Friday, February 8, 2013 8:13am
I love that the sun is shining this morning. I don’t know what the temperature is, but considering I’m still in bed and won’t be going out, I guess I don’t need to know it. I’m just gonna enjoy the sunshine coming in my window.
Lord, my brain feels like…I don’t know what. I just feel like I’m on autopilot this morning. It’s not how I like going into my time with you, but I know I need You, even though I don’t feel anything right now. Trusting that You will speak to my heart in spite of my “blah” feeling.
I read a little bit in Matthew Henry’s commentary to see if it could shed some light on all that I’m reading. So glad I did because he helped put into words some of the things that I had been sensing, and then completely brought to light some new and fascinating ideas he had about all this.
The priests were provided for by the people. They were completely dependent on the sacrifices of the people for their food and provision. I am reminded that we are to take good care of those who are our spiritual leaders. Their sole job is to teach us and shepherd us, and we should provide for them. Matthew Henry makes note of the fact that the priests needed to give “diligent attendance on the altar; the more ready and busy they were, the more they got.” The principle of what you reap, you sow, certainly seems to apply. Even the ministries that I am involved in, I need to understand that the more I fully give myself (to that which Christ has given me), the more fully I will be blessed by it. There has to be a verse to apply to this principle-it certainly rings true with my spirit. Lord, You just brought to my mind the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. You expect us to invest and multiply what He has given us to do for Your kingdom.
The fellowship offering included bread made with yeast-this was the first time that this type of bread is included in sacrifice. This, I believe, was a free-will offering…an offering that anyone could present to the LORD. It was an expression of thankfulness. In a sin offering, it had to be blemish-free, yeast-free….perfect. But this type of offering, I still offer every day. Myself. Although I still have sin in my life, or “yeast”, I still offer myself to You, because I am so grateful for what You did for me. What You still do for me on a daily basis. Only Your sacrifice, Jesus, can cover the sin in my life, but I can offer myself in profound gratitude for Your mercy.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to the Lord-this is true worship.” Romans 12:1
One thing that Matthew Henry’s commentary mentioned which I loved was when God appeared to them. The priests had been consecrated, just as Moses had been commanded by the Lord, and they are offering sacrifices for themselves. First of all, Mr. Henry makes note of the fact that Moses made sure that the Israelites knew that “this is what God commanded”. And how important it is that spiritual leaders “must have an eye to God’s command as their rule and warrant.” Lord, I’m not a spiritual leader, but I do want to grasp and cling tightly to this principle. I want to make sure that when I say something that is from You, that whoever I am speaking to knows that this is from You, and not from me. That’s one of the reasons I need to be in Your Word…to know exactly what You expect from me, and to know the difference between what You command and what is simply my opinion or preference. People don’t need to know what I think-they need to know what You think!!!
The last thing that I found interesting was in chapter 9. Moses calls Aaron, his sons and all the elders of Israel together, and tells Aaron and his sons to offer their sacrifices. “For today the LORD will appear to you.” (end of vs 4) Mr. Henry says “those that would have the benefit and comfort of God’s appearances must in them give their attendance.” This got me thinking about how often I have wanted You to speak to me, show Yourself to me, or give me a sign of sorts. But in that “wanting”, did not seek You wholeheartedly. I realize that if I want or expect You to show up, I had better be there!!! You make it so very clear to us, that if we seek You, You will find us. If we draw near to You, You will draw near to us. (James 4:8, 1 Chronicles 28:9) But, I also believe that it is so profoundly selfish of me to want Your answers without wanting You. Lord, forgive me for the way that I have done that to You. Would it be enough simply to be in Your presence. Yes, it would. I love you, and I love being near You. And if I could just sit at Your feet, with all the questions being unanswered, it really wouldn’t matter. Somehow, the questions seem to fade when You meet with me. And I am overwhelmed that You would come and sit with me in this little room and just love me. I look around my bedroom and see piles of unfolded laundry, and dust and unmade bed, and piles of books and teacups on the dresser, and think this is the most beautiful place, if You are here with me. Please fill our whole house with Your Spirit, minister to each and every one who is in our home today. And I’m not talking about giving answers or relief, just bring Yourself.
I find it interesting that the disciples, although they stopped pressuring the Gentile believers to get circumcised, still put them under certain aspects of the law. “abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” (vs 29)
I understand not eating food that had been sacrificed to idols, and I know that they were later told that if they were eating at someone’s house, and that is what was offered, they could feel free to partake. Were they drinking actual blood? Was that part of that culture? Ugh. The meat of strangled animals-I don’t get this one. Why not? Did it matter how they killed the animal they were eating? Why? And I understand abstaining from sexual immorality. So, I guess it is just a couple of things that I’m not clear on. I think it must be related to the culture of that day. I need to learn more about that.
Interesting to read about when Paul and Barnabas get into a “sharp disagreement” about bringing John Mark with them to visit the believers in all the towns they had visited on their first journey. In the end, they went different ways. I don’t remember if they ever traveled together again. I’m pretty sure that Paul eventually spoke well of John Mark. Hmmm, I can’t wait to read more. How many times have I read these letters and I still can’t piece everything together clearly? I don’t want to miss out on the fun of learning and discovering new things, so I love that You slowly teach me and show me new things.
I know that I need to be careful what I do over the next couple of days, in order to heal completely. Don’t want to end up with pneumonia-so, keep filling me with Your Spirit, so that I will use self-control. I want to work on some of my memory verse today…maybe I will finish up Romans 12. This is the day that You have made, so I’m gonna rejoice and be glad in it. In a Pooh-bear sort of way, I think this little drawing that Lana posted this morning, sums it up.
Truly, Lord Jesus, thank You for this day.