May 7th, 2012

Law of Moses, Moses' face

New exercise: Mitzvot

After church on Saturday, we studied the forth chapter of the Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot). One of the sayings said: "Ben 'Azzai said, Hasten to a slight precept, and flee from transgression; for precept induces precept, and transgression induces transgression; for the reward of precept is precept, and the reward of transgression is transgression." (Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, translated by Charles Taylor, 1897.)

In church on Sunday, the pastor said that most Christians don't get too excited about the law - the books of Moses - but that the Psalms are filled with songs of love for the law of the Lord. God's law should be a joy to the Christian because Jesus has freed us from slavery to sin (Romans 6:1-2) and the Spirit of God works in us to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:74-75). Reading the law, we can see more of God's glory and more of God's mercy to us in Messiah.

For me, though, I often think of commandments and sin in vague terms. I find it difficult to repent, because I don't see God or myself clearly enough to discern what is good and what is evil. So I decided to try a new exercise.

Each day, I plan to take a mitzvah - a commandment - as my mitzvah for the day. My goal is to consider this commandment throughout the day so as to see God more clearly, see sin more clearly, rejoice in God's righteousness, rejoice in His mercy, repent of my sins, and praise Jesus the Savior King. May God help me - that through this exercise I would grow in holiness, humility, and joy and reflect Him more and more.
holy walk, sandals

Mitzvah Walk: There is a God

"And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." -Exodus 20:1-2

Megan's Reflections:

1. "For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13 - Stuff/items/distractions/covetousness often causes me to live as though there is no God.

2. God is real. It's easy to remember this in church or in the privacy of my own thoughts, but it's hard to keep this in mind as I step out into the world.

3. Genesis 1 - Let's go back to the basics. Romans 1:25 - Let's worship the Creator and not the things He created.

4. We can't see God, but He does reveal Himself to us through His word.

5. It is around God that we rally - not another person, not a denomination, not a theology

6. Luke 1 - live before Him

7. It is not about adding more acts, but seeing the Living God. I will wait upon the Lord (Isaiah 8). I will come into Your house - there I will bow (Psalm 5:7).
bread of life

Mitzvah Walk: Food which Endures

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." -John 6:27

Megan's reflections:

1. Eat what is good! (Isaiah 55)

2. Messiah did not come to hand out food so the people could quit their jobs and live an easy life. The people want bread, but God gives Himself to them. Verse 51: "the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." Is this not far better?

3. What does Jesus mean by "labor"? Verse 29: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Romans 4:5 "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness..." Fundamentally, life springs from faith (Habakkuk 2) and once alive, faith produces the fruit of repentance. But, at the most basic level, do I believe that Jesus is alive? Do I believe that He rose from the dead? John 6:68-69 "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Praise the Lord!

4. "let your soul delight itself in abundance" (Isaiah 55)

5. "the sure mercies of David" (Isaiah 55) - what does this mean? God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 13:30, 34)

6. What do I want? What do I hunger for?