September 4, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 20

Holy.

A word that we sing, read, say and pray all the time as Christians. We label God a “holy” and we strive to be holy but what does it really mean? And, furthermore, why is it so important? Today’s chapter is all about holiness. God is calling His people to be holy and explaining why it is so important. Let’s take a look at what it is.

‬‬“So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD who makes you holy.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭20:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

From these two verses I believe we can say that to be holy is to be three things:
1. Set apart or different
2. Obedient to God’s commands
3. Living as God lives

So, if nothing else, God wanted to make sure the Israelites had these three things down. But why?

“You must keep all my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice; otherwise the land to which I am bringing you as your new home will vomit you out. Do not live according to the customs of the people I am driving out before you. It is because they do these shameful things that I detest them. But I have promised you, ‘You will possess their land because I will give it to you as your possession—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from all other people.

You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭20:22-24, 26‬ ‭NLT‬‬
I believe we see at least three things as to why this is so important here
1. God’s blessings will be removed
2. God’s favor would be removed
3. God’s heart would be broken

So as you go about your day today keep these things in mind. Holiness is huge. God requires it but more importantly, God desires it so that we are living life to the fullest and happiest in Him.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

September 3, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 19

It’s pretty interesting to read about all the various types of offerings/sacrifices that God required the Israelites to carry out and the specificity by which they were to do them. There is purpose and significance behind every offering and every detail or regulation for carrying each one out. This was really the main thing that stuck out to me today about this passage:

The detailed regulations for each offering give us a glimpse into how serious God desires to change even the small aspects of our lives and make them more like Him.

God was teaching the Israelites a whole new way of living after He delivered them from Egypt. He was cleansing them from many of the pagan practices they had adopted while in slavery. These detailed regulations and sacrifices that God required completely changed the way the Israelite people would now live their lives. No longer would they live for themselves or the pagan gods of their captives, but for Him! God was protecting them from slipping back into their old lifestyle by giving them a completely new one that would develop a heart of worship for Him.

God is the same then as He is today. God still cares about the details. He still cares about those seemingly insignificant sins in our lives that we keep holding on to. He still desires to penetrate the tiny details of our lives with His righteousness and make us holy as He is holy. God doesn’t want us to slip back into the mire of our former slavery to sin.

Just like God gave the Israelites a completely new way of life, which is evident in the detailed procedures we read about for these offerings, God gives us a completely new way of life when we accept His Son Jesus and begin living for Him. There isn’t any room to hold on the sins of our “BC” life. He takes sin seriously and so should we.

So, let me ask you today: What seemingly insignificant sin(s) are you holding onto today in hopes that God is ok to let that one slide? Remember that God is a God of details and He desires to change us completely not partially. If the Holy Spirit has identified something in your life you need to turn over to Him today….Do It! Spend some time in prayer and confession to Him and praise God for His amazing grace that covers all our sin both big and small.

Posted by: Matt Mofield

September 1, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 17

My family went to the Cincinnati Zoo the other day and I was reminded how squeamish people get around blood. We happened to be in the bat exhibit when my son Liam pointed out the bowl of blood that the bats drink and my daughter started gagging to herself. Soon after, other kids were looking away from the exhibit saying “Eeewww” as their parents stared at me and my 3 year old son sitting on my shoulders with a look that communicated, “Thanks for pointing that out to my kids.”

The talk of blood makes people a bit uncomfortable and there’s usually something wrong if you’re dealing with a lot of it. Outside of a good medium rare steak, blood is meant to stay in the body, which keeps us and other living things alive. Blood is best kept in the body unless you see the purpose of it in the temporary sacrificial system that was used to atone for Israel’s sins. That purpose can be summed up in v. 11 in Leviticus 7, which reads as:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

The temporary animal blood that made temporary atonement for their souls and gave them life would point to an eternal sacrifice by Jesus who shed His blood to atone for our sin once and for all and give us eternal life.

For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. –Matthew 26:28

 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. –Hebrews 9:14

 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1:7

 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, -Ephesians 1:7

My daughter may still get squeamish around a little blood like most other children do, but she knows the power and forgiveness we receive in Jesus’ blood and I’m grateful that her little face lights up when we talk about what that means for her and every person who needs to receive it.

Are you grateful for the blood that was shed on the cross for you?

Posted by: Erik Koliser

August 31, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 16

When you read Leviticus 16 you begin to see how much God detests sin. We forget… we see our sin as trite, harmless acts that really don’t matter all that much. After all – just a prayer of confession and we’re good right?

Thank God for the cross! Jesus paid it all – all our sin was laid on Him and He atoned for it.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

Before the cross – the only bandaid for sin was animal sacrifice. The steps were detailed and laborious.

  • Young bull and ram sacrificed for the priest’s sin (v.3)
  • Wear the right priestly clothes in the prescribed was (v.4)
  • Two male goats for a sin offering a ram for burnt offering (v.5)
  • One of the goats for a sin offering – one as a scapegoat (v.9-10)
  • Incense and burning coals (v.11-13)
  • Sprinkle the blood from the bull seven times (v.14)
  • All done the correct time involving the correct participants

All of this and more – just to temporarily “atone” for the sins of the people. Every year – over and over. Then God sent Jesus to become the eternal sacrifice for our sins.

It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world… And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:4-5a, 10

 Some things to Ponder on Today…

  • The cost and seriousness of our sin
  • The price Jesus paid
  • The awesomeness of being completely forgiven

Posted by: Tim Parsons