[This monkey is now 38-years old and bears the title “my youngest!”]
So, I’m reading the Bible through this year, chronologically, and I am somewhere in Leviticus. Have you ever?
If you want to fully understand the work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross, then I encourage you to read Exodus and Leviticus. O! The blood. So much blood. So much animal sacrifice. So much work for the priests. I’m not sure they were even able to get any sleep. And, the RULES. Every sacrifice, every penance had a certain type of ritual. How did the priests remember it all?
When Jesus, God’s only Son, died on that old wooden cross, He put an end to the need for a sacrifice because He became for us, the sacrificial Lamb. I’ve never seen it so clearly as I see that now. He came to fulfill and complete the Law and Laws given to Moses. Jesus came and…
Turned everything upside-down and inside-out!
Our Sacrificial Lamb said some really radical words. Let’s discover a few together:
He who finds His life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10.39
You shall be hated by all for My name’s sake; but not a hair of your head shall be lost. Luke 21.17-18
And, whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11.26
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first. Mark 10.31
Now that just doesn’t equate.
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…Matthew 5.44-45
You can’t be serious?
Those words of red don’t make a lick of sense, do they?
They are upside-down and inside-out!
But because Jesus knew exactly what He was saying is WHY we can now live like this:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out (& upside-down). Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12.1-2 (The Message)
Letting HIM change us from the inside-out so we can live and help turn this world upside-down…
Good words! This is so true… when we yield to Him we find life… true life and joy, peace and faithfulness.
What a good prayer of just yielding our everyday and letting Him work through the moments of our day!
(Stopping by from Holley’s place #18)
Thanks Rachel. We gain so much!
Merry Geary says
Wonderful way to look at it. Love the way you explain it too! I will ask God to guide my day.
Merry, then the day and all its issues become HIS!!!
Carol Knipschield says
I really like this.
Me too, Carol!
Michele Morin says
Oh, Susan, I love these words! You’ve hit on my favorite thing about the sermon on the mount! We have to stand on our heads to understand Jesus’ heart!
“We have to stand on our heads to understand Jesus’ heart!” THAT is classic!!!
Kathy Walters says
This is oh so good, Susan! How thankful are you for Eugene Peterson… 😉 And even more so, (of course!) for the Blood of Jesus!
Love you, friend!
Amen and in full agreement!!!
Kitty Lawrence says
The world is up-side-down. God’s way is always up and righteous.
Anita Ojeda says
Yes! An upside down gospel so we can live right side up :).
Yup, that’s exactly it!
Jesus does indeed turn the world upside down. Oh and the “first shall be last and the last shall be first”—I just preached on that text last weekend. Yes indeed an upside down Gospel…I love that! Oh and you, for sure, could be my momma. I will be 38 this year! 😛
Yes, other daughter, I told you!!!
Messy Mom says
Leviticus is a doozy, I have hard time getting through that book, but I guess it makes Christ’s coming that much sweeter. I love this post all of it, including the adorable picture of your youngest 🙂
Natalie, so good to have you over today – I’ve missed you.
Love this post, Susan! “Inside out/Upside down”….that’s a keeper! Also, appreciate your observation about all the blood, penance, etc. we see in those OT books. I am on a trek through the Bible with a reading plan and am not quite there yet, but recall it well. It brings everything about this Lenten season, Good Friday, and Easter into sharp focus. Great to be your neighbor on the Coffee for Your Heart Linkup today!
Pam, knowing what the priests went through and the rituals the people endured, makes Calvary all the more precious.
Oh, friend. How I love this inside out upside Jesus life! He flips everything over so that we can have life even in death. This is a lovely and inspiriing reminder to be in the Word so his upside down Kingdom keeps making sense to us!
Colleen is at MY house!!!! I love when you visit little old me. LOL.
Gayl Wright says
Susan, I love this! It’s interesting how a fresh reading of Scripture can really help us understand some of the truths of God’s Word. “Inside out and upside down.” I love it! Blessings to you!
Gayl, I am sitting here in a hotel room on Hilton Head Island…wanna drive over? LOL.
beth willis miller says
Great post, Susan! Don’t you just love reading through the Bible, the depth and breadth of God’s everlasting love and underneath His everlasting arms…what a blessing that we can rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross, knowing all our sins–past, present, and future–are completely forgiven and in Christ we are the beloved children of God…what grace, truly, all is grace! Love that Message paraphrase of Romans 12:1-2…I love the old Living Bible translation also…Romans 12:1-2Living Bible (TLB) “And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.” Many blessings to you sweet friend!
Beth, this is the first read-thru for me! And, chronologically just made perfect sense to me!
Sue Donaldson says
You, bet, friend. Love that passage in The Message – and loved that semester in Leveticus long ago and faraway in college! the best! Hey – are you going to SheSpeaks – don’t you live there somewhere – ?? I’m coming (maybe) all the way from here…praying on it.
I love the gospel being such a surprise – that surprise is what is so attractive to the world – when I live it out, that is. xx
Hi Sue, no plans to attend any writers conferences this year. Thanks for driving over today!!!
Sandy B. says
Good word Susan! Pastor Goodman talked about reading the Bible, all the way through, over and over, last night during Bible study. Some of the old timers in our church have read the Bible through 25 or 30 times. Each time understanding more and having more revealed to them. Now…over the years I have read the Bible ALOT….but not structured ” get it done from cover to cover”. I am in Exodus right now….merely the beginning of a long journey….if I make it to even 5 or 10 times….what a blessing! Looking forward to the journey! Bet it’s gonna be exciting!!!
Another journey of a lifetime – whew…we’ve been on a few, haven’t we tough southern lady!!!!
Debbie Putman says
I need to do this every day. I’m adding it to my prayers I keep in my Bible study journal so I remember it. “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. “
Debbie, we all do! Thanks so much for coming by!
Kristin Hill Taylor says
Those words from Romans in The Message are some of my very favorite! Gosh, I love them so. I’m glad to read them here along with your encouraging words. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
Thank you Kristin!!!
Thank you for another thought provoking writing. I always learn something! I enjoy reading your perspective and welcome the inspiration!
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.”
I definitely have been caught up in going with the flow. Sometimes it is just easier that way. But guaranteed to get you lost in the herd of life!
I’d rather hang upside down, it does have its benefits.
Marg’ I think if we’re upside-down and inside-out, the flow doesn’t catch us!!!
I had to come and find the post that you loved. 🙂 I love it too! I agree, reading Leviticus gave me whole new view and appreciation for what Jesus did for us on the cross.
It is THE truth. Thank You, Lord.