Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unintentionally Guilty

I am working on reading my Bible through in 90 days. Quite an undertaking, I assure you, yet God has enabled me (so far) to be diligent and to stay right on track. I have been a Christian for ~ahem~ many years, but I have never read the Bible completely through. I have attempted to, but in trying to do it in a year, I get bogged down. Reading it in 90 days, about an hour a day, seems to suit me much better and I am really enjoying it.

As I have read, I have learned much. Like, I had no idea that Noah and his family were on the ark a total of one year and ten days from the time God shut the door until the time He re-opened it. Whew! That Mrs. Noah must have been some kind of woman! I can't stand animals in my house and yet she lived with two of every kind couped up in a boat for over a year. All I can say is, "YUCK!"

Once I started reading in Leviticus, I read about God's laws and decrees He intended the Israelites to follow. There were quite a few of them and I found that many times they were repeated. (You know that if God sees fit to repeat something, He must really mean it!) Starting in chapter 4, though, I noticed that the Lord saw fit to repeat something 6 times. And if that didn't reach out and slap me silly, I don't know what else would. Because it scared me.

I know that Christ came to redeem me and that I am no longer under the law. We are taught that quite often in our Evangelical settings. But, that does not mean that the law is now null and void or that those books in the Bible no longer hold any relevancy for us today. There is still much to be gained from reading, learning and understanding the laws, decrees, commandments and principles that God has laid down for us to live by. Well, you might wonder how important are they really?

Listen to what God said to Moses: "If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible." (Lev. 5:17, NIV) (see also: Lev 4:13, 22, 27, 5:1, 4) Emphasis added.

How many times, daily, hourly, minute by minute do you suppose one could sin against God and not even know it? The idea that even now one of us could be sinning in some way against God is a tad bit unnerving. But what makes it worse, is that God says we are guilty and will be held responsible. Wow. No more "ignorance is bliss". No more can we shyly giggle and go "whoops! Well, God knows that I am just dust." No. Six times God says we are guilty and will be held responsible.

How do we avoid this trouble? How do we keep from being held responsible? Granted, once we accept Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, all of our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. But we are to live holy lives, because God Himself is Holy. Near the end of Leviticus, in chapter 20 verses 7 & 8, He says this: "Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them, I am the LORD who makes you holy."

It's a great thought for contemplation, is it not? Is there an answer? I believe it is to stay in His Word. We must know what the Word says in order to follow His mandates. We are to test the Spirits, we are to discern the Truth, we are to grow in grace and knowledge. We can only do that if we stay in the Word.

It's still early in the New Year. There is still time to resolve to spend time studying His Word everyday. It is possible to not be so naive, to not be unitentionally guilty. Will you plan to know Him more this year? Or will you plan to try to claim ignorance to the Great I Am? It's certainly your choice.

Thanks for your time,

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