Tag: offering

June 17 Send Your Fire!

06-Fire-from-HeavenFor three years, Lord, You withheld rain and dew from the land bringing severe droughtCrops eventually dried up. Grain was harder and harder to find to make bread.  Olive groves stopped producing so oil was hard to get too.  Soon even the streams and brooks began to dry up.

The famine was so severe that even grass for the livestock vanished; to the point that King Ahab was going to have to kill livestock for lack of food.

All this happened because the people had turned away from You, abandoning what they knew to be right and true.  Without keeping Your commands they had followed and worshipped other gods.

In my times Father, You are not honored or obeyed.  Like then, people have been led away from You to worship many things: self, money, possessions, status, environment, political ideologies, man’s philosophies.   The people live by ungodly values.

And there is a drought.  The life-giving water of Your Word has not been acknowledged in a long time.

But rain is coming!  The stage is set, and Elijah is sent to call the people back.

I Kings 18 tells of the showdown.

Since Baal was worshipped as the god of rain, thunder, fertility of the land, and agriculture; he should have been able to provide for the crops during those 3 years.  He did not.

He was also supposed to be the god of fire, so it should have been an easy thing for his power to burn up the offering his priests set up for him.   But although the priests called and danced and cut themselves, Baal did not answer.

At the end of the day, Elijah called the people together to prove Your supremacy.   He soaked the wood and offering three times to make it even harder for a natural fire to be lit.

Then Elijah prayed – that You would make Yourself seen and known to the people who were watching.  That they would recognize and remember that You, the Lord, are God, and there is no other.

And that with this sign, this miracle, You would turn the people’s hearts back to You.

You showed up!   The “fire of the Lord” fell and burned it all up!   And the people fell on their faces and cried “The Lord – He is God!  The Lord – He is God!”

Father, would You send an Elijah to call the people back to You now.   Open peoples’ ears to hear the call.  Let them see Your miracle when it happens.

Give them understanding to acknowledge Your hand in it.  And let their faith be rekindled, renewed, as You turn their hearts back to You.  So that from here on, people will trust that You, the Lord, are God; and there is no other.

The stage is set.  The time for so many people is now.

Father, send Your fire!  Amen

I Kings 18:1-40

Feb 17 Sacrifice for all

cross-1448946_640Lord God, it strikes me as I read this passage in Leviticus, that all these offerings are for unintentional sin.

This is a sin that the person is unaware of when they do it.  Then, when they become aware of their sin, they are to bring the appropriate animal, lay their hand on it as it is sacrificed in a way of transferring the sin to the animal who pays the price for the sin: death.  These are ways to restore relationship with You when there is no intent in the sin.

When the sin is deliberate, intentional, there is often no sacrifice, no substitute to bear the penalty.  Death is the penalty.  The person who sins is accountable for that debt.

But praise to You, Lord!  You have made another way for sinners to be restored into right relationship with You.

When Jesus came, He ate with and spent time with “sinners” to show them the good news.  There was now going to be a sacrifice that would pay the penalty for their sin!  The blood of the perfect Lamb of God, Your blood, would take away the sin of the worldAll the sin.

Because “Your love, Oh Lord, reaches to the heavens, and Your faithfulness stretches to the skies; because Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, and Your justice like the great deep,” You have preserved man, and provided him with salvation!

Both high and low among men and women and children can come to You and find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  For within You is the fountain of life.

And when I have You, I have life!   Amen

Leviticus 4:1-5:19; Mark 2:13-17; Psalm 36:5-9

Feb 17 Sacrifice for all

cross-1448946_640Lord God, it strikes me as I read this passage in Leviticus, that all these offerings are for unintentional sin.

This is a sin that the person is unaware of when they do it.  Then, when they become aware of their sin, they are to bring the appropriate animal, lay their hand on it as it is sacrificed in a way of transferring the sin to the animal who pays the price for the sin: death.  These are ways to restore relationship with You when there is no intent in the sin.

When the sin is deliberate, intentional, there is often no sacrifice, no substitute to bear the penalty.  Death is the penalty.  The person who sins is accountable for that debt.

But praise to You, Lord!  You have made another way for sinners to be restored into right relationship with You.

When Jesus came, He ate with and spent time with “sinners” to show them the good news.  There was now going to be a sacrifice that would pay the penalty for their sin!  The blood of the perfect Lamb of God, Your blood, would take away the sin of the world.  All the sin.

Because “Your love, Oh Lord, reaches to the heavens, and Your faithfulness stretches to the skies; because Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, and Your justice like the great deep,” You have preserved man, and provided him with salvation!

Both high and low among men and women and children can come to You and find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  For within You is the fountain of life.

And when I have You, I have life!   Amen

Leviticus 4:1-5:19; Mark 2:13-17; Psalm 36:5-9

Nov 23 Mold me, make me holy

opening clay

Father, You gave Ezekiel a recap of the physical sacrifices that were to be offered to You, when and where and how in specific detail.  For You are a Holy God and the offerings and sacrifices provided atonement and consecration for Your people then.

Now comes Peter writing to remind believers that now they “are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices…”

The Israelites had to go to a specific place, the Temple, and have their sacrifices presented by priests.  But now believers’ bodies are the “temple” and believers, themselves, are the priests.  And the sacrifices offered are the spiritual sacrifices of praise, and a contrite heart.

You are Holy because of who You are.  But believers are made holy not by the sacrifices of goats and lambs with flour and oil; but “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  Believers “purify yourselves by obeying the truth…born again…through the living and enduring Word of God.”

Further, Peter tells me to be holy in all I do: to “prepare [my] mind for action; be self-controlled.”   And “as an obedient child, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”  “Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.”

How do I do this?

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Psalm 119 answers this, and so it has become my prayer.  “Teach me, O Lord, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.  Direct me in the path of Your commands; for there I find delight. 

Turn my heart toward Your statues and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word.”

Father, let me live and walk and worship according to these Words.  Let me be taught by You.  Break down whatever habits or tendencies I have that war against Your precepts or keep me from following Your path wholeheartedly.

Enrich me through Your unfailing love.  I lift my hands to You.  Amen

Ezekiel 45:13-46:24; I Peter 1:13-2:10; Psalm 119:33-40

May 9 How to remember

Lord, thank You for the reminders in scripture today.  Reminders of things You’ve already shown me this year, but bear repeating so I can really get it!  I need to mark the victories in my life, and trust that You can do much with little.

elephant-1090834_640When You defeated the Philistines with Your thunder, Samuel set up a stone there and named it Ebenezer.  From the Hebrew “even” – pronounced eh-ben – meaning  stone and “ezer” meaning help: it is a “stone of help.”

Stones would last a long time, so for generations, when anyone passed by the “Stone of Help” they would be reminded that God helped and delivered them at this place in the battle against the Philistines.

I too can commemorate significant moments in my life with things that remind me of Your deliverance and impact.  It could be a piece of art, or jewelry, a song, poem or picture, something placed on my desk or walls or in my home or yard that has meaning to me.

Then when someone comments on it, I can give the reason for its significance.  That would be a fitting testimony to Your greatness.  More than that, whenever I see it, it would be an encouragement to me of Your faithfulness and power in my life.

When You took the small offering of a young boy, two fish and five barley rolls, and fed five thousand with it, with much left over to spare; it reminds me that whatever gifts I bring to You, You can bless and multiply and use for purposes to glorify Your name.

On those days when I feel like I have little to offer, I will remember that when I give it to You, the result is not dependent on the size of the gift.  Whatever I bring, You can do and accomplish much more that I can even imagine.

ebenezer

 

Thank You for these reminders today, Lord.  In remembering times and events where You impacted my life in significant ways, I will make my own “Ebenezers.” They will be reminders for me and markers for others.

And I will learn what my gifts are, and give them over to You to multiply and use to bless others.

Thank You for knowing I need help remembering.  Thank You for telling me over and over again about the things that are important, and of Your love for me.  Amen

I Samuel 7:7-14; John 6:1-13