Posts Tagged ‘Service’


Leviticus 22:1-3,9,14,31-33 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the LORD. “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD… “‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the LORD, who makes them holy… “‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value to it… “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD.”

It seems the priests and their families were setup for disaster considering all the restrictions God has placed upon them.

There are more don’ts than dos and the question that comes to mind again is what is God saying and why? (more…)


Exodus 35:4-5,10,20-21,30-35 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze… “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded… Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments… Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 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 artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

God again is revealed as the master orchestrator as He calls upon His people to serve Him with their offerings and acts of service.

The Israelites step forward and provide more than was needed along with willing hands. What a contrast as compared to the sinful people we have seen this far? Is this reflective of us today? (more…)


Exodus 30:1,6,12,16,20,21,25,36 “Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense… Put the altar in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the Testimony—before the atonement cover that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you… “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them… Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your lives”… Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come”… Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil… Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.

If not for awe, I am unsure what other emotion I can express for God who has not left a single stone unturned in terms of His plan for a place to dwell among His people.

Not only has God shown an ability to plan to perfection but His provision of skills, material and willingness to the Israelites show He is a master orchestrator and is beyond brilliant!!!

The question again this morning is to understand how all this relates to us who live nearly 3,500 years after this incident? (more…)


Exodus 25:1-2,8-10,16,21-22,29-30 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give… “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. “Have them make a chest of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high… Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you… Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you… There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites… And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times… A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

Again we come upon a chapter that we could spend days dissecting and admiring God with for the detail He gives Moses, each aspect of which has great significance. However, we started this journey a chapter a day and we will do our cursory study in this way and God-willing come back and do a detailed study at His appointed time.

From the perspective of an ark of God, this model was not unlike the Egyptian arks to their Gods that were carried on their shoulders. Why would God want the Israelites to have something similar and what was to the show aspect? (more…)


3 John 1:2-4
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Sometimes I wonder what is the point of trying so hard to serve God to man when man does not want God. If God wanted, He could turn the heart of men towards Him just as He turned the heart of Pharaoh against Him when the Israelites were living in captivity in Egypt and Moses was requesting Pharaoh to release them. When I look around, the world around me seems to want to live in oblivion to God, sin and any sense of morality. Things that were shameful in the past is now acceptable and trendy and things that were condoned before are now revered. In such times, would it not be easier to blend in with the world and believe what we believe in the privacy of our hearts so as not to look foolish? What is God saying to us today as we rationalize our purpose? (more…)


Luke 19:8-10, 41-44
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”… As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

What a stark contrast both these passages have! The first is Jesus’s proclamation of salvation to Zacchaeus based on his act and statement of faith and the second is his frustration with Israel for it’s hardheartedness because the people believed they were living by the law but in reality were far away from God. Is this not strange? Zacchaeus was the height of sin and corruption whereas Israel were God’s own people! How could Jesus be so dreadfully mistaken? Aren’t God’s own people automatically holier and worthier than cheats and thieves like Zacchaeus? What specifically are we being reminded today by the Lord if we are saved and if we are unsaved?

Jesus in his ministry on earth constantly reminded us that everything in his kingdom is the reverse of what we believe and know through the world. The world teaches us that we are good people and if we believe in ourselves and live by it’s rules, we are considered well. However, the Bible reminds us that all mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When Zacchaeus was called by the Lord, he saw his unworthiness before Jesus’s perfectness and realized what Jesus was offering to him. A new start! If you are not in a relationship with Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, the message is clear. Submit and get a new start plus the perfect reward . If we are saved by God’s grace alone, we are reminded today to not live in a ritual religious lifestyle but in a living relationship with the Lord. Every day and every moment we are to remember how unworthy we are and how the Lord has blessed us with a new life. We are called to forgo ourselves to be of service to the Lord. Let’s all be reformed Zacchaeus’s!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Birds Flock Together


Matthew 27:27-31
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

After 27 days of following the life of Jesus Christ through the gospel of Matthew, we seem to have reached the end of his life. All those years of humble selfless service and the one eternal sacrifice of his life penned in a few chapters seems so little but amounted to an event that would be etched into the hearts and minds of billions of people over the years. Many would never believe that Jesus was anything more than a great teacher, a prophet maybe and at most a saint but few would actually be able to believe in him and be willing to submit their lives in his service. What is the mystery to this man and his life? If he was the son of God, why would we, the world, find it difficult to accept him as God’s son?

To answer that question, we need to ask ourselves what is it that we are looking for? To me it seems like everyone of us are seeking something which we can never find in our own strength and therefore refocus our attention to things we can work towards like careers, wealth, family, friends, status, power, prestige, respect, etc. However hard we try and however successful we are, there never seems to be the satisfaction of having achieved. In Christ, the pyramid of success is reversed because we are called to serve him and work towards his glory, not ours, because that was the purpose of our lives. We are called to bless those around us with all that we have and share the good news and in everything seek God’s glory, not ours. In this we have the most amazing gift of sharing eternity in God’s presence much after our earthly bodies rot into dust on this earth and we are a forgotten. Are you satisfied with where you are heading?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

 

Seasons of Change

Seasons of Change