Tag: devotional

Yom Kippur and what Jewish holidays can teach Christians about the gospel

1024px-Domestic_goat_feeding_on_capeweed-1
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons @fir0002

Originally published September 29, 2017 under the title “A priest, two goats, and salvation”

For observant Jews all over the world, this evening, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in Hebrew) is celebrated. The Day of Atonement is the most holy of days in the Jewish calendar. It’s an annual picture of forgiveness that people could have. While Christians don’t celebrate this day, it’s one worth studying because everything about it points to Christ and the gospel.

Atonement refers to God’s work of dealing with our sin. Because of sin, the relationship between man and God has been broken.

The life of faith and settling for less

landscape.JPG

Originally published August 14, 2018

In Numbers 32, the Israelites are pursuing the Promised Land when some of the tribes decide that they would prefer to stay outside the land.

The chapter begins with: “Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock (Numbers 32:1).” The passage goes to their request to stay in the land: “And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan (Numbers 32:5).”

The greatest commandment: the love of God

photo-1506701234424-ef06760d8c8e.jpeg
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5).
We shouldn’t follow God’s ways because we think that will make him love us. That’s not the basis for God’s love for us. We shouldn’t follow God’s ways because we feel that God will forgive us. Our forgiveness is rooted in our faith in the gospel. We should follow God’s ways and live for God because we have a love for God.
Jesus said:  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)”
There are a lot of rules that we can force ourselves to follow, perhaps even if we don’t want to do them.

Why Jesus? Couldn’t there be another way?

pexels-photo-302187“Atonement” is a theological word that gets mentioned. In short, atonement refers to the work that Christ has done for those who have faith in Him to earn their salvation.

I think people sometimes approach the gospel with skepticism. Jesus died for the sins of all who believe in him.

I know I used to ask was “why do we need this? Why do we have to believe in Jesus? Is sin such a big deal? Why is he the only way?”

Why we need to pursue God everyday

photo-1532298488760-970ff6decf61.jpeg
Do you have an area in your life today where you’re tempted to doubt God’s goodness?
Life is hard. There are challenges we face.
For some of us, it’s health. For some of us, it’s in the relationships we have. Maybe there’s a lot of conflict either with a friend or a neighbor or a family member. But things are just really tough. And maybe you’re in a situation that you just don’t like.
In the Exodus, the Israelites constantly complain about not having enough, things not being good enough, life not being easy enough.
For the Israelites, God works all of these signs and wonders. Miraculously redeems them.