Mar 31, 2022

(Leviticus 2-3, John 21; Optional Psalm 65, Proverbs 16:20-24)

Click the following link to see every day’s through-the-Bible readings and reflections. Once there, you can sign up on my “FREE daily email” page and get daily reminders in your inbox: www.2Tim3v16.wordpress.com

A bit of a different emphasis in what I’m writing…  I’m going to write down a main thought or two from each reading. We’re getting into a section in the OT where many grind to a halt in their through-the-Bible readings. Don’t get caught up in every detail or question that you have. There will be PLENTY that’s quite clear and that’s where you should focus and keep reading, so that you’re hearing from EVERY WORD of God (2 Tim 3:16 – my blog title; Matt 4:4). I do recommend that you invest in a good study Bible or two or three to have available when you get to a section that gives you huge questions, but don’t get overly bogged down. The best commentary on God’s inspired Word is OTHER parts of God’s inspired Word, so keep reading. You can see some of my favorite resources here: https://2tim3v16.wordpress.com/reading-plan-tools/

One I left off (although I’m going to edit the resources page and highlight it) that I’ve leaned on much preparing these daily posts is my favorite OVERVIEW tool – Gospel Transformation Bible: English Standard Version. They do NOT handle every detail you’ll have a question about, but keep showing how the OT points to Jesus and will help keep the big picture clear.

Remember to pray as you start each day that God would highlight something about Himself in your reading and then show you specifically how that revelation of who He is should shape your thinking and actions. As we keep reading His words, may we grow to love, trust, worship and obey Him (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) more!

LEVITICUS 2-3 – Lots of details, so don’t get bogged down… Overarching themes that stood out to me… 1) All the details are ANOTHER reminder that God cares about the details of life – there’s NO area that’s neutral or where you can just do your own thing.  2) “without blemish” – Because the animal sacrifices are a pointer to Jesus, our sinless Savior. Remember in His trials over and over they could find no fault in Him.  3) Lots of priests laying their hands on the offering before the sacrifice, reminding them and the people that the animal pictured SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT – the sinful human DESERVED judgment/death, but God graciously provided a substitute. Pointing us repeatedly to Jesus!

I was really blessed by this hour-ish overview sermon of Leviticus. It’s preached by Mark Dever, who I’ve benefited much from his ministry over the years. He has an hour-ish overview sermon on every book of the Bible, and I’ve heard many of them and had forgotten how helpful (and enjoyable and convicting) they were, until I listened to this one: https://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/sermon/the-world-is-not-thy-friend-nor-the-worlds-law-the-message-of-leviticus/

JOHN 21 – In v 15-19 Jesus gives Peter an opportunity to affirm his love for Jesus for each time that he had denied him. Note Peter’s strong reaction in v 17 at the “third time”. And then Jesus re-affirms his call to Peter at the end of v 19 – “Follow me.” Jesus predicts that Peter’s death will be martyrdom (don’t miss the beautiful way of expressing this in v 19 – “by what kind of death he was to GLORIFY GOD.”)  Peter is tempted to be distracted wondering about what would happen in fellow apostle John’s life (the human author of this Gospel), and asks Jesus what would happen at the end of John’s life. Jesus’ response so convicts and re-focuses me: “…what is that to you? YOU follow me!” (v 22)

Tomorrow we do NOT start Acts, but Psalms (then back to Acts mid-July after Psalms)… Here’s a 9-minute video overview of the book of Psalms: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/psalms/

And, since it’ll be a few months before we get back to the New Testament (because Psalms is by far the longest book in the Bible), in the place just under this where I normally have several verses from Psalms, over the next few months (when our official readings are actually in Psalms) I’ll have several verses from the NT. I like to keep in both testaments, to keep reminding me that a believer today looks at the OT through the eyes of having seen it fulfilled in Jesus, which brings a richness and somewhat different applications. Quick example – you and I are NOT to read from Leviticus and then go out and sacrifice an animal, since Jesus IS our substitute and He has fulfilled the sacrifices we’re reading about in Leviticus.

Optional Psalm 65 – A reminder that God is worthy of praise from all people (there are repeated missionary reminders through this Psalm) and all of nature.

Starting tomorrow (and for the next few months) we’ll be in Psalms for our “official” readings. So in this section I’ll place several verses from a NT text for those that want to keep in both OT and NT.

Optional Proverbs 16:20-24 – includes a few verses on the importance of gracious, persuasive talk – so important in a world that is far too comfortable with put-downs and verbal slams.