Why Study the Book of Leviticus?

The book chosen for our Tuesday morning Bible study is Leviticus. Yes, Leviticus. The over arching theme, above all the sacrifices and laws for food, is God’s holiness. God is holy and human kind is prone to sin.

Yet, the Israelites were instructed to be holy.

For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. Leviticus 11:45

The epistle of Peter instructs the followers of Jesus to be holy.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”. 1 Peter 1: 14-16

Is that possible? Jesus came to replace all the animal sacrifice for sin. It is through his shed blood on the cross that we have the potential to become a child of God and receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Like the Israelites who were rescued from Egypt, we have been saved to shine the light of faith in this world.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Events in the world can deceive and distract. We need to remember God’s call to holiness every day.  God is sovereign.  Praise God for his  mercy, grace and love.

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is: POTENTIAL. I am late in posting this. but have been thinking about this word while working on my Bible lesson. Also linking with Literary Musing Mondays  .

Truth that Keeps Us Steadfast

Sometimes the waves of events happening this election season knock me over and I have to catch my breath.   Then I remember that  God  is      sovereign. He has given us his word with timeless truth. I am glad to be studying the book of Romans.

Last Sunday we had a guest speaker at church. His message centered on the gospel truths found in Romans. Here are some key passages:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

We are all sinners. We all need God’s grace.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Paul explains that we are saved by faith, by turning to God and accepting His way.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

God loves us!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We have to accept the gift.

After guiding us through the gospel message, our speaker suggested that we find words to tell our personal story.   He gave us his thirty-second    testimony and asked us to work on doing the same. So, here is my testimony:

I grew up in a Christian home and asked Jesus to be my Savior at a young age. It was the beginning of my relationship with the Lord. During college, Bible study helped me grow and work through questions that I had about my faith. Eventually I married, we had children and we faced a huge challenge. Our son was diagnosed with leukemia. God helped us through faithful friends. When our son passed away I was overwhelmed with grief. I had kept a journal through Steven’s illness and as I reviewed it I saw God’s hand on Steven’s life and His love for our family. God met me in my pain. God is faithful to his promises.

Do you have a testimony of faith?

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Family Time and the Gospel

The air was fresh. The leaves on the giant cottonwood trees were rustling with the breeze. My sister, brother and I were sitting at a picnic table at the botanic garden.

We had fresh apple cider and hamburgers. We enjoyed our lunch as we absorbed the joy of nature. We watched a blue heron standing in a nearby pond. I felt blessed with this interlude of rest from stressful thoughts.

My brother’s health is declining and as his guardian I have been asked to look into possible care situations. For a time the weight of concern was lifted.

My brother has a mental illness and his thoughts about God, about relationships, is tangled up. He has had a difficult life. But I believe that God loves him and can heal his emotional wounds.

My attempts to share my faith with him have varied responses. I feel like I am stumbling along. Conversations with my brother can be calm or erupt suddenly in an angry outburst. During one visit to his group home I asked if he reads his Bible.

He said, “No.”

I said, “The Bible is God’s love letter to us.”

He scowled and yelled, “It is not!” Then he stared at me daring me to say any more. I retreated—for the time being.

But on this day, after spending time in nature, he responded differently. On the way home, in the car, I asked my brother, “What do you think about Jesus?”

His answer came quickly, “He was the most hated man.”

Then I asked, “Why did he come to earth?”

After a long pause my brother said, “I don’t know.”

I said, “I think he came to show us God’s love.”

This time there was no angry outburst, only thoughtful silence.

I want the Bible to infuse my daily life and my conversations. God’s word is the source of our hope. I am still learning about putting this in practice. In the book of Romans the apostle Paul writes:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1: 16

Prayer: Lord God, thank-you for your Word and the example Paul sets for us. As I trust you day by day, may I be a witness of the Gospel.

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Pregnant Creation: We Have Much to Anticipate!

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

Romans 8: 19 ESV

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting.
Romans 8: 19-25 The Message

This statement by the apostle Paul is both striking and encouraging. And it fits the time we are living in.

Over the summer I have been studying the epistle of 1 Peter.   Peter      describes Christians as sojourners and provides instruction for how we are to live. This fall our Pastor will be teaching from Romans and my precept Bible study is on the book of Romans. I am excited to be spending time learning from Paul the essentials of faith in a culture that is    hostile.

We need grounding from the Word of God and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Then we can shine the light of truth, pointing to Jesus.

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