Hello y’all. Happy Midweek 🙂 . Apologies for not posting yesterdays blog. I was at a singles retreat in Chesham. It was an awesome experience. I will post a blog about the experience sometime soon.
Few housekeeping information. We will be going on break from 27th May to resume 15th June. We’ll come back to study the book of Proverbs.
For more information see Courtney’s blog from good morning girls introducing the book of proverbs
Today, we are studying the last chapter of Leviticus…whoop whoop!!! Thanks be to God for helping us get through the book.
I’ve learnt a lot from reading the book. It’s not a book I normally would read in the bible but I’m so glad I read it. I’m gonna quickly highlight the main lessons I got and have been applying to my life from the study of Leviticus. Here it is –
–God is a holy God and as a result demands Holiness from me.
–I can’t live a holy life if I continue to live in disobedience because Holiness is basically obeying God and living according to His instructions
–Obedience to God is the only sure way I can live a fulfilled, abundant and successful life here on earth.
-My filthy works can’t make me right before God but thanks to Jesus, who gave His life as an atonement for my sins, I can now come freely before the throne of God. Therefore I am indebted to Jesus and I owe it to Him to live my life in a manner that is worthy of Him.
Back to chapter 27, the chapter is mainly talking about the value of a vow or promise. We all make promises or vows every now and then. Someone like me when I’m desperate I tend to make vows and promises…oh God if you give me this, I promise I will do this and that in return for You….Sometimes I don’t think about what I’m saying: I just say it because I think it would impress God and move Him to answer my request but after reading the chapter, I realised God places importance on the vows we make and expects us to fulfil them.
I found an article by Ray Stedman that helped me understand this chapter better. It’s a long one but I have extracted the key bits. I pray the Holy Spirit ministers to you as you read. In Jesus Name. Amen 🙂
“All the detail of this chapter, of course, is speaking to us. And we must ask the question, What do vows mean to us? What is the function of vows in our lives? For it is impossible not to make vows. Every time we deal with God we tend, in some sense, to make a vow or a promise. On one hand, the flesh within us wants to bargain with God. We have all felt this way. We have all wanted to say to God, whether we’ve actually said it or not, “Lord, I want this so badly. If you’ll just do this for me, I’ll do something for you.” We tend to come to God on that legalistic, bargaining basis. And when we come on that basis God says, “All right, whatever you say. But remember, you are going to have to fulfill it!”
But, on the other hand, if we come to God, and say, “Lord, you have done so tremendously much for me! My heart is so moved that I just want to promise you this, and this, out of my life. But I don’t know how to pay it. I know that I won’t be able to do that myself, and so I look to you, Lord, to help me fulfill it.” That kind of promise God loves, and he will pick us up and make the performance of that vow richer and fuller than we could ever have dreamed, fulfilling it “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV). You see, God uses our vows to stretch us, to bring us out.
So what are vows? They are a way God has of drawing us along toward maturity and of claiming his rightful ownership of us.
If you read this passage through carefully you will see that in every case, whether it is persons or animals or houses or lands or whatever being pledged, ultimate title, absolute right, belongs to God. Ownership was vested in God. It is all his. We sing it sometimes in our offertory hymn:
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be:
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
That is true. That is the meaning of the words carved in the wall behind this platform: “You are not your own; You are bought with a price,” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If you belong to God then you are already his. And vows and promises are ways he has of fulfilling that fact and leading us into its realization. Sometimes we make rash promises, as Jephthah did, and give God things that we wouldn’t ordinarily, because we want something from him. And then he holds us to it, and leads us along.
God also uses the promises we make when our hearts are moved and stirred to thanksgiving. We offer ourselves to him and he takes us at our word and claims us and thus establishes his right in our life.
A woman said to me the other day, “I know I don’t have too many years left (she had had cancer, and an operation had given her a reprieve for awhile), but I promised the Lord that I would give the remaining years of my life to him in a way I never have before. I’ll be available for whatever he wants me to do.” God was using that vow to fulfill her life and to bring her along to the place where he could claim his rightful inheritance in her. This is the way God deals with us.
The book of Leviticus is closing at exactly the point to which Paul brings us in Romans 12:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:1-2a KJV).
That is reasonable for you as a human — to present your body. And the word means “keep on presenting.” The presentation God is impressed with is: perhaps this afternoon at home, when your children irritate you or your wife does something you don’t like, or your husband is a grouch, and you are tempted to say something sharp and caustic but instead you stop and you yield yourself not as an instrument of unrighteousness unto sin but of righteousness unto God. Instead of saying something sharp and cutting you say something encouraging and helpful, something which changes the situation. “Soft words drive away wrath, but sharpness produces strife.” That is the kind of presentation God is talking about.
In the closing pages of the book we are brought face to face with those moments when we want to say to God, “Lord, here is my life. Here I am; I give it to you. And here are my children; I give them to you. My friendships — whatever — Lord, here they are. I want you to have them, to possess them. And even though I struggle with you, please take them anyway, and help me to fulfill my promises to you in the day to day, moment by moment living of my life.” In such a moment you can simply stand quietly before God and say whatever you want to say to him about your life. He already owns it! What a joy it is to take that which is his inheritance in the saints — your life and mine — and return it to him and say, “Lord here is your inheritance: claim it for yourself.” You can read again those verses from Romans 12 while you say to him whatever he lays upon your heart:
I appeal to you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable, and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 RSV)
Our Father, we don’t want to come to you like Jacob, bargaining with you, or like Jephthah, making rash promises we cannot fulfill or that would hurt ourselves or someone else terribly if we did fulfill them. We want to come trusting your love and grace, Father, returning to you what is rightfully yours. Keep us from robbing you, Lord Jesus, of your rightful inheritance. Help us give back to you that which properly belongs to you — all that we are, our very lives. We do it in your name. Amen”— excerpt from (Promises, Promises, Promises, Ray C. Stedman, Basic Human Behavior, April 30, 1972, http://www.RayStedman.org)
Thanks for joining today.
Remember we are on break from blogging through the bible from today till the 15th June. See here for more information.
Stay blessed and remember you are precious and loved by God.
***With God all things are possible***