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March 3, Day #63 – The Evidence of True Faith

Today we come to Leviticus 7:11 – 8:36. In this section, we see the regulations concerning the fellowship offering and the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests. The regulations are similar to those for the other offerings, although we notice that a fellowship offering can serve as “an expression of thankfulness” (verse 12), or “as the result of a vow or a freewill offering” (verse 16). I want to reiterate that the regulations for these offerings seem strict, but we need to remember that genuine obedience to the law or to a regulation requires us to follow strict guidelines and adherence to instructions. The book of Leviticus is like an instruction manual for holiness. Following instructions is not unusual for us. Anyone who bakes a cake knows this; to produce a tasty cake suitable for a dessert, one must follow the recipe steps carefully, use the prescribed ingredients, bake the batter at the right temperature, etc. The baker is not free to sidestep the process and follow random preparation actions - he doesn't just throw anything he likes into the mix, bake the batter at a temperature selected by a throw of the dice, or utilize any other aberrant constituent. Similarly, the demands for holiness and consecration before the Lord are strict because they require faithful obedience and dependence upon following God’s instructions carefully. We may not add to them, take something away from them, or try to do it our way. Here, we also see that the Israelites were not to eat fat or blood – a regulation that, among other things, reveals God’s concern for healthy eating. Part of the fellowship offering was a food contribution to be shared with the priests. In chapter 8, we see the complicated ordination service that installed the priests in their offices. This ordination was a seven-day, multi-step process which Moses was to direct, and Moses completed each step “as the LORD commanded” – an expression which is referred to at least ten times (cf., verses 4, 9, 13, 17, 21, 29, 31, 34, 35, and 36). This pattern shows the importance of obedience and its relationship to holiness. Leviticus helps us to see that - like the priests – we must make an effort to consecrate ourselves before the Lord.

Psalm 28 is an incredible Psalm that teaches us to cry out to God for His mercy. We desperately need God’s mercy. By His mercy, which is new every morning (cf., Lamentations 3:22-23), God withholds from us the wrath that we deserve for our sin. Instead, God extends to us His grace and grants to us that which we don’t deserve. Both mercy and grace emerge from God’s unfailing love for His creatures, and they result in rich, untold blessings for which we are to thank and praise Him – like David did (cf., verses 6-9).

In Mark’s gospel, chapter 11:1-25, we see Jesus in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds "who went ahead and followed," shouted “Hosanna,” recognizing that He had “come in the name of the LORD” and that He was the successor to “His father, David” (verses 9-10). The next day, He saw a fig tree in leaf but without figs, for which reason He cursed the fig tree. In the Old Testament the fig tree is a symbol for national Israel. Here, the fig tree in leaf but lacking fruit portrays a life of hypocrisy. In Israel, fig trees produce leaves and fruit in the “season of figs.” Thus, leaves without fruit represent the physical impossibility of a fig tree that - before it’s time - appears to be complete and full but is actually unproductive and barren. God wants our lives to be fruitful, not just to look pretty. Today, many people look and act like they believe in Christ, but they are without the fruit that should accompany and evidence a life of true faith.

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I love seeing Terri's artwork, but thank you so much for sharing Eric's work too! I love the devotions, but I look forward to the beautiful artwork everyday too! God is good!!

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Thank you so much, Skip, for your thoughts & your appreciation for our artwork. May it ever be to the glory of our Lord! God bless & keep you & your family!

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