Let’s Celebrate, Today!


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 25

The year of Jubilee, doesn’t that sound like something to celebrate? Reading this chapter today made me think of the song lyrics from the Days of Elijah:

Behold He Comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee
And out of Zion Hill salvation comes!

I love this song and it’s melody is upbeat and puts me in a happy, cheerful mood. That is what God wants us to feel about Him. We don’t obey mosaic law today as this chapter describes, but I love that God is leading his people then and leads us now.

Have you ever taken a day off and then when you returned to work you had a lot of energy. It just seemed like you were refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the world. I believe this is the way God intended it and used not only a sabbath week, a sabbath month, but a sabbath year? Then after the 7th year, the sabbatical year, the land and the farmers were refreshed, renewed, and fruitful.

I’m just impressed how God took care of everyone; the farmer, the fields, and the animals. God is very deliberate, intentional and premeditated. Leviticus 25 reminds me that He knows what is to come long before it happens and He prepares us for what is to come… for our good.

Celebrate this day and the LORD with me.

Shut Your Mouth!

Shut Your Mouth

Today’s Devotional: Leviticus 24

There is a pretty significant message that God is giving us in Leviticus 24 that seems to over shadow the importance of the ever burning lamp stand. That message is, “Do not curse or blaspheme God!”

God doesn’t even mince words about how He feels about it either, Leviticus 15-16, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.'”

What does that say about our filthy mouths? It tells me that my mouth can get me into some serious trouble. James has a lot to say about our mouths/tongue in James 3:3-6, When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

I guess this is a great reminder to begin the week. A message from God to refrain from harsh words, that includes swearing or using God’s name in vain. We can’t worship God with the devotion and reading of His Word and then misuse His name as we communicate who He is to the World.

I’m talking to me (maybe more-so) as much as I’m talking to you today. Let’s use our words wisely and show the world, we are His people, His children, His ambassadors and His chosen.


Holy Welcoming Committee


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 22

The lesson for us is that we are not to treat the sacred and holy things of God as if they were commonplace. What do you think of when you think of the Holy things of God? I might need a little help on this one, because I might be thinking of this too simplistically. But I’m going to think of the most Holy place of God that I know… my church.

When I go to church I go because it is an act of worship. I love being somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of “the world” and having a place that is centered fully on God. One of the many things I love about church is that everyone is welcome. We are all equal at the foot of the cross. Meaning we, the church, should not judge according to social status, martial status, appearance, net worth, etc. We should welcome everyone with open arms and show the love of Christ to all who enter. Not in a phony way either, in a sincere and heart-warming manner.

I used to be the volunteer coordinator for the greeters, users, and parking attendants at our church. I begged them to NOT use the phrase, “How are you,” as they welcomed people at the entrance. I have 2 philosophies on this. 1 – Is that the phrase itself is so frequently used that it is cliche and isn’t a sincere enough, honest enough, greeting at the doors of the church. 2 – Some people arrive at church broken and we, the greeters, may cause our brother to stumble causing them to lie and say, “I’m fine.” They may not be fine and certainly the door of the church is no place they want to vomit their problems. The best thing we can do is make them feel welcome, safe and accepted.

Sure, I may be over thinking it, but is that one of the ways we can treat the sacred common? At the fundamental point of how we welcome people to join our church services? I appreciate that God is holy and His church is a place that I never want to treat commonly.

Sex God Detests

Love Hate

Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 19

Now I have your attention right? Sex sells – will it increase readership of my blog?

Well that is certainly not my motive. I have blogging on this site since early July 2013 and it just so happens that my scripture today is getting my Monday off to a eye-opening start.

God detests is a pretty strong, straight forward, uncompromising word and there are several instances that He uses that word through scripture. The word itself means to feel abhorrence of; hate; dislike intensely. That’s as direct as I think God gets about certain sexual acts. Leviticus 19 spells it out clearly and as I was reading I was not in disagreement with Him. Part of me thinks He doesn’t even need to spell it out in such detail, it seems pretty obvious. Then again, if he wants to get His point across, I guess it makes perfect sense that God doesn’t want to leave any margin for misinterpretation. Do you agree? If you do, then I will complete this post with that assumption.

I get all the don’t have sex with brothers, sisters, father’s, mother’s, aunts, uncles, etc., but in light of today’s controversy – of the 30 verses in Leviticus 19 – there is only one time that God uses the word, “detestable” and that is verse 22 ” ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”

I have friends who are homosexual. I can say with all of my heart I love these people. They are the funniest, friendliest, heartfelt people, but their lifestyle is not of God’s design. I see this no differently than I would see adultery, polygamy, or any other lifestyle that exists outside of God’s will. The thing is that our government isn’t being petitioned to legalize adultery, polygamy, incest, or the like.

So I’m not going to continue on with a sermon and my intention isn’t to stir up a debate, but I will say this… God is very clear on how He wants us to conduct ourselves sexually and this chapter sums it up pretty well. With a burden on my heart I pray that all people would seek to understand why God feels so strongly about this lifestyle and honor Him.

I also say that we, as Christians, have a responsibility to love people. We are all sinners in God’s eyes, one sin isn’t different from another and since we are not perfect (Romans 3:23), we have no right to judge the way others live. However, God sent His Son, Jesus, to seek and to save those who are lost. Let your lives model the goodness of who God is and love others as yourself – inspiring others to rebuke this detestable sin.

I Am Free


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 17

These instructions were not for Moses and Aaron alone, but they were also for the sons of Aaron and for the entire nation of Israel. It is obvious that God is reaching now into the personal and private lives of the people. He not only made a difference between the clean and unclean animals in chapter 11, but now He puts down the regulations by which they were to eat the clean animals. In other words, the lives of His people are to be different from that of non-believers.

What is this saying about our lives? How is our life different from others? I guess that all depends, right? It is one thing to say we are believers, but another to act like we are. The single greatest differentiator is that we believe Jesus died on the cross to cover our sin where His blood was shed for us. We live out that belief in the way we conduct our lives – surrendered to a Holy God who provided that forgiveness to undeserving souls, like ours.

Leviticus 17:14, “Because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, ‘You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.'” Once again, the tie to the New Testament is evident. The life of the flesh is in the blood and Jesus is saying that we are to accept His shed blood for our sins in faith and then we receive life. Jesus shed His blood and gave His life. The life is in the blood. Without it, we are cut off from God, prohibited from ever entering heaven.

This is a great, eternal truth. This explains why Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent than Cain’s. It is the blood that makes an atonement (a covering) for the soul. The blood of Christ is the only thing that can wash away sin. There is nothing offensive about the blood; the offense is in our sin.

Here I sit on an early Saturday morning trying to put this into perspective and make it comprehensible for my own mind to grasp. I conclude that this message is a reminder that God was trying to protect the Isrealites from themselves. If left to ourselves, we are also vulnerable and He wants to protect us too. Another one of the many reasons to honor God with our lives. I value that God’s Word has given me/us this perspective to begin our day. I am free to live!

The Great Cover Up


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 16

Sounds like some kind of scandal doesn’t it? Nah, just a catchy title, but with great significance none-the-less. Today we have a break through. The past few days have been a bit ‘odd’ – to say the least. Today is a whole different story and one that gives me pep in my step. It’s like another celebration – a reminder of God’s goodness.

The Day of Atonement pointed to Christ and His redemption as did no other sacrifice, ceremony, or ordinance of the Old Testament. It reveals Christ, as our Great High Priest, going into the Holy of Holies for us. The word for “atonement” is the Hebrew kaphar, which means “to cover.” God did not take away sins in the Old Testament; He covered them until Christ came and removed them.

Remember the game of peekaboo? The game where you magically “disappear” behind your hands and as soon as your hands move the baby giggles. I love that! I’m smiling as I type recalling how easily babies can be tricked and that unforgettable baby laugh. I am using this childish game to bring home a very important point: When God says he covers them up… He covers them up. No game playing with God – this is the real deal.

In chapter 16, God gives the instructions to make sure Aaron (the priest) follow the proper protocol. In doing so and the sins of the Israelites are covered for an entire year. We are so blessed to have Christ, who covered our sin yesterday, today, and forever. We are covered!

Yet my heart is heavy for those who “think” that they are in, when, in fact, life has been like the devil’s big game of peekaboo. They go to church, hear the gospel and they go through the religious rituals and motions, but wind up going back into the world living like there is nothing significant about it. Please pray with me today for five people who don’t have a fully surrendered life, who need the Lord, and can see that the world is not a place that they will find salvation. Unfortunately, that stuff is not a game.

Secret Sin


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 15

Oh boy! This chapter is a dusey. As I’m reading, I’m thinking, “How do I create a blog over this one – this stuff makes me uncomfortable?” Then, it occurred to me – it’s private and personal, not something people talk about open and freely – it is uncomfortable! I believe God is pointing out that there are some things that each one of us deals with that we keep to ourselves, namely sin.

So let’s go there, let’s call it out. I’m sure that most of our sins are kept a secret from the outside world. After all, nobody wants to be known as a thief, rapist, liar, adulteress, gossip, or murderer. You know what I’m talking about, those skeletons in our closet.

God wants us to be aware that even our secret sin needs to be dealt with. He is fully aware that they are there and if we try to hide them, especially from Him, we are only kidding ourselves. We need to come clean and deal with them. The apostle Paul says that we are in bondage or slaves to sin. Slaves are trapped and we, as slaves, are controlled by sin, but worse, when we sin we are further hunted or in bondage to guilt, grief, depression, regret, anger, paranoia and pain. Then we act it out through more sin; rage, withdrawal, addiction, short tempers, etc. It’s a perpetual cycle of ugliness until God is allowed in to clean our mess up.

So as uncomfortable and seemingly odd that this chapter would be in God’s Word, I can see now that He wants us to recognize that He is aware of every dirty one of our sins and we are only kidding ourselves to think we can continue living that way. There is no such thing as a secret sin so come clean with God and let Him make it right.

Wash Up – Get Clean


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 14

All these offerings speak of Christ, through whom the cleansed leper is acceptable to God. There is nothing special about him just because he is a cleansed leper. Too often we see Christians who feel that somehow they are different and special. They withdraw from the others and think they are better than the others. My friend, we each must come just as all the rest come. Everyone must be acceptable to God through Christ. We each need to be washed.

When I was younger, we used to attend church wearing our Sunday best. My mom was especially picky that we dressed to be presentable to the Lord. We were constantly reminded to make sure we were clean.

“Make sure you wash your face,” She would remind my brothers.

One morning we were on our way and before we even got to the end of the driveway she looked into the rearview mirror and saw remnants of breakfast on my brothers cheeks. She pulled over to the side of the road, grabbed him from the back seat, marched him down to the creek next to the road and smeared water all over his face. I don’t think my brother ever left the house with the dirty face again!

Being clean before God was important to my Mom. It wasn’t that this added to our salvation or gave us favor in God’s eyes. It was about being respectful and honoring Him. Yet, we weren’t clean. We are far from clean and there is nothing in us or about us that we can do on our own to make us Holy and acceptable to God.

Chapter 14 takes our leprosy story and references our homes; our homes, in this context, is our bodies. Just as my brother was told to wash up and be clean before God. Chapter 14 is God’s way of showing us that He needs to be the one who does the cleaning. Not only will He transform us from the inside out, but He took our sin on the cross and removed it permanently. That is if we have surrendered our will (to do it ourselves) over to Him, allowing Him to take our sins away.


Undermining Authority


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 10

I grew up on a farm in Northern Wisconsin. One of the strict rules of the house was that fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes, etc.) was forbidden near, around, by or in the barn. Hay is highly flammable and will ignite spontaneously. I don’t know if you ever had the opportunity to witness a barn fire, but it is as bad as having a gas tank on fire – it is impossible to put out and the collateral damage is too massive to imagine.

Leviticus 10 reminds me of a time when my brother and his friend, Scott, took some of my grandpa’s cigarettes and went out behind the barn for a little “experimentation.” My friend, Kelly – Scott’s sister, and I caught them, grabbed the cigarettes and ran to the house to tell our parents. Those boys got in big, big trouble. Not only for smoking cigarettes, but for smoking cigarettes by the barn. The unthinkable no-no in that day.

Right out of the gate in chapter 10 verse 1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command.

You just have to know this is going to end badly.

Verse  2, “So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.”

Not only did these boys break the rules, but they mocked God. For the entire book of Exodus and the first 10 chapters of Leviticus we have read about every facet about the tabernacle, etiquette, order of things, symbolism, formality, significance, and expectations; I had to ask, “What were they thinking?”

It’s the same question my Dad asked my brother that day. Regardless of their answer, their was eminent punishment. This is too serious a crime, far too disobedient to go off without a cost. In Leviticus chapter 10, that cost was their lives.

There is tremendous truth for us to draw from this incident. These men came to God on their own. They were willful and this was blasphemy. God judged them. Furthermore, there is a wonderful lesson for you and for me. When we come to God, we must come on His terms. This is not an arrangement which we can make. We are not making the rules. God is the One who deserves to be honored; not only is He our creator, but our savior. Acting out to test God or sin deliberately is not wise for us to do. I think Nadab and Abihu gave us a very clear picture and learned a hard lesson NOT to undermine God.


His Glory, Glorified!


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 9

Leviticus verse 6: Then Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.”

Does the glory of the Lord still appear to us? We see that the glory of the Lord is everything that makes God, God. All His characteristics, authority, power, wisdom—literally the immeasurable weight and magnitude of God—are contained within God’s glory. Nothing is hidden or held back!

So does the glory of the Lord still appear to us? I say, “Yes!”

What do we have to do to see God’s glory? I think Leviticus 9 gives us a map to how we see God’s glory. I believe it is summarized by these 3 offerings: First, repent of your own sin, then forgive others of their sins, and pray for your relationship to grow in God and with others. Aaron took the first offering, the calf, and sacrificed for his own sin, then the goat offering to cover the people’s sin, and finally the ox and ram for the fellowship offering.

I think this is a really simple equation to what God desires for us to live out our time here on earth. He wants us to be connected to Him, point others to Him, and have a relationship with Him and others. His glory is all around us. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

I recommend we pause for a second and think about what that means for us to day. What do we need to take to God in prayer as our sin offering (confession and repentance)? What can we pray about for others and ask God to help them with their burdens and needs, and what can we do – with God’s help – to deepen our relationship with Him and others that would glorify God?