READ: Leviticus 8
THINK: What kind of relationship do you have with your pastors and leaders? Do you appreciate them, or take them for granted? Are you willing to learn from them, or do you feel that you already know what's best? Do you support and encourage them, or do you complain when they don't do as you prefer? The fact is that God uses imperfect people, even in leadership. And just as God appoints leaders, He holds them accountable for how they handle their responsibilities. They don't need our judgment-they need our prayers for God's guidance. Yet as much as we need leaders to lend vision, encourage and equip us for effective service, we don't need leadership to gain us access to God. Through faith in Christ-our eternal High Priest-we each have the individual liberty to approach God "with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
RESPOND: What process does this chapter describe involving Aaron (Moses' brother) and his sons? (See 8:2 note.) Why was the priest's role necessary? From which tribe of Israel did the priests come? In what way did a priest serve as a mediator, or a go-between, who facilitated interaction and resolved issues between two parties? (See 8:2 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) Why is the priest's role-as described in Leviticus-no longer necessary? (See 8:2 note, subpoint 3.) Why and in what ways is Jesus our permanent high priest? (See 8:2 note, subpoint 3.)
PRAY: Give thanks for your church leaders. Pray that God will bless and guide them and their families. Then praise Jesus for being your ultimate Mediator, providing the opportunity for a personal, eternal relationship with God.
ACT: Do something specific and practical to show gratitude to your pastors or youth leaders. Write a personal note or send an email thanking your leaders for their investment in your life. If you have the means, consider taking your youth pastor out for ice cream or giving him or her a small token of appreciation. You could also stop by the office and help a pastor with a task that will allow him or her more time to prepare for ministry.
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