Leviticus 20:22-22:16; Mark 9:1-29; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 10:18
As God gives Moses instructions about the Priesthood and how they were to comport themselves, God is very specific about the types of behaviors they are to engage in. He is clear about the people they should marry. He is clear about how they should manage their health and children. All of this was based on the Holiness of God. Those who would represent Him must be like He is.
“…You must consider them holy because I, the Lord, am holy, and I make you holy.” (Leviticus 21:8)
The biggest challenge that the priests faced was their inability to keep all these rules perfectly. In the same way that Aaron’s sons died because they mishandled the sacrifices, each priest lived under the threat of death because of a misstep!
When Jesus came on the scene, He gave us a new reality. We no longer need to live under the threat of death because of our mistakes. God is holy and He cannot abide ungodliness anywhere around Him. So, in order for us to be in His family, God had to find a way to handle all our sins and mistakes without changing His nature. So Jesus shed His blood to make us right with God (holy)!
Now, as Believers, we don’t live under the threat of death from mistakes! We live under the blessings and love of God. In fact, the more we get to know God, the more we are consumed by His love. It drives out all fear!! “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 22:17-23:44; Mark 9:30-10:12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 10:19
Leviticus 19:1-20:21; Mark 8:11-38; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 10:17
We have often seen holiness described as the personal piety that one shows God by personal behaviors. I remember the old saying, “I don’t smoke and I don’t chew and I don’t hang with those who do!”
In this narrow point of view, holiness was nothing more than freedom from personal vices. But holiness is defined by so much more. In Biblical terms, holiness covers how we treat others, including the down trodden and vulnerable.
Harvesters were required to leave parts of their field untouched so that the poor could get food. The deaf and blind were protected from harassment. Neighbors were protected against being defrauded or robbed. And, everyone was to be treated with respect.
God really raised the bar for what holiness is. It is so easy to make holiness about dress style (no makeup, no pants or jewelry) but it’s so much more. We have to master treating people by God’s loving standard. This is true holiness and shows a respect for God.
It is interesting that when Jesus healed the blind man, his first perception of man was jaded so Jesus had to touch him again. I wonder if we need a second touch from Jesus so that we can see people as God sees them.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 20:22-22:16; Mark 9:1-29; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 10:18
Leviticus 16:29-18:30; Mark 7:24-8:10; Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 10:15-16
When Jesus speaks the powerful words, “Ephraphatha” it had transforming power. Every word that Jesus speaks has power. In fact, Luke 1:37 reminds us that, “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”
A deaf man approaches Jesus with a desire to be healed. Jesus does some things very differently from His other healing miracles. Most people coming to receive a healing from Jesus were usually seeking healing for one disorder. This time Jesus heals him of his original disease and any related sickness. With one Word, “Be open!” Jesus opened up stopped ears and repaired his speech deficiency.
Did you know that Jesus can heal your root sickness and any related illness? Jesus cannot and will not be limited. The man only asked for hearing but Jesus would not leave the work undone. When you approach Jesus to heal something in your life, trust Him to handle it all. Expect not just healing but complete wholeness.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 19:1-20:21; Mark 8:11-38; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 10:17
Leviticus 15:1-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14
All sin is an affront to God! People could not stop sinning on their own so God gave Moses a ritual to atone for the many sins of humanity. Each year, a process of making a sacrifice and smearing the blood on a goat expunged the sins of humanity.
In addition to this annual process, the priests were required to offer sacrifices daily for humanity’s sins. It was continual. But, all that happened in this atonement was dealing with the actions not the heart. Sin is conceived in the heart before it ever becomes an action.
Jesus reminds us of this when He talks about the things that define a person. True transformation does not occur until there is a change on the inside. Jesus helps us deal with the root of our sin—it’s in our heart. We need a change of heart in order to change our actions.
Lord, search our hearts and if you find any hint of sin, we surrender it to you!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 16:29-18:30; Mark 7:24-8:10; Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 10:15-16
Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12
When Jesus sees a need, He has one response: to meet it! This is such great news to those of us who are in His family. Jesus decided that He and His disciples needed a break from the activity of ministry. So they slipped away for a break.
Word got out that they were traveling and the people followed them. In fact, many people arrived at their destination before they did. When Jesus arrived and saw all the people, even though He was tired physically, His compassion kicked in and He spent time teaching them.
Jesus took time to impart spiritual wisdom to them so that their lives would have purpose. At the close of the day, even though Jesus and the disciples began from a point of fatigue, one more need presented itself. The people needed food! The quick and easy answer from people who were tired was: “Send them away and get food on their own.” Jesus would not allow this. He simply says, “Feed them.”
Jesus did not allow His feelings, or the Disciple’s feelings, to stand in the way of helping those in need. Jesus miraculously took what they had, multiplied it to meet the need. He met the need in such abundance that there was now a surplus.
Jesus wants to do the same thing in your life today!! Why do you keep holding onto your need? Submit it to Him. He loves you enough to teach you how to get out of it and miraculously supply whatever you need. If He can multiply a little boy’s lunch, can’t He handle your situation? Yes, He can! Yes, He will!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 15:1-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14
Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 10:10
Clean and unclean! The Old Testament priest was charged with determining who was fit to be among the assembly and who, because of impurities, had to be banished. No matter what the disease and its progress, the Old Testament priest was never told to heal any of the diseases, or even pray for healing. He was just supposed to identify them and render judgment.
Thank God that there is another priesthood. Jesus came as our Great High Priest and He has more than just power to identify and pass judgment. God gave us a High Priest who can heal all our sicknesses and forgive all our sins (Psalm 103:3).
And, Jesus feels the pain we feel and sympathizes with us in our pain. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
When you approach your Great High Priest, expect Him to answer you not just commiserate with you. If there is sickness, believe Him as your healer. If there are problems, expect Him to solve them. He can turn your situation around if you bring it to Him. You will leave with divine power and not just a diagnosis.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12
Leviticus 11:1-12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 10:8-9
Today, we have an interesting contrast. In our Leviticus reading, we see all the things that make a person unclean. When a person was unclean they were temporarily cut off from the faith community until a sacrifice was made on their behalf.
There were so many things that made a person unclean. From the food they ate to things that they touched to even after childbirth. This Old Testament system was so regimented that one had to constantly be on guard about whether or not they were disqualified.
In our New Testament reading, we see a woman who is considered unclean by the same set of legal standards. She has had a bleeding condition for 12 years and has not grown better. She heard that Jesus was passing by. She had a crucial decision to make: Do I allow the law to stop me from getting my healing from Jesus? Thankfully, she answered in faith: “No!”
She pressed her way to Jesus and touched the hem of his garment and she was instantly and permanently healed. Are you bound in a legal prison that keeps you focused on your failings and shortcomings? If so, let me introduce you to Jesus! He loves you: Just the way you are and He wants to meet with you and perform the miraculous!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 10:10
Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7
How do you handle the storms that arise in your life? Oh, storms will most certainly come because they are a part of the human experience! How we respond will determine how long the storm lasts and what its effects will be.
Jesus and His Disciples were on a boat in the middle of a physical storm. That’s probably one of the worst places to be. But there were two different responses to the same storm. The boat rocked and reeled from the wind and the waves. The boat was filling with water. The Disciples, in panic, began to do everything they could to salvage the boat. Furiously they bailed water out of the boat, and trimmed the sails. They needed more help!
Then someone noticed that Jesus was missing so they went looking for Him. They found him in the back of the boat. Jesus wasn’t praying. Jesus wasn’t bailing out water. Jesus was sleeping! The Disciples chastised Him and questioned if He really cared.
Jesus awoke and spoke to the wind, waves and rain! They obeyed His command! You see, the Disciple’s missed an important point. Before they got into the boat, Jesus had already said that they were going over to the other side! Once Jesus spoke it, there was no other option available. Anything contrary to those words could not win!
What storm is raging in your life? Jesus has already spoken blessings and promises over your life. You speak to those storms and command them to cease because they cannot stop you from getting to the place where God has promised you! As a child of God, you have the same power to speak and things happen! Try it!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 11:1-12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 10:8-9
Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31-4:25; Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 10:5
God has always called a group of people to consecrate themselves for His service. To consecrate means to be set aside for God’s purposes. Initially, it was Aaron and his sons. Later, it was the tribe of Levi.
They were given the awesome responsibility of ministering before the Lord. The process of setting a priest apart involved sacrifices and anointing with oil. These were prerequisites for one’s service to the Lord.
When Jesus came and offered the grace of God, there was never again a need for animal sacrifices. Yet, He still needed priests who would serve Him. He still ordains those priests for His service. No animals are needed for the sacrifice. Jesus requires that all of us who are brought into His family become a royal priesthood. The only blood we need is Jesus’ blood. The only sacrifice is our lives.
The oil that is used to anoint us is the Holy Spirit. He empowers us to serve God fully and effectively. Because of Jesus’ life, we have access to God without intermediaries. We can go to Him just like Aaron and his sons did. When you pray you have the same authority that the priest had. God hears your prayers and makes things happen because of you.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7
Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-30; Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4
The first call that Jesus offers us is a call to accompany Him. When He choose His first Disciples, He expected that as He performed His early ministry, they would be near Him to learn from His example. Our first task is not to “do” but to “be”.
How often do we put “doing” over “being”? We try to earn a position with God but we never realize that God cares less about our doing but more about our being. God knows that if we will be with Jesus, the doing will happen automatically. However, if we only focus on doing, we will miss the challenge to really change who we are!
As God’s children and siblings to Jesus, we cannot forget that our rightful place is to be with Jesus! Think about how you spend your day. Are you spending time with Jesus? Are you intentionally trying to be with Him in everything you do? Are you inviting Him into your daily affairs? Your day will be more effective and your prayer time will be more meaningful when you focus on being with Jesus more than doing things for Him.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31-4:25; Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 10:5