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Morning Worship - Sunday 10:30 AM

May 8, 2018

May 8

Devotion

            Repentance is a word that is virtually non-existent in our modern vernacular. Worse yet, repentance is a concept that is all but lost in our modern culture. To repent means to admit wrong and to admit wrong means to acknowledge a standard and to acknowledge a standard means to admit the possibility of a supreme being to set that standard. Everything I just mentioned goes in complete contrast to the current “Do what I want” mentality that is so pervasive in our culture today. Not only do we not want to admit wrong, but we are even less inclined to turn away from that wrong and toward righteousness. But this mentality did not start with 21st century America, because as we see in Matthew 3, the key point of John the Baptist’s message was to repent.

            The reason John’s message was so important, and the reason repentance in still essential, is because the sinful inclinations of our heart lead us contrary to the holy will of God. Repentance not only involves genuine sorrow over sin committed, but it also prompts us to turn away from the attitudes of the heart and actions of our life that are contrary to the will of God and turn toward the very life that is graciously granted to the child of God, through the life of Christ. As you read Matthew 3, I encourage you to pause, reflect on your life, and allow the Holy Spirit to make you aware of those attitudes and actions in your life that are contrary to the will of God. Then, in the heart attitude of repentance, confess that/those sins to God and ask him to forgive you of those sins, cleanse you of all unrighteousness, and then lead you graciously along the path of life.


Numbers 29–31 (CSB)

1 “You are to hold a sacred assembly in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, and you are not to do any daily work. This will be a day of trumpet blasts for you. 2 Offer a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old—all unblemished—3 with their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, six quarts with the bull, four quarts with the ram, 4 and two quarts with each of the seven male lambs. 5 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for yourselves. 6 These are in addition to the monthly and regular burnt offerings with their prescribed grain offerings and drink offerings. They are a pleasing aroma, a fire offering to the Lord. 7 “You are to hold a sacred assembly on the tenth day of this seventh month and practice self-denial; do not do any work. 8 Present a burnt offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old. All your animals are to be unblemished. 9 Their grain offering is to be of fine flour mixed with oil, six quarts with the bull, four quarts with the ram, 10 and two quarts with each of the seven lambs. 11 Offer one male goat for a sin offering. The regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offerings are in addition to the sin offering of atonement. 12 “You are to hold a sacred assembly on the fifteenth day of the seventh month; you do not do any daily work. You are to celebrate a seven-day festival for the Lord. 13 Present a burnt offering, a fire offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs a year old. They are to be unblemished. 14 Their grain offering is to be of fine flour mixed with oil, six quarts with each of the thirteen bulls, four quarts with each of the two rams, 15 and two quarts with each of the fourteen lambs. 16 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 17 “On the second day present twelve young bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—18 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 19 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink and their drink offerings. 20 “On the third day present eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—21 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 22 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 23 “On the fourth day present ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—24 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 25 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 26 “On the fifth day present nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—27 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 28 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 29 “On the sixth day present eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—30 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 31 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 32 “On the seventh day present seven bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs a year old—all unblemished—33 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 34 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 35 “On the eighth day you are to hold a solemn assembly; you are not to do any daily work. 36 Present a burnt offering, a fire offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old—all unblemished—37 with their grain and drink offerings for the bulls, rams, and lambs, in proportion to their number. 38 Also offer one male goat as a sin offering. These are in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings. 39 “Offer these to the Lord at your appointed times in addition to your vow and freewill offerings, whether burnt, grain, drink, or fellowship offerings.” 40 So Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him. 1 Moses told the leaders of the Israelite tribes, “This is what the Lord has commanded: 2 When a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to put himself under an obligation, he must not break his word; he must do whatever he has promised. 3 “When a woman in her father’s house during her youth makes a vow to the Lord or puts herself under an obligation, 4 and her father hears about her vow or the obligation she put herself under, and he says nothing to her, all her vows and every obligation she put herself under are binding. 5 But if her father prohibits her on the day he hears about it, none of her vows and none of the obligations she put herself under are binding. The Lord will release her because her father has prohibited her. 6 “If a woman marries while her vows or the rash commitment she herself made are binding, 7 and her husband hears about it and says nothing to her when he finds out, her vows are binding, and the obligations she put herself under are binding. 8 But if her husband prohibits her when he hears about it, he will cancel her vow that is binding or the rash commitment she herself made, and the Lord will release her. 9 “Every vow a widow or divorced woman puts herself under is binding on her. 10 “If a woman in her husband’s house has made a vow or put herself under an obligation with an oath, 11 and her husband hears about it, says nothing to her, and does not prohibit her, all her vows are binding, and every obligation she put herself under is binding. 12 But if her husband cancels them on the day he hears about it, nothing that came from her lips, whether her vows or her obligation, is binding. Her husband has canceled them, and the Lord will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or cancel any vow or any sworn obligation to deny herself. 14 If her husband says nothing at all to her from day to day, he confirms all her vows and obligations, which are binding. He has confirmed them because he said nothing to her when he heard about them. 15 But if he cancels them after he hears about them, he will be responsible for her commitment.” 16 These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the relationship between a man and his wife, or between a father and his daughter in his house during her youth. 1 The Lord spoke to Moses, 2 “Execute vengeance for the Israelites against the Midianites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.” 3 So Moses spoke to the people, “Equip some of your men for war. They will go against Midian to inflict the Lord’s vengeance on them. 4 Send one thousand men to war from each Israelite tribe.” 5 So one thousand were recruited from each Israelite tribe out of the thousands in Israel—twelve thousand equipped for war. 6 Moses sent one thousand from each tribe to war. They went with Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, in whose care were the holy objects and signal trumpets. 7 They waged war against Midian, as the Lord had commanded Moses, and killed every male. 8 Along with the others slain by them, they killed the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 The Israelites took the Midianite women and their dependents captive, and they plundered all their cattle, flocks, and property. 10 Then they burned all the cities where the Midianites lived, as well as all their encampments, 11 and took away all the spoils of war and the captives, both people and animals. 12 They brought the prisoners, animals, and spoils of war to Moses, the priest Eleazar, and the Israelite community at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. 13 Moses, the priest Eleazar, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moses became furious with the officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, who were returning from the military campaign. 15 “Have you let every female live?” he asked them. 16 “Yet they are the ones who, at Balaam’s advice, incited the Israelites to unfaithfulness against the Lord in the Peor incident, so that the plague came against the Lord’s community. 17 So now, kill every male among the dependents and kill every woman who has gone to bed with a man, 18 but keep alive for yourselves all the young females who have not gone to bed with a man. 19 “You are to remain outside the camp for seven days. All of you and your prisoners who have killed a person or touched the dead are to purify yourselves on the third day and the seventh day. 20 Also purify everything: garments, leather goods, things made of goat hair, and every article of wood.” 21 Then the priest Eleazar said to the soldiers who had gone to battle, “This is the legal statute the Lord commanded Moses: 22 The gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, and lead—23 everything that can withstand fire—you are to pass through fire, and it will be clean. It must still be purified with the purification water. Anything that cannot withstand fire, pass through the water. 24 On the seventh day wash your clothes, and you will be clean. After that you may enter the camp.” 25 The Lord told Moses, 26 “You, the priest Eleazar, and the family heads of the community are to take a count of what was captured, people and animals. 27 Then divide the captives between the troops who went out to war and the entire community. 28 Set aside a tribute for the Lord from what belongs to the fighting men who went out to war: one out of every five hundred people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. 29 Take the tribute from their half and give it to the priest Eleazar as a contribution to the Lord. 30 From the Israelites’ half, take one out of every fifty from the people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats, all the livestock, and give them to the Levites who perform the duties of the Lord’s tabernacle.” 31 So Moses and the priest Eleazar did as the Lord commanded Moses. 32 The captives remaining from the plunder the army had taken totaled: 675,000 sheep and goats, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 people, all the females who had not gone to bed with a man. 36 The half portion for those who went out to war numbered: 337,500 sheep and goats, 37 and the tribute to the Lord was 675 from the sheep and goats; 38 from the 36,000 cattle, the tribute to the Lord was 72; 39 from the 30,500 donkeys, the tribute to the Lord was 61; 40 and from the 16,000 people, the tribute to the Lord was 32 people. 41 Moses gave the tribute to the priest Eleazar as a contribution for the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 42 From the Israelites’ half, which Moses separated from the men who fought, 43 the community’s half was: 337,500 sheep and goats, 44 36,000 cattle, 45 30,500 donkeys, 46 and 16,000 people. 47 Moses took one out of every fifty, selected from the people and the livestock of the Israelites’ half. He gave them to the Levites who perform the duties of the Lord’s tabernacle, as the Lord had commanded him. 48 The officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, approached Moses 49 and told him, “Your servants have taken a census of the fighting men under our command, and not one of us is missing. 50 So we have presented to the Lord an offering of the gold articles each man found—armlets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.” 51 Moses and the priest Eleazar received from them all the articles made out of gold. 52 All the gold of the contribution they offered to the Lord, from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, was 420 pounds. 53 Each of the soldiers had taken plunder for himself. 54 Moses and the priest Eleazar received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and brought it into the tent of meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.


Matthew 3 (CSB)

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” 3 For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said: A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight! 4 Now John had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. 9 And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.” 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” 15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed him to be baptized. 16 When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.”