Posts Tagged ‘Cleansing’


Numbers 8:1-2,5-6,14,16,22 The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand”… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean… In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me… “Of all the people of Israel, the Levites are reserved for me. I have claimed them for myself in place of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites; I have taken the Levites as their substitutes… After that the Levites went into the Tabernacle to perform their duties, assisting Aaron and his sons. So they carried out all the commands that the Lord gave Moses concerning the Levites.

It seems God was partial towards the Levites in that He chose them from among the many and gave them the princely task of interceding between Israel and God.

What is God speaking to us through this passage and is God’s service only for a few from the many? (more…)


Leviticus 14:1-10 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds and cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop. And the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh water. He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed of the leprous disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and shall let the living bird go into the open field. And he who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean. And after that he may come into the camp, but live outside his tent seven days. And on the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean. “And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, and one log of oil.

In all the condemnation of leprosy, there is hope and that is what today’s chapter is about.

Pretty or not, there is hope and there seems to be a deep meaning we can draw and what might that be? (more…)


Leviticus 8:1-3,6,10,14,18,22,30,36 The LORD said to Moses, “Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting”… Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water… Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them… He then presented the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… He then presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments… So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD commanded through Moses.

Finally we reach the moment when all that God had instructed Moses and the Israelites regarding the tabernacle came to fruition and the tabernacle or God’s temporary dwelling place was ready to start functioning as it was meant to be.

This certainly was a big moment for the wandering Israelites and especially so for Aaron and his sons who were consecrated to be priests to God!

In all this celebration of the Israelites, what is God speaking to us today? (more…)


Exodus 20:1-3,18,22-26 And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me… When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance… Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.’

Finally God establishes His laws to the Israelites that give them a clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable in His sight. Until now, they operated under the duress of the Egyptian Kings and did not appreciate their freedom enough.

God sure knows how to make a point as was evident in the fear of the Israelites who saw the physical threat to life when God spoke. Is that God’s message to us today? (more…)


Ephesians 5:22-27, 31-32
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

We went for a dear friend’s Birthday party on Saturday night and it was a special one because we got to meet so many people and we were amazed to see how God works in the lives of people for purposes higher than just the here and now. I loved the fact that the entire evening was spent with real people with real lives and in the midst of that, the source of encouragement to each of us was the forgiveness of God and the lives marked by His grace. During the course of the evening, one of the topics 2 brothers and I discusses was to do with today’s passage and while this was contentious, it was a reality we had to deal with. What is the role of Jesus in our marriages and what roles do we play in His Church?

Paul reminds us today that the proper structure of a marriage is Christ as the foundation, husbands below in submission to Jesus and wives in submission to Jesus and their husbands. This is the structure God expects in our churches as much as in our marriages and while it sounds very lopsided in favor of men, the essence is the role Christ, men and women take in the marriage relationship. Jesus loved his bride, the church (Us), so much that he did everything in His power to make us perfect and without stain to be one with Him. In the same way husbands are expected to love their wives in such a manner and only then will they together be able to become one and serve God effectively. Similarly wives are required to submit to husbands in the way the church submits to Christ and in so doing glorify Jesus in their marriages.

When we consider our lives in Christ, we need to realize that submission is the only way forward with God. Without submitting our lives and it’s challenges to God, we will never enjoy the spiritual freedom in Him and so we should never consider submission to Christ or Husbands as bondage but freedom from the challenges of this world. In Christ, we will constantly battle the world because Satan would have us believe each for themselves but in Christ we are bound by love, God’s ever-forgiving, never-ending, always-cleansing, sanctifying love! Are we willing to submit and if yes, to whom, Jesus Christ or Satan?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


Luke 5:4b-11
He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Every miracle Jesus performed was dear to the people who witnessed them. To the blind man, it was the gift of sight because that was his greatest need, to the leper it was the freedom from leprosy and to Simon the fisherman, it was a catch of fish beyond his fishing experience specially in a lake that was dry of fish! However, we need to remember here that Jesus was not just the greatest magician or miracle worker but that in each of these miracles, there was meaning and purpose for the people he blessed and for the witnesses, us included. The attitude of the recipient in each blessing was something outstanding because it showed the dire need for a miracle but the message Jesus conveyed was beyond that of a ‘Genie in a bottle’.

In our daily lives, we can live in total oblivion of things around us and the famous phrase, ‘ignorance is bliss’, comes to mind. However, when we are in real need, we cannot ignore it and seek ways to solve the issue. When the issue goes beyond human solutions, we open our hearts and minds to God for his intervention and this is where the Lord comes in. He meets our needs when we are ‘NEEDY’ and when we realize that we cannot fix our problems. God does not seek to entertain us but to save us. His only aim is to help us realize we are in desperate need of saving and that only he can. Every morning when I go before God, I speak the same words as Simon, “I am a sinful man”, because I realize how worthless I am before a pure and perfect God. However, I also am reassured by the fact that Jesus died for my imperfections and has washed me clean by his blood. I hope you have had the NEED for him and that you have had the life transforming miracle of being washed by his blood and being assured of an eternity with him in heaven? If not, it’s never too late!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Fading Sunset or Rising Sun?


Luke 2:25-35
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

It is instances such as the one above which reveal in very small parts the complexity and the perfectness of God’s working in our lives. When we read this chapter, we understand Jesus to be the not so common child that most parents are used to. What’s even more amazing is the amazement that Mary and Joseph show when things are revealed to them about Jesus starting with the Shepherds arriving in the manger looking for him, then Simeon’s blessing and prophecy, then the prophetess Anna prophesying about Jesus, and Jesus telling them he was at home in the temple when he was a young child left behind. This calling of parenting the son of God was not an easy one specially when his whole development was God ordained and so divine. As parents, they experienced Jesus in as much awe as we experience him as our Lord and Savior but only that the relationship for them was reversed wherein they were his human parents too.

As we live our lives, what God calls us to do is to live it with purpose, not an earthly, selfish, self-centered one focussing on I, me and myself. Jesus welcomes us as we are in our imperfectness to surrender ourselves to him, he then cleanses us through his shed blood on the cross spilled for us, transforms us to make us a new creation in him and fills us with the holy spirit to lead us in our new purpose filled lives. His expectation of us from that point onwards is to live seeking his direction and leading rather than doing things in our own wisdom. Simeon served God faithfully and received the blessing of holding the savior of the world in his hands before he passed away. What a great joy for him and what a great joy it is for us that when we submit ourselves to our maker, we will not just hold him for a moment but he will hold us for an eternity and never let go!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Christmas Bokeh