Tuesday, 4 March 2014

"I WILL BE SANCTIFIED" Bible Reading Thoughts for March 4th

We read today wonderful words of comfort:

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Cor 1)

The word comfort and it's gk root is used x10 in x5 verses in this 1st ch. And is further repeated throughout this letter. The root is from x2 gk words, one = near and the other = near, therefore the gk has the idea and intent, to call near for a purpose, ie to comfort, to exhort, to teach, to provoke.

We see in its usage that this is done by brethren:
Barnabas see the grace of God in the number of those who turned to God in Antioch, and was glad and EXHORTED/COMFORTED, that with all purpose of heart they should cleave/hold fast unto Christ (Acts 11:23)
Paul and Barnabas strengthened the brethren, and EXHORTED/COMFORTED them to continue in the faith (Acts 14:22)
Paul sent Timothy to establish/strengthen the brethren in Thessalonica COMFORT/EXHORT them concerning their faith (1 Thess 3:2)

Let us never forget the impact we can have on anothers faith (both +vely and -vely), let never cease to be there to support and comfort our brothers and sisters, until the day of our Masters return.
I WILL BE SANCTIFIED                                                                                                                                     

‘Sanctified’ means recognized as holy, set apart from the commonplace; treating a situation or place with all reverence.  Above all, this must be our attitude toward God.  In our Leviticus reading today we see the dramatic and disastrous result of a failure to do this.
Imagine being there with all the wonder of the tabernacle and the manifestation of the actual presence of God as worship in it began!  We read “the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offerings … [9 v.23,24].  As a result human attitudes of reverence and humility should have been paramount.  The reaction at the time was totally understandable, “they shouted and fell on their faces” [v.24].
Aaron had 4 sons, all were involved in assisting their father and today’s chapter tells us how tragedy overwhelmed two of them.  In the way we speak today we might judge that their position of importance went to their head!  Nadab and Abihu “each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD which he had not commanded them” [10 v.1]
The result was terrifying for they “died before the LORD” as fire from him “consumed them” [v.2]  Moses then says to Aaron, “Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified” [v.3] 
There is a vital lesson here for everyone who seeks to serve God and have a close relationship with him: this applies to Christians just as much as to Israelites. Several examples of a failure to do this come to mind.  One is the practice of christening of babies in many churches which is not mentioned in the Bible – or even hinted at – instead the followers of Christ practiced baptism, which is described as “an appeal to God for a good conscience” [1 Peter 3 v.21]  Another, is the teaching of people of a “different gospel” to “distort the gospel of Christ.” [Galatians 1 v.v.6,7]  Paul says, “let him be accursed” [v.9] who does that – and this is what happened to two of the sons of Aaron. A most important lesson for us as we follow Christ and the Apostles, doing so in ways which truly follow the example they set and the words they preached.