Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Lesson of Leaving Sin. Beyond Spring Cleaning. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”: 

Beyond Spring Cleaning

“It is that time of the year again where we have cleaned our houses and de-leavened them, and now spend seven days eating unleavened bread. I remember when I was a child my mom pointing out that it was nice to have Unleavened Bread at the beginning of Spring because it came right on time for spring cleaning. However, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is much more than just cleaning our houses and vehicles. Yes, it is nice when I open the fridge and it is clean, looking like it is new again, and I do enjoy driving in a clean car. Yet, the physical de-leavening is to encourage us to de-leaven spiritually.

This spring feast should remind us that we are new and unleavened in Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection gives “us a new birth into a living hope” of “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1 Pet 1:3-4). Therefore, we should be living lives full of joy, hope, rejoicing, sincerity, and truth because we know that the suffering we go through now is refining and proving the “genuineness of [our] faith” (1 Pet 1:7). Plus, this suffering is only temporary, and it will never compare to the joy we will have in God’s Kingdom. However, it doesn’t mean it is easy to do, especially if we are holding onto some spiritual leavening.

We are to celebrate this feast “not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor 5:8).  I know that Paul is talking to the Corinthian church and the problem of sexual immorality that they were not doing anything about. However, I do believe this scripture applies to us also, and it is referring to anything that is not Christ-like behavior. If we are doing something that we know we would not do if Christ were literally standing right next to us, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I don’t want to go through a listing of sins because I know we should all know what is wrong and right, but I do want to share some thoughts. When I was reading these scriptures, the first thought that came to my head is how we conduct ourselves with others and on social media. Maybe it is because it is an election year, but I have really seen some pretty malicious things out there on the internet.  Are we watching what we like, share, and say on social media sites? Are we acting differently than the masses or do we get involved in all the debates and discussions? I know we all fall short of being Christ-like, but we can keep walking towards that goal by not participating in things that we know don’t bring glory to God. Maybe we should de-leaven our “timelines” on social sites.

We are to put away “all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies and all evil speaking” (1 Pet 2:1). The words that come out of our mouth or onto the internet can defile us if they aren’t words that bring glorification of God or edification of others. You know the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”? Well, I am realizing how wise that statement truly is, and maybe that is why Proverbs mentions a lot how a wise person is a person of few words. Don’t worry, this is something I need to learn myself. I need to de-leaven my mouth.

imageThe truth is I am realizing how much this feast reminds me to reflect on how to spiritually de-leaven. I don’t beat myself up, but I self-examine in a healthy way. It also reminds me how blessed I am that my Father is so patient and my Savior is so sacrificing. We live in Satan’s world; therefore, sin, lawlessness, wickedness, bad-mouthing politicians, etc., is going to flourish, but we don’t have to act like the world. We can be different, a set-apart people, a remnant, a light in darkness. So, this Unleavened Bread let us remove the leavening of wickedness and malice from our lives and fill it with things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8).’



The Feast of Unleavened Bread: The Lesson of Leaving Sin
“ Immediately after the Passover comes a festival that depicts the next step in the fulfillment of God's master plan. After God, through Christ's sacrifice, has forgiven us of our sins, how do we continue to avoid sin, since we must go on living in newness of life? How do we live as God's redeemed people? We find the answer in the remarkable symbolism of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

When God freed Israel from slavery in Egypt, He told His people that for "seven days you shall eat unleavened bread" (Exodus 12:15). Verse 39 further explains, "And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves."

Leavening is an agent such as yeast that causes bread dough to rise. And the leavening process takes time. The Israelites had no time to spare when they left Egypt, so they baked and ate flat bread. What started out as a necessity continued for a week. God appropriately named this time the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6), or Days of Unleavened Bread (Acts 12:3).

When Jesus came to earth as a human being, He observed this seven-day festival—sometimes called the Feast of Passover by the Jews because the days of Unleavened bread followed immediately after Passover, so that the two adjoining festivals could seem to be one—and in fact Passover themes do carry over into the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus observed this festival as a child and later as an adult (Luke 2:41; Matthew 26:17). The early Church, imitating Christ in His religious practices, observed it as well.”



The new helper, Roy has been working here for nearly a year now, and as he is a retired contractor, he does know what he is doing, but his health is bad from his previous, and sometimes present, eating habits.  One can’t live on cereal, cookies, and ice cream, so that is why I fix him a nutritious lunch everyday.  But he still isn’t feeling well, and so he will be going back for more blood tests and to the VA’s doctor next week. 

We finally have the front door, storm door and bathroom door working properly in the mini-house (guest house).  We did get the new Formica glued on two sections of the kitchen cabinets, the sink and stove areas, the third counter isn’t built yet.  Now we are working on getting the bathroom exhaust fan installed in the ceiling over the tub.  I need to go to Conroe and buy a new router bit for cutting laminate before we do more Formica, I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t buy one here in Willis.

We have done some more cleaning up at Roni’s old place (now mine).  I have been washing the clothes that were hanging in that dusty place, and taking them to a women’s shelter.  Someone needs to get the use out of them.

For the church’s pot luck, I made a chili-mac type thing for one crockpot and some freekeh and veggies in another.  Surprisingly, the freekek was the favorite. We also had some fishstick things, some beef stew, plus veggies, coleslaw and salad.  The pastor’s wife was there, but still not able to stay on her bad knee for long, so I did most of it for her.

The Bible readings were Lev. 9:1-11-17, 2 Sam. 6:1-7:17, and Mark 7:1-23.  The Teaching was about Getting the Resurrection in Perspective and to be grateful for what He and His Father do for us, and honor them first and foremost each day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Oh shucks. And here I wanted to live on cookies, cereal, and Blue Bell ice-cream. . .

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Oh, DD, it doesn't work that way, you would soon be sick. Happy Trails and Tails, Penny