Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV) 48He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
Leviticus 6:9, 12-13 (NIV) 9"Give Aaron and his sons this command: 'These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
12The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
Proverbs 21:3, 27 (NIV) 3.To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
27.The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable- how much more so when brought with evil intent!
God doesn't need your offering in the plate, but you need to give it! Sometimes we get the idea that if we give to God or make some kind of sacrifice, God is indebted to us. Maybe then He will overlook our sins that we refuse to forsake. The justification in our minds goes something like this: "I don't want to give up this thing that I know is wrong, so instead, I will give to the needy." Good deeds don't nullify evil ones. They don't earn you points in heaven. We are expected to do good when we are able to. That is simply the right thing to do. Not to do so is evil.
When the prophet Nathan exposed King David's sin with a parable, David wrote this psalm of repentance. He realized that though he had sinned against Bathsheba's husband and the people of Israel, ultimately his sin was against God who had trusted him with position and authority. All sin is ultimately a sin against God who alone is the standard of righteousness. We sin against His goodness and grace. We sin against His mercy and love. Whenever His sentence is against us, He is perfectly justified in pronouncing it.
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV) 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!
Psalms 42:1-3 (NIV) 1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
The words of the first verse have become one of the most popular choruses in the church today. In the song, it is used as an expression of desire to know God more intimately, but in the psalm it is a cry for deliverance from his situation. It is reminiscent of Job when he pleaded to present his case before God.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV) 15 Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Psalms 28:7-9 (NIV) 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Ephesians 5:21-22, 25 (NIV) 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...
Psalms 30:5, 11-12 (NIV) 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalms 19:1-3 (NIV) "1.The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2.Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3.There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
Ephesians 2:6-7,10 (NIV) 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalms 8:3-5 (NIV) 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
The clear night sky is awe-inspiring. One of my favorite places is a canyon lake far from big cities. The night sky appears to be entirely filled with stars. The band of the Milky Way glows with the light of a million stars. We count the shooting stars until we fall asleep. Now we know so much more about the enormity and complexity of that night sky than David did. It should awe us even more when we consider that our God set all that in place. He decreed the laws by which it all functions. Man is increasingly wondering at the mysteries and beauty we see there.
Job 31:24-25, 28 (NIV) 24 "If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, 'You are my security,' 25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
Job continued his defense before his friends. He told how he always helped the needy and took good care of his workers. He said that he was consistent to do those things because he had a fear of God. He knew God required it of him, and that he would be judged if he did not. As we look at Job's defense, few of us can say that our lives come anywhere close to Job's. Yet, the real standard is not Job but Jesus Christ. Thank God for sending His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.
Job 23:10-12 (NIV) 10But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.12I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV) 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.