~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Leviticus 6:1-7:27 ~ Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11 ~ Proverbs 10:3-4
Old Testament - Today in Leviticus we read about further instructions for offerings. Chapter 6 verse 13 I found interesting - "Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out." Commentaries state that the fire was never to go out because the fire was started by God. Humans were not to bring man-made fire to the altar, or they would die, as we will see Leviticus chapter 10 when we read about Nadab and Abihu. The only real "eternal flame" that I can think of in today, that was started by God, is the Holy Spirit. And this eternal flame of the Holy Spirit is made available to you and I through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Here's an image of the burnt offering altar from the time of Leviticus -
And - here's an image to make you think about the fire of the Holy Spirit available to you and I today through Jesus -
Can you relate to this image above? Can you imagine what this man in this image above is experiencing? Have you experienced this?
Leviticus chapter 7 verse 27 stands out - "Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from the community." This was commanded for 3 reasons - 1. to separate the Israelites from the pagans who drank blood - the pagans drank blood in the hopes of gaining the attributes of the animals from the blood they drank (speed, strength, etc.). 2. the sin of the people was symbolically transferred to the animal before the offering, and the blood represents the life of that animal. 3. for sanitary reasons - blood can carry some nasty diseases.
New Testament - In Mark chapter 3 verses 7 & 8 show how Jesus' ministry was quickly being noticed from all over Israel - "Jesus and his disciples went out to the lake, followed by a huge crowd from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far away as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him for themselves." And now today think about how far and wide Jesus' ministry has gone. Worldwide. Why do you suppose Jesus' ministry gained such notice during his lifetime? Why do you suppose that Jesus' ministry continues to gain such notice today? Could it be that there is true power in Jesus' ministry? Could it be that Jesus changes lives? Heals people - teaches people - loves people - forgives people.... Could it be that Jesus is the Savior of the World? Commentary from bible.org on Mark chapter 3 is at this link and at this link.
Psalms - Today we read in Psalm 37 verse 5 - "Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you." Do you commit everything you do to God? Everything? Your waking life? Your sleeping life? Your job? Your relationships? Your family? Your finances? Your time? If so, do you trust that God will help you in everything you do in your life? Do you believe what verse 4 teaches in this Psalm - "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires." I love that thought - take delight in God. Do you take delight in God each and every day? How do you take delight in God? Is it through prayer, joy, or maybe simply living your life with an attitude of gratitude for all of the good things that God gives you?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 10 verse 4 today is a good reminder to work hard.
Comments from you & Question of the Day - Speaking of the Holy Spirit above in my OT reflections, a great overview of the Holy Spirit is at bible.org at this link. A good overview of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is at this link. And a great overview of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is at this link. I don't know if you've ever done much study on the Holy Spirit? If not, please do spend a good chunk of time at these 3 links above. Also, I remember a good friend of mine was reading a book a few years ago called "Holy Spirit" - I believe... He said it was an incredible book. I haven't read it. Has anyone else read it? Know the author's name? Or - do you have any other Holy Spirit book or other resources recommendations? If so, can you post up in the Comments section below? Thanks. Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!