What is The World’s Biggest Problem?

  

Good morning, everyone, and Happy Saturday! I hope you’ve had a good week and are enjoying the beautiful day.

This week, I had to write an essay and I thought it turned out pretty well. I had to write it in response to the question, “What is the world’s biggest problem and how would you work to solve it?” Enjoy!

What is the world’s biggest problem and how would you work to solve it?

There are many problems in the world. It is no surprise to Christians, however; we live in a fallen world. The world is full of sin, death, and seeming hopelessness. But the biggest problem in the world is not only sin. Because of sin we have this problem: the problem of incorrect biblical teaching.

What is incorrect biblical teaching? There are many ways to expand upon this question because it is such a huge issue in this world, and not always recognized. If the Bible is not taught correctly, it will not encourage thriving, growing, and real change in the life of a believer. First of all, many people believe that a Christian’s life will be easy, pain-free, or full of health, wealth, and prosperity. This is the furthest from the truth! It is not easy to live a life that will be full of persecution. It is not enjoyable to be tortured for one’s faith. However, just because a life is difficult, does not mean that it is not worth it. Because God wanted to have a personal relationship with us, His children, He promised never to leave us nor forsake us. And the eternal glory that is waiting for us — heaven for believers — is completely worth everything that we will have to endure in this world.

Another form of incorrect biblical teaching is the concept that we (as Christians) have the obligation to work hard to add to our salvation, or we will lose it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Salvation is a gift! Because of our faith alone, we are saved. Our “good works” that we do in this life are simply an outpouring of the joy that we have, coming from the amazing free gift of salvation from God. God does not force us to work for Him, but we should desire to give Him glory because of the thankfulness that comes from our freedom from sin and death!

To solve this problem of incorrect biblical teaching in this world, I would make sure that every spiritual teacher was taught correctly. Theology cannot come solely from a book written by a respected person in authority. It must come directly from the Bible, from someone who understands the Word of God and can reflect the Inspired Truth in how they teach. Without Christians living in light of Truth, how can those who are unsaved ever come to know the Truth?

*aj

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Stress is Real, But There’s a Solution.

Castle and Bike

Have you ever read Psalm 91?

I love it so much. I don’t really have time to go through it all, and I don’t want to lose anyone’s attention (my own, actually…) so I’m just going to pick out a few verses from it.

Psalm 91:1-2 says,

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,

    my God, in whom I trust.’”

 

See, I get really stressed sometimes. If you’re not a high school student right now but once were, you may have forgotten how hard it can get…I’m not saying that “real life” is any easier, but stress is a real thing for us teens. (Well, I don’t know anything about being an adult, but I’ve heard that’s hard too.)

“You gotta get good grades.” “You really should have a job to pay for your own stuff.” “You need to do a bunch of sports and extracurricular activities, or you won’t have a chance of getting into a good college.” “You have to go to college! You won’t be able to get a good job to be able to support your family if you don’t!” “If you aren’t dating or married by your early twenties, it’s the end of the world!”

Yup. Stressful, right? Now, most of those aren’t true. (They’re good things, but seriously not of utmost importance.) But that’s what the world tells us, day after day. It’s such a burden.

I haven’t always heard all of those coming at me and stressing me out, but a lot of people can fall prey to those lies. And it affects our lives! For real!

Believing lies leads (usually) to realizing that we cannot measure up to them, which makes us live the life cycle of the overcommitted and stressed teen (or any other person).

I won’t go into the “don’t believe the lies” sermon; I’m just going to talk about real life.

You may be stressed (like me), but you are not alone.

Let’s do a little mental activity here. Take a picture of yourself in your mind. Now, cut and paste that picture and put it in the arms of God. And here’s the fun part. Envision yourself really and truly there. Well, guess what? That’s where you are. For real.

Let’s read those two verses again.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,

    my God, in whom I trust.’”

God is our refuge and fortress.

I’m going to look up the words “refuge” and “fortress” in the dictionary, because I think that it helps to know what the verses are saying.

*goes to dictionary.com and copies and pastes*

“Refuge: shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.”

Alright, cool. So, according to this definition, God is our shelter and protection from danger and trouble. And stress. And hopelessness. And hardships. (Well, He doesn’t keep us from them always – I know this firsthand – but He is with us and our place of safety and hope in, well, everything.)

Now let me look up “fortress”.

“Fortress: any place of exceptional security; stronghold.”

I love love LOVE the word fortress. It sounds so medieval-y and awesome. I imagine a huge and strong stone castle with a wide and dangerous, crocodile infested moat around it, and an exclusive drawbridge just for me, and guards committed to protecting me around that, and a huge iron gate around that. Basically, 110% secure and an extremely safe place.

Well, that’s God.

The first verse says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

 

So God is our shelter in e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. If we dwell in His shelter (by trusting Him), we will abide (which means to remain; continue; and stay) in THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY!

I find so much comfort in that.

Okay, yeah, life is SO STRESSFUL and crazy at times. I feel it. But God is with us, His beloved children.

I’m not going to tell you that life is easy. It. Is. Not. But trusting in God takes the pressure off of us. If He is all we have, He is enough.

We can’t say, “If I trust in God and also have _____, then it will be enough.”

God. Is. Enough.

God. Is. Here.

We. Have. Hope.

God. Is. Strong. Enough. To. Handle. Anything.

He. Loves. Us. So. Much.

*aj

How Much of the World is Too Much?

 

 Oh, it is very much a difficult feat to write a blog post at the time that it should be posted. (It will supposedly auto-post early Saturday morning, at 12:00 A.M. if I’ve finished it.)

But I’m committed to it and I love it, so it’s not a burden at all.

Maybe a lot of our lives are that way.

Maybe you enjoy school. Or you have the perfect job. Perhaps you have tasks that you do every day – not just because you should – but because you want to.

And then there are also things that go the other way around. For me, it is getting out of bed in the morning. I could sleep until 10:00 A.M. every day – but I wouldn’t get anything done, so I don’t do that. Instead, after hitting snooze probably four times, I drag myself out of bed and shove myself into the shower. Painfully.

This is an example of doing something despite the fact that I passionately do not want to do it.

Dear friend, I think we approach so many things in life with a less-than-“enjoying-it” attitude. For example, reading the Word of God.

That’s right. The Bible.

How many times do we take for granted what we have access to?

Most of us probably have at least five Bibles in our homes. Or maybe even one or part of one. (Including digital copies, my family most likely has over twenty…But that’s probably just us.)

When did reading the Holy and Inspired Word of Truth become a chore?

Seriously, we have no idea how good we have it. Freedom to read (let alone own) a Bible is a privilege. Friends, this book is ALIVE! There is no other book that has the power of the Inspired Word of God.

Here’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It’s Psalm 119:9-16.

How can a young man keep his way pure?

    By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you;

    let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord;

    teach me your statutes!

With my lips I declare

    all the rules of your mouth.

In the way of your testimonies I delight

    as much as in all riches.

I will meditate on your precepts

    and fix my eyes on your ways.

I will delight in your statutes;

    I will not forget your word.

 

There’s a lot of truth we can pull from this. First of all, we learn how to remain pure.

How can a young man keep his way pure?

    By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you;

    let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you.

 

We must guard our lives according to the Bible! We can’t expose ourselves to the world purposefully, then cross our fingers for good luck, hoping we won’t be influenced by the world too much.

I’ve thought about this question a lot lately, “How much of the world is too much?” But I’ve realized this is the wrong question.

The question cannot be “How much sin can I get away with and still be a Christian?”

Grace isn’t about God forgiving our sin and letting us get away with whatever we want because He’s not going to punish us. When we understand grace – undeserved forgiveness when were so hopeless – we realize that we were saved from being a slave to sin, not just being condemned to Hell. Why would we want to go back into sin when we were rescued from it?

Think about it. If your house was burning down, and someone rescued you and your family from it and got you out, would you go back in there? You’d better not. Because that burning-down house is l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. fleeting from existence. “But my cash is in there…”

Human, do you want your wallet, or your life?

Do you want your fleeting-pleasure-sin, or eternal life?

Listen to the Bible. Don’t be a part of the world because “It’s cool.” In a hundred years, when you’re dead, cool will not matter. Eternity will matter.

The better question would be, “How much of my life can I possibly spend living for my Savior? How much can I grow to know Him more?”

That’s the best way to spend our lives. Live. For. Him.

Now please don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that if you don’t read your Bible, you can’t truly be a Christian. That is NOT what I am saying at all. But the difference between reading and not reading is the difference between surviving and thriving.

Blessed are you, O Lord;

    teach me your statutes!

With my lips I declare

    all the rules of your mouth.

In the way of your testimonies I delight

    as much as in all riches.

I will meditate on your precepts

    and fix my eyes on your ways.

I will delight in your statutes;

    I will not forget your word.

The Word of God is amazing. It shows us who God is. How to live. His majesty. Splendor. Love. The most priceless artifact in all the world. And it belongs to us, the children of God.

Don’t let the Bible become that dusty book on the top shelf. Let it be the Book that has a cracked binding because it’s been read so much. Let it be the Book that is never “put away.” Let it be the Book that has so many pen and highlighter marks that you can barely read the words anymore. Let us buy a new Bible because the old one is so worn – not because we think it has gotten “boring.”

The Bible is beautiful. Will you read it along with me?

*aj

The Resurrection: Part 3

  

Good day, wonderful inhabitants of Earth. Can you believe that tomorrow is Easter Sunday?? I sure can’t. And yeah, I’m really excited. Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD, after all. Woohoo! Okay…so, I miscalculated when it came to scheduling posts for the past two weeks. Today’s post is not the last part in The Resurrection mini series. We still have Tuesday. Sorry about that melted-brain-Amanda moment. Ah well, today I’m writing about the resurrection of the dead. I think this is pretty cool, and I hope you do too! Enjoy. 🙂

What does it mean to rise from the dead?

I know what it means spiritually — my sins have been washed away and I have been counted blameless under God — but what about my physical, earthly death?

All us Christians will be resurrected. Which means that we all will die (unless Jesus comes back first). And I’m sorry for you who think you won’t die ever, but it doesn’t work that way.

We like to think of life as a wonderful thing, right? (Or at least certain people’s lives?) When people say they have “the perfect life,” we might envy them. I know I have. We all have wanted to change our lives in one way or another I think. But really — life doesn’t get too much better from one person to another. We all live in the same sinful world, and we all will eventually die. The best part is what comes after we die.

Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:42-49.

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

So…as I was saying a minute ago, we all have perishable bodies. therefore, we all will  die. (Food analogy — if you leave perishable fruit out on the counter for a few weeks, it will perish. End of analogy. Sorry, Im bad with analogies. ANYWAY.) But life does not end at our physical death. Remember John 3:16?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus came to give us eternal life. Our souls will not perish in Hell if we believe in Him; we will forever be in Heaven with Him.

Back to the first part of the passage I cited, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

  1. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. What does that mean? Our earthly bodies will die, but our souls are immortal. Our souls will be raised from our bodies and we will live forever (although technically, eternal life begins when we believe on Him). Praise be to God for His wonderful saving of our souls!
  1. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. What does this mean? Well, in short, it means that we have hope. It means that though our lives will be miserable and painful, this is not the end!
  1. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. We all have souls. That’s not our decision to make. We don’t decide if this life is the end — because it is not — we just decide whether we want to receive eternal life or not. I don’t know about you, but I’m going for it.

Here’s the second part, verses 45-49.

“Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

As I was writing this, I was a little apprehensive about trying to explain this part. After all, I’m only fifteen and not a Bible scholar or anything. But I will do my best, and if you have any questions, you can comment below.

  1. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Do you know what that means? Well, the first man Adam is, well, Adam. You know, the first man who brought sin into the world with his wife. *cringes* Yeah, I like to think that I would have perfectly obeyed God, but I don’t think I would have. We’re all human, and as much as I hate admitting it, I ain’t perfect. Not even close. That being said, because of Adam’s sin, all of mankind was dead in our sins. But the last Adam? He is Jesus Christ. Through Christ, a life-giving spirit, we have literally been given life. Our sins are GONE. We’re not just patched up or made better, we are new. AND IT IS COMPLETELY FREE! Is that not WONDERFUL?!
  2. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. Okay, that is a little confusing. I’ll break it down. Adam was from the earth, formed of dust (by God, not evolution). Jesus is from heaven. We by default have the image of Adam on us — sin. But by Jesus, we have the image of life and heaven on us. Isn’t that great?

I know that a lot of people think that the default destination for anyone — or at least good people — is heaven. But it’s not. Heaven is a choice. A choice to believe on Christ to save you from your sin and make you new. I’ve made my choice — have you?

Tomorrow is Easter. A wonderful day. The day that represents our new life in Christ. I know it is really easy to get caught up in traditions. We wake up, open the wonderful Easter basket (yummy chocolate bunnies. What do they represent again? *thinks hard and crinkles forehead* something about animals, Spring, grass, life, NEW LIFE…oh right! Easter is about new life in our Savior, Jesus Christ!), go to church, come back, spend the day with family and friends, and go to bed, gorged on candy and ham.

When did Easter became more about festivities and less about our Savior? Why? One timeless question that will jab and stab and blab in my mind for the rest of my life. Remember, just because the world does it, doesn’t make it right. Tomorrow, I hope my mind will be set on this wonderful assurance of life. God bless you all!

*aj

The Resurrection: Part 2

  

 

Happy
Tuesday, beautiful world! Hooray, we all made it through another Monday.
 So, I’m super excited about this week…because two things are happening.
1) IT IS EASTER THIS SUNDAY! Woohoo! Y’all know that Easter is my favorite holiday.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to climb onto their roof and dance and shout to the
world that their sins are FORGIVEN?!
I would, but my roof is slanted and I could possibly fall off and die if I did
that. Ah well. And 2) My BIRTHDAY is on Thursday! So all in all, this should
prove to be a wonderful week! Alrighty, I’m going to end my little blabbing
intro and say what I always do: thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Resurrection. Beautiful word. It literally means to come back from the
dead. Now let me ask a “Sunday School” question to make sure you’re not
sleeping. (#guilty!)

 

What
is Easter?

 

Sunday
School answer: the very first Easter was the day when Jesus
rose from the dead. But what does that mean? And is that really the most
important part?

 

Let’s
look at that in 1 Corinthians 15:12-22.

 

“Now if Christ is
proclaimed as raised from the dead,
 how can some of
you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain
and your faith is in vain.
 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we
testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he
did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in
your sins.
 Then those also who have fallen asleep
in Christ have perished.
If in Christ we have hopein
this life only,
 we are of all people most to be pitied.”

 But in fact Christ has been
raised from the dead
,
 the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come
also the resurrection of the dead
.
 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 

 

Alright. That’s a lot of information. Let me try to break it down so
it’s easier to understand.

Let’s look at the first section, verses 12-15.

Now if Christ is
proclaimed as raised from the dead,
 how can some of
you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain
and your faith is in vain.
 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we
testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he
did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”

 

Paul was writing to the Corinthians,
in his first letter to the Corinthians. These people did not all (even as
Christians) believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead.

The
Corinthians, having a Greek background, believed in the immortality of the soul
but not in the resurrection of the dead and therefore some of them either did
not believe that Jesus was raised or
they had an inconsistent faith.

Now,
this creates a problem, and I’ll share it in a minute. If we say that Christ was raised from the dead, we cannot say that there is
so resurrection of the dead
. If we believe that He is alive, we must
believe that we also will be made alive at the rapture (physically, not just
spiritually).

Now
this is the problem. Let’s take a look at verses 16-19.

 

“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in
your sins.
 Then those also who have fallen asleep
in Christ have perished.
If in Christ we have hopein
this life only,
 we are of all people most to be pitied.”

 

If Christ has not been raised from the dead, there is no
Easter.

 

Because
the wonder of Easter is not only that the resurrection of Jesus
is amazing, but that our sins are forgiven. That is where we get our hope.

 

 

If Christ has not
been raised, your faith is futile and
 you are still in
your sins.
 

 

Everything
rides on this one fact: the dead will rise again. If we do not believe this, we
have no hope. Forget the bunnies and peeps and chocolate. Without this amazing
hope, we are l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. hopeless. Without the resurrection, we are not
forgiven.

 

But before you get caught up in thinking that we really are hopeless, let’s read verses 20-22.

 

But in fact Christ has been raised
from the dead
,
 the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come
also the resurrection of the dead
.
 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

 

Christ with 100% certainty has
been raised from the dead. That’s not only biblical, it’s historical. Because
of Adam, we have died – both
spiritually and physically. But now, because of Christ,
we have hope that both we will rise from the dead at the rapture (Jesus instantly taking all believers to heaven), and
also because of Jesus’ resurrection,
we will live forever with Him. Isn’t that so encouraging?

 

Easter
is amazing. If I put aside the candy and festivities though, is it still that
amazing?

 

Yeah,
actually. Without all the fluffiness of the holiday, Easter is even better.

 

*aj

The Resurrection: Part 1

  

Happy
Saturday everyone, and happy early Easter again! I’m just so excited about Easter.
Yay! So, in honor of my favorite holiday, I’ve decided to do a mini-series for
the first time on 1 Corinthians 15 (a chapter about the Resurrection) leading
up to Easter (that’s 4 posts). I hope you enjoy!

 

For
today, I’m going to be focusing on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Here it is so we can
read it. 

 

Now
I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

 

For
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that
 Christ died for our sins in
accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the
third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve. 

Then he appeared to more than five
hundred brothers at one time
,
most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared
to James, then to all the apostles.

 

 Last
of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of
the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
 But by the grace of God I am
what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. 

On
the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the
grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and
so you believed.

 

In the first section, we
read about this AMAZING gospel that we have been saved by and what it means for
us. First of all, we have received it, we stand in it, and we have been saved
by it if we truly believed. Now, I find that exciting.

 

 

Let’s spend some time on the second section now.

 

1)      Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. I just find that amazing, so let me explain.Jesus wasn’t just some guy. He was blameless and holy and perfect, the only person who could have paid for the sin of the world. And this wasn’t just a random occurrence; it happened in accordance with the scriptures, planned from eternity backwards (the beginning of infinity) and foretold thousands of years beforehand in the Holy Scriptures. IS THAT NOT AMAZING?!

2)     
He was buried, and he
was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Alright,
let’s talk about the “he was buried” part. Joseph of Arimathea wouldn’t give up
his tomb to a non-dead person. Read my…uh, 
words. Jesus. Was. Dead. He was
beaten 39 lashes, lost just about all of his blood, his heart burst, his side
was pierced…you get the horrifying picture. Jesus
did not just pass out; he died, and was rightly buried. But then, something
happened. Something only God could do. He raised Jesus
from the dead. And not just that, but
in
accordance with the scriptures
. This was yet another miracle
that was planned and foretold from eternity backwards. IS THAT NOT MIND-BLOWING?!?

3)     
He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve, then to more than 500
people, then to James, and all the
apostles.
The twelve disciples couldn’t have stolen the body
and pretended he was alive. Why would they have done that? That would have
hindered Jesus’ message from going
out. And 500 people couldn’t have hallucinated that Jesus
returned all at the same time. Just saying. HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD, PEOPLE! AND THAT IS EXCITING!

 

I saw a play a few years ago of Godspell, a play aboutJesus’ life. Don’t get me wrong, the play was great. But there was one thing that got on my nerves. At the end of the play,Jesus died. The end. He didn’t rise from the dead. And ifJesus didn’t rise from the dead, our salvation is null and void, because the point of his rising from the dead was to show His conquering of death. The only person in the universe who could have conquered death would beJesus. If our Lord could not conquer death by His resurrection, nobody could have. Without Easter, we would have no hope. Without the resurrection, we are still lost.

 

And now to the last section. I just want to touch on a piece here. I love verse 15:10a, which says, But
by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.”
Essentially,
Paul is saying this: “Look here. I’ve
gotten to preach to you because of God’s amazing grace that He has poured out
on me through Jesus. He has given me
the chance to tell you about salvation in Christ
because of who He is, not who I am. And I am taking advantage of every
opportunity He gives me to share this grace with you, because of this amazing
thing He has done for me.” Now, is that not so WONDERFUL?!

 

So here is something to think about: if there’s more than one way to be saved, why did Jesus– the son of God – have to die and rise from the dead?

 

*aj

Considering Leviticus

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Another morning comes. I sit on the couch and open my Bible. Let’s see, what to read. “Okay, I could read Genesis. Or Exodus. Leviticus? No way. That book has nothing to do with me.” So I skip over it and go to the New Testament.

But wait.

Leviticus has everything to do with me. No, I’m not Jewish. So before you skip to the next post, let me have a few minutes of your attention to explain some *really* important things.

Recently, I read (and am still reading) through Leviticus as part of a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. As I approached it, dread filled my heart. (Wow, that was poetic.) Anyway, I didn’t want to read it. Seriously, what do you get out of learning about cleansing rituals?! Yeah, that was my mindset when I was towards the end of Exodus. And I learned some very important things that changed my feelings towards this holy book.

All my life, I’ve known that “All the books of the Bible are equally important.” But silently I added, “Except, the New Testament is better than the Old Testament, and Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy don’t really count for being important.”
Uh oh. *cringes* Big mistake there.

And I’ve been learning very important lessons from Leviticus that I wanted to share so y’all wouldn’t skip over it like I used to. Okay. Here goes.

1) Sometimes, God might have seemed picky or arrogant when He required specific things from His people. But! We cannot assume that for a few reasons.
a) He is God. Arrogance only comes from someone who puts themself in a higher position than they actually deserve. However, there is no higher position than God, and He deserves everything He is. He is “I AM”!
b) Because God is God, he knew exactly what the consequences for disobeying him would be. For example, when He commanded certain cleansing after touching dead things or refraining from eating pigs and other animals, it was to prevent the spread of disease and germs that the Israelites knew nothing about. Wow, isn’t God smart?! (The answer to that would be yes, of course.)

2) When the Bible talks about spotless animals without blemish for sin offerings, this foreshadows to Jesus, our spotless and blemish-less sin offering. Nobody else or any animal could forgive every single sin in the entire world.

3) While the Israelites were constantly making offerings to forgive their sin, Jesus’ perfect offering was a one-time-forgives-all kind of deal. Sweet!

4) Israel lived as a -slave to sin- and the law–we now live as children of God, living in grace! Thank you God!
Let me restate this. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. LIVING IN GRACE. NOT SLAVES TO SIN. AMAZING, RIGHT?!

5) Obedience to God above all else is the most important. He created the world, and obviously knows best. Yes, our naïvety gets the best of us many times and we live life thinking that we are in control and really know what’s best for ourselves…stupid mistakes over and over and over. I’m guilty.

See what I mean? This has everything to do with us! This book foreshadows the freedom from sin and the law that was to come. Because Leviticus has everything to do with Jesus and I live only because of Jesus, this has everything to do with me.

So the next time you routinely gloss over Leviticus, think again. Don’t think of it as just a bunch of boring rules and regulations; remember that it is the holy and inspired Word of God; an unfolding revelation, and a foreshadowing of the awaited Messiah for every person.

*aj