Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 27 Feb 18:
1. Leviticus 24:14 – “…let all who heard him lay their hands on his head.” Witnesses of a crime that carried the penalty of death had to participate in the execution of the convicted offender so the witness would feel the burden of responsibility for their testimony. The intent was to deter innocent blood being shed by false witnesses. If the witnesses proved false, they would be guilty of murder.
2. Leviticus 24:15-16 – Blasphemy is not forgiven.
3. Leviticus 24:16 – “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.” Blasphemy carried the same penalty as murder. Times certainly have changed.
4. Leviticus 24:16 – “The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.” God’s laws applied to all.
5. Leviticus 24:17 — “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.” Those who protest capital punishment with signs that say, “Though shalt not kill,” seem to miss the OT penalty for murder.
6. Leviticus 24:17-21 – God’s ways bring punishment equal to and corresponding with the crime.
7. Leviticus 25:2-11 – God protects the poor families’ claims to land and freedom.
8. Leviticus 25:17 – “You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.” Reverent worship of God changes the way you deal in business with other people.
9. Leviticus 25:23-28 – God’s standards keep the land equally divided among the people with no one able to gain control and exploit others.
10. Leviticus 25:35 — “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.” God has a very high expectation of how we should treat the poor around us.
11. Leviticus 25:36-37 – “Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.” There are several verses in the Bible which state that God’s people should not earn money from lending money with interest.
12. Proverbs 27:1 – “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Be faithful with today. Be faithful one day at a time.
13. Proverbs 27:2 – “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” Do not allow praise from others to become a part of your motivation. It is a trap to start caring about what sort of praise you receive from others. Don’t seek praise from anyone but God.
14. Proverbs 27:7 – “One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” What you desire the most changes your perspective on everything else. When your heart’s desire is Jesus, all the little things that once bothered you, concerned you, or influenced you seem to vanish. When you begin to take for granted all that God has provided you, He may give you times of need so that you once again appreciate the simple blessings of life.
15. Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” You are not designed to grow alone. God made you for relationship. Friends should make you better, not worse; they should draw you closer to Jesus, not further away. If you don’t have friends like this, you need new friends.
16. Acts 14:2, 3 – “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace.” In response to opposition God’s people became more bold and resolute.
17. Acts 14:5-7 – “When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled…. and there they continued to preach the gospel.” The disciples stayed until their lives were at peril and then fled but continued to spread the Gospel. Do you have that kind of commitment?
18. Acts 14:15 – “We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God.” Christians always point to Jesus Christ, giving Him all glory, not to themselves a particular denomination or church or to anything other than Jesus Christ.
19. Acts 14:19 – “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.” There are only two recorded stonings in the Bible: Stephen’s, facilitated by Paul (Saul), and now Paul’s. God treats you the way you treat others.
20. Acts 14:21, 22 – “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned… strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Christians go through tribulations for sake of the name of Jesus. If your proclamation of the Gospel has not caused you many tribulations, you might want to consider whether or not you are actually fulfilling your mission.
21. Acts 14:23 – “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” Once again, Christian assignments are made through prayer and fasting.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 27 Feb: Don’t let anyone stop you from boldly preaching the Gospel today, and if you take a beating, move on and keep preaching. (Acts 14)