Enjoying our Priesthood
A daily devotion for April 24th
22 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the Lord.
3 “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.
4 “‘If a descendant of Aaron has a defiling skin disease or a bodily discharge, he may not eat the sacred offerings until he is cleansed. He will also be unclean if he touches something defiled by a corpse or by anyone who has an emission of semen, 5 or if he touches any crawling thing that makes him unclean, or any person who makes him unclean, whatever the uncleanness may be. 6 The one who touches any such thing will be unclean till evening. He must not eat any of the sacred offerings unless he has bathed himself with water. 7 When the sun goes down, he will be clean, and after that he may eat the sacred offerings, for they are his food. 8 He must not eat anything found dead or torn by wild animals, and so become unclean through it. I am the Lord.
9 “‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.
10 “‘No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. 11 But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if slaves are born in his household, they may eat his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she may not eat any of the sacred contributions. 13 But if a priest’s daughter becomes a widow or is divorced, yet has no children, and she returns to live in her father’s household as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat it.
14 “‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value to it. 15 The priests must not desecrate the sacred offerings the Israelites present to the Lord 16 by allowing them to eat the sacred offerings and so bring upon them guilt requiring payment. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.’”
17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘If any of you—whether an Israelite or a foreigner residing in Israel—presents a gift for a burnt offering to the Lord, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, 19 you must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf. 20 Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf. 21 When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable. 22 Do not offer to the Lord the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Do not place any of these on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord. 23 You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow. 24 You must not offer to the Lord an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut. You must not do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God. They will not be accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.’”
26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 “When a calf, a lamb or a goat is born, it is to remain with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a food offering presented to the Lord. 28 Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.
29 “When you sacrifice a thank offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. 30 It must be eaten that same day; leave none of it till morning. I am the Lord.
31 “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. 32 Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy 33 and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord.”
Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord.Lev 22:31-33
What tenderness and compassion there is in those verses!
I am the LORD, he says,
who brought you out of bondage, out of slavery. I set you free. And I want to heal your life and bring you into a land of abundance and promise, of excitement and blessing and fruitfulness, with a sense of worth and power, and to be your God, to be available to you to teach you how to live as men were ordained to live in the beginning — in dominion over all the earth, over all the powers and principalities that exist in the universe, and to walk as free people, healed and whole. That is why I speak to you this way, the LORD says.
That is why at times I will not allow you to exercise ministry even though you want to, until you deal with the blemishes of your life. When they are healed, then your ministry can begin.
When we submit to this, we discover that our priesthood begins to be rich and fulfilling and exciting. God begins to enlarge our borders. A sense of worthwhileness comes into our life — beyond anything that we ever dreamed. We discover that God is not so much interested in our activity as he is in our attitudes — our being rather than our doing — and that we can please God while we are washing the dishes, by the right attitude of heart, that we can please God and be used of God when we are spading in the yard or working in the shop. His life begins to flow through us so that we are effective in applying the death of Christ to the disease and heartbreak of humanity around us and are effective in encouraging and building up and feeding and enriching by the bread of God the lives of those with whom we come in contact. There is an entire world around us waiting to be ministered to, hundreds and thousands of people with whom we are in touch each day and who need to be helped, need deliverance.
Thank you, Lord, because deep in my heart I don't want to be phony. I want to be real and to be genuine. I want to be whole and able to help others to wholeness. Thank you for that possibility, Father, and thank you for the privilege of my priesthood.
Life Application: Are we continually mindful that our actions and attitudes reflect on our High Priest whom we are called and privileged to serve? What is His purpose in calling us to a lifestyle distinctly different from the world's values?
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Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.