Tag Archives: faith

B90X- Alter fire in Leviticus

I can remember the last thing the best man said at my wedding to Christie and I in his toast.  His name was Jeff.  He was a pretty lanky and thin fellow, as we all were back then.  And in typical Wildwood fashion, why do something once when you can do it twice as aggressive and with gusto, he raise not one, but two glasses of champagne.  Then said, “Keep the faith.”

That was approaching 32 years ago.  Little did I know how poignant his concluding words would be.

Faith must be kindled, stoked, maintained, perpetuated, supported, watered, fertilized, sustained, conserved, preserved, protected, upheld, and prolonged.

And most of all it must be kept.  It cannot be ignored, neglected, disregarded, abandoned, shirked, deserted, disclaimed, disowned, or disavowed.

I love reading the Bible.  I love reading the Bible in 90 days.  I love how the discipline of reading cover to cover forces me to read through material I normally would not.  I love how some ideas, words, or scenes of what may be happening in the text, come to life.

Last night I was reading through Leviticus.  First, I want to say that folks who disparage Leviticus and call it a sleeping aid, should stop that.  It is one of God’s words and needs to be treated thoughtfully and with care.

Three verses or ideas popped out at me:

brazen alter fireLeviticus 6:9 “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.”

Leviticus 6:12 “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.”

Leviticus 6:13 “The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.”

If I understand this correctly, for nearly 40 years or more, the fire of the brazen alter was never extinguished or went out naturally.  Wow.  That required vigilance.  That required much help and attention.

Where did all that wood come from in the desert?  Did that mean someone had to carry ashes on their head from one camp location to another?  Who was responsible to find, fell, chop, split, haul, and maintain a wood pile for the alter?  What kind of wood was it typically? Did it burn hot and clean like scrub oak or messy like pine?  I digress.

The point Father was trying to make to me last night was that this fire could not be ignored.  It had to be kept and maintained.  Much like out faith, it can’t just go on cruise control, one will eventually run out of gas.

As my friend Jeff said, “Keep the faith.”  And not just with one glass, but with two, both hands raised, with gusto, with emphasis, and forever.

B90X – Aaron the High Priest

“Increase our Faith” (Luke 17:5).  As we travel through the scriptures this year, we are looking at how faith, belief, and trust are present in the stories and incidents of Bible characters.  The faith or lack of faith of a person ought to spur us on toward faith.  Let’s use the fruit and results of their lives to help us increase our faith.

Today, as I was reading the last half of Exodus, I was struck by the storyaaron the high priest of Aaron, Moses’ brother and first high priest of the Hebrew religious system.  Particularly chapter 32 when the people became impatient when the man of God spent more time in the presence of the Lord than they wanted him to.  In their impatient state they asked Aaron to make a god for them rather than faith in Yahwah, the invisible.  Interestingly, they even named the golden calf they fashioned Yahweh.

The questions I had of the text pertained to Aaron and how he failed in his faith.  He was the appointed and anointed High Priest.  He could speak for the Lord.  He saw miracles.  He was in the presence of Moses as He heard from God.  He knew all the spiritual and material articles of the tabernacle and vestments of the priests.  He had access to the urim and the thummim.

So what happened?  His faith failed.  His trust in the Lord wavered.  His memory of all that had happened waned.  Why?  What was the state of his soul that he could so easily be bent towards bowing the the request of the people?  What words or actions were so convincing that he agreed to go along with their crazy idea?  What part of “you will have no other gods before me,” did they not understand?  Where the voices so loud and obnoxious that he relented out of shear overwhelming?  What did Aaron think he would gain from the decision?  He built the alter, he planned the festival, he agreed to the revelry, he participated in the eating and drinking.

I am going to pray about this today.  I don’t want something like this to happen to me.

B90X Genesis

When one reads through the Bible in 90 days, it only takes four days to get through all 50 chapters of Genesis.

Genesis is easy reading.  It is also full of crazy stories that seem like they just are made up, almost unbelievable.  It is the collection of the beginning of earthly existence for the heavens and the earth from the macro to the micro.  One sees the hand of God present and active in the lives of some very unlikely characters hosting the power, life, and legacy of the Lord.

Today at CRBC, to kick of the weekly series of sermons as we walk through the Bible, was my preaching professor, Scott Wenig.

Interestingly, as I read through Genesis this go-round, Joseph made a heightened impression on me.  His integrity, his wisdom, his patience, and his faith seemed to all speak voluminously to faithful believers for millennia to come.

Joseph and potipers wifeJoseph and his life was the subject-du-jour for us today.  The big idea was this, “Do you believe that God is always good and that He is always at work in your life?”  That question needs be be answered with a resounding, “yes.”   If not, that is a good goal to reach for.  It is good to make that connection.  To see God as bad, absent, or an antagonist to your life is no way to live and think.

For the next few days, as you read through some of the more challenging portions of scripture, ask your self this question and see what kinds of ideas you have.  Hopefully you will answer in the affirmative time and time again.

“Increase our faith!”

B90X “Increase Our Faith”

It is that time of the year again!

No, not tax time, B90X time.

As we gear up to read through the Bible in 90 days, the Lord, through a man of God, gave us the idea of reading this year through the lens of faith.  So as we read, look for signs of faith.  Look for men and women of faith.  Look for qualities of faith evident in people.  Even look for folks who don’t walk in faith and examine some of the reasons why or what may be going on for them to not live a life of faith.

Today, I found a couple of things.  First, in Genesis 4:26 it says, “At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.”  If faith is believing and trusting, what was it that they knew for them to trust in and call out to?  How did the Lord reveal Himself for Him to be sought after?  How did they know to ‘call on’ the name of the Lord?  What did this kind of faith look like and did the Lord consider those calling out to be people of faith? Lots of unknowns there.

Enoch going upSecondly, what did the faith of Enoch look like.  He is found in Genesis 5:21-24.  The Bible says that he walked with God.  What did that walk look like on an everyday scale?  Then it says “God took him away.”  Enoch is one of two people who did not die and earthly death, Elijah is the other.  What was it about the faith of Enoch that he was taken away?  Where did he learn to live the kind of life that pleased Father so much that he was here one minute and gone the next?

You get the idea.  We are going to read through the entire Bible in 90 days.  We will come across verses and people we have read before or are meeting for the first time.  Allow the Holy Spirit to use their lives to help increase your faith (Luke 17:5)

Prayer for our Kids Day 23 – Faith

“I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them” (Luke 17:5-6; Hebrews 11:1-40).

faithI feel kind of lost for words right now after reading Hebrews 11. There are so many amazing stories covered in one chapter.  Of all the verses, thirty-nine really stands out, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” There are so many individuals listed in this chapter, it’s crazy to think that none of them saw Father’s whole plan come to pass. Yet, they had faith that His promises to them would be fulfilled.

It’s interesting to look through each person mentioned in Hebrews 11 and think about how different things would be if they had not had faith in Father’s plan. It makes me realize the importance of having faith myself.

God has amazing things in store, not only for our lives, but in the lives of those around us. It’s easy to get discouraged when we do not see the results, but so much more important to have faith that Father is working in amazing ways.

I believe we are raising a generation of world changers, our kids have to be led by example though. They are blessed by Father and destined to do great things. My prayer is for me to have faith first and then for my children to see that and learn from it.