YEP… you are right…. We have read a lot of this before (when it was told to the OLD generation). And… yes you are right… much of what we are reading does not pertain to us today … at least not things we are physically required to do or not do (such as not eating unclean meats.) HOWEVER…. The “heart of the matter” STILL applies to us. WHAT is in our hearts? Are we totally sold out to God? Are we CHOOSING the BLESSING or the CURSE through our actions?? Let’s look at some of the details together.
Chapter 14— The first part of this chapter deals with clean and unclean foods concerning the Israelites because God wanted to be SURE HIS people were set apart. Today we can look at Mark 7: 14-15:
“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. NOTHING outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
I LOVE LOVE LOVE … verse 2 …. “….for YOU are a people HOLY to the LORD your God. Out of ALL the PEOPLES on the face of the earth, the LORD has CHOSEN YOU to be HIS TREASURED POSSESSION.” I don’t care HOW many times I read this and meditate upon … it always touches me to tears that GOD CHOSE ME…. I AM a treasured possession… and so are YOU!! I don’t know about you… but that puts my heart at peace.
God shows me in different ways each day … just how much HE treasures me/us!! Have you ever heard of LAMININ, the cell adhesion molecule??? Here is a video of by Louis Giglio on Laminin If you don’t have time to watch/listen to it right now here is what LAMININ looks like. It is a protein molecule that HOLDS OUR CELLS TOGETHER!!! This picture is from a microscope of a molecular biologist!! DO YOU SEE THE CROSS… IT IS A REAL PICTURE OF A PROTEIN MOLECULE THAT HOLDS US TOGETHER!!!! WHOOOOOOAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH BABY!!!!
Verse 21 states: “BUT YOU are a people HOLY to the LORD your God.”
Tithes….. verse 22 –“you shall set aside a tenth of ALL that your fields produce each year.” Verse 28 – “At the end of every three years, bring ALL the tithes of that year’s produce and STORE it in your towns,” verse 29 so that the LEVITES, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat. GOD STILL wants our HEARTS to be ALL HIS. Yes, HE does want us to tithe and be HIS hands and feet in taking care of those in need. God ALWAYS thinks of EVERY one … EVERY one …. HIS people, the Levites being taken care of, the aliens, the poor, the needy, the hungry, the widows, the servants!! Jesus died for EVERY one, but not everyone will CHOOSE HIM. The CHOICE is ours. God has already made HIS choice FOR us…. WHO will we choose? Tithing and giving are as important today as they were in the OT. We are still to give our best to God and that includes our money. It is all HIS any. He blesses us when we CHOOSE to follow HIS ways.
There are MANY Scriptures in the Bible about tithing and giving, here one to consider:
2 Corinthians 8: 10-12
And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
The New Testament does not command us or even recommend that we give a set amount. Paul states we should set aside “a portion of our income” in order to support the church in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. HOWEVER, it does say in this same Scripture that we are to give “in keeping with income.” The NT focuses on OUR HEARTS and the BENEFITS and IMPORTANCE of giving. We are to give as we are able … some may give more than 10%, some 10%, some less. HOWEVER, let me say there is NOTHING wrong with using the 10% as a guideline …. we all need a place to start or a goal to get us in the habit of giving to the Lord … regularly… consistently. It is not about a legalistic amount…. It is about OBEDIENCE. James 1:5 tells us that we should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of tithing and/or how much to give. 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” GOD desires that our hearts …. that Our HEARTS DESIRE to give and that we act on being a cheerful giver.
Chapter 15 — The year for canceling debts, freeing servants, and setting apart the firstborn male of each of their herds for the Lord. It is a wonderful thought to think we could wake up one morning and receive a letter in the mail from our bank stating… MORTGAGE CANCELED>> DEBT PAID IN FULL!! And as wonderful as that is (for those of us with mortgages or other debt) …… The far greater thing that God has done for us IS TO CANCEL ALLLLLL OF OUR SIN… OUR DEBT ….when HE sent HIS son Jesus Christ… THIS is PERMANENT DEBT CANCELLATION!!!. JESUS PAID IT ALLLL!!!! HALLELUJAH!!! John 8:36 tells us: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1 John 3:17
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
We are told in MANY places in the Bible to LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart and ALL your soul and ALL your mind and OBEY his commands. So as we read in Deuteronomy today and future OT books …. HOW do we KNOW what applies? We use the MANY wonderful tools God has placed before us … to dig into and chew on HIS Word. Use your index or your cross reference sources to find out what applies to you and what does not. Speak to your Pastor/Priest/Minister/Mentor for input. Choose. PS…. GOD speaks directly to our hearts directly from HIS Word …. CHOOSE 🙂
Chapter 16 — Feasts. If you would like to see more details on the feasts … scroll down on this page. Look on the right side for a block titled “Categories.” In the Categories you will see an entry for CHARTS. Click on charts and scroll through until you find the document for the feasts. It includes how we as Christians celebrate these feasts TODAY.
Three times a year the Israelites were required to appear before the Lord. (God will use these feasts as an opportunity to have the multitudes SEE Jesus teach in Jerusalem, see HIM enter Jerusalem on a donkey being hailed as “HOSANNA” ON the Passover, and so much more.)
- Passover and the Feast of Unleavened bread. Verse 1 states this was in the month of Abib. Abib is the same month as Nisan. The was a remembrance of their deliverance in the Exodus. Lasted 7 days. (Exodus 12) People came to Jerusalem for the Passover… Jesus’ Triumphant Entry was on Palm Sunday during this season. The Last Supper was ON the Passover.
- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) “Harvest” or “First Fruits”. Was celebrated 50 days after Passover. Lasted 1 day. Today this is the day we know as the day the gift of the Holy Spirit arrived!! It was also celebrated during the month of Nisan/Abib (Mar-Apr)
- Feast of Tabernacle (today Rosh Hashanah. If you ever read in the Bible it is the first day of the 7th month, this is the Feast. It is their New Year (month 7 –Tishri or Ethanim – Sept/Oct).
There is so much in these chapters today. WE are no longer under the law because Jesus came to fulfill the law. Pray and ask God to show you what is important for you today. Remember….. it TRULY is about OUR HEARTS turned to God and responding in love, joy, and obedience…. Because we WANT to.
Sharing HIS love,