READ: Leviticus 9-10
THINK: How do you decide if what you think, say, do or buy is appropriate for you as a Christian? Do you even think about it? Perhaps you assume that your freedom in Christ allows for most anything that isn't blatantly immoral. It seems that many churchgoers simply watch cultural trends and make choices that are acceptable to most people. But Jesus' followers aren't supposed to live by the standards of the world, but by the principles of God's Word. As this passage points out, there is a difference between things that are holy-fit for God's people and purposes-and things that are common. Notice that it doesn't say things that are terrible, detestable or evil-simply "common" (10:10). That's not good enough for God's people. Their possessions, activities and behaviors should be unquestionably uncommon, so people can see a positive difference that challenges and inspires them to consider Christ for themselves.
RESPOND: Why were animal sacrifices necessary, and how did they serve as object lessons? (See 9:8 note.) What is substitutionary atonement? (See 9:8 note, subpoints 1 & 4.) What did a person express by offering a sacrifice, and what made a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God? (See 9:8 note, subpoints 2 & 3.) From a New Testament perspective, why were the sacrifices imperfect, and how are they prophetic-pointing to future fulfillment? (See 9:8 note, subpoint 5.) What does it mean the Nadab and Abihu "offered unauthorized fire," and why was the consequence so severe? (See 10:1 and 10:2 notes and v. 3.) Why is it crucial for spiritual leaders to abide by God's commands and standards rather than follow their own inclinations and desires? What harm can unfaithful, irresponsible leaders do to the church? (See 10:2 note, subpoint 2.) What does this indicate about the qualifications for church leaders? What do you think it means to "distinguish between the holy and the common" (10:10), and why is this vital for God's people? What kinds of things are "common" or acceptable to most people but not appropriate for God's people?
PRAY: Thank Jesus for taking your punishment, paying the price for your sin and providing forgiveness. Ask God for discernment and discipline to recognize and resist things that are not appropriate for a follower of Jesus.
ACT: Examine your life-particularly your possessions, relationships, conversations and entertainment choices. Some of these things may be acceptable to friends, people around you, and society in general-but are they spiritually beneficial? Could any of these things hinder your spiritual growth or influence? Could you set a better example for others? If so, make a positive change toward more Christ-honoring choices and holy living.
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