“All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists.” D A Carson (“Don Carson”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
You walk by faith biblically when you act on the promises or commands of God. Faith must be demonstrated in one of two areas: “things hoped for” and “things not seen,” the future and the invisible. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,” i.e., you exercise faith in the direction of your hope. “Risk,” another word for “faith” reveals your hope or values; you only take risks in areas that you consider to be of value. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen,” i.e., your faith in the invisible demonstrates your trust in the unseen. Peter says, ‘Whom having not seen you love.”76 You love and follow One you have never seen.
All people must walk by faith; God built “commitment before knowledge” into the fabric of existence. Whether taking a prescription drug, flying on an airplane, or getting married -you are forced to walk by faith. The object of your faith determines what you call it: If the object of your faith is dice, you call it gambling; if the doctor, you call it medicine; if the stock market, you call it business; if your spouse, you call it marriage- and so forth.
The object of your faith determines the validity of your faith; not how much faith, but what you put your faith in, determines its validity. Let’s imagine you and I in the mountains of Colorado during the cold of winter. I need to cross a lake with six feet of ice, and ask you if it will hold me. You assure me that it will, but I, in my uncertainty crawl across the ice to safety. The same lake, in late spring, now
has a sheet of ice the thickness of a piece of paper. I again ask if you think it will hold, and you demure. I, with great boldness, venture out only to fall through the ice. We ponder the two experiences and conclude that the thickness of the ice rather than the amount of my faith determined the validity of my faith. The validity of your faith does not lie in the quantity, but in the Object of your faith, the Person of Christ.
76 I Peter 1:8
Leviticus 17-18 Matthew 27:27-50 (New King James Version)
The Sanctity of Blood
17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron, to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying: 3 “Whatever man of the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, 4 and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting to offer an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, the guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be [a]cut off from among his people, 5 to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they offer in the open field, that they may bring them to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to the priest, and offer them as peace offerings to the Lord. 6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 7 They shall no more offer their sacrifices to [b]demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.” ’
8 “Also you shall say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9 and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the Lord, that man shall be [c]cut off from among his people.
10 ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ 12 Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’
13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; 14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’
15 “And every person who eats what died naturally or what was torn by beasts, whether he is a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean. 16 But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his [d]guilt.”
Laws of Sexual Morality
18 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. 3 According to [e]the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their [f]ordinances. 4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
6 ‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. 7 The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. 8 The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. 9 The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 10 The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. 11 The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father—she isyour sister—you shall not uncover her nakedness. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is near of kin to your father. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is near of kin to your mother. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law—she isyour son’s wife—you shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness. 18 Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.
19 ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity. 20 Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her. 21 And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit[g] the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore [h]keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, eitherany of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be [i]cut off from among their people.
30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My [j]ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.’ ”
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the [a]Praetorium and gathered the whole [b]garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had [c]twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
The King on a Cross
32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him [d]sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, [e]that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the [f]scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. [g]If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe [h]Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
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