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What does “holiness” mean to me. Well, I know that it is not about sacrificing animals and doing prescribed rituals because if that was the ONLY thing needed then God would not have rebuked Israel through the prophets because in Isaiah’s day there were a lot of offerings and pretense of holiness (Isaiah 1) nor would David have written,

“Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, nor have You delight in them; You have given me the capacity to hear and obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require,”(Psalm 40:6 Amp), nor would he have written in the 51st Psalm, “The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.”

So we know that rituals and sacrifices are not the way of holiness. Holiness is where the Presence of God is not the clothes we wear nor the places we go. If the presence of God is not in a church, sanctuary, etc., or if the Holy Spirit is now dwelling in a body, then the place or person is not holy. We become holy based on our submission to God who is totally Holy.

Grace and peace,

Leviticus 11:1-12:8

God begins to separate out His people from the societies and cultures surrounding them, as well as from those who they will eventually root out of the “Promise Land,” by giving them Laws that deal with day to day living, not just worship. The animals they may or may not eat are categorized as clean and unclean. Practices, dealing with dead animals that have died by means other than slaughter, clean and unclean, the emission of blood because of childbirth all require purification and sin and burn offerings after childbirth, with a designation between male and female children.

I believe God has required these practices to keep Israel separate and distinct from the societies around them, so they will be considered “Peculiar” people. I confess this is something I struggle with all the time, wanting to fit in yet knowing that I have been called to be different.

1 Peter 2:

8 And the Scriptures also say,

"He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that will make them fall."

They stumble because they do not listen to God's word or obey it, and so they meet the fate that has been planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation: His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 "Once you were not a people;
now you are the people of God. Once you received none of God's mercy;
now you have received his mercy."

Although we are not required to keep an alter going to offer up burn, sin, guilt, peace and fellowship offerings, we are required to keep an alter fire going in our hearts. We are required to be living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, burning up everything that is not of Him.

The Hebrews’ were told,
44 After all, I, the LORD, am your God. You must be holy because I am holy. So do not defile yourselves by touching any of these animals that scurry along the ground. 45 I, the LORD, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. You must therefore be holy because I am holy. (Lev 11 NLT)
Mark 5:21-43

Having been rejected by the townspeople who owned the “pigs” (If these were good “Jews,” what are they doing having an enterprise that raised pigs”? Just a question) Jesus heads back across the lake. Notice Jesus doesn’t go or stay where He is not wanted except for appearing in Jerusalem at the times appointed by God, which would fulfill His purpose. Jesus is immediately met by a large crowd and a synagogue leader named Jairus once He lands. As Jesus moves to go with Jairus to his house, a woman, who is not suppose to be there (see today’s Old Testament Reading) because she is bleeding and has been bleeding for twelve years. Her being in that crowd would cause everyone who has touched her to be ceremonially unclean.
[Leviticus 15
25 And if a woman has an issue of blood for many days, not during the time of her separation, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her [regular] impurity, all the days of the issue of her uncleanness she shall be as in the days of her impurity; she shall be unclean.

26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be as the bed of her impurity, and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as in her impurity.

27 And whoever touches those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until evening.]

We also see two people with immediate needs, death of a daughter and a sickness that has led to a woman’s poverty so she needs to be healed to become a viable member of the community again. While in the process of going to meet the needs of one, Jesus stops and questions the woman who has caused “power” to proceed from Him. In giving her story, I believe there were none too few people concerned that not only had she touched Jesus she had touched them, and what do you think the synagogue leader was thinking too himself? He may have been panicked. As they and the crowd proceed, the news comes that the daughter is dead; however, that doesn’t stop Jesus. Now we have a second situation were ceremonial uncleanness lives, in the dead girls house, yet Jesus doesn’t falter or waver. Kicking out the unbelievers (This is a point we may consider too take heed of when we are facing crises. Who are we hanging with and sharing our drama? We may need to kick some folks out), he brings her back to life.

I have heard it preached that the number twelve is the number for “God’s purpose,” that when we see twelve we should study closely what is going on. We have Jairus’ daughter, we have a woman who has been bleeding twelve years and we have Jesus, walking with His twelve disciples, three sets of twelve. Just a note to make us think: really, really think.
Psalm 38:1-22
Our bodies were not made to carry sin. Sin is weighty and brings sickness and death. Sin shut up in our bones may give the appearance of righteousness to the outside, but in the inside we are being slowly eaten away. I am thankful to David for laying out and opening his heart to future generations to show us clearly the destructiveness of sin. Our only recourse is to confess it.

I John 1

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

We need to make sure we complete the process of verse nine, hanging around to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Proverbs 10:8-9

Here again we are taught that the wise, to desire godly wisdom, makes one glad to be instructed. In order to learn one must want to be taught. You cannot teach anything to someone who is rebellious and who despises teaching and teachers. Parents must give their children a love of learning by example so that it becomes fun and not a chore.

We are also told in ninth verse that people of integrity will be firm and steady in their walk.

Don’t worry about your reputation. Maintain your integrity and your reputation will take care of itself. (A.R. Bernard)

Grace and peace,

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