February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017

LEVITICUS 22-23

Focus Verse: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the Lord. Give them the following instructions. “In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the Lord, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.”’”

Leviticus 22:1-3

 

I think some of us need to be a lot more aware of our standing with the Lord. Now first of all, let me clarify, we are washed clean and spotless in the blood of Jesus. That’s a fact when we call upon the name of the Lord, believe in the One He sent and confess His lordship in our lives. Nothing can take that away. What I am advocating today could very easily be turned into legalism very quickly, so I want to try to clear that up right away. This isn’t legalism. You can’t clean yourself up enough for God. Jesus needs to do that. If He isn’t the one doing it, you are still in your sin.

Today’s reading warns Aaron’s descendants about something very important. God doesn’t want you ministering to other people while you’re unclean. This doesn’t mean He’s kicking you out of ministry or that you’re never allowed to talk to anyone about Jesus. But God needs you to get right first before you try to help someone else get their life together.

Unfortunately, I have seen so many people fall away from ministry because they lose track of where they are with Jesus. I’m not just talking about people in a pastoral role or in church ministry positions. People who engage in ministry on a daily basis, whether it be witnessing, praying for healing for people, whatever. But they get so caught up in their ministry that they forget to keep themselves in the right position with God. It becomes more about what they’re doing than Who they’re following. This is when moral failures start to sneak in. And sadly, this is when the world sees the lie that Christ has failed.

So get out of ministry and never come back you unclean sinners! That’s actually not what God says at all…not even here in the Old Testament. What He does say, however, is to go, get yourself right first, and then you’ll be in an awesome position to follow Him in obedience.

The best thing you can do for your ministry, whether that’s in your workplace, in a church or on the city streets, is to make sure you’re cultivating your personal relationship with Jesus. If that means you need to take some time off to get back on track with Him, DO IT! You are honoring God by putting that relationship first.

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