Summary: THIS SERMON DEALS WITH LEVITICUS 18. IT IS A CALL TO HOLY LIVING.
MAY 23, 2010
1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. 3You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 4You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
INTRO. IN 2000, I UPROOTED ANNE AND THE THREE CHILDREN, AND MOVED THEM FROM THE ONLY HOME THEY HAD EVER REALLY KNOWN, TO THE FROZEN NORTH. CAMERON WAS 8, AMSY 11, AND DEREK WAS 16. BEFORE WE MOVED, I TOOK DEREK ASIDE AND HAD THIS CONVERSATION WITH HIM. I TOLD HIM; THE PEOPLE UP THERE DON’T KNOW YOU FROM ADAM. YOU CAN BE WHO EVER YOU WANT TO BE. THIS IS A FRESH START FOR YOU; NOW MAKE THE MOST OF IT.
I BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE WHENEVER YOU ARE IN A PERIOD OF TRANSITION IN YOUR LIFE. START A NEW JOB, YOU REALLY BUST IT, YOU WANT YOUR NEW EMPLOYER TO THINK HE HAS MADE A GOOD CHOICE IN HIRING YOU. MOVE INTO A NEW HOUSE, YOU WANT TO MAKE IT LOOK AS GOOD AS POSSIBLE. BUY A NEW CAR, YOU KEEP IT CLEAN.
NOW HERE IS THE PROBLEM, IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG AND THE NEWNESS WEARS OFF. AFTER A WHILE, YOU BEGIN TO LET THINGS SLIP A LITTLE, AND IN SOME INSTANCES, MAYBE A LOT.
AS WE GET INTO OUR TEXT, I NEED TO SHARE A COUPLE OF THINGS WITH YOU. MY JOB AS PASTOR IS TWO FOLD, TO COMFORT THE AFFLICTED, AND AFFLICT THE COMFORTABLE. SECONDLY, JESUS TALKED MORE ABOUT MONEY AND RELATIONSHIPS THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER THING. TELL YOUR PURSE OR BILLFOLD TO RELAX, B/C WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE OTHER THING. RELATIONSHIPS.
“IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES, IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES”, DICKENS FIRST LINE OF THE TALE OF TWO CITIES. WE TRULY LIVE IN THE BEST AND WORST. TECHNOLOGY IS SO FAR ADVANCED; WE LIVE IN THE AGE OF INSTANT COMMUNICATION. I REMEMBER AS A CHILD READING THE COMICS, DICK TRACY HAD THIS WRIST TELEPHONE, AND WE THOUGHT THAT IS SO COOL, BUT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN “REAL LIFE”. BY THE WAY, PLEASE SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONE OR AT LEAST PUT IT ON VIBRATE.
WE HAVE THINGS LIKE FACEBOOK WHERE I NOW HAVE 106 FRIENDS. THE TRUTH IS, A GOOD NUMBER OF THOSE ARE PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER SPOKEN TO, AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL. YOU HAVE TWITTER, AND EMAIL. LET ME DO A QUICK SURVEY, HOW MANY OF YOU ARE ON FACE BOOK? HOW MANY “FRIENDS” DO YOU HAVE? HOW MANY OF THOSE “FRIENDS” DO YOU HAVE REAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH? IN THIS DAY OF INSTANT EVERYTHING, MANY WANT THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO BE THE SAME. I WAS READING RECENTLY OF A FAMILY THAT LEFT A CHURCH. WHEN THE PASTOR ASKED WHY THEY LEFT, THE WIFE’S RESPONSE WAS, “THIS CHURCH JUST ISN’T AS FRIENDLY AS I WOULD LIKE”. Finally the mother confessed that she craved a fellowship "where I can Facebook chat all day like I do with my homeschooling network."
THE AUTHOR OF THAT SAME ARTICLE SAID, Can we even recognize genuine friendship after all? Unlike family (including one's church family) or neighbor (whom we are commanded to love and serve), friendship is premised on distinctive grounds. It entails choice (you do not choose family or neighbor), and it demands high levels of trust, respect, and privacy. In short, friendship has to cost something to be genuine.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WANTS TO BE INVOLVED IN SERIOUS RELATIONSHIPS. WE HAVE A BUILT IN DESIRE FOR THEM. BUT, THEY MUST BE IN THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE.
THE OLD TESTAMENT IS ALWAYS INTERESTING TO ME, B/C WE ALWAYS NEED TO SEE IT IN LIGHT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. SO THE QUESTION ARISES, WHAT DO I DO WITH THE LEVITICUS 18 PASSAGE. WHEN YOU READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER, IT IS CLEAR THAT IT SPEAKS TO MANY ISSUES THAT STILL EXIST TODAY. I AM NOT GOING TO READ ALL THESE THINGS TO YOU; YOU CAN READ THRU IT LATER IF YOU CHOOSE. RATHER, I WOULD LIKE US TO FOCUS ON THE FIRST FEW VERSES.
GOD HAS DELIVERED HIS PEOPLE FROM THE EGYPTIANS. NOW THEY ARE ON A 40-YEAR JOURNEY, THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD THEM TO THE PROMISED LAND. GOD HAS A STANDARD OF LIVING THAT HE CALLS HIS CHILDREN TO. IF YOU WANT IT IN A CAPSULE FORM, HERE IT IS; DIFFERENT. GOD CALLS HIS CHILDREN TO BE DIFFERENT. I PETER 2;9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. KJV PECULIAR PEOPLE.