Day Twenty

Psalm 101, Leviticus 8, Isaiah 6, 2 Corinthians 2:12‐3:18

Psalm 101

Ps. 101:2-4I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. – King David was the writer of this Psalm. It is one of only two psalms in Book 4 of the Psalms that is attributed to David. And, there is much that we can learn about God’s desires for His people here. David, as King, was to set an example for the people to follow. He writes of his desire to live a life of integrity. You can see the passion for holiness with which David sought to live. Did he always achieve that? No! He had some spectacular failures. But, in his failure, David recognized the error of his way and truly repented to his God. If the Children of Israel had learned anything over the course of their history you would think that it would be that they should not turn their backs upon God. As the men and women sang along with David’s psalm, they too were saying that they desired to live blameless lives. They were promising to live with integrity of heart before the Lord. They were affirming that they would guard their eyes, the portal to our brains and all sorts of sin.

I love how David ends verse four. He says, “I will know nothing of evil.” A few months ago I sat in on a service at Wooddale Church, where Leith Anderson, the Senior Pastor of Wooddale was preaching on Romans 16. When he came to Romans 16:19, which says, “For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil,” Leith said something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It’s okay to be naive about the things of this world. We don’t need to know about every celebrity’s affairs or to be in the know about every movie. It’s okay to naive. Why? Because innocence of evil is something worth striving for!

Leviticus 8

Lev. 8 – It was several years ago that I went through my ordination process with the Evangelical Free Church of America. It was quite a process that took almost four years from beginning to end. At the end of the process a service of ordination was held. Leviticus 8 records the first ordination service; the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests unto God for the Children of Israel. It’s an interesting chapter, as Moses does just what God had commanded him to do in earlier chapters. I would have loved to have been there to witness this event in person. There was a great deal of care that went into each detail. The color would have been magnificent. I’m blown away at just how special Aaron’s call was, and the regal clothing that was prepared for he and his sons. I can’t help but think that maybe we’ve become too casual in the way we approach God after reading this chapter.

Isaiah 6

Is. 6 – Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in his sixth chapter is one of the most vivid pictures that we have of the throne room of heaven in all of the Bible. It is both a beautiful and a terrifying place. Beautiful because it is where God and His angels dwell. Terrifying because it is where God and His angels dwell. For a human being to come before the throne of God would cause us to see our utter depravity. As Isaiah experiences his vision he sees angels whose sole function is to worship God. He sees the Lord, seated on His throne. He’s blown away by the sheer size of the train of the robe that God wears. And, he sees his own depravity. “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” is the reply of Isaiah. And then God takes his guilt away.

It’s then that Isaiah is presented with an assignment from God. He accepts and then finds out just how terrible the judgement will be for his people. God will harden the hearts of the people to Isaiah’s message and only a few will respond. Less than ten percent will be spared. But, God has a remnant that will be faithful to Him. I wonder if I would have accepted such a tough assignment. Sometimes I wonder if that’s what all of our assignments look like as we minister in this culture. So many are turning away from God. I wonder if those of us who are trying to remain faithful to the true God of Scripture are going to face Isaiah like challenges in the days and years ahead.

2 Corinthians 2:12‐3:18

2 Cor. 3:4-64 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – Where does your sufficiency lie? If it is in anything or anyone but Christ, it lies in the wrong place. The power that came through the Apostle Paul came because of Christ, and Christ alone. May it be for His glory and through His power that we live our lives. Paul was unlike the religious leaders of previous generations because his power came not through ritual but relationship.

2 Cor. 3:16-1816 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – Paul had experienced the power of the Spirit of God working through him. He was a minister of the New Covenant. No longer bound to ritual, Paul experienced freedom in his preaching. He became all things to all men so that in all ways he could reach people for the Gospel. He relished that he did not have to be timid in his relationship with God as he felt Moses had been. He was a willing spokesperson for the Lord.

Day Nineteen

Psalm 100, Leviticus 6:8‐7:38, Isaiah 5, 2 Corinthians 1:12‐2:11

Psalm 100

Ps. 100:5For the Lord is good;his steadfast love endures forever,and his faithfulness to all generations.- Psalm 100 was the first chapter of the Bible that I memorized. I was in Kindergarten at the time, and the student of Ms. Beatrice Killup. She had been the kindergarten teacher at the Wheaton Christian Grammar School for years. It was her tradition to teach her kids Psalm 100 in the form of a song. I still remember that song!

As I read through verse five tonight I smiled. It reminded me of the importance of passing the faith down from one generation to the next. Tonight, on this Good Friday, I’m grateful for Ms. Killup. And, I’m grateful for our God whose love endures forever and faithfulness is shown to all generations.

Thank you, Jesus for the cross! Your death paved the way for our salvation. I love You!

Leviticus 6:8-7:38

Lev. 6:8-7:38 – Leviticus 1:1-6:7 dealt with the different offerings that the children of Israel were to bring to God. This section deals with the way that the priests were to handle the offerings. God gives instructions in the handling of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering and the peace offering. As I read this passage tonight, on Good Friday, I was again humbled at the fact that Jesus death did away with the old system and gave us access to the throne room of Heaven. He is our High Priest and we no longer need anyone but Him to go to the Father on our behalf. Thank you, Jesus for a fresh relationship with God.

Isaiah 5

Is. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5 is the last chapter to the introduction of the book of Isaiah. The sin of the nation of Israel is exhibit one in God’s pronouncement of judgment against the land. Perhaps Is. 5:20 as well as any other summarizes what has gone wrong in Israel. Evil has been called good. It happens in our culture too. A woman’s right to choose has been called good, even though a child’s life is taken. Affairs are called good so long as they make someone happy. Pornography is celebrated even though it destroys marriages and families. We could go on and on. May we recognize the toll that calling evil good takes on a society, and may we be in tune with God enough to recognize the difference between evil and good!

2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11

2 Cor. 2:5-115 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. – Paul was a determined man. He knew that He had been called to serve God in a very special way, and his passion for that call often times put him at odds with other people. That’s one of the reasons that 2 Cor. 2:5-11 is so special. Here Paul takes a tender turn while considering a brother in Christ who needed forgiveness from the Corinthian church. Whatever this man had done had caused pain to the Body of Believers in Corinth, and despite that, Paul wants the church to forgive. By this point in Paul’s ministry I believe that he recognized the grace of God upon His own life in such a way that He needed to extend it to others.