Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Do You Know what You are Missing?

Meditation for the week of February 17, 2013

Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.  (Psalms 69:4)

Recently  I was listening to an ad on the radio for a company that specializes in situations where people are in serious trouble with the Internal Revenue Service   One man testified that he had “made a mistake” on his return and  was $70,000.00 in debt to the IRS.  He would have lost his house, his car and probably his marriage if this company had not come along side and helped him.  Within an hour they had his problem solved and he didn’t have to do a thing.  They did it all.  Now I have worked with the IRS  and this seemed a bit unrealistic to me.  Nevertheless, can you imagine the relief of getting the IRS  “off of your back?”  The Lord has done one better than that.  He has never stolen or sinned and yet according to the old King James Version, our verse for today says He restored that which He took not away.

In the book of Leviticus we have five offerings detailed as the basis for the worship of the nation of Israel after they have been delivered from the bondage of Egypt.  Those offerings are the burnt offering, the meal or grain offering, the peace or fellowship offering, the sin offering, and the trespass or guilt offering.  The first three offerings are ascending offerings and are called sweet savor offerings.  They are also voluntary offerings.  The last two offerings are required offerings.  It takes all of these offerings and more to help us get a little understanding of the value to God and to us of the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ when He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.

In order to trust the Lord as our Savior, we must be convicted of our sin before we are willing to believe in Christ as our sin bearer.  After we are saved, we begin to realize that there is much more to what the Lord has provided for us than just forgiveness of sins.  In other words, we appreciate the value of the trespass and sin offerings before we enter into the value of the ascending offerings. However, when the Israelites worshiped as a redeemed people,  the ascending offerings are mentioned first and the first of the ascending offerings is an offering that is ALL for God.  Neither the priests nor the person offering the sacrifice get any portion of that offering.  It is completely burned on the altar and it ascends as a sweet savor to God.  It will take an eternity for us to fully appreciate the value and meaning of the burnt offering.  So the trespass and sin offerings are prominent in the salvation experience while the ascending offerings are prominent when we worship.

Recently, however, I have been enjoying the thought that in the trespass or guilt offering, a person who defrauded another had to restore the original amount plus 20 percent.  But the Lord never took anything that didn’t belong to Him and yet he “restored” what He didn’t take away.  Sin robbed us of fellowship with God.  It robbed us of peace  with God and with our own consciences.  It robbed us of beautiful relationships with others.  It robbed us of paradise.  When Christ came, He died to restore all of that and more.  He didn’t sin but He was made a sin offering for us.  He paid all the penalties that could be charged against us.  He set us free.  The Holy Spirit entered upon our believing in Christ (Ephesians 1:13),  and because of that we have a God consciousness that we never had before.  Now the Scriptures enlighten and encourage instead of seeming to be contradictory, condemning and critical.

Satan tries to blind the eyes of them that believe not (2 Corinthians 4:4) so that they don’t know what they are missing.  However, trusting the Lord not only pays a great debt that we could not pay, but it restores a relationship with God that was broken by sin in the Garden of Eden.  It gives us peace with God and peace with one another and peace with our own consciences.  And best of all when we take that last breath and move out of these earthly bodies, our next step will be into paradise to enjoy all that the Christ through the cross has prepared for those who trust Him. 

I know that there are some who read these meditations who do not really understand what I am talking about.  Some of you are critical of Christianity and think that Christ is the problem and not the solution.  Some of you think that Christ and his salvation will restrict your fun, your funds and your friends.  All I can say is that you don’t know what you are missing!  Christ died to restore that which He took not away, but you will never benefit from the provision He has made unless you “believe in Him.”

Bruce Collins

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