Consecrate Yourself

Leviticus 20:7-8
“Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”

Consecration is an important part of Christianity. A person who desires to walk with God, must set himself apart from the world and to the Lord. We cannot successfully follow the Lord when only a portion of our lives is given to Him. Jesus said it is impossible to serve two masters because we will be loyal to one at the expense of another (Matthew 6:24). It is also impossible to serve the Lord when we continue to bring things into our lives that distract or defile us.

Here in Leviticus we have some key insight into a practical way of consecrating ourselves to the Lord. We are told to keep His statutes and perform them, because God will sanctify us.

Statutes is a word that speaks of governing principles, set down by the authorities that rule over us. Every nation, state, organization, community group, and family have statutes that govern the behaviors of those who belong to them. Without these statutes, we could not have a healthy and safe environment where civilization can grow. In the same way, the Word of God is designed to govern the life of the believer. When we are faced with a decision, trial, or any situation, for that matter, we should look to the Word for guidance. When we apply the teaching of the Bible to our current circumstances God uses His word to sanctify us and make us more useful for His kingdom.

The other day I was speaking with a young lady who is single. She expressed her desire to find someone, but stated she wanted to be sure to find the right guy. Immediately, we went to Matthew’s gospel, where he records Jesus saying, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Not only is this a great promise, it is a statute designed to govern our goals, ambitions and the way we approach fulfilling them. If we use this verse as a guiding principle in our lives, we will be sure to find ourselves being set apart from the world and unto the Lord.

Pastor Jim


By The Blood

Leviticus 8:30
“Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.”

The priests wore garments designed by God and put together by the finest craftsmen in the land. These garments included a tunic, sash, robe, ephod, breastplate and even a turban. When the priest was fully dressed, all eyes would be upon his attire. That is why this verse is so striking. Once clothed, the priest would approach the altar, sacrifice a ram and sprinkle its blood upon his clothing. Instead of seeing the glory of the garments, all eyes would be fixed upon the stain left by the blood.

Too often we are fixated upon our own works. When we are doing well, we allow our accomplishments to make us feel as though we are better than those who are not serving as much or in the same ministries. When we are failing, we think God is disappointed with us, and sometimes this will push us farther and farther away from the Lord. I think it is time we realize that our eyes are not to be fixed upon the garments of our actions, but upon the blood that makes us right with God. Just as the ram was sacrificed to atone for the sins of the priest, so Christ shed His blood to wash us from all sin and set us apart to God.

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

When facing great temptation, trial, or difficulty, we will always find success when our eyes are fixed upon the work Christ accomplished for us on the cross. It was not, is not and never will be, our great accomplishments that make us right with God. It is the shed blood of Jesus alone that we look to as the means of making us and keeping us righteous.

Pastor Jim


Holy Life

Leviticus 10:9-10
“It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean”

IMG_1487Perhaps, the clearest message from the Book of Leviticus is, God is Holy and requires holiness from His people. Rather than leaving it to us to determine what is holy and what is not, God has given us His Word. In the pages of Scripture, we will learn how to “distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” Holiness was first achieved through the Old Testament sacrifices. God established a system by which sin could be forgiven through the shedding of blood. These sacrifices are no longer required because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the penalty for all sin, when He died on the cross. We are made holy when we receive Christ, and our sins are forever washed away. Those who have been made holy are required to live holy. Holiness carries the idea of being set apart. A person who is holy is a person who has set themselves apart from others, by determining that he/she wants to live to please the Lord. It is the holy person who is looking into the pages of their Bible to determine the meaning of life and how to live. It is the holy person who, when faced with a decision, will seek answers from the Word of God, or when facing conflict will seek to solve it through the Wisdom of the Word. Holiness is achieved when we set ourselves apart to the Lord, and live out His Word.

Pastor Jim


Next Generation

Exodus 18:17
“So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘The thing that you do is not good.'”

As the leader of the congregation of Israel, Moses was sought out for advice for the issues of everyday life. Whenever people had a dispute with a neighbor, or a family crisis, they would set up an appointment with Moses, who would give them godly counsel. While it was good for Moses to be available to the people, and understandable that they wanted to meet with their pastor, this schedule was not good for either Moses or the people. Jethro, as an outsider, was able to see the flaw with this approach right away, and counseled Moses. The solution to the problem would be in raising up good, gifted, and godly men, who could assist him in the ministry. This approach will prove to be God’s method down through the ages.

Whether it is the nation of Israel or the local church, God is in the business of reproducing leaders. The way this happens is that godly people are given ministry opportunities. It would take great faith on the part of Moses to let go of some of his ministry and put it into the hands of others. It would take great faith from the people, to trust that God would speak as clearly through another, as He had through Moses. And it would take great faith from this new group of “Pastors,” that God would speak to them, and through them, when they met with the people. When Jethro’s advice was followed and this system implemented, we find that an entire new generation of leaders will be raised up to serve the Lord.

God has established a method of ministry that is sustainable. It is not built on the strength, gifts or leadership ability of one man, but on the fact that God will use anyone who is devoted to Him. Perhaps the proper response to this passage of Scripture is to seek to become a person who God will choose to use. The more we set ourselves apart to the Lord, focus on growing in Christ, and learn the Word of God, the more ready we will be when the time comes to raise up another generation to do the work of God.

Pastor Jim


Stand Out

Exodus 11:7
“…that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

IMG_1405Many of the plagues that fell upon Egypt did not affect the children of Israel. God, by His grace, made a distinction between those who were His and those who were not. Part of the reason for that distinction was that others would desire to join the ranks of Israel and become followers of God. Although the Bible does not go into great detail listing all those of Egypt who chose to join Israel, we do know that along with the twelve tribes, others left their homeland and became part of the tribes who made their way to Canaan. In many ways, it was the distinction that was made between the follower of God and the rest of Egypt that drew others to forsake all and follow God.

From a biblical standpoint, it is clear God has a future plan for Israel. He has not cast them off, and will work mightily, in and through them, as end time events unfold. That being said, it is also true, in another sense, God does not make a distinction of one nation over another. Peter saw a vision of a blanket descending from heaven filled with all kinds of animals, and was told to kill and eat. The purpose of the vision was to make clear that God makes no distinction; all who come to faith in Christ will be saved. Later Paul, a former Pharisee, wrote, that once we come to Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Today, we do not see it raining on the picnic of an unbeliever, while the believer, across the park, enjoys the sunshine. Jesus declared, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust“(Matthew 5:45). However, that does not mean God will not make a distinction between those who belong to Him and those who don’t. In fact, God wants to do things in the life of His children that will draw the entire world to desire Him, and even make the nation of Israel jealous, and trust in Christ. This distinction is made internally, more than externally. God will fill the life of the Christian with love, joy and peace. It will radiate from their lives, in the midst of the storms they face, and become like a beacon of light, drawing the world to Jesus. The more we grow in Christ, the more fruit we will bear, and the more others will be drawn to trust in Him.

Let’s seek to abide in Christ, and bear the kind of fruit that makes us stand out in a world desperately in need of Christ

Pastor Jim