WEEK 14, Day 2, Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 5 April 2022:

Leviticus 3 – The peace offering was an offering of reconciliation that brought together in fellowship God, the Priests, and the people.  This is a great symbol of the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17.  (see also 1 John 1:3) Remember, your mission in life is reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19)

Leviticus 3:17 – It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.

The fat and the blood was dedicated to the Lord.  God’s people do not take what belongs to God.  All glory belongs to God.  Never try to share glory with God by giving yourself credit before others, by being an ambassador for yourself rather than an ambassador for Christ.  You have been commissioned for one message, the Gospel; to proclaim one name, Jesus.  Do not be a distraction for others by drawing attention to yourself rather than Jesus.  Don’t be a substitute for Salvation (through the blood of the sacrifice) by presenting yourself as a remedy.  Don’t try to receive the fragrant offering of praise from others.  All praise must go to Him.

Mark 11:1-10 – Christ revealed His Kingship by obeying Scripture, not by appealing to popular demand.  Likewise, the disciples revealed their faith by obeying Jesus’ every command.  

Mark 11:15-17 – “And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.”

There is a time for everything – a time for peace and a time for war.  What determines the right response, what determines the validity of a person’s behavior, is God’s will.  Fear and pride get in the way of righteousness.  We like to think of Jesus as always peaceful, but in many places throughout the Bible, He is very confrontational, and this temple scene is the most well-known example of Jesus’ righteous anger.  Jesus was at the center of God’s will.  Avoiding conflict is often motivated by self-interest and fear.  Jonathan Edwards said that there were two places in which we should never yield to others – if integrity is at stake, or if truth is at stake.  Yet, Christians today often prefer to yield in these areas in order to avoid conflict; there is often a false humility attached to this pacifism, but in truth they are motived by fear and pride (I’m above this).  Jesus was certainly not afraid to challenge the well-established, culturally accepted, corrupt practices of the day, even those that had been tacitly sanctioned by all other religious leaders.  How about you?

Mark 11:18 – “And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.”

Human religion, motivated by fear, leads us to hostility towards God’s plan. 

Mark 11:25 — “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Do you think Jesus meant this literally?  How does this relate to The Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us of our sins, as we forgive others who sin against us?” “Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 April 22: Before you pray to God, thanking Him for the unmerited grace that you have received and asking for His unmerited blessings in your life, give unmerited grace and blessings to those in your life who have somehow offended you.  Forgive everyone unconditionally as you are far less worthy of justice than Jesus who gave up His rights to be justified that you would receive everlasting life.  While you were still sinning, Christ died for you. Forgive, forgive, forgive.  Don’t wait another moment.  Forgive, and do it personally, face to face if possible. (Mark 11:25)

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