Intended for Obedience

Throughout Leviticus, the letter of God’s law is laid out.  In the midst of their time of wandering in the desert, where Moses and the masses of Jewish people had been set free from slavery in Egypt, God gave the people specific instructions as to how He wanted them to live, so that they could be set apart, dedicated unto Him.  Initially, it may seem to be a list of “thou shall nots“, and the “thou musts“, but upon closer investigation, the heart of the matter is that God desires our obedience.  He wants our hearts turned toward His, and knows that we must remove the obstacles that keep us from focusing our hearts on Him.  As we choose to listen and obey, walking out our days in obedience, He blesses us with His provision, protection, and His permanent presence in our very being.

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field  their fruit.” – (Leviticus 26:3-4)  He goes on to speak of safety, favor and freedom that will be provided for those who choose to follow Him. (see verses 6-13) His heart is for us, and He knows our need for guidance to find and follow Him.

Christ’s sacrifice ended the old law, as He was the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, through whom all sins are forgiven.  However, we should not ever take that sacrifice for granted.  The beauty of Levitical law was the intense awareness of the cost of sin.  Imagine having to take an unblemished animal before the priest, only to watch it die, knowing that it should have been you.  Perhaps we can gain a bit of perspective if we remember to look to the cross, and recognize that each time we sin, we have gone against what God has intended for us, and we drive a nail into the sinless hands, hanging on our behalf.  On the brighter side, Christ conquered death.  He rose again, ascended into heaven, and sent His Holy Spirit, so that we would have a constant companion to help lead us and guide us for all of our days.  We need only invite Him in, and His presence will remain with us forever.  May we listen well, as He asks us to love God, and love people, just as He has loved us.

Obedience,Intended for Obedience

living sacrifice;

what we may give,

as we recognize.

He wants our hearts,

let us give Him all;

with gratitude,

as we hear His call.

Let our hearts hold,

His astounding grace;

may we serve well,

’til we see His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer have to live by the letter of the Levitical law, yet thank You for showing us the purpose was to provide Your people with the path to stay pure before You.  Thank You for sending Jesus, and for the gift of grace that we may now embrace because of His great sacrifice.  Forgive us for not recognizing the severity of Your sacrifice on our behalf, and help us to be aware of just how great the cost, as we face the choice as to whether or not to choose Your will.  Teach us to be ever aware of Your still small voice, and always willing to walk in obedience to whatever You ask.  Lead us to love as we are loved, and may many come into a saving relationship with You, our Redeemer.  Be exalted, O God.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

– Psalm 23:6

Prepare to Worship

After reading Leviticus 10-12, I am again grateful that we are no longer bound to follow the letter of Levitical law, but rather are saved by grace when we believe and receive Jesus as our Savior.  Though we are saved by grace alone, He does give us a command that He expects us to follow.  However, it is not an extensively detailed list, but rather something quite simple to remember – we are called to love God, and love one another.  If we do both of these, we fulfill the law.

Something that did strike me, was that there were extensive preparations made in order to enter into worship.  Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY grateful that I do NOT have to sacrifice an animal for the sake of my sins, nor do I have to go through ceremonial cleansing nor separation from others for being considered unclean, but there is something to be said about preparing our hearts for worship.  We ought not live however we like during the week and then enter into worship on Sunday, as if the week prior has not happened.  There is power as we enter into His presence daily, and a recognition of our need for His grace and His help to do that which He has commanded, as we earnestly seek Him.  It is a far greater experience to enter into a worship service on Sunday when I have been walking with Him all week, than when I have cast Him aside, and only called on Him when it was convenient or out of my own desperation.  He is good all of the time, and He longs to be in constant communion with us.  God is always listening, are we?

Gone are the days,Prepare to Worship

when all is unclean;

separation,

distinction that’s seen.

Now there is grace,

a gift our God gives;

to His presence,

we enter and live.

Don’t take lightly,

His wondrous grace;

one day we’ll stand,

present, face-to-face.

Keep short accounts,

seek Him and confess;

for on that day,

may we hear Him bless.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and loving and full of grace.  Thank You that You sent Your Son so that we would no longer have to attempt to live up to Levitical laws, that were nearly impossible to keep, and that we now have Your Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to lead, guide and empower us to love You and love people as You call us to do.  Forgive us for not properly preparing our hearts for worship, by either completely neglecting our relationship with You, or for setting it aside until we feel like we “need” You.  Teach us to be in constant communion with You – praising You when things are great, asking for help when things are hard, and remaining in communication with You for everything in between.  May our hearts full of hope, love well those around us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King.  Be exalted in all that we say and do, and may we daily, walk in a state of worship unto You.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad.  I Chronicles 16:31