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Today's Reading
February 16

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Pastor’s Note

After surveying the high standards for the Old Testament priesthood we are led to review the “feasts” of Israel in Leviticus 23. This is a helpful reminder of the appropriateness of breaks, rests, celebrations, and convocations that bring us out of the everyday activities of our various occupations to be recharged, refreshed, and refocused on the goodness and provision of God.

— Pastor Mike

Leviticus 22-23

22:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LordSay to them, ‘If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LordNone of the offspring of Aaron who has a leprous disease or a discharge may eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or a man who has had an emission of semen, and whoever touches a swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or a person from whom he may take uncleanness, whatever his uncleanness may be— the person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water. When the sun goes down he shall be clean, and afterward he may eat of the holy things, because they are his food. He shall not eat what dies of itself or is torn by beasts, and so make himself unclean by it: I am the Lord.’ They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

10 “A lay person shall not eat of a holy thing; no foreign guest of the priest or hired servant shall eat of a holy thing, 11 but if a priest buys a slave as his property for money, the slave [1] may eat of it, and anyone born in his house may eat of his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food; yet no lay person shall eat of it. 14 And if anyone eats of a holy thing unintentionally, he shall add the fifth of its value to it and give the holy thing to the priest. 15 They shall not profane the holy things of the people of Israel, which they contribute to the Lord16 and so cause them to bear iniquity and guilt, by eating their holy things: for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”

Acceptable Offerings

17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of the house of Israel or of the sojourners in Israel presents a burnt offering as his offering, for any of their vows or freewill offerings that they offer to the Lord19 if it is to be accepted for you it shall be a male without blemish, of the bulls or the sheep or the goats. 20 You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you. 21 And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. 22 Animals blind or disabled or mutilated or having a discharge or an itch or scabs you shall not offer to the Lord or give them to the Lord as a food offering on the altar. 23 You may present a bull or a lamb that has a part too long or too short for a freewill offering, but for a vow offering it cannot be accepted. 24 Any animal that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut you shall not offer to the Lord; you shall not do it within your land, 25 neither shall you offer as the bread of your God any such animals gotten from a foreigner. Since there is a blemish in them, because of their mutilation, they will not be accepted for you.”

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “When an ox or sheep or goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as a food offering to the Lord28 But you shall not kill an ox or a sheep and her young in one day. 29 And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 30 It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord.

31 “So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord32 And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord.”

Feasts of the Lord

23:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

The Sabbath

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

The Passover

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, [2] is the Lord‘s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

The Feast of Firstfruits

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah [3] of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. [4] 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The Feast of Weeks

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

The Feast of Trumpets

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”

The Day of Atonement

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”

The Feast of Booths

33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths [5] to the Lord35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord‘s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.

Mark 1:1-22

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. [6]

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, [7]

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
 who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
 ‘Prepare [8] the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; [9] with you I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit

21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

Footnotes

[1] 22:11 Hebrew he
[2] 23:5 Hebrew between the two evenings
[3] 23:13 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters
[4] 23:13 A hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters
[5] 23:34 Or tabernacles
[6] 1:1 Some manuscripts omit the Son of God
[7] 1:2 Some manuscripts in the prophets
[8] 1:3 Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness
[9] 1:11 Or my Son, my (or theBeloved

  • Sam Funk

    Lev 22:32 And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord. ”

    It disheartens me to hear so many people use the Lord’s name inappropriately, and though I have been a thorn to many to remind them of the Holiness of God’s name, even some who say they are believers act as if it’s no big deal. God’s name should be honored and revered and feared.

    Lev 23:2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

    Unlike the man-made, human-served festivals that dominate our calendars today, the true Holy days (we use to call holi – day) were days set apart to worship the Lord only. How we have twisted the truths of the past!

    Mark 1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

    John was the son of a Levitical Priest. As one of the sons of Aaron he was authorized to be a priest as well. God used him as the messenger before the coming of the Lord.

    • Anne Ventura

      Sam, I remember when shopping centers were closed on Sundays. Holly Lobby still is.

    • CheriClark

      A good reminder that God is holy.

  • Anne Ventura

    Mark 1:14

    14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

    Lord, there are days when I feel that the world is closing in on me Everyone doing what is right in their own eyes and expecting acceptance from what they feel should be tolerated. May there be a revival soon Lord. May more see their sins and the need to repent. May you come Lord Jesus soon. Maranatha.

    • CheriClark

      Praying for that revival!

  • Karen Chien

    20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

    The cost of discipleship is high. Some disciples left their daily jobs and some left their family members. It was a true dedication and loyalty to Jesus Christ. Following such a divine man costed them everything. It costed them Comforts,convenience, daily pleasures of doing what they want to do to live for Jesus. This is such a good reminder that this life isn’t ours to live to please ourselves but to please our Lord Jesus. May I be in continual evaluation of what my motives are in life and seek Him through studying His word, praying and being held accountable for my actions.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, help me to please You Lord.

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Leviticus 23:22 22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

    Then: God is giving Moses instructions about the different feast days. Along with the Feast of Weeks which celebrates the harvest that God has provided, the people of Israel are reminded not to forget the less fortunate. They are not to harvest the entire field but are to leave the edge unharvested and to leave the gleanings so that others less fortunate might gather them.

    Always: We, as believers, are to provide for the less fortunate.

    Now: God, I thank You for your many blessings to me. You have provided more than abundantly for my needs. Help me to have Your eyes to see those who may need my assistance. Help me to have Your heart to see those who I can help. Thank You that I am able to participate in this ministry.

    NT
    Mark 1:16-20 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

    Then: Jesus has been baptized, He has been tempted and now He is beginning the calling of His disciples. He passes by Simon and Andrew and tells them to follow Him. Immediately they left their nets and follow Him. In the same way He calls to James and John and they follow Him.

    Always: Believers should immediately do as Jesus commands.

    Now: Do you do all that Jesus has commanded? And do you do it immediately? This is such a great example to us. The disciples immediately followed Jesus. They left things as they were and followed Him. Their obedience was quick and immediate and even more incredible because how could they possibly have any idea what the future might hold. I need to follow Jesus immediately. I need to obey Him completely. I should not pick and choose what I will do in obedience to Him, I need to do what He calls me to do. Thank You dear Jesus for calling me to follow You. Help me to obey You completely every day and every minute.

    • Anne Ventura

      May I strive to obedience.

  • Beth Metcalf

    neither shall you offer as the bread of your God any such animals gotten from a foreigner. Since there is a blemish in them, because of their mutilation, they will not be accepted for you.”The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Lev. 22:25,29( Only the Lamb without blemish could take away the sin of the world. Behold, do you: see, love, obey, believe, and turn from all sin, to the Lamb of God who paid for our sin? Praising you my Savior for your obedience in providing yourself as The Sin Offering for all! Help me live in a way that my life examples that I believe this is true! Thank you Lamb of God!)

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    “They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” Leviticus 22:9

    God is passionate about the holiness of his people…this is made very evident throughout the book of Leviticus. There is no thing that He is willing to overlook or disregard because He wants His people to be holy in every area of their lives, whether big or small. I think the last part of this verse shows us a glimpse of why God cares about our holiness and it is because he is “the Lord who sanctifies them”; because He is the one doing the work, He wants it to be done well. One of our motivations toward holiness should be that we want to make God look good! When people praise us for our growth and godliness, then we can give all that glory and praise to God who rightly deserves it and then His name is exalted! Today, let’s strive to make God look good by pursuing holiness with our whole hearts. We should constantly be asking ourselves, “how can I please God more and more?”

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we desire to make God “look good” and adorn His Word.

  • RyanDamato

    Mark 1-
    17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

    This is actually a very strange statement to a couple of guys who were currently fishing. It should have caught them by surprise and they may have even been thinking that there was something more to what Jesus was offering. Even still, they went…immediately. Jesus would take their occupation and turn it into something that did a great work for the Kingdom.
    We need to get our minds focused on the real job that we have. We need to recognize that God sent his son to die for us and call us to eternal glory, and because of that, gave us a new ministry on this earth. We need to see our lives as a job for him. We need to do everything we can in life to truly reach men and teach them the gospel.
    I love how Jesus used the the thing they were doing to connect to a godly principal and teach the newly made disciples a new idea. I love the connection of this to what our Linked Cycling ministry should be focused on doing. Making a statement that ties the bike or the bike industry into how I might share the gospel with people is a great take away point with how Jesus addresses his followers here. I pray that God gives me the words to speak in situations that I meet or talk with people whether it be in cycling or anything else I’m doing.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we be prepared at all times to give a defense of the hope that dwells in us.

  • NonieS

    21 And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.

    The animal that was to be sacrificed was to be perfect with no blemish. This is the representation of Christ, God’s perfect Son, who was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. We need to be in awe of God’s perfect plan, and live a life pleasing to Him.

    Mark 1

    16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

    It is amazing that when Jesus called Simon, Andrew and James, they stopped what they were doing and immediately followed Jesus. Jesus was calling me for many years, and when I finally listened and followed Him, it wasn’t immediate. I put my trust in Him; but it took years of being discipled and being in His Word, for me to recognize the Holiness of God and how He called me to be holy. I worshipped Him, prayed, and studied His Word; but still held on to some of my sin. I am so thankful that He had patience with me and continued to convict me. I am thankful for the teaching of Pastor Mike, where sin is confronted and not ignored. So many churches teach only the love of Jesus, and not the whole truth. This makes the people attending think that they are right with God, when they may not be. I am so thankful for the Partners program. I will be meeting later this morning, go over chapter three where we will talk about the validity of the Bible. Thank you Lord for your inerrant Word, that we can trust! Maranatha!

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we hear His Word and read His Word and then desire to do His Word – immediately.

  • Rose White

     15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

    re·pent·ance

    rəˈpentəns/

    noun

    the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.

    “each person who turns to God in genuine repentance and faith will be saved”

    • CheriClark

      Oh- so thankful for this.

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Mark 1:18
    And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

    Lord Jesus, help me to respond to your leading immediately today. There’s really no time to waste.

    • CheriClark

      Immediate obedience – yes, Lord, help me to do that.

  • Tracy Libby

    and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”💙

    • CheriClark

      Good to see you posting on the DBR Tracy!

      • Tracy Libby

        Thank you Cheri💛

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