Today’s reading: Num 3:40–4:49, John 12:20–50, Ps 5:1–12
Today’s theme: Be God centered
A simple lesson among many others today is that we should lead God centered lives as opposed to self centered lives. Take time to pause and consider this truth in line with the reading today.
Jesus had a priestly ministry
from thirty years old up to fifty years old, all who can come on duty, to do the work in the tent of meeting. Numbers 4:3 (ESV)
Jesus also began his ministry at the age of 30 just like the Levite priests (this is repeated throughout the chapter).
The priesthood of all believers
According to the commandment of the LORD through Moses they were listed, each one with his task of serving or carrying. Thus they were listed by him, as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 4:49 (ESV)
We are priests now in God’s Kingdom and each of us have a burden to bear and tasks to perform.
From sacrifice comes fruit
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24 (ESV)
Jesus is speaking of Himself as the seed through His sacrificial death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, we receive life. Another lesson to learn from this is that we should also make sacrifices for the benefit of others.
Be God centered, not self centered
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25 (ESV)
Jesus, using His own self sacrifice as the example, makes a call to discipleship and faith. Our culture tells us to love ourselves, have self esteem and to think highly of ourselves while pursuing the western dream of success. However, to live with that mentality is to fundamentally deny the sovereignty and rule of God in our lives. We are effectively elevating ourselves to God in our own minds. Instead Jesus calls us to make God the center of our lives rather than focusing on our own self interests.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 (ESV)
We can be rewarded with a lasting, eternal honour by serving Jesus rather than serving ourselves. We must die to the desires of our flesh.
The work of the cross
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. John 12:31 (ESV)
So much happened at the cross, the world is judged, Satan is dethroned and salvation is made available to all who are drawn to it.
Accept the words of Jesus
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. John 12:47 (ESV)
Jesus came to save the world but rejection of Jesus’ words brings judgement. Acceptance of His words brings life.
God hates the wicked
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Psalm 5:4–6 (ESV)
This is a very important and serious passage, it lets us know about God’s relationship to wickedness and evil:
1. He does not delight in it;
2. It may not dwell in His presence;
3. God does not “love the sinner but hate the sin”. This passage states that God hates evildoers (not hates evil but the doers of evil) and will destroy liars (not lies but those who tell lies);
4. God abhours people who are blood thirsty. He groups them with those who are deceitful, deceit and murderous intent are both abhorrent.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on John 12