Reading: Leviticus 19-22
"You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2b).
God's people were to be holy because He is Himself holy. In fact, Leviticus 19 is bookended with similar calls, indicating that the one who is holy is the one who does all that God commands: "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2b). and "therefore you shall observe all My statues and all My judgments and do them" (Lev. 19:37a). God is both our source of holiness and our model for holy living. Indeed, the one who speaks these commands is not just anybody; He is the Lord, who reminds us of that truth sixteen times in 37 verses in this chapter.
Clearly, God has a right to set the standards, and He has a right to demand obedience to those standards. Holy living is not optional for those who follow God—and apart from Him, we cannot meet this standard.
Practical holiness is simply not easy to live out. The people knew they were to live as God commanded, but God also warned them, "You shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them" (Lev. 20:23). The warning was intentional and strong, God's already knowing that some among His people would be tempted to turn to false gods in the land. Many would, in fact, lose that battle.
Apparently, at no point this side of heaven are we fully above the possibility of idolatry. Our faith is sometimes too shallow, and the lure of idolatry is often too attractive for any of us to assume that we'll always make holy choices. We need the help of the Holy One every step of the way.
- Think about what your idols are today. What things are more important to you than God? Confess them to Him.
- If you have victory today, thank God for it. We win any battle only because of Him.
Prayer: "God, help me to make holy choices today. I want to be holy because You are holy."
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice-president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.
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