More Time For God
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath.” (Leviticus 23:26-32)
Jesus came and made atonement for us. He reconciled us back to God. We do not have to operate under the law, making offerings, sacrifices and religious rituals. The only way for man to be cut off from God is denying that Jesus is Lord and not accepting Him as Savior.
We are to set aside one day of the week when we will come together in corporate worship. In modern society many have to work on Sundays. God accepts this, especially as most churches have two services, so we can always attend at least one of them.
However, there are those who will put work ahead of church attendance. They are always too busy, i.e. the self employed, the business owner or the executives climbing the corporate ladder seven days a week, killing themselves for success.
To God this is not acceptable, but if we do it God’s way, include God in our affairs, and give Him our time, then the time we give Him on Sunday or any other day, will be redeemed by Him and we will also have good success. Consequently, as we celebrate the Lord, we will have many other reasons to rejoice.
Rely On Jesus
“Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (Philippians 3:4-16)
Right from the start we see we must not have any confidence in our own abilities, talents, ideals, philosophy, customs, or any outside influences, but to rely entirely on Jesus.
Our possessions can become liabilities if we are constantly concerned for them. We must never be afraid to lose them in an endeavor to know more of Christ. Knowing Christ is our main goal and realizing that this goal always involves sacrifice and unselfish living. It is only when we truly know Christ more and more that we can be effective in Christ’s goal to save the lost and grow the saved.
Our knowledge of Christ involves not only an intellectual knowledge, but also experiential, coming from personal communion with Him. Our old way of life, the past is counted as rubbish fit to be thrown away and forgotten, only then can we say there is no past in the new creation. Knowing Christ is not just experiencing the power of the risen Lord, but also sharing in His sufferings in a like manner.
So we are to achieve the goal God set before us regardless of the cost, sparing no effort as we press toward the mark, knowing that a single eyed pursuit is the benchmark of true spiritual maturity and effective discipleship.