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February 25

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“‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.’” (Leviticus 18:30 NKJV).

From: February 25, 2020

OUR SEXUAL PURITY MATTERS TO GOD

Leviticus 18:1-30 essentially expands on the 7th commandment, which is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20:14). Much of the book of Leviticus is just that, an expansion on the Ten Commandments, so that Israel could see the specific application of each commandment.
 
In answer to the question why Israel should obey these sexual purity laws, the answer was simple: “I am the LORD your God.” I think the answer is still that simple for us today. God is our Creator. He made us, therefore He has the authority to tell us the right use of that powerful yet potentially destructive drive called sex.
 
Some would try to say that these sexual purity laws are no longer in effect, that they are passé. Yet, the moral laws of the Old Testament are still to be obeyed by those who would call themselves Christ followers. For although Christ has fulfilled the law on our behalf, so that we are set free to live under grace and not law. We now, as a new creation in Christ, have the moral law of God written on our hearts, so that we want to obey God in all things.
 
In Christ, we are forgiven of all sin, including sexual sin, but that doesn’t mean that we are free to continue in sexual sin. God’s Word prohibits incest, fornication (pre-marital sex), adultery, homosexual practices, sodomy, bestiality, porn, prostitution and other such sexual sins. God calls such sexual sin a “defilement” of the body and an “abomination” to the Lord.
 
God made us in His image, male and female He made us. And God made sex so that the two shall become one. God has a perfect purpose for our sexuality and when we follow His Word, we are blessed. Our sexual purity matters to God.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You that we are forgiven of our sin, including our sexual sins. We repent of such sexual sin and we ask You to cleanse us, so that we might be set free from the guilt and shame that accompany such sins. Help us to live knowing that our true identity comes not from our sin, nor fleshly desire, but from our having received Christ as Lord and Savior. That is our true identity. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

“Jesus called his disciples and told them, ‘I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat'” (Mark 8:1-2 NLT).

From: February 25, 2019

COMPASSION THAT MOVES US TO ACTION

Jesus felt compassion for the hungry. He noticed their need and then took action to address it. We don’t read that the disciples felt compassion. When faced with human need we learn to turn a blind eye. There is so much need and we are so concerned with our own. Surely the disciples themselves were hungry too. And It’s hard to feel sorry for others when your own stomach is growling. Yet, both the disciples and the crowd were fed when the disciples obeyed Jesus. Through Jesus we become aware of the needs of others. We feel His compassion flowing. When we move to meet the needs of others in His Name, we find that our own needs are met in Him as well.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your provision in our lives. You are so compassionate towards us. Help us to be a conduit of Your blessing to others. Move us with Your compassion to not only see the needs of others but to depend on You to help meet their needs in Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

“You must not imitate their way of life” (Leviticus 18:3 NLT).

From: February 25, 2018

DO NOT IMITATE THE WORLD’S WAY OF LIFE
When the Lord gave the law to Moses, He warned the Israelites not to imitate the way of life of the Egyptians where they used to live, nor the Canaanites where He was taking them. He wanted His people to follow His ways, not the world’s ways. So, God gave them His laws to show them His ways. But the Israelites did not follow His law. Instead, they began to imitate the way of life of Egypt and Canaan.
 
God’s law is good, but it is not able to save. As the apostle Paul wrote, “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins” (Rom. 8:3). Now in Christ, we have not only the example, but the power to follow God’s ways rather than imitating the world’s ways.

‘And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”’ (Mark 7:37 ESV)

From: February 25, 2016

The crowds that followed Jesus as He passed through the Decapolis (“Ten Cities”) were “astonished beyond measure” at Him. These cities were founded by Greek colonists and were given favor under Roman rule. The gospel writer Mark tells this story after sharing a previous encounter Jesus had with a Greek woman in Tyre and Sidon who begged Him to free her daughter of a demon. These stories are predictive of how the gospel will go out from Jewish to Gentile lands and be more quickly accepted in the latter. People who have no knowledge of Jesus are still “astonished” when they hear the good news about Him. For He “has done all things well.” This is why we must carry the gospel out to every people group, so that everyone has heard.

“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak'” (Mark 7:37 NKJV)

From: February 25, 2015

The crowds that followed Jesus as He passed through the Decapolis (“Ten Cities”) were “astonished beyond measure” at Him. These cities were founded by Greek colonists and were given favor under Roman rule. The gospel writer Mark tells this story after sharing a previous encounter Jesus had with a Greek woman in Tyre and Sidon who begged Him to free her daughter of a demon. These stories are predictive of how the gospel will go out from Jewish to Gentile lands and be more quickly accepted in the latter. People who have no knowledge of Jesus are still “astonished” when they hear the good news about Him. For He “has done all things well.”

“Jesus called his disciples and told them, ‘I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance'” (Mark 8:1-3 NLT)

From: February 25, 2014

Jesus felt compassion for the hungry. He noticed their need and then took action to address it. We don’t read that the disciples felt compassion. When faced with human need we learn to turn a blind eye. There is so much need and we are so concerned with our own. Surely the disciples themselves were hungry too. And It’s hard to feel sorry for others when your own stomach is growling. Yet, both the disciples and the crowd were fed when the disciples obeyed Jesus. Through Jesus we become aware of the needs of others. We feel His compassion flowing. When we move to meet the needs of others in His Name, we find that our own needs are met in Him as well.

“And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it” (Mark 7:36 ESV)

From: February 25, 2013

During this season of Christ’s ministry he told people to keep quiet. Some say because it wasn’t yet His time. Others say He was trying to stay off the Roman radar. But it may have been because He didn’t want undue attention on His miracles. John called Christ’s miracles “signs.” They were to point to who He was, not to what He could do. Many crowded after Him for the free bread, not because He was the Bread of Life. Our witness is to be less about the healing and more about the Healer. Less the manna and more the Son of Man. The gospel is not so much what Jesus can do for you, but what He has already done. We preach Christ crucified.

“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble” (Psalm 41:1)

From: February 25, 2012

This joy speaks of what Jesus said about giving: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Today, our church is hanging food bags to ask our neighbors to partner with us in feeding the hungry. Come experience the joy with us!

“On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work because on this day atonement will be made for you” (Leviticus 16:29-30)

From: February 25, 2011

In Hebrew, “Yom Kippur,” the Day of Atonement, when a substitute was offered for the redemption of the people’s sin. Jesus is the fulfillment of this day. And He still asks His disciples to “deny themselves” and follow Him.