Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Now and forever"
...except it's not, and praise God for that!

Pete and I have had loads of engagement cards, a couple of which have the phrase "now and forever" on them. But this relationship is not for forever - it's just for now. In heaven there'll be no marriage, except that of Christ and His church. My only husband will be Jesus, my redeemer, and I will be part of the beautiful, spotless bride that He has prepared for Himself, the church.

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to marriage. But it's so thrilling to have the eternal perspective, that one day we'll be in glory with Jesus, in the one perfect relationship we've been waiting for.

This is also really challenging, as the fact that this marriage (if it happens, DV) will only be for this life means that it must have some eternal worth, or there's no point to it. So the primary function of our marriage will have to be to bring God glory - when we get to heaven, I don't want either of us to feel regret, that we held each other back spiritually, or caused each other to live a lukewarm Christian life.

Praying that we would spur each other on in the race to win the prize for which God has called us heavenwards in Christ Jesus!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Podcast Shudall!

This is a noble campaign to get Andy's talks available to us all. I can't say better than Dave Bish has, so check it out his blog!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Continuing with Leviticus…

(Apologies for the delay, wedding planning has been taking up far too much time!!)

So at the end of ch9 the people are down on their faces in awe of their God. Bearing in mind the nature of humanity, it is no surprise then to find Nadab and Abihu in ch 10 completely forgetting who God is, and daring to approach Him with a sacrifice He has not asked for. In the past twenty or so chapters there’s been repetition of “as the LORD commanded”, as the people follow His word to the letter. So ch10v1 jars with this, when it’s said “the LORD had not commanded them”. And as soon as this phrase comes, the judgement of God falls upon these two men, and they are instantly killed.

Aaron has no opportunity to grieve for his two sons before the LORD affirms “Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, …I will be glorified”. And so, in the proceeding chapters, God spells out to the people how they are to glorify Him in all areas of life.

Ch 11-20 are pretty well summed up by ch18v2-4; “I am the LORD your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God.”

So they are to eat differently (ch 11), not letting unclean things enter them. When uncleanness leaves them, they are forbidden from entering God’s presence (ch 12, 15). When they are diseased (ch 13,14), they are also prevented from coming before God, and in severe cases, they cannot even live among God’s people (there’s a striking parallel here with sin).

They are to sacrifice to God alone (ch17), not whoring after the gods of the land. They are to be sexually pure (ch18,20), to keep every one of God’s statutes (ch19), and to be kind to the poor (ch19). In all these ways they are to be set apart as different from all other peoples on the earth, sanctified to God.

So the motivation for holy living is the nature of the One who has redeemed them. They are the sole property of the LORD, the God of the whole universe. They have been chosen by Him to be His people, and so the are to reflect His nature in the way they live. Every part of their lives is to be pure, because their master is holy.

And now, that’s me. I am a child of God, saved by His grace, bought by the blood of His Son, set apart to be holy (1Peter 2v9). When I am tempted to sin, I need only look to my Redeemer, and see that He is altogether worthy, and utterly holy. My life is His, and as His child it is fitting that I live a holy life. What a massive challenge!

[I'll go back to ch 16 and the day of atonement next time!]