What is holiness really about?

From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional

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Numbers 8

In Numbers 8, God lays out the cleansing ritual Levites went through before working in the tent of meeting. The Levites’ role was to serve as priests in the tent of meeting. But they couldn’t do God’s work until they had been purified and presented as an offering to the Lord.

Although we no longer practice the same cleansing rituals as the Levites, we, too, are priests who are called to be holy (1 Peter 2:9).

The Levites were chosen to serve in the temple the same way we were chosen to serve God —  by His grace. None of us did anything to earn our place among God’s people. The Levites were born into their role as God’s priesthood. We joined their ranks as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross.

As followers of Jesus, we are set apart for God’s service. Jesus called His disciples—and by extension, us—the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:15). He later instructed everyone to finish His work, by reaching people far from God and teaching them to follow Him step by step (Matthew 28:18-20). But our message won’t be noticed—or taken seriously—if we call ourselves Christians and act the same as those who aren’t.

Like the Levites, we have a responsibility to purify ourselves by turning away from sin. When we confess our sin and turn away from it, we ready ourselves for God’s service.

Removing sin from our lives isn’t about earning God’s love; it’s what we do in response to God’s love. As we listen to Jesus and do what He says, we can come to God each day with a pure heart, ready for whatever adventure He’s got planned.

Reflect:

  • Is there a sin you’ve been unable or unwilling to let go of?
  • What’s one way not being serious about dealing with your own sin can compromise your ability to share the good news about Jesus?
  • How does your view of holiness change based on what you read today?

June 3, 2019

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