Spiritual Rants: “Milking For All It’s Worth” November 23 Daily Bible Readings in a year: Ezekiel 45:13-46:24 1 Peter 1:13-2:10 Psalm 119:33-48 Proverbs 28:11

Old Testament: Ezekiel 45:13-46:24

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Ezekiel 45:13-46:24  A Prince Of A Man

Chapter 45:13-25  The beginning of this chapter, in yesterday’s reading, was about the sectioning of the land and the portion given to the governing Prince (not David or Jesus). This latter part of the chapter describes the offerings that will be provided to the people by the Prince.  The Prince will provide these things from the offerings given to him.   The sacrifices look backward to Christ’s sacrifice as an object lesson of what He did for us.  Isa. 56:7, Jer. 33:18, Zech. 14:16-21, and Mal. 3:3 also refer to offerings given in the Millennium kingdom.

Chapter 46   Verses 1-16 describe the Sabbath, New Moon, and daily offerings.

The year of liberty in verse 17 is the Fiftieth year of Jubilee with its special provisions (cf. Lev. 25:13-15).   The Temple kitchens are described in vv. 19-24.

New Testament:  1 Peter 1:13-2:10

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1 Peter 1:13-2:10 The Point

I don’t believe Peter was the first pope but I do believe that he was the point man for the church.  Peter gave the speech explaining the beginning of the church with all the fireworks of tongues and the sound of a mighty wind in Acts 2.  Then he was there when the gospel moved out to the Samaritans Acts 8:14.  He was instrumental in bringing the gospel to the Gentiles for the first time in Acts 10:5.  He was the point man for the spreading the kingdom.

Peter learned to focus on the goal of seeing Jesus again and expected his readers to do the same (v. 13).  It would help them get through the persecution they were experiencing.  They need to leave their old sins behind and purify themselves (v. 14).  He quoted Leviticus (Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7) to encourage believers to make God their model from holiness (v. 15).  That is some challenge!

We live in an age where holiness is not taken seriously.  Peter tells us to fear God, in other words, give Him the respect He is due as One Who holds our fates in His hands.  It is the manner in which we should live our entire lives down here (v. 17).  We weren’t bought with earthly compensation but with the pure life (the life of all is in the blood, cf. Lev. 17:11) of the most innocent man Who ever lived (vv. 18-19).  Jesus came out from eternity to the times in which we live (v. 20).  He was raised from the dead for us so we could have a relationship with God and so we could have the hope of living with Him forever (v. 21).

We were also cleansed by the death of Christ so that we could bond with other believers in love (v. 22).  We were born again (cf. John 3:3) because we obeyed (v. 22a) the Scripture and what it says about salvation (v. 23).

Peter pays tribute to Scripture by quoting Isaiah 40:6-8 from the Greek translation to contrast our temporality versus the eternality of the Word (vv. 24-25).  It was this very Scripture that was preached to them that brought about their rebirth (v. 25b).

1 Peter 2:1-2:10   Milking For All It’s Worth

Peter continues on the theme of the importance of Scripture.  He says we all should be like infants who rely on milk for their sustenance.  We should rely on the Bible in the same way (v. 2a).  It is the way we grow just as babies grow by taking in lactose (v. 2b).  It will also help us grow out of our old selves that were prone to all kinds of sin like malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander (v. 1).  It is though the Word that we first understood how good God was to us by offering salvation (v. 3).

In the time of Moses, the Temple was the central place of worship.  But now the Church is the central place for worship.  Christ is the “cornerstone” of the new building which is formed of believers (vv. 4-6, quoting Isa. 28:16).  The cornerstone is the most important block in a building.  The entire structure depends on the integrity of that one brick.  Believers today are the priests responsible for worship (v. 5a).

Believers appreciate the value of the cornerstone but unbelievers reject the cornerstone (v. 7, quoting Ps. 118:22).  The Jews rejected Christ when He Himself quoted the same verse from Psalms (cf. Matt. 21:42 and also Matt. 21:43-46).  Peter witnessed how the cornerstone of Christ offended and caused to stumble (v. 8a, quoting Isa. 8:14).  You will find that out, too, if you witness to Christ and His saving power.  The unbelievers will find out at the Great White Throne Judgment (v. 8b, cf. Rev. 20:11).

The Jews are normally known as the chosen race who have a royal priesthood and are God’s own people, a holy nation.  Many of them are stumbling over Christ, the Cornerstone.  In contrast, the true Jews, believers, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God’s own people (v. 9a).  Their purpose in life should be to witness to God’s greatness in moving them from darkness into light (v. 9b).  They once were just Gentiles, people without distinction (v. 10a).  Now they are God’s own people who have received His generous mercy (v. 10b).

 

Psalm 119:33-48    The Word, Part 3   A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous


Proverbs 28:11   Opposite Day

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Remember Lazarus, the poor man, in the New Testament?  No one hardly even noticed him in this world (cf. Luke 16:19-31, See Don’t Call Me Sunny and subheading, “A Dandy And The Destitute”).  There was a rich man in that parable in Luke 16.  His name wasn’t even mentioned.

Lazarus was recognized in Heaven.  Some that are first here will be last there and vice versa (cf. Matt. 19:30; 20:16).

You don’t need to be famous here.

It’s better to be famous in Heaven.

Someday it’ll be “Opposite Day.”

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  1 Peter 2:10   NASB    “Holy Now!”

” . . . for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.'”    1 Peter 2:10

 

In the first chapter of his book, Peter told us that we should be as holy as God is.  That’s a pretty tall order.  Jesus said essentially the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount, “You shall be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

How can we ever achieve that standard?  Well, the key is in reading the Bible we find out that when we are saved, God looks at us through Christ.  He sees us as perfect.  The big theological word is “imputation.”  God has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us (Rom. 4:22-24).  The Greek word is an accounting term.  More modern translations use the word, “credited” (NASB, NIV).  It means when God is doing the books, He credits our account with Christ’s purity.  That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

When someone thinks highly of you, you naturally want to please them and perform well for them.  God always looks at you as holy.  Is that a great incentive to act the way He wants us to act?

He views you as part of the “people of God.”  He has shown all believers mercy.

Now we just have to act like it!

 

 

And if you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

My home team won in an upset yesterday.  They were supposed to lose big but they won by a good margin.  How did they do it?  I’m sure a lot of factors went into the win but one that stands out was that it was a home game.  The stadium was filled and everyone was screaming their lungs out.  I don’t know why that makes a difference but it does.

How does it feel to know that God Himself is rooting for you?  He is standing on the sidelines and screaming his lungs out, so to speak, rooting you on.  Don’t believe me?

Ps. 56:9, “Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.”

Zeph. 3:17,  “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Eccles. 9:7,   “Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.”

God has given you His righteousness because He loves you.  God is rooting for you.  Go out and do His work today!

 

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   Milking For All Its Worth

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