Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Blood’

Marching Orders

And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. ~~ Exodus 12:1-13 (KJV)

God makes provision for His people. This theme shows up time again. Remember how Noah and his family were preserved from the flood. God’s remnant was sheltered by the Ark.

Here again God’s people are protected. This time by the blood on the doorposts.

Despite their hardships and discouragement, and perhaps because of the demonstrated power of God’s mighty hand, they have learned to listen to the word of the Lord.

But note, please, that this time they are to be ready to move. Marching orders are imminent.

Whatever we’ve been through, God has brought us safely to this point. But we cannot rest on our laurels and huddle into ourselves for comfort.

We have marching orders, too. While Israel was marching to become a nation, we are marching to expand the Kingdom of God.

With every step we are called to model the light of God in our lives. We are called to victory over our enemies. We are called to spread the glory of His name.

Father, God,

We thank You for Your provision and protection. Help us to live with staff in hand, ready for our marching orders.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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That Which Is Needful

Focus verses: Acts 15:1-29

Some of the first century Messianic Jews had followed the Mosaic law all their lives. They could not conceive of anyone being chosen by God who did not follow those laws. Therefore they began to insist that the gentile believers be circumcised and follow all the dietary laws of Moses.

But Paul had seen gentiles converted by the Holy Spirit’s falling upon them. The conversion of the heart came despite the outward appearances of the person. He recognized that people unaccustomed to the Jewish regulations would be hindered by these laws. What was important was the heart of the person being brought to Christ.

What is needed for the believer is a faithful heart, a heart hungry for the Good News.

Notice that the letter to the gentiles from this first church conference deals with the appetites. It asks them to follow certain dietary laws: abstaining from food offered to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.

These regulations are not only spiritually healthy, they have consequences for physical health as well.

When food has been offered to an idol, you have no idea what it has been exposed to, what salmonella or trichinosis or other disease it may be carrying. Often food contamination has to do with the dripping juices from raw meat (ie. blood). Blood is the ideal incubator for bacteria, especially at room temperatures. When an animal is strangled, the blood suffuses throughout the tissue – still an ideal incubator for bacteria. While there may be over-riding moral grounds for following the proscriptions, there are valid physical health reasons as well.

How interesting that sexual immorality is lumped together with these food proscriptions. I can’t help wondering if the health reasons are not a large part of this proscription as well.

The thing most needed is a heart for God. When one desires only to please God, these “regulations” will not be onerous. They are simply a way of conveying one’s gratitude to the Lord for all He has done for us.

Father, God,

Create in us grateful hearts, that we may follow Your edicts willingly, not grudgingly. Help us to recognize that what we gain is far more and better than what we eschew.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen

Marching Orders

Focus verses: Exodus 12:1-13

God makes provision for His people. This theme shows up here again. Remember how Noah and his family were preserved from the flood. God’s remnant was sheltered by the Ark.

Here again God’s people are protected. This time by the blood on the doorposts.

Despite their hardships and discouragement, and perhaps because of the demonstrated power of God’s mighty hand, they have learned to listen to the word of the Lord.

But note, please, that this time they are to be ready to move. Marching orders are imminent.

Whatever we’ve been through, God has brought us safely to this point. But we cannot rest on our laurels and huddle into ourselves for comfort.

We have marching orders, too. While Israel was marching to become a nation, we are marching to expand the Kingdom of God.

With every step we are called to model the light of God in our lives. We are called to victory over our enemies. We are called to spread the glory of His name.

Father, God,

We thank You for Your provision and protection. Help us to live with staff in hand, ready for our marching orders.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.