Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Leviticus 19:9-35

do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ...
do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ...
do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ...
do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ... do not ...
Leviticus 19:9-35
 
Today is one of the few places that match unbelievers stereotype about the Bible. Have you ever heard someone say, "The Bible is just a bunch of rules?" Well, if you read Leviticus, it might just seem like it is.
 
For the first half of this covenantal book, we were told about the sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sins. Now, "the people are instructed on how to live as a forgiven people." History calls this "the holiness code," and while, yes, it was a lot of do's and don't's, it was mostly a list of how to stay safe (holy) in a world of danger.
 
If anyone tells you that the Bible is a rule book, tell them, "In places it seems that way. But we'd do better to remember that Jesus simplified all of it to one four-letter word: Love." In fact, in Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus told us to "love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind ... and ... love our neighbors as ourselves."
 
By the way ... to point us away from rules and back to love, Jesus was quoting this very chapter with all the "do not's" (as well as Deut 6:5) ...
 
"Do not seek revenge.
Do not bear a grudge against anyone.
Rather, love your neighbor as yourself."
Leviticus 19:18
 
Isn't it cool how Jesus goes to the middle of a bunch of rules and reminds us that's it's all about love.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who loves finding a pearl
in the midst of passages about not eating swine
----------------------------
I have been known to say, "How do you love your neighbor as yourself when you don't love yourself?"  I am finding that when I reach out in love to others instead of being wrapped up in my own mind that I am able to be gentler on myself and see the positive in situations.  

Last night I was verbally attacked by someone during a bible study. While sitting there quietly listening to the verbal abuse with shaking hands and tears streaming down my cheeks, the thought in my head was, "You are loved. These are lies." Repeated over and over even after she finished until my own shaking and tears stopped

Instead of bearing a grudge against her, I have been at peace. I can't control what she does or says. Instead of internalizing what she said to me I have been listening to the truth. All HUGE changes that I hope are here to stay. Please keep praying. 

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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