Monday, August 1, 2011
One reason I love being Mrs. Gilbert
I love my husband. No shocker there, right?! I could write a huge list of reasons why (I actually did that for our first Valentine's Day!), but I won't. I just want to write about one thing that has had me thanking the Lord for this man the last few weeks.
Chad is without a doubt the spiritual leader in our relationship and in our home, but he's my Pastor too. Not many people get to have one man fulfill all of the spiritual leadership roles in their life. I do.
I know I'm a little (okay a lot) biased, but I think Chad is an amazing Pastor. He truly serves and cares for the flock, he prays faithfully for the church, and he leads us in making disciples of all nations. But the part that I have appreciated the most lately is his biblical teaching. Make no mistake, it is God speaking through Chad, but I love that Chad is used as a vessel for the Word to transform our lives, my life.
We've been going through a study of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible . . . not an easy task! Right now we are in Leviticus and I'm not gonna lie . . . as I've been reading I've been wondering how in the world Chad was going to preach some of this stuff. I've always been the person to read Leviticus so that I can say I read it all, but most likely not understanding a bit of it. :)
This leads me to why I've felt such gratefulness. Through Chad's preaching, God has shown me the riches in Old Testament passages that I thought had nothing to do with Jesus or me. I have seen the bigger picture of Scripture and have been taught how ALL things point to Jesus Christ.
Last week's teaching seriously blew my mind (you can listen to it here). Leviticus 11-15 is all about the regulations and cleansing from foods, infectious skin diseases, mildew, childbirth . . . not exactly the most exciting thing to study! How in the world does this point to Jesus or apply to us today? Glad you asked because I didn't know either!
By taking us to passages in the New Testament, Chad demonstrated how all these weird regulations point to Christ in a huge way. The whole issue was clean vs. unclean. For the Jew, you NEVER wanted to be unclean. These rules and cleansing rituals we read about in Leviticus would have still be adhered to in the time of Jesus.
In Mark 7, Jesus declares that there is no clean and unclean food, but it is what comes out of the heart that makes a man unclean. This would have been a huge deal for the Jews whose lives revolved around these food regulations. In Acts 10, the divide between clean and unclean people is torn down. Again, mind blowing to a Jew. Who has the authority to remove these distinctions that God established? Only God. Therefore, Jesus is God! God the Father was pleased to make these distinctions so that when Jesus removed them people would see He is God!
In Mark 1, Jesus encounters a man with a skin disease, touches him, and he is healed. Again in Mark 5, Jesus is touched by a woman who has been bleeding for 12 years and she is healed. Later Jesus touches a dead little girl and she is brought back to life. Absolutely radical! By the Levitical system, Jesus would have made himself unclean in all these circumstances. But instead of them making Him unclean, Jesus makes each of them clean! Who has the power to cleanse but God?!
These laws in Leviticus that seem so detailed and crazy were given so that when Jesus came and exercised the authority and power of God, the people would rightly bow down and worship Jesus for who He is . . . God!
See what I'm talking about?! That is good stuff! Leviticus DOES point to Jesus and is VERY applicable to my life! This message of God the Son coming to earth and touching the sick, dead and unclean was exactly what I needed to be challenged with. I'm involved in a ministry to women in the adult entertainment industry . . . definitely ladies that get labeled "unclean." I was confronted with how I am demonstrating the compassion of Jesus Christ. Am I willing to "touch" them, to go beyond man-made barriers and show them the same compassion and healing that I myself have received from Jesus? I was also challenged to have compassion on the customers instead of my anger and judgment that I've been feeling lately. I pray God will continue to refine me through the Word so that I can be a vessel of restoration for these people I encounter.
Praising God today for His Living Word that speaks so powerfully in my life and for the blessing of being taught by my best friend!