The Beauty of Discipline

soft light from lampIn the morning, I usually read the Bible on my tablet. You see, I have small sources of light around the house, giving off a soft glow that I love. Turning on a harsh light would smash that peaceful, warm feeling. The early morning is the time of day that I seek my Father. It’s our special time together.

Why do I tell you this? Two reasons:

One, I was reminded this morning that we should be like that soft light, bringing peace to weary souls in the name of the Messiah.

Two, because as I turned on the tablet, I noticed a verse I highlighted within the following text:

“After you have separated a tenth of the crops yielded in the third year, the year of separating a tenth, and have given it to the Levi, the foreigner, the orphan and the widow, so that they can have enough food to satisfy them while staying with you; you are to say, in the presence of ADONAI your God, ‘I have rid my house of the things set aside for God and given them to the Levi, the foreigner, the orphan and the widow, in keeping with every one of the mitzvot you gave me. I haven’t disobeyed any of your mitzvot or forgotten them. I haven’t eaten any of this food when mourning, I haven’t put any of it aside when unclean, nor have I given any of it for the dead. I have listened to what ADONAI my God has said, and I have done everything you ordered me to do.” (Deut 26:12-14)

This verse struck me because we are taught that the laws of clean and unclean no longer apply. On the surface I understand that we cannot offer sacrifices at the temple, because it no longer stands. However, as my friend James Pyle points out in his blog, the Torah is full of underlying principles. And I see one here.

After all, we offer sacrifices of prayer and praise to God. And don’t we give monetary offerings in the form of tithes or gifts for the work of the Lord?

So here’s the principle I see. Not only are we not to bring our gifts and offerings to the Lord in a state of uncleanness, but we shouldn’t even handle them, in our homes, while unclean.

So though the temple doesn’t stand, we still should live our lives with the beautiful discipline of seeking to be clean before God every day. Every day we should put on the mind of Messiah and examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.

full moon settingAs I was contemplating this, I looked out my window and saw the setting moon. It was full (or nearly so) and I realized that the month of Elul is half over.

Why is this significant? Because Elul is the month where Israel is called to examine themselves in preparation for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the days of awe.

So as the sun rises on a new day, I must ask myself, “Am I in a state of cleanness, knowing that my gifts, talents, and treasures are here and set aside for the Lord?”

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