To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
In Chapter 4 of “The Grace Blueprint – The Story of the Tabernacle”, the author Lisa Taylor brings about the fact that the Book of Leviticus is a worship instruction manual for both the priests and the people. When I read through that section, I was determined to share the content as devotion once I became part of worship ministry. The LORD has opened the door for me this month! So, sharing as a reminder to myself on the LORD’s expectations regarding worship and what it means to be a worshiper.
“In the book of Leviticus, the word holy is mentioned close to 90 times, sacrifice approximately 300 times and atonement, nearly 50 times. The message of Leviticus is loud and clear. Worship is more than a ritual. Worship is holy. Worship is costly. Worship requires atonement. The following biblical principles about worship stand out in Leviticus.
Worship is not exclusive: Poor and wealthy alike could approach God through obedient sacrifice and receive forgiveness for their sins. However, no one was to approach God empty handed (Exodus 34:20). This meant everyone could afford to bring something to God in worship. The New Testament teaches that Christian worship involves not only verbal praise to God, but also includes doing good works and obeying godly leadership (Hebrews 13:15-17), which are actions expected of every worshiper.
Worship is about motive: Because God is interested in the condition of a person’s heart, the attitude of a worshiper is crucial. A worshiper must not only acknowledge his need for cleansing but also respond with thanksgiving for God’s grace. In the New Testament, a Christian offers their whole self to God, their body as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1).
Worship involves restitution: God commands the worshipper to make amends if his behavior has harmed anyone. This command to make things right shows the importance God places on a person’s relationship with others (Leviticus 5:16). Restitution realigns a relationship and makes reconciliation between two estranged people possible. Jesus said “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). If we have knowingly offended someone and not made amends, then our worship is worthless.
Worship involves obedience: For the Israelite, worship must be conducted according to God’s guidelines given in Leviticus. The benefits of divine grace – atonement, forgiveness, restoration, and righteousness – are contingent on the worshipper obeying God’s divine demands regarding sacrifice. In the New Testament, Jesus taught, “God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). For God’s spirit and man’s spirit to connect in worship, truth must be included. Peter talks about purifying “your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit (1 Peter 1:22). Effective worship embraces God’s truth and rejects ignorance and disobedience.
The Priestly blessing: The priestly blessing at the end of Numbers 6 is the blessing commanded by the LORD for Aaron and his sons to pronounce over the people each day. God had said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel” (Numbers 6:23). These may have been the very same words used at that first worship service: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). God expected the priests to bless His people with words that would instill in their hearts the understanding that their LORD is the source of happiness, safety, favor, and peace. The Lord explained to Moses that by the priests pronouncing this blessing, “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27).”
I pray that we are steadfast in complying with these Biblical principles regarding worship every day.
- Psalm 29:2 “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.”
- Psalm 96:9 “Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!”
- Psalm 100:2 “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
- John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
~ Yoga Raj