Friday, August 29, 2014

Kids Say the Dardest Things

Kids say the darndest things. Just the other day, my granddaughter Rachel, as she steps into the 92F pool water, declared, “It’s tdold!” (her way of saying ‘cold’). I thought that was one of the darndest things I ever heard, until I stepped into the pool. You know, she was right. When the the air temperature is 100F and you step into a 92F pool, it feels cold! You can hear some more of the darndest things here:

Teens sometimes say the darndest things. I remember when my oldest daughter was, maybe 17 or 18, asking this question at the dinner table: “Did you know that they give [traffic] tickets for doing 65 in a 50 mile per hour zone?”... “Uhhhh, yes, I knew that…”

Preachers sometimes say the darndest things. When I think of the the darndest things I have ever heard, some came from kids, some from teens, but many came from the the guy in the pulpit.

I remember debating, I mean, discussing this with someone. He said that since the guy in the pulpit, the “priest” in his case, is learned, that the congregation shouldn’t question anything he says. So, he could say the darndest things and go unchallenged? And at what point during his study and training did he become...infallible? That reminds me of one of the darndest things I ever heard from a guy in the pulpit. He said: NEVER question what the guy in the pulpit says. I guess that in his mind (and his mind only) he had reached that infallible state. May I make a recommendation here? Question everything.

Recently I heard a preacher ask (something to this effect, may not be an exact quote): Jesus died for you, would you die for someone? My answer, that I did not verbalize: “Of course not!”.

I really don’t know why he asked. When I think of my death, I don’t think it will accomplish very much and won’t benefit anyone much. It may have some affect on some people, close family, depending on who survives me, but overall, it will not accomplish much. When I think of Jesus’s death, I think of all that was accomplished at the cross and how it has affected so many over the course of centuries...mind blown!

Preachers sometimes say the darndest things while dressed in the darndest outfits. Look at what some of them wear to make themselves stand out: robes of many colors, or special collars or collarless shirts.  The priests of ancient Israel stood out because while they were in service, wore clothing that was different from the common folk. The high priest, stood out from the lower priest because he wore something different. The high priest and lower priest were easily identified because of their priestly garb. The first time the priests were dressed in their special garb was during their eight day consecration.

Instructions for the consecration of Aaron (the first high priest) and his sons (the first lower priests) begins in Leviticus chapter 8. According to this chapter, Moses was to take Aaron and his four sons and while everyone was  assemble at doorway of the tabernacle, wash them with water. Then Moses was to clothe Aaron. After that Moses was to anoint the tabernacle with oil then pour oil, pour as if without measure, on Aaron. After the anointing, Moses was to slaughter a ram and apply the ram’s blood to Aaron.  Then the blood was applied to Aaron’s sons. The blood was then sprinkled around the altar of burnt offering then Aaron’s sons were anointed by sprinkling of oil.  Notice the order of events. Aaron was anointed, then an animal was slaughtered and the blood applied. The blood was applied to his sons and then the sons are anointed by oil by sprinkling.

That priesthood is dead. Maybe ‘dead’ is the wrong word. That Aaronic priesthood is no longer, it has been superseded by a better one. Aaron, the one and only high priest, typifies Jesus, who is currently serving as our one and only high priest. Aaron’s sons typify true believers. The anointing oil typifies the Holy Spirit and the blood typifies, well, blood.

Like Aaron, Jesus was anointed before His blood was shed. Jesus was anointed by the pouring out of the Spirit. Acts 10:38 seems to say that this happened at His baptism by John. But it may have been before His incarnation since He is called the anointed one at birth (Luke 2:11).  He was also anointed by oil by a woman (Mark 14:3-9). It was after His anointing that His blood was shed. It was only after His blood was shed could it be applied.

We become believers because of the shed blood. Like the lower priests, the blood had to be shed first. When we believe, the blood is applied. When we believe, we are anointed (in-dwelt) with the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, like the lower priests, we are anointed by sprinkling because if it was poured out without measure, we might stumble and fall under the sheer weight of it.

We have Jesus Christ (the anointed one). Jesus, who shed His blood for us, whose blood has been applied to us, who has inserted Himself between us and God, serving as our one and only high priest. Who needs someone dressed in the darndest clothes saying the darndest things?

Down at the cross where my Savior died,
Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!     -- John H. Stockton

Go. And glorify His name...

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Minor Rebel

The only reference of me in my brother’s book (or, in any book that I know of), he calls me a minor rebel for some  prank I once played on a Sunday School teacher when I was in 7th or 8th grade. Well, I guess in a minor way, I carried over the minor rebellion into adulthood. I don’t know how many times I had been told (in a career setting, mostly) that I just shot myself in the foot. One of the most memorable minor rebellious instances happened shortly before I got kicked off (okay, they didn’t actually kick me off, the moderator(s) won’t let me post there any more).
At the time, there were weekly debates, I mean, discussions about alcohol and the believer. There were those that said that drinking any amount of alcohol was sinful (and would refuse to take a shot of Vick’s Nyquil if the doctor told them to) and others that believed that drinking in moderation was okay. Both groups believed that it was sinful to drink to get drunk. So, to stir the pot a bit with the anti-Nyquil crowd I asked this question: What would you do if you were visiting a church with your family in tow and it happened to be the week they served communion. You pick up the little cup raise it to your lips and it turned out to be wine (the alcoholic kind...)?

I have heard all the Biblical-based arguments on both sides of this issue. I grew up in an alcohol-free home and always believed that all alcohol was bad until I heard someone say something to a group of high schoolers that got me curious to see what the Bible actually said. Here is I found:
  • There is no outright command.
  • The closest thing we have to a command is that priest were specifically forbidden  to drink alcohol while in service (Lev. 10:9-10). The Old Testament priest was a type of a New Testament believer. But there was nothing said about when the priest was not in service. Apparently, he could drink after work.
  • And then there is Paul addressing the issue of the Lord’s supper with the Corinthian Church. According to 1 Cor. 11:20-22, during the Lord’s supper, some people were getting full with the bread while some were going hungry. And some were getting drunk. If there was any place in the entire Bible there would be a prohibition against all alcohol consumption, it would be here. But Paul doesn’t say they shouldn’t drink, he says they should do it at home (v. 22).

The Lord’s table that we partake of today has two elements, the bread and the wine. In the tabernacle, the table of shewbread held loaves of bread, and vessels for wine. The bread was to be ‘before the Lord’ at all times and once a week the bread was taken and broken and consumed by the priests. The priests were to eat the bread but not drink the wine. So why were there vessels for wine if no one could consume it? The vessels held wine for the drink offering.

The drink offering was to be offered with most of the other Levitical offerings. Each of the Levitical offerings were pictures of Christ and four of the five required the shedding of blood. The blood of the animals had to be drained, or poured out, at the altar.

The drink offering was wine or strong wine (i.e., contained alcohol). When the drink offering was offered, it was to be poured out entirely, on the floor of the Holy place at the same time offerings were being offered on the altar of burnt offering (Numbers 28:7 and others). As the sacrificial animal blood was being poured out at the altar, the drink offering was being poured out in the Holy place. The drink offering was, if you will, for God’s consumption. God and God alone got to partake of the drink offering of alcoholic wine.

Wine, in the Bible represents joy (no matter what those other voices have been telling you). Wine in the drink offering was for the Father. The priest got something out of the other offerings which looked forward to Christ’s suffering and death but priests were not to take any part of the joy of Christ’s suffering and dying. The joy was the Father’s and the Father’s alone.

Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath subjected him to suffering. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see a seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand. - Isa. 53:10.

The cross changed everything. After the cross, believers can partake of the joy of Christ suffering and death. In Mark 14:24 Jesus refers to the cup as representing His shed blood, a new covenant, or new testament. Under the new covenant we get to drink the wine and share in the joy that before the cross was reserved for the Father.

So, if you belong to one of those churches where all alcohol is evil and you visit a church and they the cup comes around and you raise it to your lips and it is not the diluted Welches grape juice you expected, don’t spit it out and grab your family and leave in the middle of the service (like one of the responders to my post said he would do). Relax. Drink. and remember the joy in Jesus’s suffering is now being shared with you.

"...Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." -- Neh. 8:10 RSV

Monday, October 8, 2012

Animal House

I remember once hearing a popular conservative talk show host speaking against evolution.  He said that if monkeys could come up with a Social Security system on their own, then he would believe in evolution. I did a search for the quote, but came up empty.

So, besides the (obvious) physical differences, what is the difference between man and other beast like sheep, bulls or goats.  Well, if you need to think about it, let me offer something.

Man, after doing something wrong, may feel guilt.  He feels guilt because he has a conscience.  He has a conscience because he can tell the difference between right and wrong.  He knows the difference between good and evil. He is conscience of his guilt. Animals are not people. Try to explain to a cow the difference between right and wrong. Take your average bear and try to explain the difference of good and evil. Take your pet dog (or cat or horse or monkey) and try to explain what sin is. Animals can not know sin.  Animals cannot experience sin. They cannot know sin from experience. This means they are “innocent”.

How do we know sin? How are we conscience of sin? Because of the Law. The Law gives us a standard, or a target. Wherefore by works of law no flesh shall be justified before him; for by law [is] knowledge of sin. Rom 3:20. If we know the Law and know ourselves, we know we miss the mark.  We are conscience of not meeting a standard. There is interesting term for this in the Bible, dead works.

In Old Testament times, animals were to be offered as sacrifices for sin. They were innocent, having no knowledge of sin, by nature, incapable of sin. The offerer must have had knowledge of sin, felt guilt, and had a conscience.  Why else would would he offer a prize animal (without spot or blemish)? Before the innocent animal was killed, the offerer laid his hands on the animal’s head. The guilty sinner identified with the innocent animal. It was as if he transferred his sin onto the animal.  The guilty is spared death and the innocent is slain.

When someone acts as if they feel no guilt, or have no conscience, we may say that they act like animals.  What do we mean? They act as though there is no right or wrong, good or evil. Reminds me of a movie about a bunch of fraternity brothers that, well, acted like animals. They acted, for the most part, as if they had no conscience and felt no guilt.  The movie was aptly named.

The blood of bulls and goats that were shed at the altar of burnt offering were incapable of removing sin.  The blood of Christ, on the other hand, not only removes sin, but purifies your conscience of dead works. To what end? So that we may worship the living God. much rather shall the blood of the Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself spotless to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship [the] living God? Heb. 9:14

"Tis by Thy blood we've been redeemed,
 And by it sanctified.
Now is our conscience free from sin,
 From dead works purified.

Hymn: Dear Lord, how precious is Thy blood


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Box of Life

"He likes it! Hey Mikey!" If you are old enough, you remember this catchphrase from a Life cereal commercial. If not, click here: . LIfe has always been one of my favorite, in fact I’m sure there is a box (or two) right now in our pantry.  If you had a box of Life cereal and someone asked what was in the box, you would say that there is Life in the box. There is Life in a box of Life cereal.

Once upon a time, there were prizes in the boxes of Life cereal.  They buried the prize deep into the box.  I remember opening the box, tilting and bulging the box until the prize was visible, then reach in to extract it, without having to eat the cereal.

When you come right down to it, the ark of the covenant (or testament) was a box, an elaborate box made of gold plated shttim wood.  The box had some kind of gold crown or molding (or, as I like to call it, gold crown molding) going around it.  This elaborate box had an even more elaborate lid.  The lid was a slab of pure gold.  Attached to the lid of pure gold were two cherubim figures also made of pure gold.  

The function of any box is to hold things.  A cereal box holds cereal (and once upon a time, a buried prize) and the ark was to hold Aaron’s rod that budded, a golden pot of manna, tablets of stone, and, possibly, a copy of the law (in scroll form).   

As a response to Korah’s rebellion (Numbers16), God verified His selection of Aaron as the high priest (Numbers 17).  A representative of each tribe carved the tribe’s name on a stick and the sticks were place in the tabernacle. God confirmed His selection by having Aaron’s stick bud. Just to not leave any doubt, Aarons stick not only budded, but had flowers and mature fruit (Number 17:8). Just like the lampstand of the tabernacle, three stages of life were on the stick of Aaron. This rod, with the three signs of life, was put in the box.   

Manna was the means of sustaining life while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.  A portion of manna was put in a gold pot and that pot was put in the box.

The scroll and the tablets represents the Law and were put in the box.  

If someone asked what was in the box, one could say that there is law and life in the box.

Jesus is the box.  The gold reminds us of His royalty and the wood speaks of His humanity.  Jesus held the law perfectly and him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4

The ark was a box of life, and there is a hidden prize. And the prize?  Sometime before the ark entered into the holy place of the newly completed everything but the 2 tables of stone were removed from the box. One of the missing things was the golden pot of manna.

In the letter that was dictated by Jesus to the church at Pergamos , He promises To him that overcomes, to him will I give of the hidden manna. Could this be the same manna?

Now within the veil, enjoying God,
Manna, law of life, and budding rod;
Christ Himself, the ark, is our abode—


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The 5-Second Rule

Drop food on floor and you have 5 seconds to pick it up and eat it.  Some believe that it takes at least 5 seconds for clean food to become defiled with germs and bacteria. In recent years, it seems that the 5 second rule has been put to the test a number of times, with varying conclusions (MythBusters even did a show on it). It’s one thing if the food item falls on a recently sanitized porcelain tile floor. But what about dropping food on beach or desert sand?  Would you eat it?

The tabernacle had no floor.  The floor of the tabernacle was the dust and sand of the desert.

While in service, the priests did a lot of walking (remember, there was no place to sit).  They walked on the dust and sand of the desert.  The source of defilement of their feet was desert dust of the floor of the tabernacle. While in service, the priests were to wash their defiled dirty feet at the laver.  

Even though the tabernacle had no floor, the floor of the tabernacle is actually mentioned once in the Bible (Numbers 5). If a husband suspected his wife of cheating, he was to bring his wife to the priest. To determine whether the suspecting husband’s suspicion was correct or not, the woman had to present an oblation (offering for food) and the priest was to scoop up dust from the floor of the tabernacle, you know, the dust and sand of the desert floor.  The scooped up dust was mixed with water and the wife had to drink it.  It was a bitter drink (Numbers 5:18).  After she drank of the bitter cup, her husband and the priest waited to see if her belly bloated and her thighs thinned.  If they did, the husband’s suspicion was confirmed (v. 27).

If this whole ritual wasn’t strange enough, the priest was to record the offense in a book, then blot it out with the bitter water (v. 23).

The lives of Gomer (unfaithful wife) and Hosea (faithful husband) illustrate the relationship between unfaithful Israel with faithful God.  Hosea had no reason to bring Gomer to the priests because, well, she didn’t do anything in secret...everyone knew what would happen if Homer drank the bitter cup.  Israel, on the other hand, Israel had to learn the hard way.  Israel has been unfaithful by idolatry and oppression of the poor.  God, the faithful jealous husband (remember the first commandment is first for a reason), wanted Israel to seek Him again and made Israel drink a bitter cup. That bitter cup was having the northern kingdom crushed by the Assyrians.

Jesus and the church are also compared to a husband and bride.  Are we any different than Israel?  Yes and no. Yes, although God is forever faithful,  we are guilty of unfaithfulness. But, no, we do not need to drink of the bitter cup. Jesus drank the bitter cup for us.

Jesus prayed in the garden: Father, if thou wilt remove this cup from me: -- but then, not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:42). A short while later, after Peter lopped off the ear of Malcus, the bondman of the high priest, Jesus said to Peter: Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?        

He, the faithful husband, intercepted the bitter cup and drank it. In His sacrifice, He drank the cup that was defiled with our sin.

So, if we are unfaithful, and Jesus drank the bitter cup for us, what do we drink?  We get to drink the sweet stuff, the cup of blessing which we bless, ...the communion of the blood of the Christ. Sweet!  Years ago, a recently-baptized teenager partook in the breaking of bread (and drinking of the cup) for the very first time.  She could not get over how sweet it was (and no, it wasn’t grape juice(!)).

Not only that, our sin of unfaithfulness is blotted out, and remembered no more (Isa. 43:25)

Death and the curse were in our cup:
O Christ, ’twas full for Thee;
But Thou hast drained the last dark drop,
’Tis empty now for me.
That bitter cup, love drank it up;
Now blessing’s draught for me. -- Anne R. Cou­sin

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On the Eighth Day, God...

One of the ten commandments was to keep the Sabbath.  The commandment was given once to the Israelites of the exodus and once to their grown children some 37 years later.  To the earlier group, the reason for keeping the Sabbath, was because God rested from His work of creation on the seventh day (Exo. 20:11).  The reason given to the later group was that it serves as a reminder that they were slaves in Egypt and that Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence with a powerful hand and with a stretched-out arm (Deut 5:15).  Certain groups of believers today think that believers should observe the Sabbath today.  I, personally do not because:

  • The Sabbath was a type (Col 2:16)
  • The antitype to the Sabbath is the Christ (Col 2:17, Heb. 3-4)
  • The commandment to keep the Sabbath was to Israel (Deut 5:15)
  • The commandment to keep the Sabbath is the only one of the ten commandments that is not repeated in the New Testament

Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). After Jesus ascended into Heaven, the disciples met on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7).   The first day of the week is also the eighth day of the previous week.

On the eighth day of the first week, God went back to work.  Creation took the first six days, on the 7th God rested. As best I can tell, this is the only record of God resting, so on the eighth day, He must have returned to work.

On the eighth day, God commanded that baby boys be circumcised and their moms were no longer  ‘unclean’ (Lev 12:1).

On the eighth day, God commanded that the cleansed leper offer a series of sacrifices (Lev 14:8-10).

On the eighth day, God commanded that the first born (both animal and people) be present to Him (Exd 22:29-30).

So, it looks like the eighth day was a day of resurrection, regeneration and restoration.

On the eighth day, God killed Nadab and Abihu.

After Aaron and his sons were selected to be priests, God prescribed an eight day consecration before they could actually serve as priests.  This was a preparation time.  The eight days went something like this:

On the first day, with a crowd gathered, Aaron approached the newly constructed tabernacle with a series of offerings and bread.  Moses bathes Aaron and his four sons then dressed Aaron in his high priestly garments for the very first time. Moses then anointed and hallowed the the tabernacle and everything in it, anointed Aaron and then dressed Aaron’s sons.  A sin offering was offered then an offering of consecration offered. A series of rituals was performed and they were commanded to dwell in the tabernacle for seven days (Lev. 8).   

On the eighth day, a series of offerings were offered for the atonement of the sins of the priests.  Each of the offerings were burned on the altar.  The offerings were burning as the burning of incense. Once the offerings were all smoldering on the altar, there went out fire from before Jehovah, and consumed on the altar the burnt-offering, and the pieces of fat; and all the people saw it, and they shouted, and fell on their face (Lev. 9:24). Offering accepted.

By this point of the eighth day, the separated priestly family was cleansed, and sins atoned for.  Aaron’s two oldest sons took their censers and offered strange fire...and fire went out from Jehovah and consumed them. I don’t know about you, but to me, the punishment does not seem to fit the offense.

Most commentators and folks that post sermons on just say the flame of God slain them just because they did something that God did not command.  There has to be more because later that day, Aaron’s two surviving sons disobeyed God, and lived.

The two younger sons had to keep the eighth day going.  The show must go on!  The 2 younger sons got so wrapped up in the events of the day, that they inadvertently left the priest’s portion of the sacrifices on the altar fire a little too long.  Their portion burnt to a crisp and there was nothing for the them to eat.

On the eighth day, all four sons of Aaron sinned, two were saved and two were lost.  Reminds me of the thieves on the crosses with Jesus, one was saved the other lost  .  Which also reminds me of the cupbearer and the baker, one saved the other lost.  So why was one sin deserving of instant incineration and the other not?  Lets look at the two:

The sin of Nadab and Abihu was intentional, the sin of Eleazar and Ithamar was not.  But more important, the sin of Nadab and Abihu ruined the type.  Every offering ever offered (including those offered on the eighth day) represents the death of Jesus on the cross.  The offering represents Jesus, the fact that it was burned by God represents God’s acceptance of the offering, just like God was satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus.  

With the death of Jesus, the work is complete.  There is nothing more that can be done.  Redemption is done. The price paid. There is nothing we can add to the work.  Offering strange fire is adding works to the work of Jesus.

Eating the priest portion of the offering, on the other hand represents fellowship.  The priest shared fellowship between them, the High Priest and God.  We, believers today, are priests and share fellowship with our High Priest (Jesus) and God the Father.  Is fellowship a requirement for redemption? Fellowship between believers, between a believer and Jesus and between a believer and God the Father is optional, it not a requirement of salvation.  Look at it this way, you can be saved and not have fellowship, but you cannot be saved without the death of Jesus.  The death of Jesus was necessary and there is nothing you or I can do to what Jesus has done.  His sacrificial offering satisfies the Father...nothing can be added.

So, what about you?  Is Jesus’s death on the cross enough for you?  It is enough for God...

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me. - Eli­za E. Hew­itt

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Campers

murmured: past participle, past tense of mur·mur.  murmur: (Verb), Say something in a low, soft, or indistinct voice.

And it came to pass that when the people murmured, it was evil in the ears of Jehovah; and Jehovah heard it, and his anger was kindled, and the fire of Jehovah burned among them, and consumed [some] in the extremity of the camp. Numbers 11:1

These were not happy campers.  These were chronic complainers.  They were unhappy, ungrateful, and unappreciative. These were the redeemed of Israel that hung out out with others of their ilk in the extremities of the camp, afar off, far away from the tabernacle, the worship center.  If one would walk by or come close, I’m sure they would keep on complaining, just their volume would get lower.  People are no different today.  I’m sure you know some who are unhappy chronic complainers.  Hey, what are you looking at me for?

If the unhappy campers were the thankless chronic complainers, who were the happy campers?
The thankful -- and there was an offering for that!  The peace offering was offered for thanksgiving.  

Let’s see what we already know about the peace offering: it was sweet smelling, voluntary, provided an atonement for sins and included blood shed.  Even though the primary purpose of the peace offering was not food, everyone got a piece of this offering: God got the best parts (of  the sacrificed animal), the priests got the flame-broiled right shoulder (or thigh) and the breast meat, and the offerer to bring home the rest.  He was to share the remainder of the barbecued animal with friends and family for a day or two (anything left on the third day were to be incinerated).  It was a means of fellowship.  Some English translations even call it the fellowship offering.

Since happy campers were thankful, they must have offered peace offerings frequently.  They probably hung out closer to the entrance of the tabernacle than the murmurers. They had to draw nigh to the tabernacle to make the sacrifice (remember, an offering that requires blood shed).   Those murmurers were probably a couple miles from the tabernacle. Who knows, maybe that’s one of the things that they complained about.  If they made an offering, they would have to travel a couple miles with a prize animal, to what? Give it away? They could have been more thankful and complained less.  Come to think of it, I could be more thankful and complain less.

So, the happy campers drew nigh and the unhappy campers remained afar off.  

Let’s see what Paul says (emphasis added):

...but now in Christ Jesus *ye* who once were afar off are become nigh by the blood of the Christ. For *he* is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of enclosure, having annulled the enmity in his flesh, the law of commandments in ordinances, that he might form the two in himself into one new man, making peace; and might reconcile both in one body to God by the cross, having by it slain the enmity; and, coming, he has preached the glad tidings of peace to you who [were] afar off, and [the glad tidings of] peace to those [who were] nigh. For through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father. So then ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but ye are fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the  household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the corner-stone, in whom all [the] building fitted together increases to a holy temple in the Lord; n whom *ye* also are built together for a habitation of God in [the] Spirit. --Eph. 2:13-22

The tabernacle was a type of Christ.  Today, you can tell who among the redeemed are close to Christ.  They have become nigh by the blood of the Christ, and offer [the] sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, [the] fruit of [the] lips confessing his name. - Heb. 13:15

What about us? Maybe we start our day close to our Lord Jesus the Christ, this is good.  Maybe we end the day close to Jesus, and this is good.  But where do we spend the rest of the day?  Close to Jesus? or murmuring with others of our ilk afar off,  far away from Jesus, who ought to be continually the center of our worship?

Come close to the Savior, O why dost thou linger?
He knoweth thy heart oppressed.
His promise believing, His message receiving,
O come unto Him and rest. - F. Crosby