Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stay off the Fringes

Numbers 11:1  And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

Fringe people of the church. They show up about once a month or so, never contribute much to the cause of Christ and surely are not integral to the success of the work.

We are told that judgment must begin at the house of God, and when it does, when the purging fire falls, it is upon the fringe where most of the damage is done.

In the wake of this burned over district are lives broken in pieces because there was not enough faith there to survive the fires. Commitment was lacking, so they did not weather the purging.

Jesus, keep me off the fringe. I agree with your servants who have intoned in sacred song:

Jesus, keep me near the cross, there a precious fountain...

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer precious Lord

to thy precious bleeding side...

Close to thee, close to thee, close to thee, close to thee,

all along my pilgrim journey, Saviour let me walk with thee.

Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Without the Camp

Numbers 5:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2  Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 3  Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.

God directed His servant Moses to keep the camps of Israel clean and pure. Since the Lord walked in the camp, He didn't want to be stepping in something or defiled by something or someone who was unclean. Lepers, animal remains, human waste, all were to be placed outside the camp.

Oh how miserable to be one of these folks cut off from the people. Outside of the camp were loneliness, longing and lovelessness. There, away from the joy and the parties and the music, one would sit in outer darkness where he would gnash his teeth in pity.

But, thanks to grace, Jesus went without the camp - Heb 13:13, outside of the gates of the city, to be crucified for the lost, the lonely and unloved. There He compelled them to come in, cleansed the filthy and drew them to Himself.

I was outside the camp, banished because of my uncleanness when I heard a sweet voice calling to me, "come unto me all who are weary, and I will give you rest."

I am now one of the in crowd, because Christ came outside the camp seeking for me. Praise God!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Whatcha Gonna Do?

Natural and Spiritual Defaults
1 Cor 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

How easy it is to react rather than act when trouble comes our way. Our carnal minds and hearts snap at a situation. Anger may rise up within us. When our apple carts are upset, we may tend to gossip, judge, withdraw, pout, fear, or any other of a multitude of unchristian reactions.

But, as our minds are renewed daily by the reading of God’s Word, and we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we learn to respond properly and righteously to the situations we face.

By resetting our defaults to a spiritual setting:

>Instead of responding to unkindness with an angry retort as our fleshly natural default, the law of kindness in our tongue evidences itself.

>If a person comes to us with some dilemma, instead of human reason, or some knee-jerk reaction, our renewed mind ought to recall some pertinent Scripture which will apply to their situation.

>When we are experiencing some setback or discouragement, it is easy to fall back on our carnal weapons of dealing with such situations. It may be overeating, drinking, drugs, sex, etc. But the renewed, Spirit-filled believer will go to the Lord in prayer, open the Book and search for God’s comfort or call a trusted believer for encouragement.

True Christianity evidences itself when the pressure is on.

Let me ask you, are you facing life armed with spiritual preparedness, or do you fall back on those natural inclinations which offer no help?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Urim and the Thummin

Lev 8:8  And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.

*Urim - Ocular brilliance (like the sunrise in the east)
*Thummim -Perfection. Notice the capitalization!

These beautiful ornaments set within the high priest's breast plate foretell of
Christ our High Priest. He is the Bright and Morning Star and the Perfection of Holiness, our sinless High Priest, tempted in all points like as we, yet without sin. He is one Who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. The priest is one who acts toward God on behalf of man, as Christ does for us, sitting on the right hand of the Father making intercession for the believer.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Great Lists of Proverbs 30

If you are a list lover, Solomon's writing in this chapter is right up your alley. He introduces himself as Agur (received), the son of Jakeh (obedient), and is writing to the symbolic persons of Ithiel (God has arrived) and Ucal (devoured) (not in Berkley, btw).  

The Two Daughters of the Horseleach:
Give and Give

4 Things never Satisfied:
The Grave
The Barren Womb
The Parched Ground
The Burning Fire

4 Things Too Wonderful:
The Eagle in the Air
The Snake on the Rock
The Ship in the Sea
The Suitor with a Maid

4 Things that Shake the Earth:
A Servant in Charge
A Full Fool
A Hateful Married Woman
A Woman, Servant Heir to Her Mistress

4 Little Things From Whom We Learn Much:
An Ant in its Preparation
A Rock Rabbit in its Habitation
A Locust in its Congregation
A Spider in its Occupation
(Relate these to the Christian)

Four Things Which are Comely in Going:
The Lion, Lord of the Jungle
The Greyhound, Lord of the Track
The He Goat, Lord of the Mountain
The King, Lord of His People