The Cost of Sin–Is This Really Worth It? Devotional for February 28, 2022

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Today’s Bible Reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 24-25, Psalm 81, Hebrews 9

In the Old Testament, the redemption of sin brought about death. “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you” (Hebrews 9:20; cf. Exodus 24:8). Through these sacrifices, the penitent sinner was made clean. “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Blood. Death. This is the cost of sin.

Is it worth it?

Christ came at the “end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). In order for the consequences of your sin and mine to be squashed, Christ went to the slaughterhouse of the cross to take care of that. Your sin still causes a death.

Is it really worth it?

Christ is coming again, “not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28). He already dealt with that which leads to death (Romans 6:23). He does not need to deal with sin anymore, because He already accomplished all that’s needed. Are you so in love with that which for which Christ was crucified that you reject Him and His work for that which brings eternal consequences

Is it really worth it?

Christ is worth it. He meets you where you are and takes you where you need to be to make you right with Him.


Movie Saturday: C.T. Studd–Gifted Athlete and Pioneering Missionary (2018)

C. T. Studd had it all. Born into a wealthy upperclass family in England, he studied at Cambridge University and went on to become one of the country’s most celebrated athletes. But Studd realized that fame and flattery would not last, and as a Christian, he sensed a profound calling to forsake the things of the world and live for the world to come.

Director: Gary Wilkinson

Starring: John Holden

One of the most glorious promises that ever fell from the lips of infinite love: Devotional for February 25, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 21-23; Hebrews 8

Today, let’s hear from Charles Haddon Spurgeon from a sermon from Hebrews 8:10 on June 28, 1885.

God set aside that first covenant, he put it away as an outworn and useless thing; and he brought in a new covenant, the covenant of grace; and in our text we see what is the tenor of it: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” This is one of the most glorious promises that ever fell from the lips of infinite love. God said not, “I will come again, as I came on Sinai, and thunder at them.” No, but, “I will come in gentleness and mercy, and find a way into their hearts.” He said not, “I will take two great tables of stone, and with my finger write out my law before their eyes.” No, but, “I will put my finger upon their hearts, and there will I write my law.” He said not, “I will give promises and threatenings that shall be the safeguard of this new covenant;” but, “I will with my Spirit graciously operate upon their minds and their hearts, and so I will sweetly influence them to serve me, not for reward, nor from any servile motive, but because they know me, and they love me, and they feel it to be their delight to walk in the way of my commandments.” O dear sirs may you all be shares in the blessings of that new covenant! May God say this of you, and do this to you; and if so, we shall meet in the glory-land, to sing unto the grace of that eternal God who has wrought so wondrously with us, and in us, and for us!

Love Your Neighbor–Even Them! Devotional for February 24, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 19-20; Hebrews 7

Tucked away in Leviticus is a verse that Jesus told us was part of the Great Commandment along with loving God with all we have: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

As in Jesus’ day as well as Moses’ day, we struggled with this concept and, thus, spend our time trying to redefine neighbor (see the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37). As we narrow the definition, the wider the chasm grows not only between some of our neighbors but also our fellowship with God.

We are called to build those Gospel bridges with the wood of truth, expending that energy in the love of Christ. God calls us to love our Neighbor–even them! Who is your “them?” Now you know the focus of prayer for you in this regard.

Right Now Counts Forever: Devotional for February 23, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 15-18; Psalm 31; Hebrews 6

Each morning, we start our day that will have a ripple effect on the rest of the day. Yet, as the days go on, we often move about based on the commitments we make that end up shaping the trajectory of our lives for both the here and the hereafter.

Psalm 31:5 says, “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.” Our spirit is that which lives on into eternity based on the redemption that took place in time. R.C. Sproul would often say, “Right now counts forever.” Is the life you live now based on the commitments you make toward eternity?

On the cross, Jesus said this phrase from Psalm 31 (see Luke 23:46). Jesus’ earthly life was always in the hands of His Father. His mission accomplished, His redemptive work finished, He died the death we deserved only to rise again three days later to give us the life He promised and provided.

Have you committed your life to Christ? If not, confess your sins to Him and turn to Christ and Christ alone.

Outside of Christ, We Are All Spiritual Lepers: Devotional for February 22, 2022

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Today’s Bible Reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 12-14, Psalm 111, Hebrews 5

In Leviticus 13-14, God gave Moses at the Levitical priesthood 116 verses on how to identify leprosy (Leviticus 13) and then how to provide cleansing (Leviticus 14). If someone was diagnosed with leprosy, they were consigned to a leper colony outside the camp and a devastating life awaited them, for there was no cure at the time.

Lepers were prevalent in Jesus’ day. The law of Moses noted that if a leper touched anyone or anyone touched a leper, then both would become unclean. In Mark 1:40-45, we see that a leper came up to Jesus (illegal) and that Jesus touched the leper to make him clean (illegal). Jesus showed that the law was there to help clean people stay clean, but that His Kingdom comes to make those who have no hope or help of being clean, clean.

The lepers stood as the closest analogy to everyone’s condition outside of Christ. We are cut off, alienated, separated, unclean. And as Jesus with a touch, with a word, made those lepers clean, so with a touch, with a word, He makes all whom He rescues and all who call upon His name spiritual, perpetually, and eternally clean!

Come to Christ! He will make you clean!

Jesus Understands: Devotional for February 21, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 8-11; Psalm 110; Hebrews 4

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace and find mercy and help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

This high priest, Jesus, is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses.”  Why?  Every high priest is a man chosen from among men to act on behalf of men.  We cannot misunderstand that Christ was a human being.  When it comes to Christmas, this is the entire point of what’s happening: God became a man.  He became a human being who, as said before, was human just like we are in the sense that he hungered, thirsted, wept, grieved, and died.  If Christ had not come as a man, then we would have no high priest who would understand our weaknesses.

In Hebrews 5:2, these high priests needed to be regular, ordinary, called men.  He is one who is offering sacrifices for sins—and he himself is a sinner.  “He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.  Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins, just as he does for those of the people.”  We see this in Leviticus 16 when, in verse 11, God calls for Aaron to offer a sacrifice for himself and his family.  Then in verse 15, to offer a sacrifice for the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement (a.k.a., Yom Kippur). 

So Jesus was one who, as a human, could understand our weaknesses.  In fact, we see what one of those weaknesses was, temptation.  He was tempted like we are.  What distinguishes Jesus from other high priests?  Go to 5:2-3 again:  High priests deal gently with “ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness”—and thus offers sacrifice for his own sins.  But this Great High Priest of Jesus was, yes, tempted as we are—yet without sin.  When he made sacrifices, He did not do so for His own sins.  He was one who was tempted, but he was not one “beset with weakness.”  For He is the Son of God, who passed through the heavens, was seated at the right hand of God in full majesty. 

Jesus understands and meets us where we are to bring us where we need to be! Praise God for His rescuing and redeeming work!

Sunday Sermon: “Jesus Came with Compassion: How the Heart of Jesus Brings Hope to Many” (Mark 1:29-45)

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Buffet restaurants. Golden Corrals were favorites for me because they had steak–and a good steak. In Lexington (my last stop on the ministry train), there was a restaurant by the local Walmart called the China Buffet. That buffet was nice because it had a large variety, not just Chinese food (at least the American iteration of it). Sometimes when you’re presented with a meal, you have at least one, maybe two items on your plate that you don’t care for. Buffets allow you to avoid those things–taking only what you like, leaving what you don’t like.

I sense that we do this with Jesus. He’s not a buffet or a smorgasbord where we pick and choose the aspects we like and disregard the parts we don’t. Here’s where we often make this mistake. In previous sermons out of Mark, we see how Jesus came preaching with a specific message about his mission: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Him going to the synagogue to preach the Word resonates with many in our faith tradition. Even a recognition that he was tempted resonates with us as well. Some lean toward the preaching of and belief in the truth of Scripture. Others however see another aspect of Jesus that sees his love and compassion.

Two weeks ago (the last time we were in the Gospel of Mark), Jesus healed a man possessed by a demon. And, as we read in this passage, Jesus healed those who were sick–and even someone with leprosy. For you, this is the Jesus you would choose–someone with love, compassion, and alleviating suffering in the world.

Which Jesus do you choose? Well, there is only one Jesus, isn’t there? He’s not a buffet or a smorgasbord. He’s Christ, the one who speaks truth in love, and who engages in loving truth. In this passage, Jesus comes with compassion. R.C Sproul noted that this type of compassion is filled not only with care but also tinged with anger at the present system of the world that leads to such brokenness.