Bible Pathways - Mar. 8, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Read about laws, rules, regulations, and responsibilities to help the Israelites preserve the cleanliness, integrity, and holiness of God in the promised land.
The underlying principle of the laws of these chapters was given by a loving Creator to protect His people from the immoral conduct of surrounding nations which would destroy the Israelites' ability to fulfill His purposes. One of the many unusual regulations given in today's Bible reading is: Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit . . . be defiled (22:9). Although we are under no obligtion today to literally observe this command, the principle of purity is still as binding. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. . . . They are written for our admonition. . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (I Corinthians 10:6,11-12; II Corinthians 6:17). Again, His Word declares: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (6:14).
Our Lord also set forth the principle of single-hearted devotion to Him when He said: Seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Paul said: For me to live is Christ (to live in me) (Philippians 1:21). Single-heartedness is the key to victorious Christian living. The Master declared that there can be only one lord in our lives. We choose either Christ, who speaks to us through His Word, or some other person or thing. No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). The test comes when both are demanding our time. The one we choose is our lord.
The child of God is in the world but not of the world (John 15:19). He will take a position against its compromising, corrupting influences which rule the world — and live entirely independent of all that the world presents as desirable. We are in the world — expressly placed here by God, living among those who are of the world, to represent and present the Light of the world (note 1:4-5; 8:12; 9:5; also Matthew 5:14-16).
Only by living a separated life from the world's principles can we lead others to love Christ and His Word.
The world is self-pleasing and self-exalting, resulting in inevitable disappointment. The life in Christ demonstrates His love which seeks the highest good of others, even to the denying of self. Like Lot who chose to live in Sodom, many fail to be effective witnesses because their daily conduct is so intermingled with the "pleasures" of the world. But read the prayer of Christ. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:14).
Thought for Today:
The true Christian will not accept the sinful world's principles. Be not conformed to this world . . . that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
Christ died on a cross in our place, submitting to the penalty of death imposed by the Law for our sins (Deuteronomy 21:23). In the evening He was taken down from the cross, signifying the Law had been satisfied (John 19:31). Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).
21:4 strike off =b> break the neck or behead; 21:5 controversy =b> dispute; stroke =b> assault or violence; 21:15 hated =b> unloved; 22:8 battlement =b> guard railing; 22:19 amerce =b> punish with a fine; 22:30 discover his father's skirt =b> commit adultery with his father's wife.
Pray for Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Country: France (59.1 million) in western Europe • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 7% Islam; 1.22% Protestant; 1.18% Jewish; 1% Buddhist; .2% Orthodox; .2% Eastern Catholic; .2% Jehovah's Witness; 9% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matthew 6:7-8).
Optional Reading: Luke 23
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:14