TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Leviticus 19:1-4; 1 Peter 1:13-16
It doesn’t take much time on the Internet to discover differing and even contradicting medical “advice.” One day, coffee will kill you; the next, it’s a superfood. Even serious ailments like cancer and mental illnesses have a broad spectrum of contradictory possible treatments and therapies. When it comes to something as significant as our health, it can be discouraging to see flexible and wavering standards of care.
Isn’t it also discouraging there are so many different and contradictory standards of holiness in the world’s religions? One group might celebrate social morality by protecting the rights of the unborn while ignoring God’s commands about personal morality in areas like alcohol and sexual promiscuity. Another group may exercise capital punishment of homosexuals while celebrating adultery and polygamy. When God is not the standard for holiness, anything is possible.
In the book of Leviticus, God communicates many laws concerning the Israelites’ holiness. One of His most repeated phrases is, “I am the Lord.” He then commands them to be holy, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Whether He’s referencing food laws, worship regulations, or sexual conduct, God’s overwhelming motivation for His people’s purity is His own holiness.
The more we see God as the standard for our holiness, the more we see He’s not only rescuing us from the consequences of our behavior, but He’s also leading us to Himself and His holiness. When we are tempted with sin, His name and His glory are at stake. In talking about the rebellion of the Israelites by the Red Sea, the psalmist says, “Yet He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make known His mighty power” (Psalm 106:8).
Today, I will…consider a temptation that seems strongest, and pray specifically for God’s holiness to become the standard through which I resist that that temptation.