Meditation for 08/20/2019
“Who will ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.” (Psalm 24:3-6)
As the pilgrims followed the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem singing this song, they reflected on the nature of their God. He is the sole Creator, having brought a world into being that reflects His character but is not a physical extension or emanation of Himself. He brought the universe into being without help form anyone else. It, therefore, belongs to Him exclusively. Though we discover many marvelous truths about the created order through scientific research, only God’s reveal Word gives us the basic moral standards to guide it.
Israel took the opportunity to worship seriously. People wanting to enter the Temple were asked to confess basic character traits. Beloved, it is through our worship, that we develop the necessary moral values that become part of the very fiber of our souls. Because of these values, our faith grows and people begin to notice something very different about us and the way we worship and especially how we interact with others in everyday life. Jesus modeled these values for us and when accept God through Christ Jesus, we too begin to develop the same values in the way we live our lives and how we treat others.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we seek to walk as best as we can in the footprints of Your Son, our Savior. You have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help and counsel us in our ethics and values of everyday life. When we begin to follow the Spirit’s guidance, we find that when things are not right, the Spirit lets us know and we change our behavior. When things are right, we feel the blessed assurance of the peace coming from You, that what we do is right. We pray this day, to strive each day to be Your disciple and to walk in righteousness and harmony with Your will and purpose for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Life is like a mirror—it never gives back more than it gets!”
“The rest of he people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servant and all who separated themselves, from the neighboring peoples for the sake of he Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand—all these now join their brothers, the nobles and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.” (Nehemiah 10:29)
The people renewed the covenant given Moses. The acknowledgment of the curse along with the oath by the people is unusual and indicates the strength of their commitment. The curse was the covenant curses for those who broke the covenant. Some times, beloved, I placed myself in the mix of Scripture and ask myself, “What would I have done in this situation?” In truth, it is hard to say, as each of us must answer for ourselves. The people in Nehemiah’s commentary obviously felt they had made a mistake and needed to atone for it. Collectively, they all stated how they had failed God, but then they took an oath, to recommit themselves to God and His commands. This, we must also do. All of us have fallen short of God’s commands and decrees, yet we can find forgiveness by confessing our sins and then rededicate ourselves to Him, seeking forgiveness for our mistakes. In His mercy, we receive the forgiveness and our relationship with Him is fully restored. Never forget this, for it is available to us all, that God through His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, will forgive us.
Christian Ethics, Social Values: (Exodus24:3, 7)
Affirming our obedience to God’s ethical values and requirements in a corporate context reinforces our resolve to carry out that ethical obedience. Worship should not only place demands on us but also provide us opportunity to respond to God’s demands. We should also come before God with our families, and commit to our obedience to God as well. When we commit first at home and then in our worship places, we will collectively see changes not only as individuals, but also as the corporate body of Christ, the Church. I pray this is clear.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed y 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. For by the grace given me I say to everyone one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:1-3)
The New Testament shows the need of the giving of ourselves and all we are to God as an act of worship. Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the Old Testament requirement to make animal sacrifices. That aspect or worship is now expressed in the giving our our lives completely to the Lore and faithful giving of our possessions.
Worship is more than feeling good about God. Worship includes the matter of applying faith to our everyday lives. We worship as we pattern life after God’s ways and not the world’s . This possible when God changes our mindstyle. That is, God’s Spirit works in us so we can test and judge to determine God’s will for our lives. Clear??