God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt and it was not mere deliverance. God's purpose was to make them a nation that serves God. So the salvation of Israel is not coming out of Egypt but it is becoming the people of God. In order for them to be, they need to know God and how to live. This is where the Leviticus comes. This book teaches about the sacrificial offerings and feasts, and through those the Israelites were able to keep their relationship with their Savior.
Leviticus 1 talks about the burnt offering. And we can think three things from this. One is that our salvation is not an one-time event but a continual relationship. God made this regulations about the burnt offering is not to receive the offering itself, not to be respected. Rather, God is teaching this in order for the sinners to be able to approach God. This is a huge thing. These regulations are not for God's own sake but for the sinner's sake. In fact, God did not want the meat sacrifices and smell in the first place. That's why God nullified through his precious son's blood.
And secondly, our center of worship is God. The center of the sacrifices to the idols are the desires of those who give sacrifices. They give their offerings to their chosen god in order to receive what they wanted. To whom, with what, and how to give sacrifices are determined based on their desires. However, here God determines what would please holy God.
Lastly, God wanted them to burn all of it, unlike other sacrifices. This is the shadow of what Christ would do to open the gate for the sinners to approach God. It was through complete death. So by burning all of it, they can know how holy God is and how serious our sins are. And based on this rules, Christ completely died. He burnt all of himself. And now God asks us to burn all of ourselves for God.
1. After service, we had a BBQ at Mr. Eugene's new house! Thank you for everyone coming!
In our passage James is talking about the wisdom. Generally wisdom is different from knowledge. Knowledge is about what, while wisdom is about how. Therefore, wisdom in and out of itself cannot be apart from our life. Wisdom can only exist when it is applied. And James asks a question in verse 13, who is wise and understanding among you? This question reminds us those who want to be teachers in verse 1. And James addressed them with this question and challenged them to show their wisdom. And this wisdom is supposed to be wisdom from above.
There are other wisdom which is not from above. It is motivated by jealousy and selfish ambition. This is the wisdom of this world. It looks like wisdom and it seems to be beneficial. And sometimes it even brings wealth and comforts. However, no matter what the result looks like, it will produces disorder and evil in the end.
But wisdom from above has the opposite ending. All the words used in verses 17 and 18 are not individual but communal. This kind of wisdom produces good fruits to the community. It builds up the relationship.
One of the good examples of this is David. While he had chances to kill king Soul twice, and he was able to kill him, with pure heart, peaceable and gentle mind, submissive to his God, with full of mercy and to eager to produce good fruits, with impartial and sincere judgment, he concluded that killing the man who was anointed by God is not right. This is the wisdom from above.
How can we get it, then? According to James 1:5, we have to ask God. It means we should ask wisdom instead of asking solution. Also, it means we have to ask God not someone else.
1. We will have BBQ on next Sunday (September 30th) at Mr. Eugene's new house
Today we had a church-wide outdoor worship service and activities.
Thank you for those who come and participated every programs.
We will have regular worship service next Sunday.
Texts: 1 Samuel 4:1-11
Title: The Object Matters Most
When it comes to our faith we tend to think about the size, reminding that our Lord from time to time pointed out his disciples' little faith. However, the more important thing is the object. No matter how big or strong our faith is, it is nothing if we put our faith in wrong object. That's what happened in our story.
When the Israelites lost their battle with Philistines, they asked this question. 'Why has the Lord defeated us before our enemy?' Then, they concluded to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And that's what they did. The Philistines knew the ark came into the Israelites' camp, and they were afraid. So they took courage and fight again. As a result, the Philistines won. Not the Israelites. What? Yes. It was not switched. Philistines won. How can human courage beat the faith of Israelites? What is wrong?
Although the Israelites had a strong faith (they did not afraid, they did not doubt, but they were excited when the ark came), they put their faith in the wrong object. They did not ask God and his will, but they decided to bring the ark, believing that the ark (it) can save them (v.3).
The Philistines thought that God was with the Israelites because of the ark, which was the symbol of the presence of God. However, the Israelites did not care about the presence of God. They wanted the ark itself, as if God automatically follows wherever the ark goes.
In this day, we can make the same mistake. We assume that God is with us as long as we have rituals. We tend to care more about the size of faith, whether it is the blind faith or not. But what matters most is the object of our faith, which is God. We should eager to seek his will and presence.
1. Welcome to our new comer!
2. Next Sunday, we will have church-wide outdoor worship and activity. We will meet at Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA.