Posts Tagged ‘Religious’


Exodus 31:1-6,12-13,16-17 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you… Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy… The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

How beautiful is it when God reveals His desires for us? After God described the beautiful dwelling place He will live in to be with His people, He reveals that the materials are provided to the Israelites, as are the skills and the calling.

God certainly has shown total and perfect control in all He does and He has a beautiful way of using His people to achieve His objective. What then happens to great men like Moses and what is this about the Sabbath?

One great challenge we face as humans is our pride. Pride has served as a great stumbling block to many in their walk and continues to be among the greatest battles we face daily.

We today deal with challenges such as lack of self-confidence, low morale, poor esteem, low self-worth, etc. as issues that affect our personality and we try to work hard against it.

Children are taught from a young age to take charge, be leaders, be individual and confident in their presentations, we reaffirm them, motivate and inspire them, etc. to help them work away from the issues of low self-esteem.

With God, things seem to be very different. First God chooses a man who stammered, who had no face among the Egyptians or Israelites because he murdered and ran away, who was just a shepherd tending flocks and lived under the grace of his father in law Jethro.

Moses was that man and God used him to accomplish the great task of shaming the great Egyptians and freeing the Israelites from 430 years of bondage and slavery, all without an army or wealth or physical strength.

As Moses leads this great nation of over two million people across the sands of the desert to the promised land, God then establishes other men from among the nation to take up other responsibilities.

Clearly God is not in the process of making one man superstars but rather works on using each of His chosen ones to do His work when they are willing and ready.

When we are transformed by God’s love, we are each called to serve God and some may be called to be the face while others may be called behind the scenes but no single person’s role makes them any less important to God.

Further, God makes it clear to the Israelites that they were to keep the Sabbath without fail and the consequence of not keeping it was death! Seems a bit stiff as an expectation, you might wonder.

When we contrast those words of God to the words and actions of Christ in the 4 gospels, you are left shocked as were the Jews of Jesus’ day because we see that our understanding of God’s words are not complete and Jesus reveals the meaning and purpose of God’s word.

Read these passages from the gospels and think about Jesus’ response: Matthew 12:1-16; Mark 3:2; Luke 6:1-5; Luke 13:10-17; John 6:2-18; John 7:23.

On the sabbath day, Jesus healed people and ate grain from the fields and this stirred up the keepers of the law who lived by this commandment in Exodus 31:16-17 and Deuteronomy 5:14.

Jesus responded to them asking them how they felt about David’s actions when he and his companions were hungry and went into the temple and ate the consecrated bread. It was unlawful for them but not for the priests.

Furthermore, priests work on the sabbath day and that is certainly unlawful as per the law, yet they are considered innocent. The problem here was not the action but that God desired mercy, not sacrifice.

Sabbath was the day of rest from regular work but it is a day to celebrate God’s goodness to us. We are called to spend the day worshipping God. No law must be understood so as to contradict itself. Jesus Christ is the Lord of the sabbath and the day is to be dedicated to Him for His glory.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts:17:22-23
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

Paul was a trouble maker before and after the Lord called him to be his own. Before he was saved, he led the lay Jews against the followers of Jesus Christ and after he was saved, he tried to help the same people see the truth, both ways getting himself into trouble. In today’s passage, he is addressing the wise people of Athens who spent their days and nights debating. This was a sport of it’s own kind and these people wanted to hear him out before challenging him back. Why was Paul unwantedly getting himself in a knot?

We are all creatures of habit and we like to steer towards thing we are comfortable with more than things we are not. Paul was a man smitten by God’s love for him and for all mankind that he could not stop himself from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, whatever the cost. Worse still, he was sure that if he lost his life, he would gain it with Christ and no one could ever take it away. When I watch the athlete’s daily in the winter olympics, I see human passion for being the best, even at the cost of life. Some of these athlete’s train all their lives for a few seconds of competition and only 3 out of millions in the world make it. As Christians, what are we passionate about and are we running the race?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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