Posted on: 20th January 2020
“Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
Reading the Old Testament account of the children of Israel leaving Egypt and wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, I am fascinated by their actions and attitudes. The book of Leviticus is known to be full of law and full of drastic consequences for their actions.
But why do we need laws? The preacher Andy Stanley describes Law’s as guardrails, protecting us from harm. If you have time this week, have a read of Leviticus 19, or search for some of the most unusual laws that exist. Ask yourself the question, “Why was that law brought in?” Leviticus 19:14 says, “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling-block in front of the blind, but fear the Lord.” Can you imagine needing a law like that!
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus sums up the law and the prophets by saying, “In everything [including tripping others up when they can’t see], do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
This week, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the rules and laws that you are striving to follow. If you are like me, I often find it overwhelming. No matter how many things I do right, it is the things I don’t do that I focus on the most. No matter how hard I try, I know I cannot live to the expectations of myself, let alone others.
Let’s follow Jesus’ example. He came to simplify live and give us all the chance to connect with God. When he lived a sinless life and died on the cross, the punishment of sin was taken away. That made it simple for us to live Holy, not because we keep all the laws, but because we accept his forgiveness.
This week, spend some time thinking about how you can simplify your life. Think about what the life and death of Jesus means to you.
Posted on: 19th March 2018
“He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
Life is like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs. Some people seem to be able to go with it. Taking each dip as it comes yet other people fall apart the very moment something does not go the way they intended it to.
In the Old Testament, we read of a man named Moses, one of the greatest prophets who ever lived. Moses was born during the hard times where the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt and as the population of the Israelites was growing so rapidly the Egyptian king ordered that all new born Israelite boys to be drowned in the Nile River. Moses’ mother saves her son’s life by placing him in the Nile in a reed basket, where he is discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter, who ironically raises Moses in the Royal Palace. As he grows, Moses realises his is part of God’s family and one of the Israelites, he makes a choice and kills an Egyptian who was beating and Israelite slave, therefore must flee Egypt. He does it alone but God shows up in the burning bush and tells him that he must return to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from their slavery. With God’s help, Moses succeeds in his mission, bringing the Israelites to Mount Sinai, where God then appears to Moses to deliver the law and the Ten Commandments. Moses, eventually leads the people of Israel to the edge of their Promised Land ready for the next generation to lead them in.
Moses’ life by far was not smooth, he often had adversities and had to navigate his way around circumstances no one would like to be in. Yet, he persevered. He stayed on track, he didn’t sway his cart to the left or right, he committed to the journey and what a legacy he left. In the new testament it recalls his faith: He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11 v 26-27).
What a guy!
Are you ready for the next bit of your ride? Do you know what your convictions are that are going to keep you on track?