Sunday, October 2, 2011

Musings on Sacrifice

We observed the Lord’s Supper this morning in church and I got to thinking about sacrifice. Jesus paid the sacrifice for our sins once and for all. I think because we don’t have to sacrifice any more, we miss the significance of His sacrifice.
In Old Testament times, each person had to offer a sacrifice for his/her sins. There was a schedule of sins and the required sacrifice. Most times it was an animal sacrifice and the animal died. The animal (let’s use lamb for our example) was not one that was sick or lame. It had to be a PERFECT lamb. The best of the flock.
If you were a storekeeper and didn’t keep sheep, you could buy a lamb. But not from a discount store and there were no Lamb Coupons. You had to purchase a perfect spotless lamb and those didn’t come cheap.
So when you brought your own spotless lamb or the spotless lamb that you had paid your hard-earned cash for, what happened to than animal? It was sacrificed….for your sins. It died! And most of the time, the offerer did the sacrificing. So not only did you bring your perfect, spotless lamb to the altar, you had to the one to kill it. And it died not because of its sins. No, it was blameless. It died for your sins.
However, when Jesus came, He was the Lamb of God. He gave His life and died, for our sins. We no longer have to bring a lamb to the altar. We no longer have to buy a lamb to sacrifice. We no longer have to slay the lamb to atone for our sins.
Sin was a serious matter in the Old Testament. It had to be atoned for by blood. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin.” Heb. 9:22. Sin could not be overlooked or forgotten. The cleansing of sin took the sacrifice (death) of an animal (and probably not a willing animal at that!)
But Christ willingly was our sacrifice and laid down His life, so that we might receive the forgiveness of our sins, be reconciled to God and be saved.
But Christ’s sacrifice has to be received. We have to accept Christ and thereby Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. It’s a free gift but we must accept it. Just like the Christmas gift under the tree with our name on it. It’s there. It has our name on it. But it doesn’t become ours until we take it and receive it.
The Old Testament required a sacrifice and if the sacrifice wasn’t done, the person’s sins weren’t forgiven. We have to accept Christ’s payment (sacrifice) for our sins or our sins aren’t forgiven.
Heb. 2:2 says “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
Simply put, we won’t. If we neglect so great a salvation, if we don’t accept Christ and His sacrifice for our sins, we are still in our sins and there is no forgiveness and if there is no forgiveness, there is no escape.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Over the Top - Dallas Event - Women of Faith

Over The Top

I am so excited to be going to the Women of Faith Conference in Dallas this year. I have been going to Women of Faith for many years. I started out going with my daughter. Then we started getting a group together from our church. We rent a van and stay in a beautiful hotel. We have a couple of husbands who willingly put up with a lot of talkative women and they chauffeur to all the sessions. This year I'm looking forward to having my daughter-in-law fly in from Tennessee to go with us.

Can't say enough about Women of Faith. All of the speakers are excellent. I look forward to it all year long. I am a member and receive devotionals and other information all year long.

God uses women of Fait h in so many ways to touch so many lives.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

God's Grace

Must tell this. The weekend before we left I broke a filling (I thought it was a tooth) Went to dentist on Monday and she fixed the filling but said it was possible the tooth was cracked and if I had problems to chew on the other side. Not exactly what you want to hear when going halfway round the world. Everything was fine. On Monday in Joburg, we went to visit with the pastor's family we knew and the tooth began to throb a bit. At the end of the evening, when we prayed, I mentioned my tooth and prayed that it would not be a problem while we were in Mautirius. The tooth never throbbed or gave me any other trouble! Praise the Lord!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back in Johannesburg

We are now back in Johannesburg. It is rainy and cool!!! We had pizza yesterday for lunch! YUM!!! We will do some traveling to Kruger to see the wildlife and see some of the other sites around here and then head home Monday evening.

First Lay Renewal Weekend

Our first Lay Renewal was at the Baptist Church of the North (BCN) in Grand Bay. We were staying in Blue Bay at the south end of the island and Grand Bay is at the north end of the island. We dropped a team off at Curepipe (Curepeep) and a team off at Goodlands.
The weekend began on Friday night with a dinner. At BCN we ate standing up in the Courtyard. We were on a tropical island which interpreted means hot and humid or hotter and humid or hot and humider. You get the idea. Needless to say we sweat a LOT!
Friday night consisted of singing, testimony, teaching and small groups where the church people got a chance to share what they expected for the weekend, what the teaching meant to them and other questions intended to draw them out and make them think about their spiritual life. Ben and I, being newbies, were prayer partners to the ones leading the group session. The people were very good at sharing so we didn’t end up staring at one another.
Saturday morning we had coffees in the homes. The coffee group I was in shared very openly about their struggles, prayer requests, answered prayers, etc. Then it was back to the church for lunch. (When we had a break, I would tell people “’Til we eat again”) J After lunch the men and women broke into groups to share. The ladies’ group talked about women’s ministry and we were very surprised when several women spoke of their ministry (prison, after-school) that the other women were not aware of. Several women told others they would like to get involved. They need an organizer! At the closing prayer, I thanked God that these women had outreach ministry but I prayed that God would put it upon some hearts for “inreach” so the ladies could meet together to pray, talk, encourage and inspire one another.
Saturday night we had singing, testimonies, teaching and small groups. In these small groups, we asked people to share the time they first gave their hearts to Christ. We asked them to think about what they had heard in the teaching and about their commitment to Christ. We all then wrote a letter to Jesus. That was something new to me but was very meaningful. I think that is something we should do from time to time.
Sunday morning was the Sunday worship, teaching and a time of commitment. Many people came for prayer, recommitment, salvation.
After church we were to leave at 1:00 to reverse course, pick up the other teams and return to Blue Bay. However, one of our hosts wanted to have our team for lunch and they prevailed upon our leader to postpone our departure until 3:30. We had a lovely lunch in an outside dining area overlooking the ocean.
Let me just interject here that when I say we took a van and dropped off the teams, it was a 23-24 passenger van. We were a total of 20 people PLUS luggage. We were able to take one suitcase per couple with just the things we needed for the weekend. That luggage plus any small carry-ons went WITH us inside the van (Did I mention the van was un-air-conditioned?)
We Americans are so used to our creature comforts. We had no air-conditioning in rooms, churches,or vans.