Today’s Reading: Numbers 15
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verse: Numbers 15:41
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.
Religion vs. relationship!! There is a very big difference. Jesus brought us into a living and loving connection with God. The Pharisees, one of the denominations within Judaism, is still present. This movement, according to Jesus, practised an intricate observance of a multitude of details. We might do well to read now Matthew 23:1-33. According to Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees claimed to “sit in Moses’ seat.” Today’s reading from Moses would’ve made them feel so “holier than thou.” Moses wrote of the man who died from stoning. Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone” (John 8:7). James, first Pastor of the Jerusalem Church, wrote, in James 1:26-27, what true religion is.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
I’m ever so thankful, Lord Jesus, for the “great exchange,” as Martin Luther put it. I have given You my sin in confession and repentance, and You have put Your holiness, Your righteousness, on my account with God. Please give me Your grace so that I may live in a constant state of repentance and, as a result, a consistent assurance of my salvation. You’ve given me peace and joy. I’m eternally grateful. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I believe in what James called “pure religion.” The word “religion” comes from the same root word as “ligament.” Ligaments are essential in order to keep our body together. I sought to identify what “religion” is in a presentation I made to the Radio and Television Commission a number of years ago. That hearing resulted in Crossroads being granted licenses for TV stations. “One’s religion,” I said, “is what a person holds as their highest value in life.” If that is true, James, who was also known as “the brother of our Lord,” nailed it right on. Perhaps we could sum it up with the WWJD campaign, What Would Jesus Do? What would He say and do with the man picking up sticks on the Sabbath in today’s reading? I’m thinking about it. I think He would probably lend him a hand. Jesus changes everything!
Yours for rejoicing in the fact that Jesus came to live as One of us,
P.S. Below is a photo from two years ago where I was speaking to our tour group at the place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus, after His resurrection, asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” Each time Peter affirmed his love, and Jesus followed up with “Feed My sheep” (John 21:15-17).
P.P.S. I can hardly wait to meet Norma-Jean, my beloved wife, at the Tel Aviv airport with another group of travellers to Israel. That will happen, God willing, Friday noon (Israel time). In case you missed the reason I came to Israel before Norma-Jean, here is the website to find out more about this gathering…www.822call.org…The 822 stands for Zechariah 8:22. I encourage you to read Zechariah 8:20-23. Also, here’s a link to the videos, including the Tuesday afternoon session where I participated in another step in a journey of reconciliation between Christians and Jews (scroll down to the videos marked “Tuesday Afternoon 4” and “Tuesday Afternoon 5”).