I suspect that many evangelicals today presume to approach God with little or no fear. It is true that He is our Father. It is true that we can say “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15. We are His adopted children. Yet He is still the Holy, Sovereign, consuming fire. Let us keep both these truths in perspective: fear and confidence.
Today we begin Leviticus. If you think the instructions for the various offerings is complicated and, well, tedious, then consider that once again we see how the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, brought such a disastrous burden on mankind. Consider, too, the graciousness of God to provide offerings to His people, Israel, which pointed to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we are justified by grace through faith.
It’s a great feeling to finish a task, much less a large project. When asked, “Are you doing good?” my friend Dr. Sam Williams says, “I’m doing good and doing well.” Today, may you find joy in doing good and doing it well, to completion.
Local churches around the world meet in a huge variety of structures. These reflect the financial resources of the congregations and the architectural styles of the culture, but they should also bring glory to God and represent the best we can offer to Him. Unlike in the case of the Old Testament tabernacle (and later the temple), God has not given His people a floor plan for the perfect building. We are free to create as long as God is glorified.
Of course, in Old Testament times, this glorification of God was done through the tabernacle by pointing in so many ways to the Messiah who was to come, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today our churches should point to Him, not through things like a bronze altar or a Holy of Holies but by the clear proclamation of the gospel and the right administration of the sacraments.
With the Super Bowl only 8 days away, what a great time for me to rant about keeping the Sabbath. Let me hasten to say that I am not the judge of anyone. I know Christians, far more godly than I, who disagree with me on this subject. But this is a matter which we ought to consider, carefully study, and come to our own conclusions about what is and isn’t true. May the Lord guide us in this.
In recent years, there has been a notable movement of people out of evangelical churches and into Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. No doubt much of this has been due to the attraction of the pageantry and solemnity found in worship in those churches. I am in no way tempted to follow this exodus, but I do pray that reformed and evangelical churches recover something of the sense of glory and beauty in worship.
While pagans made images of their gods, the true and living God, Yahweh, prescribed a place for His people to meet Him and a reverent way to approach Him. Such is the difference between man-made religion and God-ordained worship.
Giving to the Lord is part of our worship. It must be treated carefully so that our attitudes and practices honor God by our obedience to His Word. Old Testament worship was meticulously prescribed and, though we, living after the coming of Christ and the New Testament, are not held to the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and do well to be sober-minded to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:19-24).
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