October 21, 2018
Read Deuteronomy 12
To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.
Scripture- Deuteronomy 12:30-31- Do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
Observations- God wanted the Hebrews to avoid the practices of the pagan, idol worshiping religions that would be all around them. If they weren’t careful to remove all of the Canaanite altars and Asherah (fertility goddess) poles (where they “danced”) as they moved into the Promised Land, then the temptation to find out more about their rituals and include them in their own worship would be far stronger. Moses experienced how prone the Israelites had already shown themselves to be in adopting practices God wanted them to avoid from other cultures. He pointed point out the dangers of not being intentional about the ways they would love, worship, and serve God.
Application- One of the complaints from our culture about Christ followers in 2018 is that we’re “narrow-minded," because we don’t accept that all of the pathways anyone might choose automatically lead to God, but we don’t- and can't- agree that all ways of worshiping and serving are equally valid. We are criticized for having goals, standards, and graceful limits based on a 2,000 year old book confirmed by our traditions, experience, and reason. G. K. Chesterton said, “Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” I'm a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, which means I’m not open to everything at all times. It's been often said, "If we don’t know what we stand for, we're more likely to fall for anything." It's important for us to be clear about our core values and what is non-negotiable for the "faith once delivered." (Jude vs. 3)
Prayer- Dear Lord, thank You for lavishly pouring out Your love and grace into my life. I know I don’t deserve it, but I’m grateful for it. Help live out the truth with abundant and overflowing grace and mercy. Help us discern with Your wisdom how to get this balance just right for Your glory. In those times that require us to close our mind around the truth give us hearts filled with love, peace, and joy. Amen.
"Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people." (Jude vs. 3),
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