Today’s reading: Num 6:1–27, John 13:21–38, Ps 7:1–17
Today’s theme: Love each other
Jesus gives us a new and important commandant today, we should love each other. Notice love is a command, not a feeling or emotion. It is something that is very practical and connected to the will and the mind. It is the new commandment that Jesus gives to us and expects us to obey. Make the effort and choice to obey Jesus and love your brothers and sisters in the Lord today.
Lessons from the Nazarrites
he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. “All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks … Numbers 6:3–8 (ESV)
Any person (not just Levite men like the priests) could become a Nazarite, consecrating a period of time to being set aside for God.
The vow to refrain from wine and strong drink points to the virtue of a life of abstinence from alcohol and God’s desire for them to stand out from those around them.
In the New Testament, limitations regarding alcoholic consumption are among the qualifications for Elders (Pastors) and Deacons. Drunkenness is the negative comparison to being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18; 1 Cor 6:10).
A special prayer
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)
What a wonderful prayer. We should pray for God’s abundant and gracious blessings which are expressed in fruitfulness over the lives of our fellow believers. We should also pray that our brothers and sisters remain in the special peace that is only available in Jesus (John 14:27).
Love each other
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34–35 (ESV)
We should love one another with the same selflessness, service and sacrifice displayed by Jesus. This is the mark of authentic discipleship and the loudest declaration to the surrounding world that we belong to God. This love is foundational to the church and true Christianity, we must have it and pursue it!
God, the righteous judge
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. Psalm 7:11 (ESV)
God is not just a judge but is the righteous judge. He cannot turn a blind eye to sin. This is why we need the Gospel.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on John 13