Monday, May 24, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Shavuot -Feast of Pentecost

"And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:" Deuteronomy 26:10
Growing up, I really never heard that much about this feast. Most of the time, the emphisis was just on the fact that the Church started and the Holy Spirit was given during this celebration after Jesus death, burial and resurrection in Acts 2:1-5.
Deuteronomy 26 gives us the background to the Feast of Pentecost. It was a harvest feast. The first fruits were to be brought in a basket and given in worship to God at the Temple in Jerusalem. I love celebrations where food is involved!
We can find in the old Jewish sources that there are 3 unique aspects about Shavuot from which we can taste nuggets of devotional applications.
1. The first fruits of the land may not be brought to the temple before the feast day began. And the feast was celebrated 50 days AFTER Passover.
We must first have a Passover before we can have a feast of Pentecost. We must first be saved, or redeemed with the blood of the lamb. Jesus was our sacrifice, whose blood was shed for our salvation. (1 Cor. 5:7)

2. The fruits must come from one’s own land. The people could not bring someone else’s produce that they didn’t work on.
Jesus provided the power for us to produce special fruit in our lives through the Holy Spirit. We cannot worship the Lord with someone else’s “fruit”; it must be produced from our own life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23

3. The fruits can be brought to the temple continually from the beginning of the feast throughout the summer and fall all the way up to the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and Hanukkah.
We can keep producing and giving our fruits to the Lord until He comes again!

We just came back from a ministry trip to Honduras. Peter taught at a Pastor’s conference series on all the Feasts of Israel. It was well received. We saw how the Holy Spirit has produced much fruit in the lives of those who attended. We are excited to know that even more fruit will be produced in many more lives until He comes again!
I was glad also for the opportunity to take some unique pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Special Hem

"Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well." Mark 6:56

Hems, I’ve sewn many. Usually they are the last thing that needs to be finished for a garment. The hem line in my life time has gone from the very top of the leg to the ankles and everywhere in-between.

During the Lord’s ministry here, I have no doubt that the hem of his garment was near his ankles. It gets cold in Israel, believe it our not! I got to visit there one summer and was surprised that I had to wear a warm jacket in the evenings and early mornings.

The Lord’s hem was probably very dirty and frayed from all the rugged roads and miles that he walked. It might have been wet and probably smelled a little like fish, since he was in and out of fishing boats at times.

There was something special about this hem. It was accessible to all; close to the ground. Many dirty hands were grabbing his hem when he walked by. No one noticed. But, Jesus did. These needy people with faith reached at the very edge, the farthest border. Behind him, low. Yet, even at this very insignificant, lowly place of Jesus’ being, there was cleansing and healing to all of them.

Do you need healing? Feel the filth of sin on your heart, mind and soul? It doesn’t take much faith, a little will do. Just reach out and touch his lowly “hem”. If your hands and heart are dirty, He knows and wants you to come to Him just as you are. Let Him cleanse and heal to your soul.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

” The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Note: The garment pictured is Peter's first century garment that he uses in his special presentations. It was hand made in Israel. The Close Line is one of my watercolor paintings.