“You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wold beasts; throw it to the dogs.” (Exodus 22:31)
Beloved many and varied are the characteristics of God’s holy people. One is obedience. God protected His people from food which might be contaminated. As God revealed His concern for our own health, we too should be concerned about the health of others in our community, our country, and those around the world as well.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is logical that food that has no protection either from animals or even from sitting out too long without refrigeration might contaminate the food. This day, Abba, we seek to pray for all those who either have no protection from contaminated foods, or no way to cook the food which makes it safe to eat. There are people around the world and even people down the street that are hungry and have no foodstuff to eat. Let us be aware of those around us and those who are far from us, that we help efforts by organizations, to help make food available for those who have no options in their current situation. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Wisdom has three parts: 1) having a lot to say; 2) Not saying it; 3) Say it by your life’s example.”
“When you are encamped against your enemies, keep away from everything impure. If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. But as evening approaches he is to wash himself and at sunset he may return to the camp. Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with and when you relieve yourself, did a hold and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies o you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and tun away from you.” (Deuteronomy 23:9-14)
Because personal hygiene is important, certain basic practices leading to and maintaining good individual and corporate health should be implemented. Attention to positive physical and emotional health are marks of Christian character. History shows those societies which gave little credence to either also reflected low ethical standards. Even war must not a people to ignore good hygiene or religious practices!
“The Lord tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact. The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him. A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live. The hear of the righteous weighs its answers, but eh mouth of the wicked gushes evil. The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears to prayer of the righteous. A cheerful look bring joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” (Proverbs 25:25-30)
By revealing what God is please with and displease with, the writer revealed the nature and will of God. He is a God who rejects pride, supports the weak, despises divided loyalties, and blesses the undivided heart. It is not only the deeds but the very thoughts of people that determine their relationship with God.
Material greed has destructive implications not only for one’s self but also for all other relationships. Prosperity is never more valuable than people. Duty to family reputation and needs far outweighs any responsibility to gain material goods. The wicked alienate themselves. “God hears,” This means He hears the prayers of the faithful and He is faithful to His people. God listens to our hearts as we pray and knows His people instinctively. This alone, leads us to good mental health in our relationship with Him.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of he law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the ‘sinners’ and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Mark 2:13-17)
Whether in a synagogue, marketplace, or on the shores of a lake, the typical activity of Jesus was teaching. Christian teaching is never to be limited to an hour or soul on Sunday mornings. Christian teaching needs no confinement whatsoever. The word “sinner” was used in these verses, and the definition is murky at best as to whom the sinners were. The Pharisees deemed anyone who did not attend synagogue and worship in their manner only, a sinner. As such, they were shunned by the Pharisees and were excluded these people from their fellowship. They included Jesus among their sinners because of the people He associated with. The hottest arguments between Jesus and His opponents centered on the definition of sin. They would not let Jesus be “Messiah” because He was a “sinner” according to their definition. Jesus defined sin differently. He freely associated with the common people who did not have time or interest in escaping the Pharisaic category of sinners. Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the religious leaders saying they were blind to God’s actions through His ministry and blind to the needs of people. Sin was refusing to love God and other people more than a religious system.
Evangelism helps lost people find a cure for their sin, sickness. Self-righteous people are usually the last to acknowledge hey are lost. Jesus is the only Physician who can cure sin sickness. He sends His followers not to judge others, but to proclaim the good news to all people, even at the risk of being criticized by the self-righteous. Jesus paid special attention to those the religious hypocrites rejected. He calls each one of us, beloved, to follow Him to love sinners, as we have been loved by Him. It is not our job or ministry to judge others; our ministry is a continuing of Jesus’ ministry, to those who haven’t heard the good news of salvation; to strive to help them wherever they are in their faith; to love them as much as Jesus loves us. It’s not always easy, but nothing worthwhile generally isn’t, but it is our job to look at them through Jesus’ eyes. Amen?