Tag Archives: Leviticus

Leviticus 21-23; Hebrews 8

But when God found fault with the people, he said:

“The day is coming, says the lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the people of Israel and Judah.

This covenant will not be like the one

I made with their ancestors

when I took them by the hand

and led them out of the land of Egypt.

They did not remain faithful to my covenant,

so I turned my back on them, says the lord.

But this is the new covenant I will make

with the people of Israel on that day, says the lord:

I will put my laws in their minds,

and I will write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

And they will not need to teach their neighbors,

nor will they need to teach their relatives,

saying, ‘You should know the lord.’

For everyone, from the least to the greatest,

will know me already.

And I will forgive their wickedness,

and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:8-12

Leviticus is full of rules – do this, do that, don’t do this, etc. – all designed to keep the Hebrews, priest and layman alike, on the straight and narrow; all designed to steer people toward righteousness. No matter how hard they tried to uphold the law, they failed, falling back into sin and unfaithfulness. The only way to be redeemed is through sacrificial offerings and feasts of worship.

God gives a clear picture through the Mosaic law that it’s impossible to live up to everything He asks; it can’t be followed and obeyed perfectly. Though God temporarily turned His back on His people, He never left them nor forsook them. He had a plan; a plan to draw us back to Him.

His plan, a new covenant, sealed with Jesus’ blood and my belief.

The new covenant allows me to be in relationship with God. The new covenant restores me and allows me to be forgiven, cleansed, and pardoned forever from my sins. It simplifies 613 commandments and refines it – love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and love others as I love myself – imprinted on my heart by God’s hand rather than being carved into stone. It allows me to experience God, know Him in a different way and helps move me toward a life of walking with God in the cool of the day like Adam did in Eden.

I am God’s and He is mine.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 20, 21; Matthew 28

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

A commissioning directly from the mouth of Christ…

He has authority in heaven and in earth and now He is passing on that authority to me.

GO. Make disciples. Baptize. Teach.

He will be with me forever.

As a teenager, I went on a mission trip to Guatemala. It was a life changing experience, as most mission trips are. It opened my eyes to a different world, to different customs, to different beliefs. It opened my eyes to lack – financial scarcity, shortage of love, and poverty of spirit – and to need. During that trip, a desire to serve people entered my heart. A short time later, at a Christian conference for teenagers, I felt God’s call to the mission field.

The timing wasn’t right…I was 16. I couldn’t just go. Though I applied for other mission trips, I was consistently turned down. It discouraged me and I gave up the dream. I turned away from my faith.

Fast forward nearly 15 years later. My passion for the Lord reignited, I was on fire. I went to every gathering, Bible study, or worship session I could go to. In one meeting, while Heidi Baker prayed for me, I heard the call to ‘GO’ once more. It was time.

I still didn’t know what it meant to ‘GO’. At first, I thought that it meant traveling to a foreign nation, going to an underdeveloped county in the third world. I though it meant living in a small pocket of the 10/40 window. I thought it meant going to Africa or China or India.

And, it does mean that…

But, it also means going to friends and family who don’t know Christ. It means going into my neighborhood, to the hospital, to the nearby retirement home or assisted living community. It means being a mentor to children who don’t have many quality role models. It means reaching out, giving my time, my energy, my talents, my money.

‘GO’ means loving the ‘unlovable’ no matter where I am and stopping for the one God asks me to stop for.

Yesappa, Thank You for stopping for me; for giving everything you have for my redemption, for my life. Thank You for making me holy, for separating me, and making me Yours (Leviticus 20:26). Thank You for calling me, for giving me Your authority to preach the gospel, and for sending me to Your children who have yet to recognize You as Father. Help me make disciples. Help me baptize in Your Holy Name. Help me teach Your commands. Thank You for Your strength, and for being with me forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 4-6; Matthew 25:1-30

“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If anyone sins unintentionally in any of the Lord’s commandments about things not to be done, and does any one of them, if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then he shall offer for the sin that he has committed a bull from the herd without blemish to the Lord for a sin offering. (verses 2-3)

“If the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally …when the sin which they have committed becomes known, the assembly shall offer a bull from the herd for a sin offering and bring it in front of the tent of meeting. (verses 13-14)

“When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish, and shall lay his hand on the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord; it is a sin offering. (verses 22-25)

“If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally…and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. (verses 27-28)

Leviticus 4

As I am reading these Old Testament chapters on sin, I am reminded that God gave Moses the law for a reason. God wanted Israel to be set apart for Him; they are His chosen people, a small nation who would be used throughout time to demonstrate God’s goodness. The law is important to help this nation of people strive for righteousness. The law offers the knowledge of sin and helps give understanding of the work required to keep the path between man and God clean and uncluttered.

However, I think that Mosaic law serves an even greater purpose. The law of works demonstrates the futility of attempting to overcome sin without grace and mercy from God. It shows the value of the gift given by Christ when He took the place of the bull, the goat, the ram, etc. as the blood sacrifice for sin forever.

As a human, I have the tendency to look at the weights of sin, to compare big sin versus small sin. But, the Bible reminds me that sin is sin; simply being angry with someone is the same as murder, and lust of the eye is equal to adultery. Even unintentional sin, mistakes made unwittingly, is sin and requires atonement and restitution.

“If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven. Leviticus 5:15-16

I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I sin every day. I struggle with discontentedness and with anger. I often catch myself being snarky, bad attitude and bad words oozing from my mouth. I get offended by my husband and seeds of bitterness start to sprout. I grow impatient with my kids, lose control and yell at them out of frustration. I could go on…

…And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.” Leviticus 6:6-7

In Old Testament times, when I realized my sin, I would need to perform guilt rituals to be cleansed of my sin. If I had been born a Jew, I may have gone to the temple, bringing an offering to the priests to receive forgiveness. If I had been born a Muslim, I may have repented by fasting, giving charity, sacrificing an animal, or freeing a slave, my good deeds, hopefully, outweighing my evil deeds. If I had been born a Hindu, I may have sought redemption by carrying a tenderly cared for potted plant on my head, by running through hot coals with bare feet, or by carrying my god through the village on a chariot attached to my back with metal hooks.

Today, as a believer in Christ, I only need ask for forgiveness and my transgressions are washed away. My repentance is sufficient to restore righteousness because I am covered by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross at Calvary. Though I aspire to be Christ-like, I am unable to accomplish it without His help, without His sacrifice and payment, without His everlasting love.

Yessappa, Thank You for loving me, for extending me Your grace and Your mercy. Thank You for becoming the sacrificial Lamb, the blood offering for my sins yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thank You for doing the work so that I can ‘rest’ in You. Thank You for being pierced so that I don’t have to be. Thank You for dying and being raised up, so that I can live forever in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 27; Psalms 34; Ecclesiastes 10; Titus 2

The words of the wise bring them praise, but the words of a fool will destroy them…A fool talks too much. Ecclesiastes 10:12; 14a (NCV)

Every now and then, especially in the midst of an argument, I have these moments where I realize that sometimes I talk too much. My husband says I should have been a lawyer instead of a missionary, because I always know how to argue my point like I am aiming to win in court.

The fact is I don’t always use my words in a life-giving way. I complain. I whine and moan. I vent my frustrations with the double edged sword of my tongue. I admit I even raise my voice from time to time, hoping that an increase in volume will increase my ability to be understood or at least heard.

After it is all said and done, I often regret the verbal vomit I spewed. I know I have made myself look the fool at times, before friends, family, and even complete strangers. And I wish I had just kept my big mouth shut.

It is an area of myself I am continually taking before God, a request for self-control and restraint. Over the past few years, as I have been getting more and more accustomed to being a new creation, I have realized that there are a few choices that I have to make each day that are vital in order for me to adopt a mouth of the wise:

1) I have to actively choose to think about how what I allow to come out of my mouth might affect myself and the people around me. Are the words bouncing around, yearning to escape encouraging, something that will build-up rather than tear-down? Do they offer life or usher in death?

Speak the truth so that you cannot be criticized. Then those who are against you will be ashamed because there is nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:8 (NCV)

2) I have to actively choose to always speak the truth, in love. Things that need to be said can always be shared in more than one way. If I am honest, but offer those truths in a hard, unloving way, it opens the door for strife. But, if I am truthful in an authentic, loving way, it removes the enemy’s ability to cause discord with my words.

I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise is always on my lips. My whole being praises the Lord. Psalm 34:1-2a

3)      And most importantly, I have to actively choose to put my attention on God. When I focus on Him, my mind is renewed and my thoughts are bathed in His wisdom. And when my thoughts are aligned with Heaven, my words follow suit and I am able to interact from a place of love, grace, and mercy.

It is a journey, and I pray that one day I will notice I am much better at censoring my words, considering before I speak, and speaking through a lens of love, to myself and to others.

Help me Holy Ghost!

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 20; Psalms 25; Ecclesiastes 3; 1 Timothy 5

God has given them a desire to know the future. He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing. So I realize that the best thing for them is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 (NCV)

I think about my life and I wonder why certain things have happened and why other things have not. Why have I experience some of my hopes and dreams and why have many of them been left behind in the dust of life? Why have some of my encounters been joyful, but many filled with sadness and grief?

When I scan the memories of my past, I can identify distinct seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) throughout my life, some easy, some hard:

A childhood filled with neighborhood games, summers swimming, winters sledding, and spending tons of time swinging on a tree swing.

Teen years, yearning to get away from the bullies of high school and trying to break free into my own version of independence.

College. Culinary school. Ministry training.

Relationships come and gone. Friends and family members graduating to Glory.

Sharing the Gospel in India.

Meeting and marrying my husband. Birthing my daughters…

Each one of these times moved me forward to today. And I know that as I live today and pivot into tomorrow, I will continue to live within similar cycles.

I will never truly see the big picture of my life fully. But I understand that my Heavenly Father, who has His hand on my life, desires to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11-13). And, it is my desire to be grateful to Him for every aspect of each moment and to find joy and happiness in the rhythms of life.

Yesappa, thank you for keeping my life in the palm of Your hand. Thank you for providing for me and protecting me. Thank you for laughing with me during times of joy and weeping with me in my sadness. Thank you for sustaining me in the good times and the bad. Help me find Your loving, encouraging arms in every season. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

May the Lord bestow His peace which surpasses all understanding to all of the men, women, and children affected by the double bombing that occurred yesterday during the Boston Marathon. May healing take place swiftly in bodies and in hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 13; Psalms 15, 16; Proverbs 27; 2 Thessalonians 1

As water reflects your face, so your mind shows what kind of person you are. Proverbs 27:19 (NCV)

That is why we always pray for you, asking our God to help you live the kind of life he called you to live. We pray that with his power God will help you do the good things you want and perform the works that come from your faith. We pray all this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will have glory in you, and you will have glory in him. That glory comes from the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NCV)

One of the difficulties I have living as a missionary in a foreign land, a life allocated to God’s work, is the concern that I am not living up to expectations. Am I living the life that I was truly called to live? Am I doing the right things? Am I doing enough? Is God being glorified or am I seeking glory for myself? Are my own desires for the life I wish for in line with the plan that God has for my life?

Sometimes I wonder if I am really walking in His will because my will so often screams out to be heard. In the midst of the day to day struggles, my emotions, my frustrations too often take the center stage. My attitude reflects self, instead of Spirit. The smog of my own darkness seems to get in the way of His Light, His Glory, and in those moments, I am forced to question whether I am able to be an effective reflection of the love and compassion of Christ.

Sometimes I realize right away that the attitude I am projecting is not Christ within me; sometimes it takes much longer for me to repent. But I know that God’s grace and mercy for my human failings are still demonstrated every day. And I am grateful, because in spite of it all, I may be the only evidence of God’s love, the only manifestation of His presence that the people I meet acknowledge today. I may be the only Bible someone reads.

I praise the Lord because he advises me. Even at night, I feel his leading. I keep the Lord before me  always. Psalm 16:7-8a (NCV)

I am grateful that He chose me. I am grateful that He is the One who gives me the ability to walk through this gift of life. I am grateful that He equips me for everything He has called me to. He guides me, teaches me, and He directs my path. He has saved me and made me worthy to be His reflection.

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Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 5; Psalms 3, 4; Proverbs 20; Colossians 3

No one can say, “I am innocent; I have never done anything wrong.” Proverbs 20:9 (NCV)

If a person sins and does something the Lord has commanded not to be done, even if he does not know it, he is still guilty. He is responsible for his sin. Leviticus 5:17 (NCV)

There are 613 individual laws that the Jews were told to follow in the early days of Israel and even unto today. The Mosaic Law is a list of many things that must be done and many more that must not be done to be holy unto God. The laws touch on every thinkable aspect of life and death. It is a list of unattainable perfection.

[By offering the sacrifice] the priest will remove the person’s sin so he will belong to the Lord, and the Lord will forgive him. Leviticus 5:10b (NCV)

When one or more sins were committed, the sinner was required to bring a sin sacrifice to the priests. Whether they knew they were sinning or not they were required to offer sacrifices. And only after those sacrifices were made would that person then be forgiven.

There are so many laws to remember, to understand, and to follow and obey. So many things that need to be monitored, regulated. No matter how hard I try, I can’t even imagine actually fulfilling each and every single letter of the law.

I will pray to the Lord, and he will answer me from his holy mountain. Psalms 3:4 (NCV)

Answer me when I pray to you, my God who does what is right. Make things easier for me when I am in trouble. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Psalms 4:1 (NCV)

When I inevitably stumble, all I have to do is pray, ask my Father for forgiveness. My sin is forgiven and forgotten. I am redeemed. The blood sacrifice that was made by Christ at Calvary was, is, and will always be enough to set me free from the law that only serves to show me that I will never be able to do it without His help. His love is everlasting. His mercy is never ending. His grace is the gift of life that keeps on giving and can never be lost.

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Colossians 3:12 (NCV)

I am a new creation, a righteous life raised from the grave, my grave clothes left behind in the tomb. I am the beloved daughter of the King being prepared as a spotless bride. I walk in freedom and in the delight of being one with Him.

Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 (NCV)

You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God. Colossians 3:10 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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