Monthly Archives: January 2015

Leviticus 6: Attention to Detail

Chapter 6 begins with the rest of the instructions for the restitution offering. It then launches into the beginning of a long list of details for sacrificial activity in general. I beg you to lower your expectations of me today regarding this chapter. With teething 6-month-olds, a few guests staying in our home, and some extra ministry activity requiring attention this week, my study time was interrupted often, and eventually cut short.

But it still happened (victory!). Here’s what I got:

What does this tell me about God:

  • God pays attention to details.

While I didn’t love reading about all the details, I really love the truth it conveys! God is not the author of confusion. He didn’t leave the priests wondering “uh, ok, what do we do with all of these carcasses now?” God provides for the big things (like atonement and restoration of relationship with him), and the little things, like how to finish up a sacrifice.

  • Worshipping God should be respected.

The amount of detail and instruction surrounding each sacrifice reminds us that approaching God is not a “willy nilly” activity. There is a certain amount of importance that surrounds the process.

How can I live in light of this:

  • I should give greater respect to the process of worship.

Often, I approach God without respect or awe. I use the word “awesome” way too often. I don’t reserve anything as special or important when it comes to Jesus. Of course, God has called us “friends,” and that gives us the privilege of approaching Him with a bit of carefree joy. Still, the God of the universe deserves some awe-struck attention. The priests had to change their clothes in the worship process of chapter 6, I too should dress my best, inside and out, when I approach my King.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • Verse 9: Why was the burnt offering supposed to remain on the hearth all night long?
  • Verse 23: I find it interesting that the priest couldn’t benefit in any way from his own offering.
  • Verse 18, 27: “Anything that touches the offerings will become holy”… I wonder why?

There you have it. Not much for deep theological thoughts and cross-reference epiphanies, but the truth of Leviticus 6, however simplified, is still an impactful reminder to worship.

Did anything else pop out for you during your reading of Leviticus 6? Help a sister out and comment with your observations!

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Leviticus 5: Reality Check

Welcome to a very authentic and brutally honest study of the book of Leviticus. If you have been following this series very closely, you may have noticed I’ve skipped some days (gasp!). This study is all about being real with the Bible, studying the hard books and gleaning relevant truth that will point us toward Christ.

Ideally, we would study the Bible daily, leaving every devotional session with worshipping hearts and minds focused on our great Savior. We wouldn’t be intimidated by books like Leviticus, and we would never, ever, ever get bored with them either.

However, we happen to function in a very real world, and the ideal is not always available. Therefore, I have skipped a few days. I will admit having been a teensy bit bored with the regulations regarding sacrifice. And yes, I have even wandered to more dynamic books like Matthew and James a few times this week. Honestly, I feel like I can’t help it! Still, I am confident that God provides impactful truth and encouragement in the book of Leviticus, so I am not giving up.

If you have put down your Bible for a few days also, I challenge you to rally your spirit and embrace it again with me. That is the beauty of reality… the freedom to drop a daily Bible reading also gives us the liberty to pick it up again.

Here we go… Leviticus 5, give us your best shot!

What does this tell me about God:

  • The laws’ function (reminding us of our helplessness) is an undeserved grace.

Humanity is absolutely helpless. We absolutely need something to “fix” and pay for our stupidity and the consequences of it. My struggle to keep a daily routine of studying the Bible is a perfect example: We just can’t help it! Leviticus 5:1-13 continue the instructions for offering a sin offering, the sacrifice to atone for unknown or unintentional sin.

Have you ever pointed out someone’s faults to them? I am a professional failure, but I still hate it when my short-comings are pointed out. I often prefer to go along thinking I’m miss awesome pants and get my poop in a group (my husbands favorite phrase) in my own time.

But God knows that if he left us to think we had it all together, we would sidestep the fact that WE NEED GOD! A relationship with Him is what we were created for. Without it, we are purposeless and void of true joy.

The law, the sacrifices, the attention to detail–all are given as a grace to us. The WORST thing God could do is let humanity keep thinking we are fine and dandy. The BEST thing He could do is give us a standard of rules, if you will, for us to fail at… constantly. As we daily miss the mark, we daily realize how much we need God, and that is the best place for us!

  • God provides a chance for people to right their wrongs.

We see all throughout Scripture that people can do nothing apart from God. He does all of the work when it comes to atonement, forgiveness, and washing us clean. Still, in Leviticus 5:14-6:7, God makes a way for people to participate in “making things right.” The 5th and final sacrifice God provides for us is the Restitution, or Guilt, offering. It is just like the sin offering, but the restitution offering requires the sinner to pay back a sin that could be valued monetarily. It reminds us that sin has a price, and we can do our part to make it right by paying the cost of our offense, either toward God or other people. Like all other sacrifices, Jesus became our restitution offering when He died on the cross. As the song says, “Jesus paid it all.”

How can I live in light of this:

  • I should confess my sin.

Verse 5 says “he is to confess he has committed that sin.” As I said above, I like to go on thinking that I am doing alright, that God and I are “cool.” My prayers focused on gratefulness, worship, and requests.

This verse reminds me to stop and actually confess my sin to God. I used to think that the liturgical prayers of my Anglican friends were stiff, repetitive, and lacked intimacy. Now I realize that using a prescribed prayer acts as a prompt to help me address the important aspects of my relationship with God. I am deeply moved when I pray this example from the Book of Common Prayers:

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • Question: Leviticus hasn’t mentioned atonement for intentional sins yet. Does God assume we will try not to sin purposefully?

 

This is our reality: Leviticus might require extra focus (and extra coffee) in order to be consumed by the readers (you and me), but in every day that I take on that challenge, I am completely blessed. I do, in fact, leave with a worshipping heart and a mind focused on God.

What distracts you from staying focused and consistent in your Bible studies? 

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Happy 6 Month Birthday to the Rosty Twins!

6 Months…

We made it! The Rosty twins are 6 months and thriving. A year ago I didn’t think we would make it this far. In the back of my mind I figured we would be such a mess, that Jesus would take pity and come back before now.

In his gracious providence, God has given us further chances to seek Him in this parenting business, and use our experiences to share His love with others. I feel that being a mom is one of my greatest accomplishments, by Gods grace. Specifically, breastfeeding twins for 6 months has been one of my “least likely to succeed” goals that I am so blessed to have met.IMG_0091

In honor of this milestone, I brought up a post from this time last year (while I was pregnant), and would like to compare it with today (last year’s posts are in green).

Week 13 flew by! We started the spring semester of BCM, enjoyed a weekend in the hot-springs of Thermopolis, and thoroughly relished in the joy of becoming parents! 

We enjoyed Thermopolis again this month, in 2015. The babies LOVED the water!

13 Weeks: January 19-25

6 months6 Months: January 23, 2014

Babies are the size of: Lemons!

Babies are the size of: my entire torso. I cannot believe they fit into my tummy at one point, particularly as the size of lemons!

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Mama Weight gain: 0 (I have hovered around 168 for the last 3 months or so.)

Baby Weight gain: Titus is about 18lbs, and Evi is probably close to 15. We will get an official weight in a couple weeks at their next check up.

Sleep: Shocking news: I was able to get great sleep on a trip this weekend while sleeping on an air mattress.

Sleep: Shocking news: The babies now sleep through the night!!! 7pm-7am, with a 10pm dream feed.

Exercise: started a water aerobics class this week and I LOVE it. I’ve also been upping my “squat routine” to prep for labor and delivery.

Exercise: This month, I (yes, the tired mama) started jogging 2 miles twice a week. It is so hard to make this a priority right now, however I am looking forward to this healthy habit rubbing off on my kids as we pursue being a fit and active family together.

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IMG_0095Best moment this week:. Singing songs of worship with my husband for hours in our make-shift studio (in the laundry room… the acoustics are awesome in there.) I know these babies are going to grow up proclaiming the truths of Christ through music along side, and it is fun to start the tradition now.

Best moment this week:. Watching our daughter sing and bang on the piano. She seems to be very musically inclined. Titus on the other hand would rather inspect the wood of the piano. I am excited to see how he will be a hands-on worshipper.

Miss Anything? I know it was never a healthy routine, but I miss being able to go, go, go, without HAVING to stop to eat or pee or nap every 1/2 hour. It’s just how I got stuff done. With twins, I suppose I’ll have to learn a whole new way of accomplishing things tiny moments at a time, so it’s good training.

Miss Anything? I still have to pee every 1/2 hour! Staying hydrated to nurse twins is a constant activity. Also, I am learning to do things in tiny moments… today I clean the bathrooms, enjoyed reading a book with Shane, and wrote this blog post, all during nap times! I am thankful I had a realistic perspective and was already preparing for this life last year.

Movement: Not yet.

Movement: Titus is a major mover! He is crawling backwards, doing 3 second planks, and sitting up like a champ (his activity is more proficient than my work out routine). Evi is a girl after my own heart: she likes to lay around and talk to herself. I’m sure she will start crawling eventually, but for now I adore listening to her chats.

Food cravings: Mac and Cheese, all the time! Also, I ate a whole carton of strawberries in one delicious sitting. I think I could eat a whole carton a day if they were as cheap as mac n cheese 😉

Food cravings: The babies are embracing solid foods! They love to gnaw on cucumbers and gum up pieces of banana.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. A bit of french toast almost made me throw up (see “sweets” below). On the plus side, I had some chicken strips and they tasted lovely, so maybe I am on my way to incorporating poultry into my diet again.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. Evangeline’s poopy diapers, for sure.

Gender prediction: The cravings test says: citrus/sweet=girl. Salt=boy. I have been craving pineapple, and strawberries and all kinds of sour things. But I cannot stand chocolate or super sweet desserts! Also, initially all I had was all salt cravings. So I guess that’s another point for one of each (Though Shane still thinks they are both boys).

Gender revelation: We have a man’s man for a son. He is the Ron Swanson of babies (for those of you who watch Parks and Rec). When it comes to food, his dog (yep, Mr. Darcy is now Titus’ dog), being active, and meeting new people, he is all business. He has the most jolly smile though, and is so eager to connect over a wrestle.

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Evi is all girl: giddy over fluffy stuffed animals, cozy blankets, and smiling men with beards. We pray about the last one daily. She loves worship music, and is pretty fond of mirrors, and we hope she is always as happy with her appearance and beautiful smile as she is in these past few weeks.

evi 6

Lullaby of the week: You Know Me” by Steffany Frizzell (Bethel Music). It speaks of Psalm 139’s truth that God knows each and every bit of who we are. I love that when I can’t see my babies, God can. He has them memorized inside and out. That is incredible intimacy!

I love this memory from last year, and knowing that even now that I can hold my kids in my arms, their lives are still outside of my control. Thankfully, I know God will never let them go!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That Psalms 139 applies to me as well. My God knows me! He knows what today looks like, and what tomorrow looks like. And He is GOOD! I am memorizing verses 5-7:

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That he has proven faithful to “go before us” and bless us, as I read last year. I didn’t know how year was going to turn out, but it has been the greatest blessing and privilege to walk with God through.

Looking forward to: The birthing class on Monday!

Looking forward to: Developing healthy habits over the next 6 months. I feel God challenging me to become strong spiritually, physically, and emotionally to set a positive president for myself and our family in the years to come.IMG_0081

 
Thanks for keeping up with our adventure!
 
In Faith,
 
Becky
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Epic Fail!? Don’t Worry, There’s Hope: Leviticus 4

Welcome to our study of the not-so-boring-and-irrelevant book of Leviticus. (Click here for the beginning of this study).

I have to admit, I was a little distracted by Facebook before beginning my study today… not exactly setting myself up for success to approach God’s Word. I repented and prayed for God’s help to focus on HIS truth.

With that in mind, I plunged into study about the sin offering (Leviticus 4).

What does this tell me about God:

  • God’s grace provides a way to take care of unknown sin.

In the past week, have you messed up without realizing it? Perhaps you drove around with a breaklight out, or unknowingly shared false information. I tend to fail on a regular basis, usually due to my clumsy conversation. Just the other day, I asked a question in a group Bible study, genuinely seeking an answer. Tragically, my question came across quite sarcastically, and the whole group received it as if I was trying to make a point. I left the study feeling quite defeated in how I was perceived.

Leviticus 4 gives hope for routine failure-makers like myself. The chapter is all about how to repent of sins committed unknowingly, and restore relationship with God.

  • God’s holiness is not subject to human definition.

Some like to turn God’s word into a bunch of philosophical debates. Like “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”… many might like to argue “If I didn’t know I was doing something bad, is it still wrong?”

Leviticus 4 reminds us that God is completely holy (separate, pure, etc.). Even our unknown sin is enough to taint us and destroy our relationship with God. We must acknowledge that sin is not just “messing up,” rather, it is breaking covenant with God. Being Holy, God will not have a relationship with anyone who breaks that covenant, it is completely against his nature! Thankfully, God is ALSO completely loving, and His grace is big enough to cover our unknown sin when we turn to Him for restoration.

  • The Law is so much more than a set of rules

The sin offering in particular stands as a reminder that we can never achieve perfection! God set up the law as a mirror, to help humanity see how far from holy we are, how much we need a Savior! The animals sacrificed in the sin offering were the temporary saviors, the substitutions of Jesus who would pay for the imperfections of all humanity, once and for all at the cross.

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:6-8

How should I live in light of this:

  • I should be more aware of potential sin.

Imagining the bloody activity at the temple or tabernacle is enough to make me gag. If I was required to sacrifice an animal (a pricey requirement) every time I unknowingly sinned, I think I would be more aware of my actions.

That being said, I realize now that I do not think of the cross often enough. I do not remember the great and bloody sacrifice Jesus endured to cover my sin. This next month, when I think of or sing about the powerful blood, I will not do so without reverence for the gravity of the cross. I know the Holy Spirit will give this reminder renewed weight to keep me conscious of my actions.

  • Establish a repentant heart.

The sin offering gave the people a tangible way to repent. I know this is an area God is challenging me in. I want to see the gravity of my sin. Though Jesus has already paid the price, I do not want to take it for granted.

  • Live with increased gratefulness for God’s grace. 

Even with the horrors of sacrificial requirements, the Israelites never stopped sinning. The sacrifices were never enough. Until Jesus came, the burden of sin weighed heavy on each human’s shoulders. I want to live in light of this, with greater gratefulness of Jesus’ stepping in my place, carrying my sin-weight upon His shoulders.

Any thoughts or questions:

  • Why did the priest’s sin bring guilt on the people? (verse 3)

My husband helped me with this one. He reminded me that the priest was the mediator between the people and God. He represented the people, therefore his sin brought guilt on the people. One man’s relationship with God held ramifications for the whole nation. In the same way, Jesus took the role of our high priest, but instead of imperfection affecting the whole, his righteousness is attributed to all who trust Him. WOW!

  • Why was the blood sprinkled on the veil? (verse 6)

The veil represented the barrier between humanity and God (the inner chamber or “Holy of Holies”). Blood was the requirement to atone for sin, which is our barrier between us and God.  Jesus’ blood tore the actual veil in half, from top to bottom, when He paid the full requirements for our sin. Now we have unhindered fellowship with God. Another WOW!

Share what you learned from chapter 4 in the comments (c’mon, you know you want to!). 

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Reading Leviticus 3 Might Just Bring You to Tears: Understanding the Cost of Fellowship with God

Today we are studying Leviticus 3.

Have you read it yet? As tempting as it is to keep reading my thoughts on the subject, please for the love of grumpy-cat memes, please go read Leviticus 3 for yourself first! God has amazing things to say in this book; I was skeptical at first, but it’s day 3 and I am so encouraged by this book. Let’s both make the effort to explore His truth first, then come back and engage in a challenging conversation about it. But first, allow me to prepare my heart and pray for yours too. (If you want to start at the beginning with me, click here.)

Open our minds, Father, to receive what is best for us today: You! Remove distractions and help us, my dear readers and I, to focus. We worship you in our dedication, however brief or choppy it may be. Thank you for your grace to allow us to pursue you as you also pursue us.

The soothing tones of “My Worth is Not in What I Own,” helps me get into a mindset of humility before approaching the Holy Word of God.

Upon first glance, chapter 3 is all blood and guts and entrails and burning fat (sounds like my workout routine). But upon a closer look, we see the glorious nature of our gracious God communicated clearly yet again:

What does this tell me about God:

  • God is eager to have a relationship with us.

The burnt offering in Lev. 1 signified God’s desire for our whole selves in worship. The grain offering in Lev. 2 represented our chance to dedicate our work to God. Now in Lev. 3, the fellowship offering reminds us that God does not expect us to be busy mechanical beings who rush about trying to glorify Him in all things. Rather, God is very interested in relationship with us. We see this in creation, as God walked with Adam and Eve. And we see it here in Leviticus with the very word “fellowship offering.” My handy Study Bible pointed me to Leviticus chapter 7, in which the rest of the fellowship offering is explained: one part would be burned for the Lord, one part for the priests, and another part for the worshipper (the person who brought the sacrifice). In this way, the meal is shared among 3 participants together. What a privilege and honor to share a meal with God and His people!

  • God requires blood to repair the break in our relationship.

Adam and Eve chose to break their intimate fellowship with God in Genesis 3. I too, make the same choice every time I allow my pride and selfishness to rule. It is in my human nature. Because of this, God requires something to “pay for” or “make right” the break in relationship. His requirement is blood. This reminds me how HOLY and separate God is from my own human existence. I have no right to have a friendship with God, but He made a way for it to happen anyway.

  • God eventually sent Jesus as a permanent “fellowship offering.”

Leviticus’ guidelines for sacrifice was a temporary solution to restoring fellowship with God. It was bloody, gruesome, and a lot of work! I’ve heard the glory-stories from my husband’s elk-hunts, and they are disgusting. The priests had to do this all the time! The book of John narrates how God provided the Ultimate Sacrifice, once and for all, in Jesus. His work on the cross was also bloody, gruesome, and a lot of work. Leviticus gives us an accurate foreshadowing picture of how much Jesus had to stomach and endure in order to restore relationship, fellowship, with us.

How can I live in light of this:

  • Be humble and grateful.

I can honestly say I didn’t expect Leviticus to bring me to tears. Today it did, and I dare say, it won’t be the last time.

  • Participate in fellowship with God.

I have accepted Christ as my Savior, as my “fellowship offering” and “atoning sacrifice” (more on that later). Because Jesus repaired the relationship, I can have fellowship God at any and all times. Yet so often, I choose to work hard, rush through my worship, and become distracted by the things of earth. He is deserving of my conversation, my sit-down-and-listen, my turning to him throughout the day. Today, I resolve to include my Friend in my day.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • Perhaps there is something to Leviticus 3:16-17 in my journey to better physical health as well. (You’ll have to read it for yourself and tell me what you think.)

How did chapter 3 impact you today? Tell us how you pursue fellowship with God throughout your day? 

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Embracing the Unadventure of Motherhood

My Beloved Bighorns
My Beloved Bighorns

I have a deep affinity for hiking in the mountains. Something about the wildflower hills, spaced sporadically among thick walls of green trees, and a path with untidy growth happening all around my feet makes my heart sing.

I’ve lived my life as an adventure seeker. International travel, camping, road trips, big projects, building our own home–its just me. I approached motherhood with the same intentions. In fact, my motherhood journey began with applying for international adoption (which is on hold for now, but still growing steadily in our hearts). When we found out I was pregnant with twins, I thought to myself, “all the more to adventure with!” I wasn’t expecting to ease into anything. I’m a jump-in-the-deep-end kind of girl, and this seemed right up my alley.

In the middle of a hot summer week, my beautiful babies were born, and life became chaotic: blessed, beautiful, wild-flowers-in-a-field kind of crazy. But as a family, we weren’t exactly thriving in our newfound adventure. We had heaps of helpers coming in and out of the house each week, which was an immense load off our shoulders. But eventually, I knew I had to do it. I had to create some structure.

unadventureTo me, structure is like nails on a chalkboard. Take away my freedom, my spontaneity, my late nights of writing and long days of sharing the truth of Christ at one coffee date to the next… might as well take away my sense of adventure.

However, to ensure my children grow steadily and healthily, and to provide a smidgen of sanity for my husband and me, I bent over backwards to create an achievable schedule.

Other ladies might agree, that living a highly structured life can feel monotonous and repetitive:

  • Checking off the to do list.
  • Adding more things to the to-do list.
  • Thinking of a change-the-world-size idea, and forgetting to write it down.
  • Making time with Jesus, but getting distracted every time (I think I could be diagnosed with prAy-DHD).
  • Finding babysitters so we can work-out, grocery shop, have a date night, participate in a gospel-sharing opportunity.
  • Feeling guilty that our kids spend way too much time with babysitters.
  • Brainstorming how to streamline the efficiency of our homes.
  • Striving to be more available to our husbands, emotionally and physically, when we often feel drained and over-focused on the to-do list.
  • Wondering why we even get our babies and preschoolers dressed every day?
  • Planning meals.
  • Charting chores.
  • Maintaining the structure.
  • Drinking more water.
  • Finding time to use the bathroom after drinking so much water!
  • Mindlessly checking Facebook, for who-knows why.
  • Denying the desire to snack all day, but really wanting something to munch on.

(Anybody feel me here?!)

For me, nap time comes and I’m on the clock for a shower, laundry, clean up, maybe a little writing. Suddenly the low echoes of a groggy but awake baby approach my ears with subtle urgency. I try to squeeze in a little more time on whatever task I have set before me, at least to clean it up before round two. Within seconds however, I have two howling creatures trying to get my attention. Perhaps they mean to give me a sense of being in the mountains?

Bedtime comes, a choppy night sleep awaits, then it’s back to the same activities in the morning. Day after day, I face the “unadventure” of motherhood.

Lately though, Set Apart Motherhood, by Leslie Ludy, has given me a new perspective. In almost every chapter, Leslie gives practical advice and achievable examples for how to foster a greater sense of orderliness with small children.

This push for order was a turn-off for me, at first. I am not the OCD type that likes to have all my picture frames hanging in a perfect row. I appreciate the aesthetic beauty of things like a field of scattered daisies.

Ixiolirion tataricum
However, in my rant about the appeal of wild-flowers, God beckoned me to take a closer look. Did you know that all flowers have some sense of structure? They are designed so intricately and precisely. Two types of flowers, monocots and dicots, will always bloom with specific sets of petals. Monocots have multiples of 3 petals (like a lily), and dicots have multiples of 4 or 5 (like a rose). (Give your kids a fun science lesson here.)

Even the wild-flower fields of my beloved hiking days have a sense of order, structure, and design! It just takes a different perspective to see it.

Though I sometimes feel like I am living a very repetitive, unadventurous life, there is still wild-flower beauty in it. Like a blooming lily, God has created me with an intricate design that allows my body, mind, and soul to function well. And in His power, my mundane tasks have lasting purpose.

J.D. Greear says it well:

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With Gods perspective, I am learning to embrace the “unadventure” and see this structured life as an opportunity to blossom!

  • A chance to smile at my kids at the same time, every day, and watch how their reaction develops over time.
  • A chance to prioritize the important things, like studying my Bible and giving the kids a bath. I can structure the useless uses of my time (like TV and facebook) right off the daily schedule.
  • A chance to cherish my partnership with Shane, in our family and ministry, by fostering better consistency in our time together at meals, in prayer, and on date nights.

I can aim to give glory to God in the highly-structured, or rather highly-designed days that I live. And therein lies a beautiful adventure to be discovered.

Do you appreciate or avoid structure in your life? How do you help your family to thrive?

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How Leviticus 2 Will Change the World! (Revealing how work done for God has eternal value)

Day 2 of studying Leviticus. (To return to the start of the journey, click here.)

“Give me a teachable spirit Lord.” I prayed as I began my study today. I jotted down my 3 categories, in short-hand this time.

  • God is…
  • I should…
  • Q’s…

 

Reading about the grain offering could have been boring, monotonous…. another chapter to check off my list. However, I knew if I was planning to find relevance in this chapter, I would have to unleash my inquisitive nature chained behind my desire to read something easier. With my curiosity running wild like a 3rd-grade kid, I began to ask “why” as I read. Here’s what I wrote down:

Q’s…

 

  • What does the grain offering represent?
  • Why was yeast forbidden?
  • Why did God require salt in the grain offering?

Again, I am so grateful for the helpful charts and notes in my Bible. I found the answer to yesterday’s question in this chart detailing how each offering differs from the others. As I observed, the burnt offering (ch. 1) is very much about offering one’s whole self to God in worship. I now realize that the grain offering (ch. 2) is a representation of dedicating one’s work to God. As Proverbs 3:9 repeats,

“Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”

If the grain offering represents our work, how does the “no yeast” rule apply (verse 11)? The notes in my study Bible presented a debated theory that God often used yeast to represent sin. If so, then Leviticus is urging its readers to keep their work free of sin.

God is not interested in his people compartmentalizing our lives: spiritual life, work, family life, friendships, me-time, etc. I believe He wants us to not just include God in each category, but centralize Him in every part of our lives. Leviticus commands the people to dedicate their work to God through a yeast-free grain offering. We too can dedicate our work by a sin-free work ethic. By forbidding laziness, inappropriate get-ahead mentalities, personal use of the time we are being paid for, etc. from our work, we can fully worship God.

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23

The 3rd question addresses Leviticus 2:13: “You are to season each of your grain offerings with salt; you must not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God. You are to present salt with each of your offerings.” What was so important about salt that the author repeats the same command 3 times in one verse!

According to the notes in my Bible, salt signified preservation or lasting for eternity. God is committed in his covenant with us for eternity. Again, that covenant (I will be your God, you will be my people, etc.) is not just for the spiritual compartment of our lives. It encompasses everything. God is interested in our work, and He is able to make our work efforts last and make an eternal difference. That gives me goosebumps!

To those who feel their day is a repetitive, task-oriented, exhausting, meaningless checking-off-the-to-do list, THIS chapter is for you. For those living for the weekends, charting, planning, streamlining efficiency just to make time for more monotonous tasks… Leviticus 2 is here to offer you HOPE! By inviting God into your work, your tasks can be “salty,” in other words, make a difference and last a lifetime.

The waitress who serves one rude party after the next can shine Christ’s light to her tables with a smile and gracious attitude.

The mom who picks up endless toys and folds bottomless laundry can be transformed into a prayer warrior as she serves her family.

The student who must pour over her notes to achieve a passing grade can exemplify, to her professor and peers, a Christ-like dedication and excellence in her approach to studying.

God has the power to redeem the most mundane task, transforming it into a daily masterpiece-in-progress. I cannot tell you how much hope this gave me. It’s chapter 2, and already I have found more relevance and application to my life than I ever expected out of Leviticus. Of course, it’s not about me, but God is glorifying himself in opening my eyes to see His great plan.

Here’s a recap:

God is…

  • Interested in my work life.
  • He is worthy of my best work.
  • He is able to make my work last

I should…

  • Dedicate my work to God.
  • Pursue a sin-free work ethic.
  • See my work as “salty” because of God

Q’s…

  • What does the grain offering represent?
  • Why was yeast forbidden?
  • Why did God require salt in the grain offering?
  • What does verse 3 mean “holiest part of the fire offerings”?

Does Leviticus offer you hope or challenge you in some way? Share your point of view in the comments! 

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Leviticus 1: Burnt Offering of Worship

 A Study in Leviticus: Chapter 1

I woke up late today, but as I mentioned earlier, I am determined to study Leviticus. I am confident there is truth in this book that will lead me to a greater understanding of God and therefore, more abundant worship of him.

So I sat my babies down with toys and rattles and a large mirror. My plan to have “Breakfast with Jesus” failed when I downed my egg sandwich faster than I could open my Bible and find Leviticus chapter 1. However, I found the chapter and began reading aloud.

With my handy questions written in my journal, I filled in the blanks as follows:

  • What does this say about God?
    • His interaction with Moses in Verse 1 shows me God is personal and intimate, not aloof and uninvolved. He is in pursuit of a direct relationship with man.
    • He is also direct and detailed in His expectations (whole chapter). I know my husband appreciates it when I am direct and detailed in what I would like for a Christmas gift. (The Bible he gave me wasn’t a spontaneous idea of his 🙂 )Similarly, we can be grateful that God gives us specifics in how to worship Him.
  • How can I live in light of this?
    • The specific details about the burnt offerings remind me that God is worthy of my best. I don’t want to give God secondhand worship. I don’t want to be distracted in my praise of him.
    • When I offer God my heart, time, money, talents, etc… I should be giving him the best I have, as He required the Israelites to do so in Leviticus.
    • Today, I will do that by serving my family as if I was serving Christ, eagerly and cheerfully, humbly and honorably.
  • Does anything else stand out/do I have questions?
    • What is the difference between a burnt offering and a sin offering (which we will read about in chapter 4)?

How did your study time go? Did you pull out some resources or handbooks and go deeper than I did today? What did God teach you? Join the conversation below!

 

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Leviticus: The Outline

A Study in Leviticus: Outline and Overview

Here the whooshing sound? That is the air flying past your ears as you jump, cannonball-style into the unknown territory of Leviticus.

Thanks for joining me, for challenging me, to study Leviticus.

There is encouraging, relevant and applicable truth in this book. And I am determined to discipline myself to discover it. Here’s how I’m getting ready:

Tools:

  • Study Bible: I am using my new Study Bible for Women, HCSB that Shane got me for Christmas. I appreciate that someone way smarter than me has done the homework and research about Leviticus, and included notes, definitions, timelines, and overviews to help me understand the book better. If your Bible does not include study notes, I suggest having your research tools handy for tough questions.
  • Research Tools: If you would like to dig deeper, I highly recommend grabbing one or both of these helpful study books. Personally, I might consult these books once or twice in my study, but not necessarily every day.
    • The Bible Knowledge Commentary
    • Zondervan Handbook to the Bible
  • Journal: I plan to address 3 simple thoughts on each chapter.
    • What does this say about God?
    • How can I live in light of this chapter?
    • Did anything else stand out/ do I have any questions?
  • 20 minutes of time: I take this time in the morning while I eat breakfast, while my 5-month-old twins are at their happiest. They play on the floor as I read the chapter for the day out loud to them.
  • Prayer: I know I need help. This book contains a lot of ancient concepts with monumental significance. “Lord, please open my mind to understand you more clearly, and prepare my heart to follow you more closely through my time studying this book.”

I plan to read one chapter a day. I realize that it is crucial to also take a holistic approach when reading a book like Leviticus. The books of the Bible weren’t segmented into chapters when first written. I’d like to read through the whole book in one sitting, but for now, I don’t have the time or mental focus to do so. Thankfully, I have a few resources to help me grasp the overall content of Leviticus.*:

Outline:

The Study Bible for Women gives the following overview:

3 Major Themes: Holiness, Sacrifice, and Atonement

Overview:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart (1:1-16:34)
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (17:1-34)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary splits into these 2 sections: 

  1. The Way of Approach to God by Sacrifice (Chapters 1-16)
  2. The Walk of Holiness before God by Separation (Chapters 17-27)

Having different perspectives can be helpful in our study of Leviticus.

 Theme Verse:

You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy.” Leviticus 20:26a

Already, I am getting the chills. I began reading a book for pastors wives about understanding my current role in life. Ultimately, I kept returning to the fact that God calls me to “be Holy as I [God] am holy.” Wow, Leviticus is incredibly relevant to this stage in my journey right now!

I’ll begin blogging tomorrow about my study through Leviticus, chapter 1. It takes a certain amount of spiritual maturity to walk through the books most Christians avoid. I’ve got my big girl shoes on and am ready for the journey. Will you join me?

What resources have you found most helpful as you start to study this Old Testament book?

Feeling less than motivated to join in the study of Leviticus?

Maybe you have just need a few tips. Visit my Pinterest page “Bible Study Tips” for helpful hints and resources for almost every type of non-studier. Or click on the link below:

Bible Study Tips Series

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Why Should I Study Leviticus?

While writing the “Bible Study Tips” series, I asked several people what keeps them from studying the Bible. One of the most intriguing answers was the following:

How does reading Leviticus going to help me manage my time better so that I can maintain my 3.8 GPA while taking 21 credits?

This question definitely has a “me-focus” attitude behind it, which was addressed in the following post:  Bible Study Tips for the #Selfie.

Still, I think the root of the question is, “how does Leviticus make a difference in my life?” Self-focus aside, this is actually a great question!

My first reaction is: “hey sister, I know where you are coming from. Leviticus is b-o-r-i-n-g.”

Most of us think about it as a black hole in the Bible… the book we skirt around quickly to avoid confusion and boredom. Leviticus is like the road sign announcing “Now entering Kansas”…. Ok, wake me up when we get through it. For many, Leviticus functions solely as a launch pad into the New Testament; we hear the words “grain offering” and immediately feel “led by the Spirit” to read the book of John again.

Ah the book of John, so straight-forward, so helpful…

Then I thought about it. What is Leviticus actually about? My curiosity got the best of me and I read a little. Maybe there is something in this book that could teach a truth about God, or remind us of His love… not to mention maybe help with time management.

So, back to the question:

“How does reading Leviticus going to help me manage my time better so that I can maintain my 3.8 GPA while taking 21 credits?”

Answer: Why don’t we read it and find out?

It has taken me a year to start my journey through Leviticus (the twins were a bit of a distraction). However, I am finally going to take the next month or so to study and unpack the book of Leviticus, using all of the tools mentioned in the recent “Bible Study Tips” series. I encourage you to join me. I’ll start posting about my journey next week, a chapter a day. Why not take this time to discover this book for yourself before I share?

There are only 27 chapters, each fairly short (which we can’t say about Psalms, ahem); hopefully we can tackle this book in less than a month. I’ve got my Study Bible ready, along with a journal, and a list of questions to ask along the way, like these:

  1. What does this passage say about God?
  2. How can I live in light of this passage?
  3. What else stands out to me/what questions do I have?

 

So dear friends, what do you say, WHO WANTS TO STUDY LEVITICUS?!

(comment below if you are in.)

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