Ash Wednesday Fires

  • I’ve written a devotional for Lent. It’s available to all at Goodwill Church and anyone who calls (845-457-5959). We’ll send one to you. It’s 20 readings for the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week of Lent. The focus is on fire. We want to be on fire for God. It’s called “A Transform Matchbook” and we’re actually handing out special Goodwill matches (to adults) with it. The matches serve as 4-out-of-5-senses sermon illustrations for the devotional.
  • Today we read (for those of us using the Our Daily Bread full-Bible-in-a-year program) Numbers 25. A priest, Phinehas, kills two lovers, Zimri and Cozbi, and stops a plague before it kills more than the 24,000 people that have already died from it. Here are questions I came up with concerning this…
    • What is the equivalent of this passion for God now?
    • We see this kind of “righteous” killing occasionally in the Old Testament, never really in the New Testament. Many of have come up with poor solutions to this such as saying that the Old Testament God is different from the New Testament God or that this was a different “dispensation.” But for Lent, as well as for Christian life, we see only the Cross. So, how is Numbers 25 only solved by Matthew 27 (or Mark 15 or Luke 23 or John 19)?
    • Why are passages such as Numbers 25 both so hard to read with good spiritual comprehension and so easy to misread?
    • Why do we separate the Testaments? (Ever wonder about this?)
    • Only death brings an end to death, which is something I can only appreciate and understand if I appreciate, understand, and trust my eternity to the Cross of Christ. So, how can this concept apply to my devotional life and to the rest of my life?
  • I have a crazy schedule for the next several months. So, I’m taking time to absorb it and make plans. If I want time with my family and adequate sleep, I have to fight to the death with clocks and calendars. Blood will be drawn. The hands of a clock look like swords right now. This battle belongs to the Lord. It helps being in the military because I know (and care very much about and think very highly of) many members of our nation’s military who have crazier schedules. Way crazier! Yet, they make it work. They do it. They inspire me to not quit or pout. They are a gift from God to all of us.