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good morning!if you take all the desriptions of a Christian from the Bible and illustrate them you would end up with some pretty wonderful images....in Philippians 2:15 is one of my favourites..we can shine like stars in the universe holding out the word of life and now today we read our mouths can be a fountain of life( what a wonderful priviledge and responsibility )....i have learned that our words can be pretty powerful , you have the ability to build a person up, encourage them, love them and yet at the same time our words if not chosen wisely can hurt people and do damage..enough reason for us to think twice before we open our mouths and consider carefully what we say.As a Christian there is not only the onus on you to be responsible for what you say and do but i was taught by an older very mature Christian that we are responsible for the perceptions of others as well..i might know what im doing is fine and all above board but if a non Christian could view what we are doing and be offended or misconstrue it would be better not to do it in that manner, we are responsible to be at all times a living witness to Christ.What is it someone once said that we might be the only Bible a non Christian would ever read?( maybe i have the saying wrong but it reminds one of the importance of the appearance of our lives to outsiders and the way God could be using us if we are obeying Him.So lets pray that we will be able to go out today and show Gods love every time we open our mouths and in how we act towards others.

From the time between the completion of the Law of Moses (ie this stuff we're all working diligently through!!) and Jesus, there is no record of any Israelite being healed of leprosy. Miriam was healed before the Law was given and Naaman, who was also healed, was a Syrian Gentile and not a Jew.
So this section of the Bible sat there, unused, for around 1250 years. The rabbis were, of course, aware of this mystery, so by the time of the period between Old and New Testaments the belief had arisen that the ability to heal leprosy would be one of the hallmarks of the Messiah.
The amazing thing about Lev 14 is that God set it there, over 1,000 years in advance, as a ticking time bomb! When Jesus healed a leper so early in his ministry (Mark 1) and sent him to the priests, He was in effect sending the leaders a clear claim to be the Messiah. They then would have followed a clear process - 1, was this man really a leper? 2. had he been truly cleansed of the disease? 3. who had healed him?
That's why at the beginning of Mk 2 (the story of the paralysed man let down through the hole in the roof by his mates) there are so many leaders present [some might say typical, the clergy stop the rest of the people getting close to God ;) ]. This is a small rural town, yet it's packed out with the nation's religious leaders, all checking out Jesus' Messianic claims. And in that context Jesus takes them on a whole stage further with His dramatic declaration of the forgiveness of sins for the man (& then, almost casually, He heals him too!). So Lev 14 really is a key portion of the Bible!

Reading such detailed regulations of cleansing from infectious skin diseases, I kept asking myself the reason why God gave them. Can anyone shed some light on the reason? I know that it must be perceived in the context of Moses' time and situation. But what is the purpose besides good hygiene practice.

Maybe the strict routines we read about were concerned with teaching the importance of discipline in the worship of God. Just a thought Jit.

I love the Psalms. Today it reminds me of two things that I love about God: 1) His faithfulness and 2) His unfailing love!!!

On the topic of being careless with words, somewhere in Scripture there's a verse that says we will be held accountable for every word we speak. I can't remember where it is, (help, anyone?) but whenever I come across it, it makes me stop and think. Unfortunately, I still say a lot of junk that would be better left unsaid. It is something I'm still working on.

Christ in Psalm 40

Psalm 40:6 "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire..." After having just read so much about God's specific instructions regarding sacrifices and offerings in Leviticus, this verse puzzled me. According to A.R. Fausset, verses 6-8 are the words of Christ, which Paul quotes in Hbr 10:5, "offering Himself as a better sacrifice." It is so thrilling to me to see how the Old and New Testaments fit together, and how Christ is their theme.

Alex,

Great post!!!!

Jit,

The leper is already healed, all the rituals revolve around the cleansing. Certainly the priest could have declared the leper cleansed or washed him with some water and prounounced him clean - BUT God has something else in mind here.

This is a great picture of Christ. The need for the "need" offerings I mentioned in earlier posts and then the blood is required for cleansing (not healing - which foreshadows Christ), and the oil (also needed) being the Holy Spirit.

Everything is a symbolic picture - which even if the Israelites did not understand completely - (although they should as Hebrew is a word-picture and highly symbolic language) - when Christ came and taught, the links should be pretty clear. (remember what Christ said on Road to emmaus regarding OT).

The houses represent a body - the wandering nation then and the varying assemblies of the Body of Christ today.

I encourage you to read the bottom two thirds of the link Mike provided to Ray Stedman's sermon on Leviticus 14. It will explain everything in much greater detail - and perhaps answer your query.
http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/0514.html

Mark 6:30-56

Holding off on feeding five thousand until a later Gospel - but it is worthy to note that Jesus - the bread of life - could symbolically sustain the nation of Israel - through the grace and mercy of God the Father. Not just sustain, but overflowing in grace and mercy via the twelve leftover baskets.
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Walking on Water

Again - going to hold off except for:

Mark 6:52 - "for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened." NIV

How were there hearts hardened???? Was it as simple as not tying together that the man who could feed five thousand from a few loaves could certainly have the ability to walk on water?????

I saw the numbers before, but it never struck me to connect them to the leftover baskets.

The woman of blood had the disease twelve years, Jarius' daughter was twelve, there were twelve disciples sent out two by two, and there were twelve baskets of leftover food.

I believe God is a great one to give underlying clues as to what he is about. I think the number "twelve" in all these instances is to refer to the twelve tribes of Israel.

I believe God is showing here that the Son of God had arrived and was there to heal (restore) the sick (in sin), raise the dead (provide a new life), and provide the "bread of eternal life" for the nation of Israel. Down to the big clue that there would be "twelve" apostles to carry out this mission after Christ left.

The apostles kept thinking - who is this man??? They had still not connected the dots. Oh, they probably knew He was from God, but I think here they are still not acknowledging deity.

How was their heart(s) hardened? My speculation is that they thought they were following the Messiah - but their concept of the Messiah was a man who would be raised up by God to rule on King David's throne (and by the way throw out the hated Romans). They were probably thinking when the time is right - Jesus would take His rightful role. They were correct, but they misunderstood the role.

With each passing act by Jesus - they had to keep asking themselves the question - Who is this man????? And with each sign and wonder Jesus is giving a clue.

Here on the water Jesus even says. 'Take courage. I am (ego eimi - Jehovah). Do not be afraid.'

It will be a while before the disciples get it - and only then - when the Father removes the blinders and softens their heart so they can see the Truth that is Jesus Christ.


Posts are a little light today, so I want to share with you something I posted last year. On almost every page of the Old Testament - God is pointing to and proclaiming Jesus Christ to the nation of Israel. This is what I think Jesus taught the disciples on the "Road to Emmaus".
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Had seen individual explanations of Old Testament books pointing to Christ, but first time I found it altogether. From sermon of Stephen Davey, First Colonial Baptist church.

. Genesis - He is the prophesied seed who

will crush the serpent's head; He is the

brother betrayed by His kinsmen, whose

betrayal will lead to their deliverance;

. Exodus - He is the great "I AM"; He is the

Passover Lamb whose blood protects His

people from the angel of death and the

wrath of God; He is manna from heaven

and water from the rock;

. Leviticus - He is the tabernacle of God

among men:

. He is the brazen alter - signifying His

death which gives entrance;

. He is the brazen laver - promising to

cleanse us from every sin;

. He is the bread - signifying food that

gives everlasting life;

. He is the golden lamp stand - the light

of the world that will never be

extinguished;

. He is the altar of incense - perpetually

interceding on our behalf;

. He is the veil - through Him is the only

access into the presence of God;

. He is the ark - He embodies that holy

place where heaven touches earth;

. He is the Holy of Holies - in Him

dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.

. Numbers - He is the great hope in whom

all can safely put their trust; He is the great

High Priest who will never fail;

. Deuteronomy - He is the Lord our God; He

is the city of refuge where criminals may

run for protection;

. Joshua - He is the champion over every

enemy that stands in the way of God's

people;

. Judges - He is the angel of God,

empowering the weak and pursuing the

wandering; He is the perfection of grace

and patience toward His wandering people;

. Ruth - He is the wealthy landowner who

redeems His gentile bride from hopeless

poverty; placing her in the family line of

royalty; giving her the right to everything

of His vast estate;

. I and II Samuel - He is the name of the

Lord, in whose strength young men of faith

conquer enemies and slay giants;

. Kings and Chronicles - He is the sovereign

King behind and above all kingdoms, both

pagan and God-fearing;

. Ezra - He is the keeper of divine promise to

Israel and the hand that liberates His people

from bondage;

. Nehemiah - He is the re-builder of broken

lives and the restorer of broken fellowship;

. Esther - He is behind the scenes,

outsmarting the evil one and seeing that His

remnant remain, whispering into the ear of

a young queen that for such a time as this,

she has been crowned.

. Job - He is the majestic One who rides

upon the wind and commands the lightning;

He is the Lord of mystery who does not

explain life, but reveals He is sovereign

over all of life;

. Psalms - He is the rock of refuge, the

Shepherd of the sheep, the tower of shelter,

the sweet honey of revelation, thirst quenching

water, a crucified Savior, and a

sin forgiving Redeemer;

. Proverbs - He is everlasting wisdom;

divine counsel for those who accept His

invitation to turn aside and listen;

. Ecclesiastes - He is eternal satisfaction

over every earthly desire; He is the One to

be remembered in the days our youth;

. Song of Solomon - He is the Bridegroom

who pursues His bride, stopping at nothing

until she is safely in His arms;

. Isaiah - He is Emmanuel, the suffering

Savior, the One crushed for our iniquities

and the coming Prince of Peace whose

strong shoulder will one day bear the

governments of the world;

. Jeremiah - He is the branch of

righteousness who brings justice and

equity; He is the promised One who will

write a new covenant on the hearts of His

people;

. Lamentations - He is the father who

disciplines the sons He loves;

. Ezekiel - He is resurrection power,

breathing life into dry bones and bringing

life from death; He is the faithful leader re-gathering

His wandering flock;

. Daniel - He is the stone, cut without hands,

rejected by kingdoms, yet smiting the false

image and filling the earth with His glory;

He is the one whose Kingdom will not end;

. Hosea - He is the faithful husband of the

faithless wife;

. Joel - He is the hope of His people, the

strength of the children of Israel;

. Amos - He is the wrath of God against

oppressors; He is the promise of vineyards

and gardens where His children will one

day rest;

. Obadiah - He ascends Mount Zion as the

deliverer who judges the kingdoms of this

world and inaugurates His own everlasting

reign;

. Jonah - He is the fulfillment of the sign that

after three days and three nights, the Son of

Man will come forth vindicating the

righteousness of God and resurrection

power;

. Micah - He is the One who pardons our

iniquities; who does not retain His anger

forever; who delights in unchanging love;

He is the one who treads our iniquities

under His feet; who casts all our sins into

the depths of the sea;

. Nahum - He is slow to anger and great in

power; of Him the mountains quake and the

hills dissolve, yet He is a safe haven for all

who hide in Him;

. Habakkuk - He is radiant like sunlight;

whose strength makes our feet like the

hinds feet, and makes us walk on high

places;

. Zephaniah - He is the One who will gather

those who grieve and those who are lame

and those who are outcast; He is the One

who will turn their shame and despair into

everlasting praise;

. Haggai - He is the victorious Lord of hosts

who will shake the heavens and the earth as

He overthrows the nations of this world; He

is the One who will wear His chosen people

as jewels around His omnipotent fingers;

. Zechariah - He stands with His redeemed

on the Mount of Olives; His holiness will

be praised, even by the inscriptions on the

bells of horses' bridles as they gallop

through the city of His glory - "Holy to the

Lord" will be their praise for the Messiah;

. Malachi - He is the divine Refiner, sitting

over the smelting pot of His universe,

purifying His chosen people as silver and

gold; He is the great King, who does not

change; and for all those who believe in

Him, He will one day rise with healing in

His wings!

Stef,
Thanks for pointing out the "we can shine like stars in the universe" verse. I just re-read the final book in the Narnian tales, The Last Battle. In Narnia, stars are actually people. In the end, all the stars fall to earth and come to live with Aslan forever.

before i get to the readings...wanted to share something God put on my heart to share. dont know why or for who, i havent thought of this in a loong time.
Back in the jr high sunday school department i was in, it was very small, only a few of us, sometimes just 2! my friend tonya and I. we were about 13 so we will silly giggly kids. well our teacher was Mike, he called himself Mike the Moose. He was a nice guy n taught us bible lessons every sunday...he made it fun! but, we were young silly girls and would get the giggles a lot, i guess were a little disrepectful...i didnt think so at the time, i had no idea in fact, i thought we were just having fun!
So he taught us for quite some time, then one day at class he sat us down and he looked very sad and said, 'you know, i just dont feel i'm getting through to you guys. i try my best and you just sit and giggle and i just think i'm not supposed to be here, i'm not doing a good job and i'm not getting through. I feel like I've completely failed! you guys laugh and talk and dont give me your attention, and somehow i failed'. With that he told us he was quitting and that was it. my friend and i looked at each other in shock!
Later Tonya and I talked about it, we had NOOOO idea we hurt him, we had nooo idea, why didnt he say something b4 up and quitting? We both felt awful! it was so out of the blue to us! He WAS getting through to us...we were just at that age, you know? We wondered if we should talk to him and apologize...we actually tried to when he was telling us this, but he wouldnt listen.
Anyhow, after that when Tonya or I saw him around, he would ignore us!!! not even say hi! we were so saddened by this, we didnt understand at all. Did he resent us???
So anyway...I had lots of AWESOME Sunday School teachers that i will always remember...but unfortunately when I think of Mike the Moose, i think of the guy who quit. the guy who didnt persevere. the one who got upset and frustrated and just dumped us! and never talked to us again. Looking back as i'm older I can see where he may be coming from, and i guess the enemy was attacking him telling him lies.
So just remember, try your best, do unto the lord, no matter if you think you arent getting through, God IS using you. Dont be remembered as the one who quit.

This can't be true, Jenny!!!!!!! You know ... I've been thinking about this all week!!! Well, not about your Sunday School adventure (LOL), but about getting through to people. And what happens if I give up trying to get through ... that makes me a quitter!!! I don't want to be a quitter!!! Especially when it comes to God's word!!! It's 2 of my aunts, they come to church once a week on Sunday. One of them is going to this church as long as me, she doesn't talk too much about her personal relationship with God, I don't know weather she did or didn't say her rebirth prayer, if she did, she did it in some personal place, she didn't go to the altar in church, I'm not judging her it's between her and our Father, she did got baptised ... okay, my other aunt sais she doesn't have to be saved, because she never turned her back to 'her religion', she also sais she doesn't have to be baptised, because she was baptised when she was 18, so she made her own decision at the time. Okay, now, I don't want to give you the idea that I'm judging them, because I don't know what kind of relationship they have with God. I know I had to go to the Altar in church to be saved, even though I never turned my back to Jesus Christ, I knew my sins had to be washed away, I wanted to be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, not only in water. But that's me and my relationship with the Lord. BUT, the thing that bothers me is that my aunts are telling people (including my 87 year old grandmother who also joins our church since a couple of months) that they don't need to be saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was shocked!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, come on!!! I'm going out 'fishing' and they go around telling people this! I mean, they join this church, this is important for our church and they're spreading the wrong word! One of those aunts is the mother of my cousine who was saved a couple of weeks ago, Lisa. I'm glad Lisa wasn't around her mother when she was saved, I think she would never have done it when her mother was there. Next month we have a baptism, my mom and Rene will be baptised, but Lisa didn't present herself yet to be baptised. So my mom asked my aunt (they're sisters) if Lisa will be baptised. My aunt said "Maybe I will have her baptised in the Summer". In the Summer the baptisms are outside at a small lake, very beautiful! That's important to them, the entourage ... and I think it's not about the beauty and the fun ... what we're doing in churh is not only fun! They're always giggling and sometimes it feels they only want to 'join' because it seems fun. I first thought "Mae, come on, you're annoyed because they don't feel the same passion as you do". But since I know they spread the wrong word ... I just don't know WHAT to feel anymore! I went through different stages 1.) leave them and hope God will show them the right path 2.) tell them up front what I think 3.) spread the right Word to the people they talk to ... and since this week I was back to stage 1 ... leave it to God. But I don't want to be remembered as the one who quit .... I just don't really know what to do with this ...

I thought about U2 the minute I started to read Psalm ... My older cousine and I went to Germany to buy the single "40", it was never released in The Netherlands. I LOVE that song! I heard them singing it live and I feel blessed that I did! I think I was 12 ... maybe 13 or 14. Beautiful!!!

Psalm 40 is amazing! I love verse 2 "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along". This I feel deep in my heart!!!! "He set my feet on solid ground", that's what I feel! I feel steady, I feel solid, and I thank it to Him! I also love verse 10 "I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness". Just like I'm always talking about: I'm a Christian and I'm proud of it!!!! I gospel!!!!!!! I'm NOT a quiet Christian! I really believe that my words matter! That's why I'm really going to think about what Jenny wrote here above. I don't want to be a quitter! I want to share what I think, feel and what I think and feel is the right thing!

I simply love Prov 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. how true! not just what Christ did for us in covering all our sins, but in our lives. If we are loving, if our attitude is not one of revenge, anger, payback...love can cover all sins. Ive seen God do such miracles in my life regarding this! Pride is a killer tho, but sometimes...or always, we have to be the ones to back down and love others.

I liked the commentary on Mark: "None are sent empty away from Christ." how true!

Mike said it well regarding Jesus going off and praying by Himself. I confess, my prayer life could use a boost! If Jesus who was God sought prayer, how much do we!
A radio Christian ministry i was listening to talked about the trinity. Our minds cant possibly wrap around that..but one example was how each are 3 persons. So you have the Father (1), the Holy Spirit (1), and Jesus (1)...all three separate persons. yet if you multiply all, 1 x 1 x 1, you get 1 still! in that sense all are 3, yet they are one.

Hi Guys!
I could really use some advice so any of you who maybe have experienced the same thing or just have some really good advice please respond..you can email me directly.
I have a very close friend that has been raised catholic all of her life. She has been confirmed, gone through the classes, raised in church, family is very devout catholic, etc. The thing is, the more we talk, the more I am convinced that my friend is not saved. I have tried and tried to explain the difference in just going to church, doing good things, and reciting prayers vs. knowing and having a relationship with Jesus Christ, but I just dont think she gets it and I feel like I even end up sounding judgmental or coming across as, "im a better person than you are, my way is right, you are wrong" type thing, which is not what I want at all. If any of you know how I can witness to my friend please help! She also brought up the issue the other day that, im basically saying her parents are going to hell and she knows there is no way that could be possible because her mom is the best lady she knows and she prayes 4 times a day. I told her salvation is not based on works but I just don’t seem to be getting through…are there books or websites or anything at all I can do? Help please?!?!

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