Is Holiness a Puzzle? And If so, what is the missing piece?

Jesus is the missing piece to be holy

Leviticus 21 What does it mean to be holy in an unholy world? It means that we stand apart from that which is profane. It means that we see ourselves as saved by His grace and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It means we are to ask ourselves if we are partnering with those who do not believe. It means we are to come out from among them and be pure, which seems like a strict order as we move and live in a godless society, but so did Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, Ruth, and Jesus.

So back to our question: what does it mean to be holy?  It means that we are to remember that we are part of the priesthood of believers only because of the gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It means what God gave Aaron and the High Priest as a standard applies to us in our present age. We do it when we present Christ as His ambassadors and implore them to be reconciled to God in the same way we were. It means that we mirror Christ in our walk and talk, and we can only do that when we know God. We know His character, His motives for our holiness, His standards of purity and righteousness.

God has said over and over: you should be holy because I am holy. You are my people, and thus you stand before an unholy world. The question before us is; are we a holy separated people?  Only through Jesus can we have the missing puzzle pieces of purity, righteousness, and honor.

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Jesus Paid It All…

Jesus paid it all

Lev 5 “It is all about holiness before a holy God.”

One phrase is repeated in this chapter about sin: “even if he did not realize it…” This is not talking about intentional rebellion, but those sins that we unintentionally commit and then realize. When sin brings guilt we have a choice: we can ignore it OR confess it to God seeking His forgiveness and cleansing.

These Leviticus chapters were written to the Israelites to demonstrate the love and mercy of God upon these unintentional sins and how men were able to seek God’s forgiveness. Then people had to do it over and over and over. Jesus paid it all on the cross once and for all. Both then and now all must seek God’s mercy gift. God wanted us to realize that sin is not just against a fellow citizen, but God Himself. God is right to condemn our sin because He is holy, and He calls us to be holy. Without the sacrifice we stand guilty before God in need of atonement.

Today we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to speak to our heart. We must confess our sin; seek God’s forgiveness; trust that He is faithful and righteous and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1John 1:9 paraphrase]

Do you need this today? Do not delay but listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

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“As the Lord Commanded, so he did.”

Do all that He commands

Exodus 39-40 Over and over, we read the words: As the Lord commanded. Moses’s obedience to the words of the Lord is significant. In the NT, we read, “if you love me, you will obey my commandments.” [Jn 14:15] Do we realize that just as the Israelites were in bondage to Egypt; we were in bondage to Satan’s ways before He chose us and called us out to be His people? No longer in bondage, now we are to obey what Jesus has commanded, for this is the way “everyone will know … that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” [Jn13:35]

How relevant these words are: “Moses did all that the Lord commanded.” We are to do the same for our Lord Jesus Christ. These three titles of Jesus are used by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians eleven times.

Lord – Jesus is God in the flesh. When the word “Lord” is added to Jesus Christ it means, you are declaring that He is Lord; He is God.

 Jesus – Jehovah is Salvation, the Son of God;

Christ– the Anointed One.   

Will you hear these words: Well done thou good and faithful servant when you leave this earth and meet He who is Lord; the author and finisher of your faith because you have done all that He commanded?

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Jesus’ Ultimate Sacrifice

Jesus sacrifice

Exodus 33 to 35 Prayer is the believer’s entrance into the Most Holy Place of God. The Tabernacle building held the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest passed through the Veil to the Most Holy Place only once a year – the Day of Atonement. The cry of Jesus, ‘it is finished’ tore that Veil from top to bottom so that all may enter. “He entered once for all into the Most Holy Place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption.” [Heb 9:12] The prayers of God’s people are now heard, not through an intermediary, but all are welcome into the most sacred place.

In this most sacred place, we are confronted with the character of God: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” [Ex 34:5-7] In our time of praise to the Most Holy Father, we are comforted and reminded that we are, as He said, “a stiff-necked people” in need of His sovereign grace.  

Spend time in prayer today thanking Him for the sacrifice of Jesus so that we may enter His presence, as a people who have been rescued from the coming wrath. [1Thess 1:10]

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“Is There Life After Death?”

Where will you go after death?

Job 14-16 Job asks the age-old question: “man dies and is powerless, he expires – and where is he?” and “if a man dies, will he live again?”  Job struggled, but Jesus gave the answer: I am the way to the afterlife; believe in me.

It seems that all religions/faiths believe in some form of afterlife, but the real question is what Job asked: “will he live again?” The resurrection of Jesus proves that there is life after death. Jesus spoke of the reality of our destiny in [Luke 16:19-31]. Two men, Lazarus, and the rich man die. Jesus pulls back the curtain into eternity to show us that our destiny is sealed while we are alive.

Our witness to that truth is Jesus Christ, who “died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures and that he appeared.” [1Cor 15:3-7] He appeared to not just Peter but to the many that went forth to tell the world: yes, there is life after death.

From Jesus, we can know that yes, we will live again. The question all need to ask is:  where will you and I  spend eternity? The two thieves on the cross and the story Jesus told in [Luke 16; Luke 23:39-42] tell us that man must choose NOW for once death comes, there is no return ticket to this earthly life.

What will you choose?

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life.” [Jn 10:40 and Jn 5:24]. 

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Walking with God today…

How is your walk today?

Genesis 4 to 7 Two men in Gen 4 to7 are noted as “walking” with God. Although Moses did not note the character of Enoch, the author of Hebrews gives us this insight: “[Enoch] was commended as having pleased God.” [Heb 11:5]. Noah is noted as a righteous and blameless man. [Gen 6:9] Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. [Gen 5:24] These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.[Gen 6:9]

So what does it mean to walk with God? Micah tells us: “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to carry out justice, to love faithfulness, and to live obediently before your God.”

When we walk with God, we can be assured of this truth: “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people” –[ Leviticus 26:12] When we walk with God, it is sweet communion, and “Even though [we] walk through the darkest valley, [we] will fear no evil, for God is with us. His rod and [His] staff, comfort us.” – [Psalm 23:4 author paraphrase]

As Jesus walked along the road to Emmaus with the two disciples, He opened their hearts and their understanding of the scriptures. Thus, walking with God is a time of intimacy when He reveals what we are to hear and what we are to do.

Are you walking alone or with God today?

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Be Confident of this very thing…

Believe means to trust or be persuaded

1John 5 Do you have any doubts? Do you worry?  Take heart dear reader, for John shares the secret to quiet assurance. It is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. The Greek word for believe is [pist-yoo’-o], meaning to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in. Did you grasp that last word? Confidence is the foundation of assurance.

Further, John says it is because we are assured we have the confidence to come boldly before the throne of God. We can ask anything according to his will, and God hears what we have longed to share with Him trusting Him who hears and answers. He may not answer how we think it should be answered because our motives may be selfish or improper, but He will answer. We must always remember these wise words from Isaiah: Indeed, my plans are not like your plans. Thus God will answer according to His plan, which is superior to ours.

Will we trust Him? Will we have confidence in Him who knows the end from the beginning?

E.M. Bounds noted: Only God can move mountains but faith and prayer move God

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The One Time Offer?

Jesus is offering you salvation

Advent #15 Hebrews 10 Saved, Sanctified & Enduring

How often do you go through FB or your email and receive this notice: this is a one-time offer! Pleading with us that after x,y,z minutes, that offer will not be available. How grateful to know that Jesus’ sacrifice was a one-time offering and it is never rescinded. Now He asks just as Isaiah: “Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord. “Though your sins have stained you like the color red, you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool. [Is 1:18]

His offer to save you stands now as it did centuries ago when he died on that cruel cross. If you have partaken of this offer, you, along with the many who have, stand sanctified in Christ before God and have access to the Father Himself.  

Therefore, let us draw near Him because we are sprinkled clean; our bodies are washed in pure water. We are to hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess. We are not to be like the wavering sea of the ocean that James presents. We are to consider how to stimulate others to love and good deeds, for this is the avenue by which the world will know who we are. We are to assemble to encourage others and even more so as we see the day approaching. Lastly, we are to endure to the very end.

Have you accepted his offer of salvation?   

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Stand Firm!

Stand firm, remain faithful

Advent #13 Hebrews 1 to 4 “Remain Faithful!”

The author of Hebrews, who may be unknown to us, is not unknown to the Father. He extols the virtues of our Savior to those who were facing persecution. He reminded them that Jesus is better than the angels, better than Moses, better than the Priesthood, better than Joshua, better than the Law so stand firm! Therefore, take heed lest you lose heart and fall irreparably. Stand firm is our admonition; stand firm in the midst of persecution; stand firm in the midst of accolades. Remind yourself of the children of Israel who sold their faith because of fear and wandered around the desert wilderness for 40 years.

We must follow the admonition of the author to review the blessings of God that He has bestowed upon us and cling to them and the message of hope. God’s lovingkindness was poured upon them and yet they refused to obey. May we not be so but rather be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord.

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Fear, Faith, and Discipleship

fear is the opposite of faith

Philemon “Fear and Faith”

God in his sovereign love directed the runaway slave Onesimus from Colossae to encounter Paul, an aged prisoner, somewhere in Rome. Watching Paul and hearing his story, he would see, not fear but a peace that passes all understanding. He would learn the truth and power of forgiveness that would forever change his heart and soul. You too might be just like Onesimus, a runaway. You are fearful of today and tomorrow but God is calling you to Himself. It was because Paul took Onesimus and discipled him that he moved from being a willing slave of the evil kingdom of fear and bondage to being a bondslave of the heavenly kingdom.

Yes, Onesimus would have to return to Colossae and Philemon to “face the music.” However, before he was useless, but now he was useful not only for Paul but also for his earthly master. Don’t you want to meet him in eternity?

Are you like Onesimus? Are you running away from God? Are you living in fear of what lay ahead? Jesus says: Come follow Me and I will remove all your fears and give you the peace that passes all understanding!

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