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Connect Groups - Sunday 9:10 AM

Morning Worship - Sunday 10:30 AM

April 15 2018

Revelation 2 opens with Jesus addressing the first 3 of the 7 churches.  For the purpose of this devotional, I will focus on the first church - the church at Ephesus.  As you read about these churches, I want you to think not about Selma but about your own life – Selma is the sum total of its members.  Jesus begins a with a glowing report on the positives of the church.  He commends them on their hard work, their perseverance and the fact they can not tolerate evil people.  He tells them they have left their first love.  He gives a strong command for them to do the things they first did.  It's hard to imagine with that many commendations that Jesus could have a problem with this church.  He is addressing the motive for all their work and perseverance.  They had ceased to do it out of their love for God – it had become robotic and without care.  They did what they did out of obligation rather than out of sincere love for Jesus.  Why do you do what you do at Selma, for neighbors and friends?  Is it because of a deep abiding love for Jesus or is it out of obligation? Jesus says repent or lose your light.  Losing your light is a serious thing.  I would encourage you to carefully look into your heart and ask yourself these questions.


Leviticus 23-24 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Holy Days

23 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: These are my appointed times, the times of the Lord that you will proclaim as sacred assemblies.

3 “Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there is to be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; it is a Sabbath to the Lord wherever you live.

4 “These are the Lord’s appointed times, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times. 5 The Passover to the Lord comes in the first month, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the month. 6 The Festival of Unleavened Bread to the Lord is on the fifteenth day of the same month. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly; you are not to do any daily work. 8 You are to present a fire offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day there will be a sacred assembly; do not do any daily work.”

9 The Lord spoke to Moses: 10 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you and reap its harvest,[a] you are to bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. 11 He will present the sheaf before the Lord so that you may be accepted; the priest is to present it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you present the sheaf, you are to offer a year-old male lamb[b] without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering is to be four quarts[c] of fine flour mixed with oil as a fire offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, and its drink offering will be one quart[d] of wine. 14 You must not eat bread, roasted grain, or any new grain[e] until this very day, and until you have brought the offering to your God. This is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you live.

15 “You are to count seven[f] complete weeks[g] starting from the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the presentation offering. 16 You are to count fifty days until the day after the seventh Sabbath and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 Bring two loaves of bread from your settlements as a presentation offering, each of them made from four quarts of fine flour, baked with yeast, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 You are to present with the bread seven unblemished male lambs a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offerings and drink offerings, a fire offering of a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 You are also to prepare one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a fellowship sacrifice. 20 The priest will present the lambs with the bread of firstfruits as a presentation offering before the Lord; the bread and the two lambs will be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to make a proclamation and hold a sacred assembly. You are not to do any daily work. This is to be a permanent statute wherever you live throughout your generations. 22 When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the resident alien; I am the Lord your God.”

23 The Lord spoke to Moses: 24 “Tell the Israelites: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a day of complete rest, commemoration, and trumpet blasts—a sacred assembly. 25 You must not do any daily work, but you must present a fire offering to the Lord.”

26 The Lord again spoke to Moses: 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly and practice self-denial; you are to present a fire offering to the Lord. 28 On this particular day you are not to do any work, for it is a Day of Atonement to make atonement for yourselves before the Lord your God. 29 If any person does not practice self-denial on this particular day, he is to be cut off from his people. 30 I will destroy among his people anyone who does any work on this same day. 31 You are not to do any work. This is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you live. 32 It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial. You are to observe your Sabbath from the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

33 The Lord spoke to Moses: 34 “Tell the Israelites: The Festival of Shelters[h] to the Lord begins on the fifteenth day of this seventh month and continues for seven days. 35 There is to be a sacred assembly on the first day; you are not to do any daily work. 36 You are to present a fire offering to the Lord for seven days. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present a fire offering to the Lord. It is a solemn gathering; you are not to do any daily work.

37 “These are the Lord’s appointed times that you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for presenting fire offerings to the Lord, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its designated day. 38 These are in addition to the offerings for the Lord’s Sabbaths, your gifts, all your vow offerings, and all your freewill offerings that you give to the Lord.

39 “You are to celebrate the Lord’s festival on the fifteenth day of the seventh month for seven days after you have gathered the produce of the land. There will be complete rest on the first day and complete rest on the eighth day. 40 On the first day you are to take the product of majestic trees—palm fronds, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You are to celebrate it as a festival to the Lord seven days each year. This is a permanent statute for you throughout your generations; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You are to live in shelters for seven days. All the native-born of Israel must live in shelters, 43 so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in shelters when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” 44 So Moses declared the Lord’s appointed times to the Israelites.

Tabernacle Oil and Bread

24 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Command the Israelites to bring you pure oil from crushed olives for the light, in order to keep the lamp burning regularly. 3 Aaron is to tend it continually from evening until morning before the Lord outside the curtain of the testimony in the tent of meeting. This is a permanent statute throughout your generations. 4 He must continually tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand in the Lord’s presence.

5 “Take fine flour and bake it into twelve loaves; each loaf is to be made with four quarts.[i] 6 Arrange them in two rows, six to a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. 7 Place pure frankincense near each row, so that it may serve as a memorial portion for the bread and a fire offering to the Lord. 8 The bread is to be set out before the Lord every Sabbath day as a permanent covenant obligation on the part of the Israelites. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, for it is the holiest portion for him from the fire offerings to the Lord; this is a permanent rule.”

A Case of Blasphemy

10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father was[j] among the Israelites. A fight broke out in the camp between the Israelite woman’s son and an Israelite man. 11 Her son cursed and blasphemed the Name, and they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, a daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan.) 12 They put him in custody until the Lord’s decision could be made clear to them.

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 14 “Bring the one who has cursed to the outside of the camp and have all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then have the whole community stone him. 15 And tell the Israelites: If anyone curses his God, he will bear the consequences of his sin. 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death; the whole community is to stone him. If he blasphemes the Name, he is to be put to death, whether the resident alien or the native.

17 “If a man kills anyone, he must be put to death. 18 Whoever kills an animal is to make restitution for it, life for life. 19 If any man inflicts a permanent injury on his neighbor, whatever he has done is to be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Whatever injury he inflicted on the person, the same is to be inflicted on him. 21 Whoever kills an animal is to make restitution for it, but whoever kills a person is to be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the resident alien and the native, because I am the Lord your God.”

23 After Moses spoke to the Israelites, they brought the one who had cursed to the outside of the camp and stoned him. So the Israelites did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Footnotes:

23:10 = the barley harvest

23:12 Or a male lamb in its first year

23:13 Lit two-tenths of an ephah, also in v. 17

23:13 Lit one-fourth of a hin

23:14 Grain or bread from the new harvest

23:15 Lit count; they will be seven

23:15 Or Sabbaths

23:34 Or Tabernacles, or Booths

24:5 Lit two-tenths of an ephah

24:10 Lit went out

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.



Revelation 2

Revelation 2 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Letters to the Seven Churches

The Letter to Ephesus

2 “Write to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus: Thus says the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you[b] and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet you do have this: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in[c] the paradise of God.

The Letter to Smyrna

8 “Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life: 9 I know your[d] affliction and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown[e] of life.

11 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.

The Letter to Pergamum

12 “Write to the angel of the church in Pergamum: Thus says the one who has the sharp, double-edged sword: 13 I know[f] where you live—where Satan’s throne is. Yet you are holding on to my name and did not deny your faith in me,[g] even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness who was put to death among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block[h] in front of the Israelites: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.[i] 16 So repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna.[j] I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.

The Letter to Thyatira

18 “Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira: Thus says the Son of God, the one whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine bronze: 19 I know your works—your love, faithfulness,[k] service, and endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. 20 But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Look, I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction. Unless they repent of her[l] works, 23 I will strike her children dead.[m] Then all the churches will know that I am the one who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who haven’t known “the so-called secrets[n] of Satan”—as they say—I am not putting any other burden on you. 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works to the end: I will give him authority over the nations—

27 and he will rule[o] them with an iron scepter;
he will shatter them like pottery[p]—

28 just as I have received this from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.

29 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Footnotes:

2:1 Or messenger, also in vv. 8,12,18

2:5 Other mss add quickly

2:7 Other mss read in the midst of

2:9 Other mss add works and

2:10 Or wreath

2:13 Other mss add your works and

2:13 Or deny my faith

2:14 Or to place a trap

2:15 Other mss add which I hate

2:17 Other mss add to eat

2:19 Or faith

2:22 Other mss read their

2:23 Or with a plague

2:24 Or the secret things

2:27 Or shepherd

2:27 Ps 2:9

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.