Old Testament Lesson
Numbers 35:1-3, 9-15, 30-34
We see in this passage the institution of the cities of refuge. If you were to accidental kill another person, you could flee here so that you would not be killed by their families in an act of vengeance.
There are consequences for sin, but there is also forgiveness for sin. While this person that killed another will face punishment, it was to be a punishment that measured up the crime. Notice, the Lord says in this text that they should not defile the land with their actions and their vengeance.
Vengeance is the Lord's not try to take His place and pour at that vengeance, no matter how deserved we feel as thought it may be. We are to be "grace-filled" people. We are to walk and talk and live mercy filled lives. Now, justice will come, consequences will come, but we should be carefully not seek to pour out our vengeance upon others. God sees all and knows all and is the one that sits upon the throne. He calls us to be merciful, but also to know that sin has consequences.
New Testament Lesson
Maybe my favorite passage in all the bible. Nothing, nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing, nothing in life, nothing in death. For the Christian, for the one that loves and serves God, His love is always there. The only thing that can separate you from God's love is. . . you. Your sin can. You actions can.
This things don't really separate us from God's love, more like they blind us to it. It is always there; we just don't always pay attention. Sin blinds us to the point were we can't see. We can't realize that God is there.
Today, know that He loves you! Nothing can separate you from it! Do you see His great love for you! Do you see. It is all around. Open your eyes! It is right there in front of you even now.
These are maybe Jesus' harshest words in all the Gospel. This is his indictment of the Pharisees. Here it is; they were more interested in looking religious than in serving God.
Is that His indictment of us? Are more more interested in looking Christian than being Christian? God wants our hearts. That is what He demands. Today, does it He have yours, or are you just going through the motions of appearing to be Christian. He wants you to know Him and serve Him. Today, are you really seeking Him, or are you just playing religious?