Although I was raised in a Christian home, attended church twice on Sunday and heard about Jesus shedding His blood on the cross for my sins almost every week, it was a mystery to me.
I belted out lyrics like What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus, and There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.
There was nothing lackluster about my singing, but I admit to a limited understanding of the words.
Today’s CBN readings bring together both .Let’s take a look.
Leviticus 17-18 take place after the time of the Exodus from Egypt and while they wandered in the wilderness. God set up a set of rules and regulations on the way His people were to live, interact, and worship, and blood played an integral part in that worship.
Think about this quote from Leviticus 17:11,
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
The context of the above verse prohibits the Israelites from eating blood for two reasons: the life of the creature is in the blood and God established a blood sacrifice to make atonement for mans’ sins. In simpler terms, in the Old Testament, the blood sacrifice for sin covered the sin of man—we have been reading all about this in the book of Leviticus. The animal died as a substitute for man, the sinner.
The word used is atonement. One definition from Dictionary.com is, “satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.”
Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sins.
The only way to approach the Holy God of Israel was through the life or blood of an innocent victim.
Fast forward to Matthew 27:27-50, the New Testament reading for the day. The perfect, spotless, Son of God was mocked and tortured by the very people He created. He hung naked on a cross while the crowd challenged Him to come down.
Matthew 27:50 states,
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.”
Now, the only way to approach the Holy God of Israel is through the life or blood of an innocent sacrifice.
Jesus traded places with us. He is the sacrificial lamb. Atonement has been made for you and for me.
That makes me grateful. The fact that Jesus died for my sin makes me humble. And it makes me want to sing.
“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”
What is the Lesson of David and Goliath
Carey Kinsolving Crosswalk.com, Contributing Writer
What is the Lesson of David and Goliath?
Art Linkletter once asked the above question of a boy on his television show. He received a one-word reply:
The giant Goliath could have used this advice when he fought young David in a story described in1 Samuel 1:1
Better yet, Goliath could have ducked the judgment of God if he had taken advice from Philip, 11. “Never underestimate the power of God or a boy.”
What Goliaths are you facing? fear? Loneliness? Rejection?
Don’t despair, says Rachel, 10. “Size doesn’t matter. It’s your faith in God.”
Before giants fall by your sling, however, there may be some warm-up battles you need to fight. “David was a shepherd and a fighter,” says Adam, 10. “He fought animals that came around sheep.
David killed a lion and a bear because he loved his sheep. So when King Saul said to David, `Are you sure?’ David said, `I can belt him,’ and he did.”
Because David had practiced trusting God to help him protect the sheep, David was prepared to trust God in facing Goliath. When we trust God, however, people around us will say, “Are you sure?”
They will offer their own advice as Saul offered his armor to David, and they’ll question our actions.
Family members may be the most scornful. David’s own brother contemptuously asked: “Why have you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?”
Does this sound like someone at the office or at home?
Though Saul offered David the best armor in the kingdom, he decided to stick with what he knew best, his trusty sling. “If you’re going to wear armor,” says Michael, 11, “ask God for the armor.”
Faith in God was all the armor David needed. He boldly declared to Goliath, “The battle is the Lord’s.”
The apostle Paul referred to this kind of faith as a “guard” around the hearts of those who have committed everything to God in prayer.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6).
No weapon can pierce this armor. Or, as Sarah, 9, says, “Just because Goliath is taller and has better stuff doesn’t mean that he can beat David.”
Trusting in the better “stuff” of technology will not win the battle against one who is shielded by the power of God. Goliath had all the best stuff: bronze helmet, armor, shin guards, a 17-pound spear and a shield-bearer who walked in front of him.
So don’t get sidetracked in battle and become afraid of those with better stuff. Remember the lesson of David and Goliath according to James, 11: “If you believe in God, He will be there for you when you need Him. And He will help you do things you usually aren’t capable of doing.”
Sarah, 10, agrees, “Big people don’t get to do all the big things. If we believe in God, we can do anything.”
But if you’re a giant who’s just out to pick a fight, Melissa, 9, says, “Pick on someone your own size.”
Think about this: Goliath lost his head by trusting in better technology and the false gods of the Philistines.
Memorize this truth: “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47).
If You Don’t Get Flowers Today
FEBRUARY 14, 2020
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.” Psalm 118:8 (NLT)
I carefully lifted my windshield wiper to retrieve the frozen pink rose that cold Valentine’s Day years ago. A freshman in college, I had stopped by my car to eat a snack between my morning classes and excitedly wondered who sent me this surprise. My heart pounded in anticipation.
Starting up the engine for warmth, I rubbed my palms together before opening the attached card. The rose was from … my mom. Her words in the card were kind and encouraging. So why did I still feel empty inside?
The truth was, I wished the rose was from a secret admirer. A young man, not my mom. Since my last date had been an embarrassing dud, spaced far after the previous one, I longed for a new romance to fill me up. My guilt and loneliness combined into a frustrating mixture.
I felt like a cup with no bottom.
No matter what I put inside the cup, I didn’t feel full. Roses, chocolate, books, TV shows, fantasies and even relationships couldn’t fill it. Loneliness seemed to be the only thing filling that bottomless space, and I was weary of its constant, haunting presence.
My parents divorced when I was 4 years old, and the day my daddy left was the day loneliness took up permanent residence in my heart and mind. Though I wished it would go away, I had no power to push it out the door. Loneliness lingered every time I craved love and attention that was in such short supply.
Then in high school, I developed resentment over the flowers and gifts I saw lined up in the cafeteria every February 14. None of them were for me. I believed the devil’s whispered lie — None of them will ever be for you. You’ll always be lonely.
About 15 years after that frozen-rose morning, I sat in a counselor’s office. After listening to my stories of constant loneliness, he observed, “Relationships are very important to you, aren’t they?” His simple, judgment-free question was a pivotal point in my spiritual journey.
A few days after the counseling session, God nudged me with a new idea: Perhaps relationships were too important to me. Though I was a wife, mother of three and friend to many, I still felt lonely. But God was showing me a truth I needed to learn from His Word: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people” (Psalm 118:8).
For far too long, I had looked to people to fill me. But my husband, children, best friend and small group companions couldn’t remove my loneliness. They were never designed to completely fill my needs. I began to realize only God could serve as my refuge, my safe place and my salvation.
Though people are wonderful, they are not infinite. They aren’t always available when we need them, and none of them provide perfect understanding.
However, God is infinite (Revelation 1:8), ever present (Deuteronomy 31:6) and all-knowing (1 Chronicles 28:9). As we study His ways, we learn God is ready, able and willing to fill us up with His love. We learn this best by hiding away with Him in a place of refuge.
The more time I spent in God’s presence, the less I depended on relationships to meet all my needs. Time with loved ones became bonuses on top of the loving intimacy I enjoyed with Jesus. I no longer required proof of human love on Valentine’s Day — or any other day. God is our refuge in lonely times, and that’s more than enough proof He loves us.
Today, Do Not Fret – Streams in the Desert – February 15
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
Fret not thyself (Psalms 37:1).
Do not get into a perilous heat about things. If ever heat were justified, it was surely justified in the circumstances outlined in the Psalm. Evil-doers were moving about clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day. “Workers of iniquity” were climbing into the supreme places of power, and were tyrannizing their less fortunate brethren. Sinful men and women were stalking through the land in the pride of life and basking in the light and comfort of great prosperity, and good men were becoming heated and fretful.
“Fret not thyself.” Do not get unduly heated! Keep cool! Even in a good cause, fretfulness is not a wise help-meet. Fretting only heats the bearings; it does not generate the steam. It is no help to a train for the axles to get hot; their heat is only a hindrance. When the axles get heated, it is because of unnecessary friction; dry surfaces are grinding together, which ought to be kept in smooth co-operation by a delicate cushion of oil.
And is it not a suggestive fact that this word “fret” is closely akin to the word “friction,” and is an indication of absence of the anointing oil of the grace of God? In fretfulness, a little bit of grit gets into the bearings–some slight disappointment, some ingratitude, some discourtesy–and the smooth working of the life is checked. Friction begets heat; and with the heat, most dangerous conditions are created.
Do not let thy bearings get hot. Let the oil of the Lord keep thee cool, lest by reason of an unholy heat thou be reckoned among the evil-doers.
–The Silver Lining
Dear restless heart, be still; don’t fret and worry so;
God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;
Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.
Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
Dear restless heart, be brave; don’t moan and sorrow so,
He hath a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;
Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.
Dear restless heart, repose upon His breast this hour,
His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;
Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.
Dear restless heart, be still! Don’t struggle to be free;
God’s life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;
Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.
–Edith Willis Linn