September 12, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 27

Today we close out the book of Leviticus. For most of us, reading through this book is a challenge to say the least. It can be tough to stay focused and to glean application for us each day. But we have to remember that is is just as much God’s word as any other book in the Bible. Today we read about how one can redeem offerings back that have been dedicated to the Lord. All throughout this book we have read rules, laws, and special ways of life and worship. What I believe we can take away from this book is simple

We need Jesus

God’s plan in Leviticus was to show His people that they, in and of themselves, could not live up to Gods laws and standards. They needed someone to stand in for them that could. The law is impossible to fulfill in our own power, but Jesus was able to do just that on our behalf. So remember when we read of Gods laws in the Bible that we have one who has done this for us already. So glory in Jesus today as you look to Him as the one who fulfills the law of God for you.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

September 8, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 23

It’s so easy to live our lives with Jesus as an add on to our already busy lives (work, school, sports, entertainment, hobbies, family, friends, etc.) After all of these things, church and Jesus can be thrown in whenever we get the time to serve or worship. Having this type of attitude is the opposite of what we see in Scripture today as we read about giving God the “first-fruits” of our offerings.

In Leviticus 23:9-14 the people were told to bring a sheaf of grain to the priest who was to offer it to the Lord and all other grain was not to be harvested until doing so. This was to show that God was our first priority in their life and provision. If you’re asking what that has to do with your life or if you’re trying to say that this is Old Testament “stuff” you don’t have to follow anymore, then pay close attention to these New Testament passages where it’s symbolically used as the first of many converts in that region where the Gospel was being preached (Romans 16:5). We are also looked upon as God’s first fruits of His creatures (James 1:18) that are set apart more than anything on this earth for God’s glory as believers. Lastly we see Jesus  as the fulfillment of the first fruit offering in His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20).

In conclusion, summarizes this idea of first fruits in this way: “In summary, firstfruits symbolizes God’s harvest of souls, it illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first (and the best) of what He has given us.”

Do you give God your best? Do you prioritize God as first in all of your life?

Posted by: Erik Koliser

September 7, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 22

Good morning JumpStart readers! Thank you so much for taking the time to obediently read God’s Word and learn what God has for you. We’ve been posting JumpStart for several years and we are soon coming to the end of our journey through the Bible. Can you believe that soon we will have gone through every book of God’s Word? Many of you have faithfully journeyed with us.

I need your help with something. We’re soon to the time we will need to decide if we should start over or not. JumpStart obviously takes quite a bit of our pastoral team’s time and we want to make sure it is worth the investment. If you are a regular JS reader would you mind dropping us a quick note to let us know your thoughts? If you know someone who normally reads JS, but may have missed this post will you forward it to them so they can respond too? Send your note to my assistant – and we will compile them and use them in making our decision. Thank you so much!

Today’s reading is all about being clean before the Lord. There were stiff penalties if you handled the elements of worship with dirty hands. This makes me think of Psalm 24:3-5:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

What is the correlation between the two? Clean hands – what we do and Clean heart – who we are on the inside? Does what we truly believe effect what we do? Jesus said so!

But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” Matthew 5:18-20

So this begs the question – How important is it for me to work on having a clean heart? Solomon says…

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

So… here’s your assignment for today:

  • Take a few minutes and honestly evaluate your heart. In what areas does it need a deep cleaning?
  • Pray and ask God to help you – to cleanse you (Psalm 139:24)
  • Take action steps – listen to podcasts about that area – read books on it – ask your accountability partner for help.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

September 5, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 21

Holiness of the Priests

Chapter 21 deals with the Lord’s demand of the holiness for the priests and for the offerings. While priests have been ordained and are holy in terms of their office, that holiness is only an outward one; it does not necessarily mean that they have inner holiness of heart and conduct. More stringent regulations of holiness are required of the priests because they work directly with the holy objects of the sanctuary (ESV Study Bible Notes).

I think it is important to realize that the priests in the Old Testament had to have the same saving faith that we do today yet through a different means. The motivation for a Priest to stay Holy was their fear of the Lord and their love and faith in the Lord. They demonstrated their faith through keeping the law which they were never able to do perfectly.

Today the Pastors and Elders who are the leaders of the church are called to be Holy and set apart as well. This is to give them the ability to lead the church well.

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:5-9)

The priests were given the authority to bring the sacrifices and intervene for the people. Pastors and Elders are called to lead the church, protect against harmful doctrine and train up the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). The one difference today is Pastors and Elders do not have to intervene with sacrifice for the church. Jesus has finished that work in order that we all may know him.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Posted by: Chad Wiles