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February 16

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“The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the LORD’s” (Leviticus 3:16 NKJV).

From: February 16, 2020

THE FAT IS THE LORD’S

The priests were to burn the fat off of the offering as a sweet aroma to the LORD. Although a portion of the offerings belonged to the priests for their food, the fat was not to be eaten, for it belonged to the LORD.
 
Anyone who has smelled bacon cooking, knows the sweet aroma of frying fat. The LORD wanted His people to offer their best. Perhaps He wanted them to offer the sweet-smelling fat because it represented them giving their best to HIm. Or perhaps it was because fat represented the surplus energy that an animal stored for winter, therefore God wanted them to know He gave them surplus to share. Whatever the reason, all the fat was the LORD’s.
 
Later, during the time of Samuel, among the many blasphemies of Eli and his sons, was that they did not burn off the fat. Instead, they kept it for themselves, fattening themselves on the LORD’s offering (See 1 Sam. 2). The LORD warned them and finally removed them from the priesthood for taking that which belonged to Him and to His Tabernacle. It wasn’t enough that He had provided plenty for them to eat, they wanted the LORD’s portion too.
 
We no longer live under the law, but under grace. For Christ has fulfilled the law and set us free to live by faith. Yet there are timeless principles found in the law. Perhaps when God blesses us with more than we need, instead of fattening ourselves on the surplus, we should share it with those in need.
 
So, the next time we smell bacon frying, let’s remember to whom the fat belongs. May its sweet aroma remind us that God gives us surplus to share, so that we are able to give tithes and offering to Him and meet the needs of others in His name.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we are thankful that we have been set free from law-keeping by faith in Your Son. Yet, we are still thankful for Your law. For the law is good. Give us strength and wisdom to live in a way that pleases You. And when You give us surplus, help us to remember to whom it belong. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed” (Mark 1:42 NLT).

From: February 16, 2019

CHRIST’S IMMEDIATE CARE

The Gospel of Mark is unique among the four in that it was written in present tense. Mark’s action-oriented writing is marked by his favorite phrase, “and immediately” (καὶ εὐθὺς), which is found throughout the book. Here, the NLT translates the phrase as “instantly.”
 
Each gospel presents a different perspective of Jesus. Matthew sees Him as King, Luke as Son of Man, and John as Son of God. But Mark presents a man of action, Jesus the Servant of all. And whatever Jesus does, He does “instantly.” Is there any urgent need requiring Christ’s immediate attention in your life?
 
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the love and care You have for us. Teach us to look to You for help first rather than after we’ve exhausted all other sources. For You care for us. Help us to care for others with the same urgency. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings”(Leviticus 2:13 NLT).

From: February 16, 2018

Salt was the opposite of leaven. Salt was always to be added to the sacrifice, but never leaven. Salt represented purity and preservation, but leaven represented impurity and sin. Salt was a sign of God’s eternal covenant. It was even mentioned as a sign of the eternal covenant God made with David that the throne belonged to his descendants forever (2 Chron. 13:5). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples that they were the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13). We are to be agents of Christ in this world, representing His gospel to the nations.

“Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying” (Mark 2:3-4 NKJV).

From: February 16, 2017

What friends these were! Neither the crowds nor the barrier of the small house stopped them from getting their paralytic friend before Jesus. This is no doubt the same house, which belonged to Peter’s mother-in-law, where Jesus had stayed in Capernaum before. Perhaps Peter reflected back to when he had let Jesus use his boat and how it nearly sank with the huge catch of fish. And now, he was letting Jesus use his house and it was so full of people that they were crashing through the roof! Jesus commended the faith of the paralytic’s friends, he forgave his sins and healed him. So that the cripple who had been lowered on a mat through the roof, now picked up his own bed and walked out the front door, a new man.
 
Two applications questions:
1) What kind of friend am I? Am I willing to overcome every barrier to get people in front of Jesus?
2) Am I willing to let Jesus use my stuff (my house, my car, my possessions) for His kingdom purpose?
 
I wonder if Jesus later helped repair the roof? He was a carpenter after all.

“No grain offering that you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven” (Leviticus 2:11 ESV)

From: February 16, 2016

Leaven is a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it ferment and rise. It helps make bread light and fluffy and more tasty. So, why does God prohibit its use in the grain offering? The Bible doesn’t answer this question directly, yet it does offer several hints. Consider how Jesus used the symbol of leaven to describe the false teaching and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt.16:6,12, Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1). He warned his disciples to “beware the leaven” of their teaching. In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he used leaven to illustrate how a little wickedness and corruption will “leaven the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6-8). So, he warned them to purge it out and become a “new lump.” If leaven is the biblical symbol for sin and death, then it would be taboo to offer it on the altar of blessing and life.

“As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:42 NKJV)

From: February 16, 2015

The Gospel of Mark is unique among the four in that it was written in present rather than past tense. Mark’s action-oriented writing is marked by his favorite phrase, “and immediately,” which is found throughout the book. Each gospel presents a different perspective of Jesus. Matthew sees Him as King, Luke as Son of Man, and John as Son of God. But Mark presents a man of action, Jesus the Servant of all. And whatever Jesus does, He does “immediately.” Is there any urgent need requiring Christ’s immediate attention in your life?

“If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects. Bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle so you may be accepted by the Lord. Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him” (Leviticus 1:3-4)

From: February 16, 2014

The sacrificial system was designed to prepare God’s people to receive Christ as Savior. He was to be a male, from their house (herd), and without sin (defect). They would be made right with God if they would accept His death in their place to purify them from all their sin. Christ is the fulfillment of the sacrificial system. He was the Lamb that was slain. Now He is the Great High Priest who represents us before the Father with His own blood. One day, He will return as King to claim His own.

“And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean” (Mark 1:42)

From: February 16, 2013

The Gospel of Mark is unique among the four in that it was written in present rather than past tense. Mark’s action-oriented writing is marked by a favorite phrase “and immediately,” which is found throughout. Each gospel presents a different perspective of Jesus. Matthew sees Him as King, Luke as Son of Man, and John as Son of God. But Mark presents a man of action, Jesus the Servant of all. And whatever Jesus does, He does “immediately.” Is there any urgent need requiring your immediate attention?

“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him” (Mark 1:41)

From: February 16, 2012

While others avoided even looking at lepers, Jesus touched and healed them. Their rotting flesh too terrible to see or smell, lepers were avoided by all. But Jesus touched them. People didn’t realize that sin had made them all spiritual lepers. And what love it took for the Holy One to touch even them.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35)

From: February 16, 2011

How Jesus began His day. Do you have a place of solitude to begin your day in prayer?