Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday Mornings Cover to Cover

We are so delighted you have joined us. About two dozen of us read the Bible chronologically together. If you have not been able to keep up with the readings in Leviticus, join us this coming week as we delve into Numbers. I would love for you to leave any comment at all today. Share from Leviticus or from your own readings of the Word this week or whatever is on your heart. I will not be commenting back to you on this post as I am working at an academic competition this week with no computer access. See you at the end of the week to announce the winner of the Leap Day Giveaway. Keep on posting your quotes on Leap Day Giveaway for a chance to win.

Thanks for praying for our weekend in Austin. God was faithful! So good! I didn't even have to search for Chris Tomlin but enjoyed the worship where we were from the depths of my heart. Nothing like Sundays!

I took a course in speed reading eons ago. Every time I come to Leviticus in reading the Bible through in a year, I speed read Leviticus or skip it. But not this time! I was so captured by this book and it so totally surprised me. Be holy! For I AM the Lord your God. I am so excited to share with you that I got anything out of Leviticus. That was so encouraging to me---because I think the Holy Spirit is so showing up in my life to make me alive. I’m so grateful! This does not mean I'm spiritual and you're not if you sped read Lev. This so surprised me and has nothing to do with me.

These are just words but they flow from my heart’s desire. One thing that I ask. One thing. And now, like you, I must work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. Be holy, Leviticus says. So what does holiness look like for me and for you this day?

One thing it means is repentance. What lingers in my heart from Leviticus is "Have Mercy on me, O Holy God." Here's eleven thoughts that stirred and shook me from this book that lingers with me. Post a comment or two, even just a phrase, of what your reading of the Scriptures meant to you this week.

Leviticus 1:1 says the LORD called to Moses. Fifty times God speaks in this book to Moses face to face. Twenty of the 27 chapters start out with the phrase, “The Lord spoke to Moses... .” I think that gives much reason to really listen if we knew God was going to say something to our face. Just like to Moses, He is calling to us and speaking to us. Wonder what He is saying to you this morning? The Hebrew word for Leviticus means “and He called.”

In Leviticus 10:1-3, Aaron’s two sons did not follow God’s command and God consumed them in fire and said: “Among those who approach Me, I will show myself holy.” We can approach a holy God but it is always on his terms, not ours. Leviticus is "the calling of God's people to minister to God, to minister before God," "Therefore, since we have a great High Priest, let us hold firmly to our faith. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4: 14-16.

Leviticus 10:3 Aaron remained silent, even though both of his sons fell dead. Whoa. It is so hard to sit in silence in the midst of tragedy. Let the sun go down and sit in our circumstances and listen. In the abundance of words, sin is unavoidable.

Fifteen years ago, I reached a dead end in my life, full of despair. God spoke to me through Joel 2:13-14. “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity on you. Who knows He may turn and have pity on you and leave behind a blessing.” A priest in Old Testament days was not supposed to tear his garments, somewhat of staging a protest over what God was doing in his life and the life of others. God wants us to examine our hearts. Rend our hearts, back to HIM. Leviticus 10:6 – don’t tear your clothes, Aaron over what God has done in your life, taking your sons. Rend your heart, not your garments. Whatever God is doing with you today, rend rightly and return to HIM. Rend your heart. So what does that look like in you?

Leviticus 10:19 – “Is our God pleased with this offering?” What do we offer HIM this very day that pleases Him? What repentance does He require to make us holy as He is? Offer our suffering. Offer our joys. Offer ourselves. And just like Abraham and Isaac, where’s the wood? What sacrifice do we make to HIM today? Where’s the wood?

HOW DO WE APPROACH GOD 16: 3 "This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a sin offering and to make atonement for himself and his household. Same statement repeated again in Verse 11. Very detailed ceremonious offering. Verse 16, he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. Our High Priest is able to sympathize with our weaknesses for He was tempted in every way, just as we are today---yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. The priest is to make atonement for himself, his household, and the whole community. 16:17.

Is that how I live my life? 16:34 – and it is done as the LORD commands for us who now live in the new covenant. What does God command of me today? Is it of no discussion for me? He commands me to love my neighbors and to love my enemies and I have a few of both. So I will love them. Out of my love for my beautiful God. It cannot come from duty but out of a repentant heart, clean hands. So what does love look like today? It may be action; it may be silence; it may be moving toward my husband, my son; it may be humbling myself and stepping down before a friend putting their interests ahead of mine. IDK. I wonder what Love will look like. I wonder if we will be like 16:34 and do all that the LORD commands us in listening to Love's Voice and living life today?

Leviticus 18:3 Do not do as they do in Egypt or in Canaan or fill in the blank where you live. Don’t conform to this world. Befriend holiness not worldliness. Wonder what that would look like in the world in which we live? The way we walk. The way we talk. The ways we live. “Do not follow their practices.”

In Leviticus 20:6, the priests presented to God the offerings, the food of God. Today, we offer HIM our will, His will. “My food is to do the will of HIM Who sent me.” John 4:34.

Leviticus 23:3 talks of taking a Sabbath, a sacred place for us. God calls to all of us in Matthew 11:28 to those who are weary of rushing and pushing and doing more. “Come to Me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." The details of this book that they were to follow were mind boggling, overwhelming to me. How would they remember all these regulations? Set our face like a flint. Set our hearts to follow Christ. He gives rest in those places where we are not.


Verse 25:13 says to observe the year of Jubilee. Return to your place, your property. God had rescued them and they were free from slavery. Slaves were freed that year. Just as in our own lives, He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12,13. All things belong to God in the year of Jubilee, their land and their lives.
And our God is calling...somewhere I read...
Leviticus is the calling of God's people to minister to HIM, before HIM...
be holy as He is Holy


Angela Baylis 2/25/2008  

Good Morning, Friends.
I am off to work but I thought I would just do a short post today on my blog. When I get home today I will look forward to what lingered for you. I mainly took this... Our Lord is Perfect and Holy and He can't have anything in his presence that is not Holy and Pure. I'm sure there was so much more, but I guess I did what Bev just said she used to do... speed read it! Sorry!
Much love to all of you,
Angie xoxo

Nise' 2/25/2008  

Did some speed reading here and there as well but kept coming back to the thought that God’s Word is relevant today! It teaches us everything we need to know to live. How can it not be so? He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your thought, "So what does love look like today?" really has got my attention this morning and I believe it is for a reason, so I am off to ponder this thought with Him!
My post on this week's reading is here.

Jean 2/25/2008  

Hi, Bev, I posted my comments on the reading in Leviticus on the Engage the Journey website for Feb. 24. There's really nothing revelational (is that a word?) there, just what I thought about as I read it.

I have a couple of thoughts lingering though that are coming from many Bible related things I'm doing at the moment....they all seem to connect, but I can't quote a specific verse in Leviticus, so I hope this is ok!

I'm doing a study called A Woman of Moderation and it does relate to idols and so much of what we have been reading is all about the idols God warned the Israelites about/against. With respect to that study I listened to two sermons this morning by Joe Coffey from the Song of Songs. He started out by saying that the "marriage" thread runs through the Bible from beginning to end. He said in the first few chapters of the Bible when God talks about idols and breaking His law he also uses the word adultery and He is saying when you break my laws, you're also cheating on me, you're being unfaithful and committing adultery...that hit me bigtime. He said our deep desire for romantic love is a clue to the heart of God. God doesn't just want us as his servant, He wants us as His bride. We think the deep desire for romantic love is a desire for a husband, but the real romantic love Christ wants to fulfill in us is Himself. If we are not "full" of Him, we have settled for a lesser god......another big-time bulls-eye for me!

Another point: Pastor Coffey said that most of us have developed our identity based on what we're good at.....if we are extremely disciplined, we will disdain those who are not; if we exercise profusely, eat healthy and have a great body image, we will hold in disdain those who are fat, and the list goes on. But if we get our identity from God and He tells us to love our enemies, then we no longer disdain anyone, because our identity is from the love of God!

There were a couple more points that really spoke to me, but I should stop now!

Hope everyone has a great day and enjoy your last day in Leviticus!

annette 2/25/2008  

Rending our hearts not as in protest but as in torn or broken--what does a rent heart look like? I love that and didn't catch it when I was reading. I often think of the song by Carly Simon from the movie, "Heartburn" (I think) that came out so many years ago that contained the lyrics, "there's more room in a broken heart." I believe God often only works in a receptive heart that is open to Him, which is exposed, broken, torn, rent. So whatever it looks like, it is a command to receive Him. My thoughts should be up in about an hour on my blog, but I had to respond to your rich thoughts on this difficult book of the Bible. You always bless me, Bev. love, Annette

Susan 2/25/2008  

Hey Bev. While I'm not reading thru the bible with you, I have been stopping in every Monday to read what God has been saying to you.

Today was a mind blower, heart render! Thank you so much for sharing. In my recent dialogue with God, I haven't quite been able to grasp what He wanted from me. I'm a lot closer to figuring that out after reading your Monday post. I'm printing it out (hope that is okay with you) to pray over and lift up to the Holy One and I KNOW He will highlight what He wants me to hear.



Anonymous 2/25/2008  

Such a great post Bev...thank you so much...this was a bit of a tough week for me getting the reading in but it brings such energy when I read all the comments...truly rich...
I loved your comments about rending our hearts and what does love look like...but I also liked your question about do we know a life of I want and desire that instead of the garments of mourning that I sometimes take out and wear instead of praise.

Bless you Bev this week...and I am thinking about my quote for your fun.

You can click onto my site here
A Work of Heart!

Mary Lou 2/25/2008  

Bev, this was hard reading. So much detailed instructions from the Lord God. One thing that kept jumping out at me was, I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, I am the LORD your God who sanctifies you...I am the LORD your God...over and over and over...HE is the LORD God who has brought me out of my Egypt and keeps me from having to walk alone. He is the LORD my God who is interested in the details of my life and keeps telling me this over and over. He is the LORD my God who has shown me more about repentance in the past few days than I've ever known. He is the LORD my God who has told me to "hush", I talk too much. He is the LORD my God who is showing me how to have the REST in Him that I have been seeking.
I am thankful that we can go to the LORD thru Jesus and we don't have to do all of these detailed things that He required of them. These were to show everyone else that they were His chosen people and set aside for Him and to show the others that HE was the great I AM.

Holly 2/25/2008  

Short and sweet: God is making me holy. I wish it were as simply as removing one "l" from my name :) But alas, it take work.

Love you!

Laura 2/25/2008  

Bev, I love your Glen Eyrie story! It happens that way for me so many times. His voice is always there, reassuring me, telling me which way I should go. But sometimes it takes an outside voice to remind me to listen! I love Monday mornings cover to cover. your insights always amaze me. I never grow tired of reading your words! You are such a blessing. Here is my quote today, from Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz: " I know a little of why there is blood in my body, pumping life into my limbs and thought into my brain. I am wanted by God. He is wanting to preserve me, to guide me through the darkness of the shadow of death, up into the highlands of His presence and afterlife. I understand that I am temporary, in this shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth. I am being tempted by Satan, we are all being tempted by Satan, but I am preserved to tell those who do not know about our Savior and our Redeemer. This is why Paul had no questions. This is why he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth was fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather, it must be rescued, and he knew that he was not in the promised land, but still int the desert, and like Joshua and Caleb he was shouting, "Follow me and trust God!"

Fran 2/26/2008  

I had been listening to a sermon series by a wonderful pastor named David Platt in B'ham....and, he talked about Leviticus 10:1-3. So, this is fresh in my mind.....

Aaron's sons were consumed by fire because they worshipped carelessly.
They died for worshiping carelessly. This was a part of a series Platt was preaching called "Sin in the camp."

I know that God will not consume me for this today, but He deserves my full attention during worship and I should give Him my entire heart and being. I don't want to be careless with the One Who Saves!

Bless you Bev! I've got you in my heart. Praying for you and your family always.

Much love~

Shonda 2/26/2008  

As usual, you words bless me. I didnt see that Aaron remained silent after his sons were consumed. That would be so hard. I do believe my Lord is telling me to be silent in my circumstances.

Jean, relating idols and breaking the law to adultery just hit me. Whoa! Committing adultery on God by breaking HIS law. Certainly a fresh perspective for me and I've been meditating on it since yesterday. Thanks for sharing.

I enjoy learning from each comment and posts on these blogs. I do hope that if God wills, we can sit down together someday and study HIS word in person.

As I read through Leviticus, I am just in awe at how many details there are in the commandments and felt so grateful for HIS grace through Jesus. The law was given so we can see our shortcomings and I see the need for a Savior. Thank You Jesus.

I posted on my blog about Grace.

Love you all!!

Blessings in Christ--

Anonymous 2/26/2008  

Hi Bev. It's good to see that you're going strong. Take care!

Val 2/29/2008  

I would love to join all of you but where do I start and what do I do? Thanks for sharing.

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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