Thursday, February 22, 2024

Orange Moon Cafe Thursday, February 22, 2024 "The Sacrifices of Reality"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"The Sacrifices of Reality"



      The ritual offerings of the Old Testament served as blessed and necessary foreshadowings of the Lord Jesus Christ and His "one sacrifice for sins for ever" (Hebrews 10:12).  After His perfectly atoning work on our behalf, however, ritual sacrifice no longer plays a role in the life of God's people.

    "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect" (Hebrews 10:1).

    "For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:4).

    Born again believers live a life of reality sacrifices rather than ritual offerings.

    "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate (to share) forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:15-16).

     Appreciative and grateful communion with our Heavenly Father, resulting in a life of love for people, comprise the sacrifices to which God calls Christians.  Looking back in faith on "one sacrifice for sins forever" removes ritual from our walk with God.  "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (Galatians 4:9).  Once winsome and beautiful in foreshadowing, but now "weak and beggarly" in the light of Christ's fulfillment, are any practices that minimize the perfection of the Lord Jesus' atoning work at Calvary and the resurrection's "power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16).  Moreover, ritual can distract us from reality, and thus become a danger and deception.  

   "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances - touch not; taste not; handle not - which all are to perish with the using after the commandments and doctrines of men?" (Colossians 2:20-22).

    Such truth, while liberating, also greatly challenges us.  Real sacrifice, led and empowered by the indwelling love of Christ, will be offered in the everyday moments of life wherein something will be lost as we love God and people.  We may not always sense the foregoing of some form of our own gain, comfort, or satisfaction when we live in Christ's self-sacrificial reality.  But it will always accompany our devotion as lived in the trenches and ordinary pathways where worship and walking with God must be known, experienced, and practiced at all times rather than in mere moments of ritual.  "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul, affirming the truth that altars of true sacrifice lie before us in every moment (Philippians 1:21).  Including this one.

   The law of Moses was a blessed and effectual schoolmaster, educating Israel directly and the world indirectly that the Lord Jesus is the redeeming Christ of God.  It's educational role is done now, however.  "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Galatians 5:24-25).  The law's rituals devised by God, and all others devised by man, have dissolved in the heat of Calvary's divine wrath and judgment, and the bright light that ever shines from the tomb wherein the Light of the world arose from the dead.  "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" because of our Lord's "one sacrifice for sins forever" already offered and complete (Hebrews 10:26).  We rather sacrifice the offering of reality in the trenches and everyday pathways of life for the glory of God and the blessing of people.  We can do so because the Lord Jesus made perfect and redeeming sacrifice for ourselves.  We thereby live free from ritual, and freely unto the reality of life, Christ's life, day by day, moment by moment.  Including this moment…

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."

(Hebrews 13:20-21)

Weekly Memory Verse

     Trust in Him at all times, ye people, pour out your heart before Him.  God is a refuge for us.

(Psalm 62:8)


No comments: