The Pride of Power

Today’s reading: Leviticus 26:1-27:34

Beware! We can be destroyed by our own success.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

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God’s Ownership of His People

Today’s reading: Leviticus 23:26-25:55

If God owns you, how can you maximize your availability to Him?

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

Resting, Worshiping, and Feasting

Today’s reading: Leviticus 21:1-23:25

All of our time belongs to God. He has the right to require that we use it as He specifies. But He does not drive us relentlessly as we, workaholics, drive ourselves. While these Old Testament feasts have been fulfilled in Christ, the principle remains that we are to take time to rest and celebrate. See how God loves His people and tenderly looks out for their best.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

The Judgment and Mercy of God

Today’s reading: Leviticus 18:1-20:27

Grace is meaningless when the definition of sin is dumbed down. No matter how we dilute God’s law, He still holds mankind to it. We are all in trouble unless we repent and believe the gospel. God loves to show mercy.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

The Day of Atonement

Today’s reading: Leviticus 15:1-17:16

As you read about the Day of Atonement today, consider how that annual holy day in Ancient Israel depicted Christ’s ministry of redemption for His people. What a great salvation we have in Him!

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

How Not to Approach God

Today’s reading: Leviticus 8:1-10:20

I suspect that many evangelicals today presume to approach God with little or no fear. It is true that He is our Father. It is true that we can say “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15. We are His adopted children. Yet He is still the Holy, Sovereign, consuming fire. Let us keep both these truths in perspective: fear and confidence.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

Keeping a Clear Conscience

Today’s reading: Leviticus 5:14-7:38

A sensitive conscience is an asset to one whose mind has been trained and informed by God’s word. I would always keep my conscience tender.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

The Offering that Pleases God

Today’s reading: Leviticus 1:1-5:13

Today we begin Leviticus. If you think the instructions for the various offerings is complicated and, well, tedious, then consider that once again we see how the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, brought such a disastrous burden on mankind. Consider, too, the graciousness of God to provide offerings to His people, Israel, which pointed to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we are justified by grace through faith.

For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

NOTE: Your thoughtful comments and respectful criticisms are welcome below. Please allow a day or two for approval to see your reply on-line.

The Connection between Sin and Disease

Today’s reading: Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2

14 “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. Leviticus 26:14-16

5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5

The picture the Lord paints of life in the Promised Land, pending full obedience on the part of Israel, is nothing short of glorious. Everything the heart could legitimately long for was included as long as the people were careful to obey God’s law. The contrasting consequences, should they not be faithful, were a nightmare. They would experience disease, famine, insecurity, families torn apart, and, ultimately, ejection from the land.

As we will see in the ensuing centuries, Israel experienced all of the consequences of which they had been warned. Even so, the Messiah did come to them. Jesus Christ came and healed the sick, cast out demons, preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and, in today’s reading, forgave the sins of a paralytic.

Jesus did not teach that there was always a direct correspondence between a person’s sins and his diseases (John 9:1-3), but He did show that He had power to forgive sin and He had power to eradicate the impact of sin and the fallen condition of our bodies and our world.

Disobedience brought death, but Jesus overcame both. The good news is that the kingdom of God is at hand, so, repent and believe the gospel! The day is coming when this fallen world will be made new and God’s forgiven, redeemed people will enter into a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells forever.

Redemption

Today’s reading: Leviticus 24-25; Mark 1:1-23-45

38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

55  For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Provision was made in the law for those who had fallen on hard times and had to sell themselves as servants. The people of Israel were God’s people. They belonged to Him and could not belong to anyone else, at least, not permanently. The law encouraged people to redeem their enslaved relatives, but, in case there was no one to do this, servants were to be freed automatically at the year of jubilee.

So too, Jesus went throughout Galilee preaching and casting out demons, redeeming people from the bondage of Satan and sin. As Jesus’ power became known, demands on His time increased. He went out before daybreak to pray. His disciples found Him and told Him how the crowds were looking for Him. But Jesus had other plans. He and the disciples moved on to other towns in Galilee.

In reading this passage in Mark’s gospel, I get the sense that Jesus moved purposefully through His life without anxiety or confusion. He was not controlled by the many needs around Him, but, through prayer, sought the Father’s guidance for His day.

His redemption of lost souls was pictured in the redemption of Old Testament slaves. Just as the latter needed someone to free them from physical slavery, so the former did and do need Someone to free them from spiritual bondage. Jesus Christ proclaims freedom from sin to all who repent and believe. Trust in Him and be free.