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. 3 This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the LORD ’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 4 Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the LORD ’s presence. 5 “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. 6 Place the bread before the LORD on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. 7 Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the LORD . 8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the LORD as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. 9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD .” 10 One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. 11 During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the LORD with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. 12 They kept the man in custody until the LORD ’s will in the matter should become clear to them. 13 Then the LORD said to Moses, 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. 15 Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. 16 Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be put to death. 17 “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death. 18 “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed. 19 “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— 20 a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind. 21 “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death. 22 “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.” 23 After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
“Your circumstance does not change who God is or what He’s promised His children”
God does not promise a utopian life in this world. There are tough days, months, and sometimes years. God does promise to be with you, providing peace when we choose it.
We receive peace from Christ when we believe and act on the Truth. Learn to love as Christ does so that you may experience His peace. And, you begin to walk in peace no matter the circumstance.
Are you trusting Him for peace?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the LORD ’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly. 3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the LORD ’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live. 4 “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD ’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year. 5 “The LORD ’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the LORD continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD . On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.” 9 Then the LORD said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the LORD so it may be accepted on your behalf. 12 On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the LORD . 13 With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD . You must also offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering. 14 Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 15 “From the day after the Sabbath—the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering—count off seven full weeks. 16 Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the LORD . 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the LORD as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the LORD from the first of your crops. 18 Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the LORD . These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD . 19 Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering. 20 “The priest will lift up the two lambs as a special offering to the LORD, together with the loaves representing the first of your crops. These offerings, which are holy to the LORD, belong to the priests. 21 That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly, a day on which you do no ordinary work. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 22 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.” 23 The LORD said to Moses, 24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn, you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. 25 You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the LORD .” 26 Then the LORD said to Moses, 27 “Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the LORD . 28 Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with the LORD your God. 29 All who do not deny themselves that day will be cut off from God’s people. 30 And I will destroy anyone among you who does any work on that day. 31 You must not do any work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 32 This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves. This day of rest will begin at sundown on the ninth day of the month and extend until sundown on the tenth day.” 33 And the LORD said to Moses, 34 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Begin celebrating the Festival of Shelters on the fifteenth day of the appointed month—five days after the Day of Atonement. This festival to the LORD will last for seven days. 35 On the first day of the festival you must proclaim an official day for holy assembly, when you do no ordinary work. 36 For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD . The eighth day is another holy day on which you present your special gifts to the LORD . This will be a solemn occasion, and no ordinary work may be done that day. 37 (“These are the LORD ’s appointed festivals. Celebrate them each year as official days for holy assembly by presenting special gifts to the LORD —burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and liquid offerings—each on its proper day. 38 These festivals must be observed in addition to the LORD ’s regular Sabbath days, and the offerings are in addition to your personal gifts, the offerings you give to fulfill your vows, and the voluntary offerings you present to the LORD .) 39 “Remember that this seven-day festival to the LORD —the Festival of Shelters—begins on the fifteenth day of the appointed month, after you have harvested all the produce of the land. The first day and the eighth day of the festival will be days of complete rest. 40 On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees —palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 You must observe this festival to the LORD for seven days every year. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed in the appointed month from generation to generation. 42 For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. 43 This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” 44 So Moses gave the Israelites these instructions regarding the annual festivals of the LORD .
“Be leery of the sweet nothings from a fallen world.”
The world is full of sweet, seemingly harmless things and practices that end up being the ties that bind us to sin. There is a slippery slope when it comes to following your flesh. Friends, learn to rise above by relying on God.
Get to know Christ so that you may understand how deep and everlasting His love is for you. Flaws and all, we can call upon our Father in Heaven to show us how to deny the sweet songs of destruction. He will deliver those who are His.
Can you discern the sweet nothings in your life?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the LORD . 3 Give them the following instructions. “In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the LORD, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD . 4 “If any of Aaron’s descendants has a skin disease or any kind of discharge that makes him ceremonially unclean, he may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has been pronounced clean. He also becomes unclean by touching a corpse, or by having an emission of semen, 5 or by touching a small animal that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason. 6 The man who is defiled in any of these ways will remain unclean until evening. He may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has bathed himself in water. 7 When the sun goes down, he will be ceremonially clean again and may eat from the sacred offerings, for this is his food. 8 He may not eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile him. I am the LORD . 9 “The priests must follow my instructions carefully. Otherwise they will be punished for their sin and will die for violating my instructions. I am the LORD who makes them holy. 10 “No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings. Even guests and hired workers in a priest’s home are not allowed to eat them. 11 However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings. 13 But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father’s home as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food again. Otherwise, no one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings. 14 “Any such person who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an additional 20 percent. 15 The priests must not let the Israelites defile the sacred offerings brought to the LORD 16 by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. This would bring guilt upon them and require them to pay compensation. I am the LORD who makes them holy.” 17 And the LORD said to Moses, 18 “Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. “If you present a gift as a burnt offering to the LORD, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, 19 you will be accepted only if your offering is a male animal with no defects. It may be a bull, a ram, or a male goat. 20 Do not present an animal with defects, because the LORD will not accept it on your behalf. 21 “If you present a peace offering to the LORD from the herd or the flock, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, you must offer a perfect animal. It may have no defect of any kind. 22 You must not offer an animal that is blind, crippled, or injured, or that has a wart, a skin sore, or scabs. Such animals must never be offered on the altar as special gifts to the LORD . 23 If a bull or lamb has a leg that is too long or too short, it may be offered as a voluntary offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow. 24 If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, you may not offer it to the LORD . You must never do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such an animal from foreigners and then offer it as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf, for they are mutilated or defective.” 26 And the LORD said to Moses, 27 “When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a special gift to the LORD . 28 But you must not slaughter a mother animal and her offspring on the same day, whether from the herd or the flock. 29 When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the LORD, sacrifice it properly so you will be accepted. 30 Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. I am the LORD . 31 “You must faithfully keep all my commands by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD . 32 Do not bring shame on my holy name, for I will display my holiness among the people of Israel. I am the LORD who makes you holy. 33 It was I who rescued you from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. I am the LORD .”
Don’t be surprised when the opposition throws cheap tricks your way. There will be some days and moments in time where these cheap shots have greater impact, but friends, when trials arise hold firm to the Truth.
When you honestly and humbly seek the Lord, He will not leave you. No matter how imperfectly dumb we humans can be, God honors His promises. So, resist the devil and he will flee. God will remain.
Do you know that God does not leave His children?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the priests, the descendants of Aaron. “A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean by touching the dead body of a relative. 2 The only exceptions are his closest relatives—his mother or father, son or daughter, brother, 3 or his virgin sister who depends on him because she has no husband. 4 But a priest must not defile himself and make himself unclean for someone who is related to him only by marriage. 5 “The priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or cut their bodies. 6 They must be set apart as holy to their God and must never bring shame on the name of God. They must be holy, for they are the ones who present the special gifts to the LORD, gifts of food for their God. 7 “Priests may not marry a woman defiled by prostitution, and they may not marry a woman who is divorced from her husband, for the priests are set apart as holy to their God. 8 You must treat them as holy because they offer up food to your God. You must consider them holy because I, the LORD, am holy, and I make you holy. 9 “If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she also defiles her father’s holiness, and she must be burned to death. 10 “The high priest has the highest rank of all the priests. The anointing oil has been poured on his head, and he has been ordained to wear the priestly garments. He must never leave his hair uncombed or tear his clothing. 11 He must not defile himself by going near a dead body. He may not make himself ceremonially unclean even for his father or mother. 12 He must not defile the sanctuary of his God by leaving it to attend to a dead person, for he has been made holy by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD . 13 “The high priest may marry only a virgin. 14 He may not marry a widow, a woman who is divorced, or a woman who has defiled herself by prostitution. She must be a virgin from his own clan, 15 so that he will not dishonor his descendants among his clan, for I am the LORD who makes him holy.” 16 Then the LORD said to Moses, 17 “Give the following instructions to Aaron: In all future generations, none of your descendants who has any defect will qualify to offer food to his God. 18 No one who has a defect qualifies, whether he is blind, lame, disfigured, deformed, 19 or has a broken foot or arm, 20 or is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or has a defective eye, or skin sores or scabs, or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron who has a defect may approach the altar to present special gifts to the LORD . Since he has a defect, he may not approach the altar to offer food to his God. 22 However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings. 23 Yet because of his physical defect, he may not enter the room behind the inner curtain or approach the altar, for this would defile my holy places. I am the LORD who makes them holy.” 24 So Moses gave these instructions to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
“Go back to square one of the Truth when you’ve lost your way.”
The opposition desires confused and lost people who toil in fear instead of faith. As such, be vigilant for half-truths and bad judgment as to not become misplaced. Fortunately, when you do feel lost, go back to the start.
In the beginning, God. That’s it, God. He is at square one, calling back the lost and confused sheep to the flock. Remember in times of confusion, God is a merciful and consistent Shepherd lovingly tending to His flock. Door’s open.
Are you lost?
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1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel. “If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death. 3 I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech. 4 And if the people of the community ignore those who offer their children to Molech and refuse to execute them, 5 I myself will turn against them and their families and will cut them off from the community. This will happen to all who commit spiritual prostitution by worshiping Molech. 6 “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. 7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD who makes you holy. 9 “Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense. 10 “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death. 11 “If a man violates his father by having sex with one of his father’s wives, both the man and the woman must be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense. 12 “If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, both must be put to death. They have committed a perverse act and are guilty of a capital offense. 13 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense. 14 “If a man marries both a woman and her mother, he has committed a wicked act. The man and both women must be burned to death to wipe out such wickedness from among you. 15 “If a man has sex with an animal, he must be put to death, and the animal must be killed. 16 “If a woman presents herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it, she and the animal must both be put to death. You must kill both, for they are guilty of a capital offense. 17 “If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a shameful disgrace. They must be publicly cut off from the community. Since the man has violated his sister, he will be punished for his sin. 18 “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them must be cut off from the community, for together they have exposed the source of her blood flow. 19 “Do not have sexual relations with your aunt, whether your mother’s sister or your father’s sister. This would dishonor a close relative. Both parties are guilty and will be punished for their sin. 20 “If a man has sex with his uncle’s wife, he has violated his uncle. Both the man and woman will be punished for their sin, and they will die childless. 21 “If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity. He has violated his brother, and the guilty couple will remain childless. 22 “You must keep all my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice; otherwise the land to which I am bringing you as your new home will vomit you out. 23 Do not live according to the customs of the people I am driving out before you. It is because they do these shameful things that I detest them. 24 But I have promised you, ‘You will possess their land because I will give it to you as your possession—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from all other people. 25 “You must therefore make a distinction between ceremonially clean and unclean animals, and between clean and unclean birds. You must not defile yourselves by eating any unclean animal or bird or creature that scurries along the ground. I have identified them as being unclean for you. 26 You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own. 27 “Men and women among you who act as mediums or who consult the spirits of the dead must be put to death by stoning. They are guilty of a capital offense.”
On our own, independent of God, we’re not capable of fulfilling what we truly need. We may find synthetic solutions, but they are hollow because we are disconnected from our maker.
God is the solution piece to our being. After all, He is why we’re here. So rely on Him to top up your cup. Trust in Him so that He may share His everlasting plans for those who are His.
Are you too busy playing your own God to see that you need help?
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1 The LORD also said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. 3 “Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the LORD your God. 4 “Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God. 5 “When you sacrifice a peace offering to the LORD, offer it properly so you will be accepted by God. 6 The sacrifice must be eaten on the same day you offer it or on the next day. Whatever is left over until the third day must be completely burned up. 7 If any of the sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will be contaminated, and I will not accept it. 8 Anyone who eats it on the third day will be punished for defiling what is holy to the LORD and will be cut off from the community. 9 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God. 11 “Do not steal. “Do not deceive or cheat one another. 12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the LORD . 13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay. 14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the LORD . 15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly. 16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the LORD . 17 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin. 18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD . 19 “You must obey all my decrees. “Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread. 20 “If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man’s wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 22 The priest will then purify him before the LORD with the ram of the guilt offering, and the man’s sin will be forgiven. 23 “When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it. 24 In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the LORD as a celebration of praise. 25 Finally, in the fifth year you may eat the fruit. If you follow this pattern, your harvest will increase. I am the LORD your God. 26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood. “Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft. 27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards. 28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD . 29 “Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness. 30 “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the LORD . 31 “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God. 32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD . 33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. 35 “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. 36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 “You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the LORD .”