Devotional Journal 07-14-17
July 14 2017
Face to Face
The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Exodus 33:11
Although the world is connected electronically like never before, nothing beats time together in person. As we share and laugh together, we can often sense—almost unconsciously—the other person’s emotions by watching their facial movements. Those who love each other, whether family or friends, like to share with each other face to face.
We see this face-to-face relationship between the Lord and Moses, the man God chose to lead His people. Moses grew in confidence over the years of following God, and he continued to follow Him despite the people’s rebelliousness and idolatry. After the people worshiped a golden calf instead of the Lord (see Ex. 32), Moses set up a tent outside of the camp in which to meet God, while they had to watch from a distance (33:7–11). As the pillar of cloud signifying God’s presence descended to the tent, Moses spoke on their behalf. The Lord promised that His Presence would go with them (v. 14).
Because of Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection, we no longer need someone like Moses to speak with God for us. Instead, just as Jesus offered to His disciples, we can have friendship with God through Christ (John 15:15). We too can meet with Him, with the Lord speaking to us as one speaks to a friend.
Face to face! O blissful moment! Face to face—to see and know; face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so!
We can speak to the Lord as a friend.
Copy received from Our Daily Bread
Peaceful, Relaxing Music
7 ‘Ms’ to Answer When Considering a Tattoo — By Will Honeycutt
Tattoos are more popular than ever. Currently one in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21percent) which is up from the 16 percent and 14 percent who reported having a tattoo in 2003 and 2008, respectively, by the Harris Poll. Entertainers, professional athletes, and even a 2009 version of Barbie, have multiple, and very visible, tattoos. With such prevalence and rising interest, Christians rightfully ask what the Bible says about tattoos.
The short answer is…nothing. At least nothing definitive. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. For example, the NIV reads, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”
Other Christians say this passage no longer applies to us because it is Old Testament law, and not for Christians. If you go online to try to answer the tattoo question, you’ll see both approaches and contradictory conclusions. Both of these approaches, however, are misleading because, as we will see, the answer to the tattoo question is that the Bible has nothing clearly to say about the practice of injecting ink under the skin to form permanent pictures, patterns or messages—a.k.a. tattooing.
Leviticus 19:28 literally translates, “And a cutting for the dead you will not make in your flesh; and writing marks you will not make on you; I am the Lord.” The word writing refers to inscribed or engraved symbols/words, and is used only here. The word for marks, also used here alone, has an uncertain root, so we’re not really sure what the word means. Further, the word tattoo did not enter into the English language until the late 1700s. This is probably why the KJV, written in the early 1600s, is closer to the literal translation saying, “ye shall not…print marks upon you.”
The background to this law was that Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was between Egypt and Canaan. Recent archeology indicates that, while Egypt did tattoo, it was limited to women. Evidence suggests that tattooing the body parts of women associated with fertility (breasts, thighs and abdomen) was believed to be a good luck charm to protect the birthing process. Women also frequently had imprints of the fertility goddess, Bes, which seems to support this theory.
In Canaan, evidence indicates that instead of marking the body with ink, more extreme scarification measures, like branding, slashing or gashing the skin were used. Archeology, backed by biblical texts, indicates the Canaanites would customarily slash their bodies for ritualistic purposes (1 Kings 18:28), especially to mourn their dead and honor their gods. Leviticus 19:28 seems to imply this when it says, “you will not make cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, nor print marks on you.” In light of this information from Egypt and Canaan, it would seem God was forbidding scarification, not tattooing as we know it.
With this said, while there may be no clear passage in the Bible addressing tattoos, this is hardly a license for unrestrained tattooing. You still need to think before you ink, especially if you’re a Christian. The following are guiding questions to help you think through your decision.
Modification – Since the Bible does not explicitly forbid tattoos, are there any limits? We know our body is not our own, but rather God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Bible has a high view of the body as God’s handiwork, which is not to be disfigured. Non-Israelites did not hold this view. Today, some have permanently modified their bodies to look more like animals or aliens than humans, who alone are created in his image. We must ask ourselves how much we can modify our bodies to suit our desires while not disfiguring the beauty of the human form as God made it.
Motive – Why get a tattoo? If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable (Ephesians 6:1-3). And while artistic self-expression can be OK, our primary motive for anything we do should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). This means seeking to honor and draw attention to him, not ourselves. Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable, but remember, this is not the primary or most effective way to evangelize. It is in no way a substitute for verbally communicating the gospel. You are not fulfilling the Great Commission simply because you have a tattoo of a Bible verse.
Modesty – Modesty means not being self-promoting. Are you seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God or yourself? Tattoos often accentuate certain areas of the body and get our thoughts on that body part. It is hard to believe that anyone with a “tramp stamp” (a tattoo on the lower back) is really seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God. Thinking modestly will lead you to think about, and even limit, the size, number, and locations of tattoos.
Marketability – Will employers want to hire you? Numerous companies don’t want your tattoo to be visible, and it can actually prevent you from being hired. Many employers will restrict your tattoos, requiring you to cover them up because they are not socially acceptable from a business standpoint.
Message – What is it about yourself that you want to communicate to the world? Tattoos are powerful messages, automatically conveying what you value. They are nearly permanent and will likely be with you for life. A growing experience with tattoos is what has officially been termed, “tattoo regret.” As you mature, you may, like increasing numbers of people, regret your tattoos because you have outgrown their messages and changed your values.
Money – Is this the wisest use of money? One website, Tattoo Info, says, “In America, you can expect a basic price of $80 to $100 an hour…very few shops will ever touch you for less than $40” (2004-2009). We are responsible to God for how we use our money. It’s also important to keep in mind that the removal technologies being developed are even more expensive than the cost of getting a tattoo in the first place.
Medical concerns – There are real health risks with tattoos. The Mayo Clinic warns, “don’t take tattooing lightly”. They’ve resulted in severe allergic reactions, infections, unsightly scars, and blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis B and C. Tattooing deliberately opens skin and exposes your blood to unknown bacteria. Tattoo parlors are not medical clinics, although they are puncturing skin and exposing blood.
Please, think before you ink. Don’t make this decision hastily or rashly. Use these guiding questions to think through your decision. Discuss them with mature Christian adults you trust.
This article originally appeared in Reach Out, Columbia magazine and is used with permission.
Will Honeycutt has been a professor of contemporary issues and apologetics at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, since 1995. He lives in Forest, VA, with his wife of 25 years and their adult daughter, and enjoys teaching college-aged adults in his church.
Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations
Copy was collected from ACC- Two Years Bible Reading Plan.
A Certain Toughness
「Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. 」- Jeremiah 5:1
Love calls for a certain toughness of mind—not looking down on others or hating them, even if we know their sins and flaws. Jesus is the perfect example of this combination of toughness and gentleness.
Jeremiah 6:14 says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Of all people, Christians should not be gullible. We should know how deeply sin has corrupted the world and how hard it is to restore relationships. The apostle Paul, echoing our verse for today and other passages, says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). That includes us—unless we turn to Jesus. Thankfully, God’s grace is greater than all our sin.
It is said that the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes went around Athens, holding up a lantern, peering into people’s faces, looking for an honest man. Their consciences, it seems, couldn’t meet his gaze, and they looked away.
People from every economic and social level cover up dishonesty. No one wants God’s searchlight to uncover their sin. It takes a tough attitude to achieve justice, to sift through lies to find the truth. Getting to know people takes time.
Do we even know ourselves?
Prayer: O God, you see into our hearts. Give us eyes to see what is really there. May we turn from our sin and honor you. Teach us from Jesus’ example. Amen.
「你們當在耶路撒冷的街上跑來跑去，在寬闊處尋找，看看有一人行公義、求誠實沒有？若有，我就赦免這城。」 – 耶 5:1
耶利米書 6:14說：「他們輕輕忽忽地醫治我百始的損傷，說：『平安了！平安了！』其實沒有平安！」在這世界上，基督徒最沒可能是無知的一群，因為我們十分了解，罪對這世界的遺害是多麼深遠，而恢復已經破裂的關係是多麼困難。使徒保羅也這樣回應今天這節經文和其他的經文：「沒有義人，連一個也沒有」（羅馬書 3:10）。連基督徒也包括在內——除非我們轉向耶穌。感謝神，神的恩典遠超過我們一切的罪。
Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l
1你們當在耶路撒冷的街上跑來跑去， 在寬闊處尋找， 看看有一人行公義求誠實沒有？ 若有，我就赦免這城。
3耶和華啊，你的眼目不是看顧誠實嗎？ 你擊打他們，他們卻不傷慟； 你毀滅他們，他們仍不受懲治。 他們使臉剛硬過於磐石， 不肯回頭。
4我說：這些人實在是貧窮的，是愚昧的， 因為不曉得耶和華的作為 和他們 神的法則。
5我要去見尊大的人，對他們說話， 因為他們曉得耶和華的作為 和他們神的法則。 哪知，這些人齊心將軛折斷， 掙開繩索。