“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu
“With God life is an endless hope. Without God, life is a hopeless end.” – Bill Bright
There is nothing quite like seeing a burden lifted. I am no animal lover, but my heart does ache when I see dogs and cats malnourished and mistreated. Often the disposition of these animals is fear and aggression because they have only known hurt and pain. To see an animal rescued from a deplorable situation and placed into a good home is a heartwarming thing. Where once they looked on everyone with suspicion and fear, they now welcome everyone with warmth and love only a rescue could display.
On a different level, I have had the privilege of being involved in the bus ministry for years. Though not everyone who attends church via the bus ministry comes from a bad or broken situation, many do. I have seen kids living in awful situations light up when they hopped on the bus. They knew for the next few hours they were wanted and loved. It was sad to take them back to their homes knowing it would be another week before we saw them again. My third and fourth year of college I had the honor of driving a bus route that picked up in the government housing area. It was a rough area, and we had to be vigilant of those who wished harm upon us. My first Sunday on the bus a man ran across the street quickly followed by a police officer… this was a new scene for me. Over the next two years, God used those kids to soften and mold my heart to see the potential. It would take a miracle to take those kids, from that situation, and make something honorable. I am thankful I serve a miracle working God.
When you see someone who is in a trap of sin and death that is repeated over and over again, your heart aches for them. As a child of God, you understand that God loved them and paid the ultimate price for their soul. They are loved and wanted by the God of the universe! The daily cycle of death can be broken because of the God/Man who died once for us, Christ Jesus.
Our text today reiterates in great detail the daily, weekly, monthly, and special offerings that were to be offered up by the nation to God. Leviticus one through seven presented the sacrifices of the individual, but these offerings are to be offered by the priest on behalf of the nation. Every day animals had to die a brutal and bloody death for the transgressions of Israel. The appeasement of God and atonement of the people required it. The term used is a “continual burnt offering”. Continually, the reality of their sin and hopelessness was declared through the death and destruction of these animals. In this death, was the foreshadowing’s of hope though. One day Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, would come and die once for the sins of all humanity past-present-and future!
Every time I see someone caught in a situation of hopelessness, I am reminded of the grace of God, and His ability to bring people from death to life…. Darkness to light… sin to righteousness. Choose to look at someone today through this lens of hopefulness; God can save and change them.
Today purpose to view someone with the reality that God could take them and radically change them. Choose to believe that God can take sinners and make them “a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. Choose to believe that God still saves old sinners, and they don’t have to be bound in sin and death any longer. It doesn’t matter their situation, God can radically change their life and He can use you to be that messenger of hope.
Daily Scripture Reading
Numbers 28 - 30
“Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.”
• What was the continual burnt offering for?
• What was the burnt offering of the Sabbath?
• What was the burnt offering of the month?
• What is servile work?
• What are the offerings for the special days (Passover, feast of weeks, etc.)?
• What does it mean to “afflict your souls”?
• What is a vow?
• Why was there an allowance for fathers/husbands to disallow his daughter’s/wife’s vow?