LASTing Peace, Beyond Belief, Week 5c

We are wrapping up our next-to-the-last week of this Bible study. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. Let’s take another look at a few of the fruits of the spirit individually. How do they play out in our lives? What do they look like in a mature Christian?

LASTing Peace, Beyond Belief, Week 5b

This is the second video complimenting Week 5 in my Bible study, “Beyond Belief, Jesus Saved You–Now What?” We’re talking about a few of the Fruits of the Spirit in detail. What are they and what do they look like?
http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Jesus-Saved-What/dp/1632131145

God’s Stamp on Our Lives

Hebrews 1:3
“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”

What kind of character do you have? When I was little, we used “character sketches” in our family Bible times. These were short stories which used nature to highlight admirable character qualities. The English dictionary says that character is the combination of “traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing”.

As Christians, we desire to develop godly character traits. We want our character to be made up of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. These qualities develop out of a relationship with God. Jesus was the perfect example of these qualities.

In Greek, the word character means: “the instrument used for engraving or carving, the exact expression of a person”. Think of a rubber stamp. When you place it on the page, it leaves the exact representation of the stamp.

Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus represented the exact “character” or stamp of God. As we seek to grow Fruits of the Spirit in our lives, we should look to Jesus. He showed us exactly what God looks like. As He is the exact imprint of God, so we want His imprint to characterize our lives.

LASTing Peace, Beyond Belief, Week 3c

Guess what? After this week, we’re halfway through our six-week study together. If you haven’t picked up your copy of the book, [http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Jesus-Saved-What/dp/1632131145/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436633987&sr=8-1&keywords=beyond+belief+abby+kelly] it’s not too late. You can watch these videos at your leisure and do the study at your own pace. And of course, I’d love to dialogue with you about it here, on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506106005] or on my blog: http://www.predatory-lies.com.

Your Broken Body, A Freewill Offering

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

God has had me in Leviticus lately; a place Beth Moore affectionately calls “the graveyard of anyone who commits to read the Bible in a year.” However, I’m powering through it, not for the first time, but discovering all kinds of ponderable things this time through.

This time, I’m mesmerized by the specificity with which God describes each type of sacrifice and offering.

The sacrifices and offerings described in Leviticus never truly did away with sin. The animals were merely a portrayal of the ultimate sacrifice to come—Jesus Christ. That is why the offerings for sin, guilt and purity always required an animal without spot or blemish.

Have you ever wondered about Paul’s meaning in Romans 12:1 of, “ … present your bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God … “ .

Those who believe in Christ as savior understand that Christ paid our debt. He was the final sacrifice. There is no more blood to be shed, work to be done or sacrifice to be offered. And even if there were, we are painfully aware that our imperfections would exclude us from being an acceptable sacrifice. What kind of offering could we possibly be, that Paul would urge us to … oh …

Present. That’s an important word. It implies to bring something to someone or surrender it to them for their purposes. In other words, it’s a willingly given offering. It is not an offering demanded for payment. It is not required by law, but Paul urges us—“by the mercy of God” to do this. It’s only reasonable he says.

The freewill offering is the only offering in the Old Testament in which God said the Israelites could present a blemished animal. That’s you and me. It is only in this capacity, freely presented, that our blemished, broken bodies are of any use or value to a holy God. (Leviticus 22:21-23)

You see, Christ did pay the ultimate sacrifice. His sacrifice for sin was required. Without it, all of humanity is damned. But now, we are overflowing with gratitude. We are stunned speechless by undeserved mercy. Now, it is that mercy, the mercy of God, that compels us to bring forward our damaged bodies and present them to our Father. And the beauty of it is, because of Jesus, they are acceptable.