Thursday, March 10, 2016

Little Lambs

Year 4-Day 70: Today, I am grateful for little lambs...and the Perfect Lamb.

During this season of lent...the 40 days before Easter...our minds turn to spring things. Baby lambs are on on the list. There is nothing like new life on the farm. We didn't have sheep, but we have friends who do. Lambs are energy and curiosity...and so soft. They seem so innocent, until they land themselves in trouble. They need a shepherd.

It is interesting to watch children interact with new animal life. Something smaller and more inexperienced. Listening to conversations, words of wisdom and loving care exchanged between a baby animal and a child is enough to melt my heart every time. Caring for new life is a big responsibility. Animal care is a great way to grow nurturing skills and responsibility. 

Lambs are spoken of often as Easter approaches. 

The perfect lamb was used in Jewish sacrifice for the atonement of sins.
Jesus came to be the perfect be propitiation...which means the debt is paid in full. He cancelled it out!

Romans 3:24-26  "and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

God provided the lamb. He is the great provider for those who put their trust in him. 

I recall Genesis 22:8:  “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”  When Abraham put his faith in God...when Isaac's life was on the line...Abraham obeyed.  Abraham's trust still amazes me. How could a loving God ask for his precious Isaac as a sacrifice? Still...Abraham prayed, communed with God in spirit and in action. Abraham was tested and his faith was found sound. 

Abraham encouraged Isaac who reminding his old Dad he had forgotten the sacrifice...the whole reason we came. Genesis 22:9-14:

 "When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” "-

What did God do?  He provided the lamb. What did Abraham do before God's intervention?  He worshiped.  I am not sure if my heart would have been open to worship at that point. I would have been praying for a different way. Abraham's way was better.  He trusted, and turned that trust into worship. God moved. He provided the lamb. 

Then, he did it again when Jesus came to be the lamb that would pay for the sins of the world.  It was a choice made in love by the Creator for the created. Justice served. Crazy love. Trust matters.  The price was paid in full...but it must be believed and accepted. 

Romans 10:9 keeps it simple:  "
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

It's that simple? Yes. 

Some only confess his name when cursing...and He is clear on this matter. (Exodus 20:7-“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. ) How we call upon His name is evidence for or against us. 

What we believe in our hearts is reflected in our actions.  Belief requires not just a change of heart...but path change. Who do we serve? What do we chase? 

As I delight in watching little children chase precious little lambs...I am challenged personally. Am I chasing the Perfect Lamb.

Today, I am grateful for little lambs...and the Perfect Lamb.

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