The Millennial Treasure

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Photo credit to Evangelical Focus, an article by Will Graham.

 

“Thus says the Lord God; ‘If the prince gives a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance.’” Ezekiel 46:16

 
A millennium with Jesus, wouldn’t that be an awesome thing? Now I’ve seen some disagreement over whether this prince of Ezekiel’s vision is Jesus or not, but the Jewish rabbis looked to this prince as the Messiah. On the other hand, there is disagreement through commentaries upon whether this prince is Jesus or an appointed prince by God among the people. Frankly, I’m not an official Bible scholar, so I don’t know for sure, but when I read this, it sure makes me think of Him.

 
I wouldn’t have a problem with this being Jesus as the prince, after all, He is the Prince of Peace and He is the One who can atone for our sins. I’m just wondering why God would have anyone else approach the Holy of Holies now that the veil was torn through Jesus. What greater picture for all mankind at the time than to see Jesus standing in the place for us right before our very eyes?

 
But sacrifices? All that ritual? Why would Jesus die only to re-institute the sacrifices and rituals again? What purpose would that serve? What about a visual reminder? It seems to me that we as people need more reminders than we like to admit. And our reminders need to be pretty strong and visual. It’s not like a light nudge is often enough. Often, don’t we find that we need the cold water thrown on our faces to wake us up? Well, I don’t really look at these sacrifices as being cold water unpleasant. Let me explain.

 
What if the ritual and sacrifice we see in the Old Testament, that here God is saying He will re-institute in the millennium, isn’t about ritual experience? What if it never was about following ritual and obeying because you had to obey or else? What if walking through these rituals and walking through these sacrifices was always about understanding our relationship to God in different ways? What if it was about understanding different pieces of God, so to say? What if every step of obedience was supposed to be a step of love and adoration? What if understanding the reasons behind the ceremonies and celebrations and offerings was to understand more of our relationship with God and His relationship with us? Could there be a reason that God said these would be perpetual celebrations and perpetual offerings? Could they always have been intended as more than ritual and more than just commanded obedience? Is there more to this than meets our eyes?

 
Why can’t Jesus enter the East gate and offer up sacrifices for us? Wasn’t Jesus just as holy and just as much Jesus when He came to earth? Didn’t He obey all that God required of “Temple worship” and walking with others and submitting to authority then? If it wasn’t wrong for Jesus to participate then as an example before us of how we are to participate in the life that God has called us to, then why wouldn’t it be right for Him to continue to exemplify all things God for us, all things life for us?

 
Why are we so afraid of sacrifice and God’s ordained feasts and festivals and commandments? Is it because we really don’t understand them? What if they weren’t so foreign? What if it was all more about uncovering God like a glorious Treasure than following a ritual? What if participation was participation with God?

 
I can get stuck in the rut of ritual whether I am Jewish or Christian or any other religion or even not of any religion. That’s called a habit. But this isn’t about ritual and never was from God’s perspective. It’s always been about relationship. Abram didn’t follow after ritual. He followed a God whose voice he heard and who showed Himself on his behalf. He obeyed because He found a Treasure worth selling his whole life for! Moses would have followed ritual for sure at first. But God stripped him of that thinking. God brought Moses to the point where God was his Treasure, where the reality of life was the God of the burning bush. Moses became a man after God’s own heart, so humble, which was the total opposite of the Moses leaving Egypt.

 
I’ll skip ahead to the New Testament and look at Paul. Paul was a man of devout ritual. That wasn’t God’s choice. I know it wasn’t God’s choice because God confronted him about it. “Why do you kick against the goads?” And once Paul’s relationship with God changed through Jesus, the Treasure of worship in all the affairs of the Temple and Scripture opened anew to him and he was able to invite others, both Jew and Gentile, into the beauty of that Treasure! I must not forget that those first Gentile converts worshipped along with the Jews, not separate from them. Oh, the beauty of what was opened to their eyes! Even if it was only in part, the measure of the new understanding and beauty of God would be wonderful.

 
So, who are the sons of the prince? What if they are the children of God? What is the inheritance of the children of God? Isn’t the most precious inheritance to know God and be known by Him? Isn’t God through Jesus Christ our Treasure? I’m not sure what else there is to focus on. I mean, if you ask me, heaven isn’t as grand a treasure as God because heaven, without God, would be nothing but hell. Maybe if my real focus in life was the inheritance of God, you know, believing and acting as though God was my only treasure, then maybe I’d act a lot differently as I walked through this life. Maybe some things wouldn’t be so important any more. And maybe other things would be more important than ever.

 
But I do know this one thing, if there is a desire in my heart to spend a millennium with Jesus, I ought to start living in my inheritance now. I ought to start rejoicing in everything that represents the Treasure of my God every day because if I’m in Him, my inheritance in Him has already begun. I don’t get to be lazy. Because there will come a day, during that millennium when there will be people who turn from the Prince because He never was their Treasure and there will come a time when the Treasure passes judgement. And only those who know the Treasure will inherit the Treasure Himself. There is only one gift and the Gift is God Himself through Jesus Christ. I don’t ever want to ignore You.

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Time Out of Mind Remembering

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“You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”  Leviticus 2:13

There’s an expression here in America that talks about throwing out the baby with the bath water.  Sometimes we do that with Your Word, Lord.  Sometimes, something is just difficult or we don’t even have a picture of what it’s really like, and we just toss it out with disregard as though it has no benefit for us.  I see that done with the Old Testament truths.  I see that done with the sacrifices, and the feasts and festivals.  Only there is this word, perpetual, that God says this will be among Israel.

If You established these sacrifices and festivals as perpetual, “olam,” then why do we discard them as uninteresting and unneccesary to understand?  If they were valuable to You and necessary for the Jews, then why are they so invaluable to us?  It’s funny but that word olam means “vanishing point, time out of mind, eternity.”  So maybe, just maybe, You intended these things to have value for us eternally somehow?

Now, I don’t want to get hung up on performance here.  I understand that we are saved by grace, not by works we do.  God, You save us because there is nothing we could ever do to make ourselves acceptable on our own.  But let me ask a question.  What about the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper?  Paul tells us, “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.’  In the same way also He took the cup, after supper saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)  Now, does remembering through this ordinance save me?  No.  Absolutely not!  Is that why I do it?  No.  I obey this “tradition” because it does exactly what Jesus said it was for.  It reminds me.  I remember what it stands for.  It continually and repetitively points me back to You, Jesus.

I suppose it’s always a tendency of people to want to trust in their own good works, but that’s not what the sacrificial system and the feasts were about any more than the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper is about saving faith by eating bread and drinking wine.  Maybe we’d remember a lot more about You God and about Jesus and about ourselves if we took time to think about these “time out of mind” reminders.

Do you realize that Ezekiel was given a vision of a future temple and sacrificial “system” which most scholars believe is part of the millenial kingdom?  Here is a time when Jesus is on earth with us and the nation of Israel has returned to the Lord in Jesus Christ, and they are offering sacrifices!  And God says, “This is a perpetual statute.” (Ezekiel 46:14)  What if the sacrificial system and feasts of the Old Testament were pointing forward to Christ as daily reminders of what was to come and the sacrificial system and feasts in the Millenial Kingdom are pointing back to Christ as daily reminders of what You have done for us?  Since when don’t we need continual reminders lest we forget?

In desiring to understand this grain offering better, I did an internet search.  I wanted to find someone coming from a Jewish believer’s perspective.  Here’s what they started with, “The heart of the Good News is that Messiah Yeshua died for our sins. Dying to atone for sin sounds strange to many people today, including my Jewish people. The Good News would have greater impact if more people understood Temple worship, the sacrifices and the priests who offered them. They might be able to see how they are fulfilled in the Messiah and the New Covenant, which enables us to truly get close to the Three-In-One God of Israel!”  The point is, these statutes that You gave the Jews, Lord, were for the Jews and for us to be able to get close to You.  It was never about works but always about relationship.

The word most usually used for sacrifices and offerings is “korbanot.”  The root means “to get close.”  Why do we need to get close to God?  Because we’ve been estranged from You because of our sin.  Now to learn a little more about what You were doing God, by instituting sacrifices and feasts, let’s think about the sacrifices.  A sacrifice was not intended to be taken lightly or superficially.  It required giving something valuable.  Remember the statement “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required…” (Luke 12:48)  The rich brought bulls, the poor (like Mary and Joseph) brought pigeons or grain.  You came with the best You could give, not the least.  You were to come with a right heart attitude before the Lord.  Has that changed?  Doesn’t my heart attitude still matter?  Or can I approach You with an attitude of giving the least I can?  Would that attitude show I’ve really come to know and love You?

Because Your character is holy, my sacrifice was and is to be holy or perfect, without blemish.  If I don’t care about that, if I would give You a defective sacrifice, then I don’t really recognize You in my heart.  I show I despise You.  And it reminds me that holiness and righteousness is only attained by living to Your statutes.  Which reminds me of my impurity and unholiness and sinfulness and imperfection and points me to Jesus, my Necessary Perfector.  It wasn’t myself that I offered.  I had to offer an unblemished sacrifice in my place.  No imperfect animal could do that once and for all.  But You, Jesus, were and are our Ultimate Sacrifice.  What a beautiful connection to remember.  What a beautiful connection for someone to look forward to.  It was what Simeon and the widow at the Temple got so excited over when they saw this Jesus, even as a baby, that they had been looking forward to.  “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

All these things were substitutes and examples.  These things were burnt so the offerer wouldn’t have to be.  They got what the person deserved to get.  We transfer our guilt, our shame, our imperfection to that which we offer.  The offering experiences it for us and we should understand that.  I should be receiving that punishment.  I should be the one burning.  But the Ultimate Sacrifice takes my place.  He became my Substitute.  He was the Substitute even back then.  Simeon understood that.  We all must because we are called to identify with Him and identifying with Him means really starting to understand the depth of what You have done for us.

The order of the offerings mattered, that’s why the sin offering was first.  Before we can walk in faith, we must deal with the things that separate us from You, God.  My sin is a problem that must be dealt with.  It must be atoned for before I can ever dedicate myself to You or serve You, before true fellowship and intimacy with You can ever be experienced.

It was never about going through the motions.  The Korbanot was about having genuine faith.  Going through the motions never draws us closer to God.  Our hearts and minds and actions need to be engaged with You, God.  I must truly respect You for who You are.  Yes, You God, care how I come to You.  You care about the attitude of my heart and mind.  “‘What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?’ says the Lord; ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.  When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?  Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me.  New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations–I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.”  (Isaiah 1:10-14)  Pretty strong stuff, huh?  Well, God, You weren’t burdened by and sick of these things because You set them in motion.  You were burdened by and sick of the emptiness of men’s hearts, the lack of love for You, the going through motion mentality, and the burden it was for them to serve You.  What heart attitude do I surrender to You with?  Am I serving in faith and in love and in delighting in You?  Or is it a chore, a chore to read Your word, a chore to fellowship in a church with other believers, a chore to talk about You, a chore to obey?

The offerings remind us that we don’t just commit intentional sins.  Sin can be unintentional.  I can be careless with my word or actions.  It’s interesting that some of the offerings were burnt as a sweet fragrance to You, but a portion was given as food to the priests.  I wonder if that was a picture of how we are both effected by others sins and how we have a responsibility to help others in their struggle with sin?  I wonder if You are telling us that You will take care of our sin and keep us in relationship with You and with each other?

Back to the sin offering.  It forced one to identify with the offering and realize it as a substitute.  There was an exchange-of-life, this animal’s life given for mine.  Not a fair exchange, especially when transferred to You Jesus, but no other exchange could give us life!  The offerer had to kill the animal.  It’s my sin that leads to death.  It’s my sin that causes pain.  I am the problem and the minute I realize that, God can begin a work in me.  The priest offered the blood by sprinkling it.  I can’t offer the blood.  Someone holy has to.  That’s where Jesus, You come in.  The blood is a symbol of life.  My life was sprinkled before God.  Is my life sprinkled out before God?

Do I see the visual of Jesus here and how I must respond and how He responded for me?  Is it just a sacrifice?  Or is it about relationship?  Is it about seeing and understanding the depths of what God needs to do for me and what He has done or what He wants to do?  It’s still all by faith.  If I understand and act upon that understanding, I’m living out faith.  You redeem me, You save me, and You forgive my sins.  Then You lead me in You.  You grow me in You.  I delight more and more in You.  Everything becomes a reminder and a picture.  I see You everywhere around me, in other people, in nature, in traditions, in statutes, and even in balloon creations!  And I keep acting on that seeing and that knowing.

There was even a guilt offering.  Asham, the Hebrew root, means “to fail in one’s duty” or “to be negligent”, or “to become guilty.)  That’s anytime we don’t do the holy things that You require.  Jesus was the Righteous, Guiltless one who paid the price for us, for my failing in my duty to God and man.  Yeah, I know I’m guilty at that.  Sometimes it happens in the midst of trying do what’s right but I miss what someone else really needs.  Yeah, living in relationship is hard.  That’s why I need Jesus.  I can’t do it right on my own.  Offerings tell me that.

The burnt offering declares that my life is not my own.  It’s about submission to God’s will.  Everything is given, everything is consumed and goes up to God.   It’s tied in with gratitude over being forgiven and atoned for.  Jesus was that perfect burnt offering.  “I must be about my Father’s business.”  He was wholly given over to the will of God, dedicated, delighted in Him.  He was flawless, never sinned.  Then He gave His very life as the final sacrifice for our sin.  That’s a high price to pay, the highest.  We’ve been bought with a very expensive price.  That means that my life is no longer my own.  So what’s the least service I ought to give back?  What can I give when there is no price of the same that I could ever match?  A life, holy and dedicated to His service is the least that I can give for the immense gift of Jesus’ life that God gave for me.

The grain offering took a lot of work on man’s part and was very valuable.  Grain was a staple of the diet.  You had to break the ground, sow the wheat, wait on God for the rains, weed the crop, harvest the crop, separate the grain from the chaff, mill it into flour, and then take it to Jerusalem to offer.  Some was burned and some was eaten by the priests.  But here’s the thing, even our energy, our strength, our labor, our skills, come from the Lord.  He blesses us with them. He enables us to do work.  Remember, He gives us our daily bread?  What if the rains never came?

The grain offering would have some oil poured over it by the worshiper.  Oil carries a symbolic meaning.  It’s all about the presence of God.  Is God involved in our work?  He needs to be.  He deserves to be.  Frankincense was also added for it’s aroma.  It’s symbolic of the prayers of God’s people.  Maybe even our work and the attitude we offer it with is like a prayer.  Maybe that’s why no leaven could be used, since leaven symbolizes sin.  Our attitude of work, our appreciation for God’s hand over all we do and acquire shows our true relationship with God.  Honey was the same kind of symbol.  That’s funny, honey tastes sweet and so do our own efforts sometimes.  But it’s not acceptable unless we acknowledge God His way and not ours and not by our own efforts.

This grain offering was seasoned with salt.  It symbolized nullifying sin.  It seasoned the sacrifice.  It symbolized God’s holiness, His purity, and the permanance of His covenant.  Salt was essential to life.  People sealed their word by it in ancient times.  It’s what made covenants binding.  It wasn’t just a spice or condiment.

The Peace offering makes us whole or complete.  It thanks God for restoring us, the worshiper, to a state of wholeness with Him.  We thank Him for allowing us to be at peace with Him, for allowing us fellowship with Him.  This one is offered to God, eaten by the priest, and eaten by the offerer and his family.  Jesus has always been in a perfect peace with God and brings us into that perfect relationship.  He restores us to that state of well-being.

I don’t want be hung up over the sacrifices and feasts.  I think we need to understand them, and if we choose to celebrate the feasts, well, what better way to understand and enjoy.  After all, when Jesus returns we’ll be celebrating them again then.  I might as well try to gain some understanding now.  I don’t have to do a sacrifice now.  I don’t have to celebrate the God-ordained feasts.  But I am the salt of the earth as a believer.  “[I]f salt has lost it’s taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)  If You told us these things then I think they matter more than ritual.  I think the salt of the covenant still means something.  I think Jesus thinks so too or He wouldn’t have mentioned it.

Lord, I pray that as we spend time together in Your word and in prayer, You would just help me to get so excited over what You share with us, over how You reveal Yourself, over how You change lives, that I’m a wonderful salty flavor to others and a wonderful aroma to You.  I don’t want to disregard things I don’t understand.  I want to keep digging and keep seeking so I can understand and be changed by what You show me and do in me.  When it comes to offering my life to You, I don’t ever want it to be about ritual or duty even if duty is required.  I want my life to be offered to You in delight of who You are and in awe of what You have done for me.  Continually place reminders before me that I may never forget.

More Than Rules to Live By

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“And you shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”  Exodus 23:25

These are the words of the LORD to Moses to give to the people of Israel as they were in the wilderness.  Well, Lord, You shared a lot more than these words, but this is a good start.  This is exactly where our new beginning begins.

I’m not so different from the Hebrews here.  They had lived in Egypt so long that Egypt’s ways had become patterned into their life.  Egypt’s thinking and eating styles and thinking styles were ever so familiar to them.  Yet You were turning them to You, calling them back, showing Yourself to them, and showing them a Better Way.  Actually, You are more than a better way, You are the Only Way.  You are the True Way.  You are the Way that leads to what we were created to search for.  You are the Way that leads to fulfilment of our heart’s desires.  You are Satisfaction in every way.

But we can’t get into the promised land, we can’t find satisfaction, without first learning what it is to come to You, to see our need for You, and to serve You.  But if I go back and read the rest of this chapter or the prior chapters, maybe I find myself asking, “What do all these ‘rules’ mean?”  Are they really rules?  Or are they invitations to know You and understand Your character?  Are they really rules or are they invitations to come and experience Your character and subsequent provision and personal acquaintance with You by our identification totally with You in every aspect of our life?  If you want to look at them as rules, you can.  But I want to look at them as invitations.

If all you see them as are rules, that’s all they’ll ever be.  And all the Lord will be to you is a task master.  You won’t be able to keep all those rules.  But, if you switch your perspective and hear God’s invitation to You to experience Him and to learn firsthand from Him, You will.  I mean, why would You, Lord, “make” the people keep three particular feasts in the year?  Isn’t that just keeping a ritual?  So what if people form a habit of offering and celebration.  Everybody loves a holiday but what does that really do for us?

What if Exodus 23:14 is an invitation?  “Three times you shall keep a feast unto Me in the year.”  What feasts and why?  If I read on I find You invite me to keep the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of harvest or firstfruits, and the feast of ingathering.  Isn’t it funny how yesterday we talked about this whole process from a different aspect?  Hmm.  Is that funny or supernatural?  Are You trying to tell me something?  Are You inviting me to understand You more deeply?

How would the feast of unleavened bread be an invitation?  The feast of unleavened bread is tied to the celebration of Passover.  The feast of unleavened bread leads to receiving and celebrating the deliverance in the Lamb of God.  That’s You, Jesus.  It reminds us of the preparation it takes of our lives in You.  It’s a turning from the old ways unto the new ways.  It’s about obedience to the You instead of our habits or our culture.  It’s about trust.  It’s about readiness and removing sin.  We’re removing death and decay’s effects from our lives, removing the “evil impulse” from within us.  It’s an invitation to sanctify ourselves by removing the influences that corrupt us.

But the unleaved bread isn’t just about us.  It represents You, Jesus.  It’s about Your purity, holiness, and sinlessness.  It’s about the truth that in You there is no corruption, no decay.    Paul, continued to encourage us to remember this feast.  Why?  To have another ritual?  Or so I could remember to “purge” the old ways out of my life and be inhabited by Your new ways?  Paul encouraged us to keep the feast with the new leaven we have received in Christ.  I can’t do that if  it’s just a holiday.  A holiday has no power.  But if this is something that You actually do in me, if this is actually a part of Your character that You have imparted in me, and You want me to realize that and live empowered in that, then by Your power, I can keep this feast because it’s not just a holiday; it’s a reality in my life in You!

This is where You have planted Your seed in me.  This is where You scattered and I took root.  And once I get rid of the old leaven, I can receive the new leaven, the Heavenly Leaven, the Heavenly Seed.  Now, this unleavened bread is also known as the “bread of affliction.”  This is where I trust in Your afflictions.  This is where I identify with all that You went through, all that You suffered for me.    You make me holy by what You endured.  You make me into delicious bread by what You are performing in my life.  The old leaven did the work in itself, through the effects of decay.  But the unleavened bread isn’t effected by history, there is no sourdough starter inside.  It’s just pure ingredients mixed together.  It’s a new lump, not  created by my own labor or design, not created by my past history.  It’s all about Your work in me and You miraculously spreading Your kingdom in Your power.  It’s all about You creating a seed after Your own heart and then planting it and giving it life.  I want to be part of that festival!

The feast of harvest, firstfruits, follows.  Actually, there is an overlap.  First I come to trust in the You, Lord, and Your work on the cross and Your subsequent work in me.  I need to see my need for Your work in me.  This is when the first stalks of the grain would be waved before You by the priest while they were still green.  This is acknowledging You in the whole process of growth and provision.  Paul puts it into spiritual life perspective for us.  “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (like a seed dies when it is planted to arise in new life-new form!).  For as by a man came death (Adam), by a man (Jesus) has come also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 5:20-23)  Christ was waved before the Father as an offering but did you realize we are His firstfruits?  He waves us before  the Father?  The day He died, the day He became the offering for us, He waved His firstfruits before God.  “The tombs also were opened.  And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”  (Matthew 27:52-53)  And Jesus is still waving His own before our Heavenly Father!

And then the feast of  ingathering. The feast of ingathering, Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles is a time of celebrating  “the blessings of God’s provision and care for our lives.”  It’s a time of restored fellowship with You, Lord.  This is when You came to dwell with Your people.  Am I seeing the progression here and what You want me to come to realize in Your “holidays”?  You want me to come to know You and experience You and walk with You.  You want to gather me to You.  You want me to gather You to me.  You want me to wave You before everyone and You want to wave me.  You want to say, “Look, all of creation, this is the beautiful work of my hands!  This is the beauty of My life in My child!  This is the power of my Spirit in My child!  Look and see what I have done!”  You planted, You caused it to grow, You and I rejoice together over the work You have done and allowed Your people to each be partakers in.

And as You wave me around, all I can do is say, “Look, all of creation, see what My God has done!  Look what He has done in me.  Adonai, you are my God.  ‘I exalt You, I praise Your name.  For You have accomplished marvels, [fulfilled] ancient plans faithfully and truly…For You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in distress, shelter from the storm, shade from the heat…See!  This is my God!  I waited for Him to save me.  This is Adonai; I put my hope in Him.  I am full of joy, so glad He saved me!'”  (from Isaiah 25)

So what does all this have to do with that first verse, “And you shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”  (Exodus 23:25) ?  I only become a part of Your harvest, Lord, if I choose to serve You and You alone.  Have I made You my Lord and my God?  Are You my ONLY LORD and GOD?  If I have become Yours and You are mine then You will take care of me like that beautiful seed You invested Your life in.  You will feed me and water me and meet my every need so that I can bear the fruit that You intended me to bear.  I don’t have to worry about how it’s going to happen or where or when it’s going to happen.  I can just trust You that in the right order, in the right time, You will do everything You need to do in me to bring me to full fruition.  I can count on being a seed filled with the fruit of the Father.  I can count on bearing that fruit just like the Father.  I can count on everything that the Son has done for me and everything that You have promised to do in me.  I can count on the blessing of You in my life and it’s influence on those around me.  I can count on the blessing of the presence of God in my life, the work of God in my life, and the power of God in my life because of the price of Jesus Christ and His investment in me because I have invested all of myself in Him.  Yes, I will and I can serve the Lord because He first served me.  And in Him I can always count on His blessing and His work to be completed in me.  What You promise, Lord, will come to pass.  This is my God!  I am so glad of that!