Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Purpose of Offerings

Leviticus 3 (NIV)

The Fellowship Offering

“‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the Lord an animal without defect. You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
“‘If you offer an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to the Lord, you are to offer a male or female without defect. If you offer a lamb, you are to present it before the Lord, lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 10 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 11 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord.

In Hebrew scripture it would be impossible for anyone to worship the Lord in true holiness. The Bible reminds us that all people are indeed sinners and that on our own efforts, we cannot please God. However God has provided methods so that we can worship God properly.

Leviticus comes into play an important role here because for the Hebrew people that method was sacrifice. Therefore in Leviticus chapters 1-7, we see that God sets the mandate to bring five types of offerings. There is a Burnt Offering, Grain Offering, Fellowship Offering, Sin Offering,  and Guilt Offering. These offerings have also came to be known as 1) The Burnt Offering, 2)The Meal Offering, 3) The Peace Offering, 4) The Sin Offering 5) The Trespass Offering. Looking at these offerings according to the latter helps us to understand that the purpose of these 5 offerings was to make the people whole and one with God through the forgiveness of sins, trespasses and short comings bringing redemption. They would give to God parts of the animals that they killed. Sometimes they gave the whole animal. The priests burned the gift on the altar at the house of God. God accepted the animal’s death so that the Jews could worship God. The animal had suffered death so that the Jews could live as friends with God.

Does any of this sound familiar to Christians? Does Communion, the Lord's Prayer, of the roles of Jesus life and death come to mind? We must remember as Christians we are not separated from the Hebrew people of Scriptures, the Old Testament is truly part of our history and word for a reason. Christianity is indeed birthed out of the Jewish faith.

Be well today, Love P.J.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Who's Holding Your Arms?

Exodus 17: 8-16 (NIV)

The Amalekites Defeated

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua,“Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning,but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

As we press through life's journey today. I have paused to focus on Exodus 17:8-16 as a point of reference that we can not walk our faithful journey alone. In today's text Moses is in prayer, praise, and petition of deliverance to God for the Hebrew peoples victory in battle over the Amalekite people. Scripture reminds of the physical position of Moses, standing firm and tall with his arms upward and outstretched toward God in the havens. This position is one that is widely  known to the people of God, as if you go almost in any house of worship it is common to see people in this same position reaching out to God. However Moses arm began to tire and the blessing is that Moses was not alone, the text says that Aaron and Hur were there to assist Moses and hold his arms up until the evening enabling the people of God to be delivered. 

The important things for us to gain from this scripture are:
1) We are not in this journey alone. When we get tired, distraught and began to feel that our circumstances are too much to overcome remember you are not alone. We must only identify our Hur's and Aaron's. 
2) Living for God is not about us alone but about the entire family of God. Moses was not approaching God for his own singular benefit, but on behalf on the family as a whole. When we stand in the gap we must always see the bigger picture of love for one another. 
3) Just as we need others to hold our arms, we must be there to hold the arms of others. There are times when we are Moses's reaching to God for deliverance. However we must also prepare to be someone else's Aaron when the time arrives. 

So then the ultimate question is who's holding your arms? Who's arms are you holding?  

In closing,today I am praying for the comfort, peace and strength for the families of the 6 persons whom lost their lives in yesterday's tornadoes. As well as all of our fellow Illinoisans whose homes and property were destroyed and damaged. May God be with you all, and may the Holy Spirit rest on each of you indeed I trust that God will bring you through this great tragedy. In Jesus name this is my prayer. Amen.

Be Well, Love P.J. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blood In Blood Out

Exodus 7:14-24 The Plague of Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’”
19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels[a] of wood and stone.”
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.

Have you ever taken the time to examine what God is teaching us through the Hebrew Scriptures. Constantly God reminds us that for change, deliverance, and true freedom there must be a sacrifice of blood. In Exodus 7 we see the 1st of 10 plagues that come upon the Egyptians for enslaving God's people. After 8 more plagues the 10 plague also ends with blood and the Passover.This even rings true for Christians and the sacrifice that God delivered through God's firstborn son Jesus and his blood. God reminds us that salvation come through blood and sacrifice. Blood in, blood out. I'm just saying as the Hebrew people were saved by the blood of a lamb, so were the peopled called Christians. I know it was the blood!

Exodus 11

New International Version (NIV)

The Plague on the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)
So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.
The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

Be well, Love P.J.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On the behalf of others!

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.[c] 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

Sodom did not know their impending doom, nor were they wise enough to seek God or even know when they were in the presence of Angles. Abraham on the other hand teaches all of us a very important lesson on Intercessory Prayer.  In this text Abraham approaches God totally unselfishly on the behalf of the residents of Sodom. Abraham is relentless in his prayer to God for mercy on the city starting at fifty people being enough to save the city down to ten righteous people being enough to save the city. We should be as selfless as Abraham not always praying for ourselves and those we know, but seeking God on the behalf of the others that we do not know and that may not know God!

How much time do you spend in intercessory prayer for the lost and least among us in society? Today take time to pray for those who never pray at all.

Be Well, Love Pastor Sirchester.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Genesis 16

New International Version (NIV)

Hagar and Ishmael

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slavenamed Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years,Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

Today's passage of scripture detailing the drama between Hagar and Sari, reminds us the need to have patience and brings to mind the saying God may not come when you call, but God is always right on time! Every time I read this scripture I am always amazed at how easily Abram agrees to lay with Hagar as a husband and a holy man. None the less Abram does lay with Hagar (Whom did not have a choice in the matter, after all she was considered property). Hagar conceives and God is not displeased with anyone of the three, instead God blesses Hagar with Ishmael and later on blesses Abram and Sari with Issac. So it makes you wonder was this part of God's plan all along?  In just ten short verses you see polygamy, rape, slavery, abuse and ultimately forgiveness.  If God did immediately forgave Abram and Sari, how much more will God forgive us if we ask. 

However I still would suggest waiting on God and having a little more patience. Be Well, Pastor Sirchester.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What's in a birthright?

Genesis 25:27- 34

27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.

TGIF, Love P.J.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What to do when Trouble comes looking for you?

2nd Samuel 5:17-25 (NIV)

David Defeats the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”
20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.
22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25 So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

Years after David defeated Goliath, the Philistine people still remember his name and when David becomes king trouble comes looking for him. There will be times in our lives when we are happy and content minding our own business when trouble comes looking for us. Today's text taken from 2nd Samuel gives us insight on what to do when trouble comes looking for us.  The first thing that David does is ask God in prayer and ask what to do vs19.  The second thing David does is to follow the directions of God. Many of us have a hard time hearing from God because we are not listening. God speaks in a variety of ways we must prepare ourselves to listen, hear and follow God's will for our lives. The more we communicate with God the more we will see God responding to us. When trouble comes looking, seek God first, then follow Gods will.

Be Well, Love P.J.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Ephesians 1

New International Version (NIV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Today's passage of scripture written to the Church at Ephesus from Apostle Paul is one of the more confusing text in the New Testament. Paul uses uncommon words like predestined, adoption, and sonship in this scripture. Paul's main point in this text is that God has chosen humankind to be unified with God, all of the other words that are used just speak to the unity between us and God through Jesus. Therefore we are adopted, predestined, unified, redeemed, forgave etc. However we first must choose to become unified with God as God has already first chosen us through offering Jesus as salvation for those who believe.

How have you decided? Have you decided to be one with God? If so then that means you have also decided to be one with your neighbor and fellow brothers or sisters. Remember to be one with God is to be one with all creation. That's true UNITY.

Be Well, P.J.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Equal Opportunity Loving

Romans  13: 8- 10 (NIV)

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Have you ever known person who is as i refer to them a three N person. Three N people are always nettled, negative or needy. The better example of a person like this is a taker. Some people live their entire live constantly taking, needing, being negative and nettled. Today's text reminds us to treat everyone the same being Equal Opportunity Lovers. This is all God has truly called us to do, love one another. Paul reminds the Church at Rome that the only true debt we owe God through Christ is to love. Love does not harm or hurt. Love is not negative or needy but positive and giving. Love in not nettled but peaceful and happy. God instructs us to be Equal Opportunity Lovers, loving everyone even our enemies. 

Thought for today: Once a member asked how can  we love our enemies, after all they are our enemies for a reason. My reply was simply if you can love yourself knowing full well every sin and wrong thing you have done to others your whole life, how can you not love and forgive others who you have only known to offend just you!  If we can love ourselves and live with ourselves daily, then loving and living with our enemies should be a breeze.

Be Well today, Love PJ.    

Monday, November 4, 2013

Where is your prayer closet?

Luke 5: 12-16

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

As Jesus popularity and reputation began to increase scripture reminds us of how much time Christ spent in solitary prayer. Today's text from Luke reminds me of what I've heard from church mothers telling stories about seeking God through prayer in their prayer closets. Jesus did not have a closet, but often would withdraw from everyone to go off in prayer and communication with God. We also should take time to seek God all by ourselves. Public and corporate prayer are awesome ways to communicate with God, however there are times in our live we need to prepare for the challenges of ministry and service to others. Since we never know when the trials and test will come we must remain spiritually prepared at all times. In order to ensure that we are never spiritually empty we must take time to find a prayer closet or space of our own daily, where we can sit in the presence of God and listen to God's voice of direction for our lives.

Our goal moving forward God is that we  make the time and store the energy daily to step away alone for conversations with you, where we both speak and hear. Amen.   

Be Well, Love Sirchester