APRIL: Part 4

Each day as you engage the Scripture, we recommend following this pattern of devotional reading. 

[Take a brief moment of silence to quiet your heart.]  

  1. Read the Scripture aloud.
  2. Seek out where King Jesus is at work in the Scripture.
  3. Pray over the Scripture.
  4. Discern how this Scripture impacts your life.

[Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus in one tangible way today.] 

Day 1

Leviticus 1:1-3:17

Family Devotional:

Today, we begin reading the book of Leviticus – the third book of both the Old Testament and the Pentateuch. All too often, Leviticus is skimmed over as it can be viewed as merely an outline of the sacrificial systems of Israel. In reality, the book is deeply rooted in practicality and a description of the incredible character of God. We will begin our journey in Leviticus with a devotional reading from the Torah Portions, the weekly reading plan of the Messianic community. It reads as follows:

“The title ‘Leviticus’ is derived from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) version of the Torah. The book of Leviticus is predominantly concerned with Levitical rituals. An older Hebrew name for the book was ‘The Laws of the Priesthood,’ but in Judaism today, it is referred to by the name Vayikra (ויקרא), which means ‘And He called.’ Vayikra is the first Hebrew word of the book, which begins by saying, ‘And the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from inside the tent of meeting’ (Leviticus 1:1).

Leviticus describes the sacrificial service and the duties of the priests. It also introduces ritual purity, the biblical diet, the calendar of appointed times, laws of holiness and laws relating to redemption, vows and tithes. In addition, Leviticus discourses on ethical instruction and holiness. The twenty-fourth reading from the Torah is eponymous with the Hebrew name of the book it introduces: Vayikra. This portion introduces the sacrificial service and describes five different types of sacrifices.”

Daily Demonstration:

As we begin our journey through the book of Leviticus, take some time today to gain as much context for the book as you can. On today’s plan, you will find a BibleProject video that will introduce you to many of the themes and backgrounds of Leviticus. From there, consider beginning to listen to Dr. Michael Heiser’s Naked Bible Podcast specific to the book of Leviticus. This will be a great companion podcast as you read through the text in the following weeks.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)

Bible Project Video:

Day 2

Leviticus 4:1-5:26

Family Devotional:

The outline of the sacrificial system of Israel is a depiction of the acts of faith that Israel was to carry out in response to both their sin and their desire to be a part of God’s kingdom family. Using well-known practices of the day, God led his people to demonstrate faith in ways that would honor him and also honor each other. For example, Leviticus 5:4 calls God’s people to be true to their word. In other words, if they make an obligation, they are to honor that obligation. Jesus reflects on this mandate in Matthew 5:37, where he teaches his people that going against one’s word is, literally, “from the evil one.”

Daily Demonstration:

How well would you say you keep your word? In faith, let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no and watch how God uses your faithfulness to advance the Gospel.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Brian Rosner, Paul and the Law, (Amazon)

Day 3

SABBATH MEAL

Matthew 5:23-30

Family Devotional:

Matthew 5:23-30 inserts us into the middle of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In this particular section of the sermon, Jesus takes time to teach on the importance of settling matters with others. In the First Century, people who owed a debt were to serve prison time until they achieved the means to repay their debts. Often, this would never be attainable. Thus, Jesus is teaching his people to avoid these problems on the front-end – a proactive approach to relationship, rather a reactive.

Daily Demonstration:

As you sit with family and friends to have a meal tonight, consider the aspects of relationships with those around you. Are there any disputes that need to be handled? If so, commit to settling those disputes today and sit down to a peaceful meal with them tonight.

Additional Resources:

• Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount, (Amazon)
• Faithlife Study Bible, Download, (Website: https://faithlife.com/products/faithlife-study-bible)

Sabbath-Specific Resources:
• BibleProject, Theme Video, Sabbath
• Celebration Church, Prayer and Resource Guide for Practicing Sabbath, (Website: www.celebration.org/resources)

Day 4

Leviticus 6:8-7:10

Family Devotional:

Today we begin the next large section of the book of Leviticus. In the chapters that follow, God outlines essential mandates of the sacrificial and offering system that continue to have practical applications in the modern world. We will start again by engaging with the Torah Portions for a more in-depth look into the next significant section of Leviticus. It reads as follows:

“The twenty-fifth reading from the Torah and second reading from the book of Leviticus is called Tzav (צו), which means ‘Command.’ The name comes from the first word of Leviticus 6:9, where the LORD says to Moses, ‘Command Aaron and his sons …’ Tzav reiterates the five types of sacrifices introduced in the previous portion but this time discusses the priestly regulations pertaining to them. The last chapter of the reading describes the seven-day ordination of Aaron and his sons as they prepared to enter the holy priesthood.”

Daily Demonstration:

Today, consider what it means to obey a “command.” Think about times in your life when you were given a command. Additionally, think about the times you gave a command. What was the expectation? The heart behind the command? Think about God’s commandments. What do you think God expects? What is the heart behind his commands? Consider engaging in conversation with a loved one or friend to dig deeper into these questions.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)
• Walter Coleman Wright, The Sacrificial System of the Old Testament, (Amazon)

DAY 5

PALM SUNDAY

John 12:1-50

Family Devotional:

Today is Palm Sunday – a week before Jesus hung from the cross in Jerusalem. On this day, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy as he triumphantly rode into Jerusalem as a crowd waved palm branches as he passed – the king had arrived! Unfortunately, as we know, this celebratory entrance would not end the way it started. Just before Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is the story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with perfume. This story can be interpreted in many ways, but a particularly powerful way to view it is in light of Jesus’ kingship. In these days, royalty was not only known by riches, but by smell. Wealthy members of society would cover themselves in perfume so that people knew their status. It is interesting to note that this woman offers her perfume to Jesus, who then rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. In other words, people could not see Jesus coming, but they could smell him coming due to the offering of the woman. The king had arrived, and he was going to save his people in a way that they could not have completely understood.

Daily Demonstration:

On this first day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, take time to honor Jesus as king. Up until his triumphal entry, Jesus’ identity as ling was kept secret from the general public. From this point forward, it would be clear who Jesus is and what he came to do to all those involved. Thank Jesus for his saving grace today and place your focus on his perfect sacrifice – it will be the theme of the week to come!

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• Lois Tverberg, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, (Amazon)
• N.T. Wright, How God Became King, (Amazon)

Day 6

Matthew 9:10-17

Family Devotional:

Jesus famously told his people that he came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). In line with this way of life, Jesus did not desire to spend his time amongst those who could do anything for him but instead focused on those who needed the kingdom. Matthew 9:10-17 includes the story of Jesus’ presence with Matthew and his friends – of whom happened to be “sinners.” Did this experience harm Jesus’ reputation in the earthly realm? Sure. But did that matter to him? No. Why? Because Jesus’ eyes are set on providing an eternity for the righteous and the “sinner.”

Daily Demonstration:

On this second day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible tells us that Jesus cursed a fig tree, wept over Israel, and cleansed the temple (see Mark 11:12-19). One of the driving themes of Jesus’ ministry on this day was to keep the temple sacred. Today, God’s presence no longer exclusively dwells in a temple but instead dwells within his family – his family is now the temple. Such a lifestyle includes keeping the “temple” sacred and inviting others to do the same. Consider, today, reaching out to friends that you don’t spend much time with – perhaps those who have not placed their loyalty in King Jesus. Invite them over for dinner this Friday and show them hospitality. As you exemplify Jesus in this way, allow God to work and move in the hearts of everyone present.

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Robert Stamps, Evangelism in the 21st Century
• Norman Geisler, Conversational Evangelism, (Amazon)

Day 7

Leviticus 7:11-8:36

Family Devotional:

One of the offerings described in Leviticus 7 is known as the “fellowship offering.” Interestingly, God asks that people bring this offering by their own hands (see Leviticus 7:28-30). In other words, God desired that his people give thanks personally. This, by no means, was God on a power-trip, but instead was an intimate moment between the creator and the created. In God’s eyes, the best person to come to him and give thanks is the person themselves.

Daily Demonstration:

On this third day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus finds the fig tree withered, goes to the temple to combat religious leaders, and delivers the Olivet Discourse (see Matthew 21:23-27;33-46). Additionally, this also happens to be the day that Judas bargains with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus. Today is indeed a day in which Jesus got to work on radically standing up for the kingdom of God in the temple courts – an action that would get anyone killed in the First Century. Jesus is our defender and worthy of our thankfulness and praise for his bravery, conviction, and sacrifice. Take time today to give God an offering of thanksgiving. Remember, his desire has always been for this to be an intimate moment between Father and child.

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Brian Rosner, Paul and the Law, (Amazon)

DAY 8

PASSOVER BEGINS

Exodus 12:1-51

Family Devotional:

Exodus 12 tells the incredible story of the deliverance of God’s people from Egyptian rule. In these days, the nation of Israel served as slaves to the Egyptians, living each of their days in harsh conditions. Through the bravery of Moses, God saved his people from this reality, which culminated in the Passover – an event in which God’s people were marked as “safe” from death through animal sacrifice and the spreading of blood over doorposts. Moving forward in history, the Passover event would be instituted as a holiday in which God’s people are to recollect on God’s grace, deliverance, and provision.

Daily Demonstration:

On this fourth day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, the Passover holiday begins. In Jesus’ day, not much of this day is mentioned in scripture, aside from Judas’ dealings with the Sanhedrin to orchestrate the arrest of Christ. In truth, Jesus likely spent this day in preparation for the Passover observance that he would soon participate in with his disciples. Take time today to do just that – reflect and prepare. Look back upon the goodness of God in the lives of his people and your life in particular. Prepare for this week’s Sabbath meal, as it will undoubtedly be a powerful time of remembrance and praise for King Jesus.

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Episode 270, Exodus 11-12

Day 9
Jeremiah 7:16-29

Family Devotional:

As we have been engaging with the book of Leviticus, it has been evident that the sacrificial system was a massive part of the Old Testament lifestyle. This system was not set up so that God’s people would have to work to get God’s affirmation. Sacrifices were meant to be a means by which God’s people could recognize their sin, answer for them, and refocus their allegiance to YHWH. Over time, though Israel continued to make sacrifices, the “why behind the what” of the system began to fade into the background. The sacrificial system with no relational connection became dry and lacking in obedience.

Daily Demonstration:

On this fifth day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus and the disciples partake in the Passover meal, the Lord’s Supper is instituted, and Judas turns Jesus over to the Sanhedrin (see John 13:1-30). The Thursday before Resurrection Sunday is known as “Maundy (or “mandate,” in Greek) Thursday” because Jesus commanded his disciples to follow his example of servanthood. These acts included remembering and honoring the actions of God in the past, as demonstrated in the Lord’s Supper. Similar to our reading in Jeremiah, we must continue to obey the mandates of Christ, keep our faith secure, remember “why” we do ministry, and focus our attention on YHWH. How can you serve someone today? How can you use this opportunity as a time of reflection of God’s goodness?

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Ruth Anne Reese, Theology of Communion
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Robert Stamps, The Message of Communion

Day 10

SABBATH MEAL, GOOD FRIDAY

Romans 1:1-32

Family Devotional:

Romans is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome sometime in the late AD50’s. As a church planted by believers from Pentecost, believers were in the throes of realigning their lives with the worldview of Christ. Paul wrote the Roman epistle to precede a visit – a visit that would serve, in part, to help them grasp deeper aspects of theology. Interestingly, Paul begins the letter by addressing sin, death, and the human condition. If read through the right lens, Romans 1 allows believers to see the bigger picture of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Humans are deserving of death, and Paul provides a picture of such an outcome of life. Believers, however, find their hope in Jesus’ triumph over death and the new reality of an eternity with the Father.

Daily Demonstration:

On this sixth day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus was sent to trial, Judas killed himself, Jesus carried his own cross up the hill of Golgotha, Christ died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn, the Passover lambs were slain, and Jesus was placed in a tomb (see Matthew 27:32:56). This day, also known as “Good Friday,” seems not to bear its name well. It feels much more “bad” than it does “good” as Jesus was crucified on this day. This, however, was much more than just a death – this was the atoning sacrifice of the savior of the world. Christ, himself, was the perfect Passover lamb. Though our hearts are heavy today, our hearts can also rest assured in the hope that has come to God’s people through Jesus’ sacrifice – eternity with him in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Romans 1 helps us to see the other side of a life with Jesus – a life marred by heartache, loss, and sinful desire with no eternal impact. Perhaps today is best spent at the foot of the cross with those you love during tonight’s meal. Partake in the Lord’s Supper, remember the actions of the Lord, and spend time in reflection with those you love.

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• Joshua McNall, The Mosaic of Atonement, (Amazon)

Sabbath-Specific Resources:
• BibleProject, Weekly Podcast, 7th Day Rest Series
• Celebration Church, Prayer and Resource Guide for Practicing Sabbath, (Website: www.celebration.org/resources)

DAY 11

Exodus 33:12-23

Family Devotional:

As we continue to participate in the Passover holiday, it is essential to remember the reason for such a time of recollection and praise. To better understand the celebration of Passover from the perspective of Israel, let’s take time to read the Torah Portions for a look into the foundation of the season.
Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesach) commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.
Daily Demonstration:

On this seventh day of the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Pilate, under the influence of Jewish leaders, ordered there be placed a large stone at the entrance of Jesus’ tomb (see Matthew 27:57-66). In this way, they could make a mockery of the claims of resurrection made by Jesus during his ministry. In many ways, the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday seemed as though Jesus had lost. In today’s reading from Exodus, Moses wanted to see the glory of God, a sight that had the power to kill a human being. Jesus made the promise to his disciples that he would show himself to believers, as well (see John 14:21). Though they had forgotten this promise, the disciples were only hours away from an experience similar to Moses’ – the glory of God right in front of them. What does the glory of God look like to you? Take time to reflect on his glory today, as tomorrow will be a day of celebration.

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• BibleProject, Podcast, God Series
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)

Day 12

EASTER

Matthew 28:1-20

Family Devotional:

Often, the crucifixion is seen as the apex of the Christian faith. Obviously, Jesus’ atoning death on the cross is a pivotal aspect of YHWH’s plan of redemption. All that said, it is important to realize that there were a lot of people who claimed to be a messiah – many of whom were killed for their claim. What’s the difference between those people and Jesus? Well, let’s put it this way: all of the other people are still in the grave. On Resurrection Sunday, Jesus Christ did exactly what he said he was going to do. He rose from the grave – defeating both sin and death. In other words, the apex of the Christian faith can be found in the resurrection of our one true God, the savior of the world.

Daily Demonstration:

The week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion began as a celebratory event as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey alongside his disciples. As the week wore on, however, that celebration quickly turned dark. By Friday, Jesus was crucified – but he wouldn’t stay that way. At the end of the week, there was reason to celebrate once more as Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to his disciples. Today, spend time with your friends and family and celebrate this incredible news: Jesus Christ is risen!

Additional Resources:

• Celebration Church, Online Resources, The Table: A Passover Dinner Guide
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Ben Witherington, Easter & the Resurrection
• N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope, (Amazon)

Day 13
Exodus 34:1-9

Family Devotional:

In Exodus 33, Moses asked to see the glory of God. Knowing such an experience could quite literally kill him, God showed himself to Moses in an incredible way. Exodus 34 tells the story of God passing in front of Moses to reveal his glory. Interestingly, this glory was not only his physical presence but also the characteristics of YHWH. The human experience with the Father is a vital part of the glory of God. God’s desire to show Moses his love simultaneously showed Moses his glory.

Daily Demonstration:

Knowing that the glory of God is not only that of his appearance, it is crucial that we, as God’s people, embrace the very nature of YHWH. God’s compassion and faithfulness to his people reveal an aspect of his glory that no one could have predicted. God desires his family. Perhaps one of the best ways to honor God’s glory is to reflect it to the world. How can you honor God by demonstrating his character today? Is there someone to forgive? Is there someone in your life who needs grace? Is there someone in need of compassion and care? Be bold and reflect the glory of God to the world today.

Additional Resources:

• Michael Heiser, What Does God Want?, (Amazon)
• Kingdom Roots, Podcast, Scot McKnight, The Great Gospel Experiment

DAY 14
Romans 2:1-29

Family Devotional:

Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome to clear up aspects of theology that had either been ignored or misunderstood. Remember, the Roman church was filled with people who were radically saved at Pentecost – their whole worlds had been turned upside down. Romans 2 outlines, not only sin, but the judgment and consequence of sin. Paul spends much of this section of scripture, not ranking sins in order of severity, but instead by helping the church to see that sin is sin. In other words, no matter the sin, the response should always be a turning back towards God – repentance – and a humble recognition of the grace of God.

Daily Demonstration:

As harsh as it may sound, the punishment for sin is far greater than any of us would like to admit. It is critical to recognize this truth because it better aligns us to see the incredible grace of God through his son Jesus Christ. As the atoning sacrifice for sin, Jesus not only took on the judgment of humanity’s shortcomings but defeated death itself in the process. Thank God for holding his back his judgment on you today. Are there any sins in your life that need to be addressed? Consider turning from those sins and looking to God in repentance.

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Matt O’Reilly, Sin & Sanctification
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Kevin Watson, The Power of Confessing Our Sins

Day 15
Exodus 34:10-28

Family Devotional:

One of the most crucial aspects of understanding the kingdom of God is to grasp the importance of allegiance. Allegiance, or loyalty, is the decision to side with a party in both thought and action. In today’s reading, we see the issue of allegiance rear its head. In these days, many outside influences were begging for the loyalty of Israel – pagan practices, beliefs, and worship. YHWH, however, asked that his people would turn from such allegiance, and instead place their loyalty in him. In many ways, the theme of allegiance is a thread that runs throughout the whole story of the Bible.

Daily Demonstration:

Similar to Israel in the Old Testament, today’s world consists of many aspects of culture that demand your loyalty. Everything from brands, to thought patterns, to financial institutions demand your allegiance. Perhaps there is no greater time to examine where your loyalties lie than today. Are there aspects of culture that have put God in the backseat? Be honest about those things. Look to God as your source for life today and pray a prayer of allegiance and loyalty to his kingdom.

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, John Barclay, The Gospel & the Empire
• Matthew Bates, Gospel Allegiance, (Amazon)

Day 16
Exodus 34:29-35

Family Devotional:

Spending time with God is influential at every level of the human experience. It’s easy to assume that spending time with the Lord is beneficial for one’s spiritual journey, but would it shock you to know it can also have a positive physical impact? In today’s reading, Moses’ time spent with God impacted him so deeply that people could literally see it on his face. It positively affected the way people perceived him. The power of God has this kind of transformative impact. When we spend time with God, people may not know precisely what is different, but there will be a noticeable, exciting change to the way a believer lives their life.

Daily Demonstration:

A great place to start is to analyze how we are spending time with God. This doesn’t always have to be an intimate moment – you can spend God in your car, in your office, and even in conversation with others! Now, begin to think about how time spent with God changes you. Consider pursuing other opportunities to spend time with the Lord and, like Moses, watch how even your physical character begins to change!

Additional Resources:

• Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, (Amazon)
• Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book, (Amazon)
• Eugene Peterson, Praying the Psalms, (Amazon)

DAY 17
SABBATH MEAL

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Family Devotional:

Ezekiel 37 is one of the more famous visions of the prophet Ezekiel. At this point in history, Israel had split into two “kingdoms,” one of which was captured and brought into exile in Babylonia. As a younger contemporary to the prophet Jeremiah, Ezekiel found himself ministering in Babylonia, while Jeremiah prophesied in Judah, those not in exile. Ezekiel’s vision, also known as the “Valley of Dry Bones,” speaks directly to the turmoil of the day. Ezekiel comes up upon a valley of death, including two sticks of wood. In this vision, Ezekiel witnessed as the dry bones began to fill with flesh and come back to life, and the two sticks were reunited. The meaning? Ezekiel prophesied that Israel would, one day, reunite and live in peace with each other – the way God intended them to live.

Daily Demonstration:

The spiritual death and separation of Israel were, believe it or not, saddening to the heart of God. Since the very beginning, God desired a family to spend eternity alongside. In Ezekiel’s vision, we see that one day, this will become a reality, as Israel reunites and comes back to life. This vision, however, can have a meaningful impact on our lives today. Are there aspects of your life that seem dry and in disunity with God? As you sit down for a Sabbath meal with friends and family tonight, consider being honest about those areas. Pray that God would regenerate the dead aspects of your life. Pray that God’s people would be regenerated as we look towards eternity.

Additional Resources:

• The Table, Podcast, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Nicene Creed

Sabbath-Specific Resources:
• John Garr, Family Worship, (Amazon)
• Celebration Church, Prayer and Resource Guide for Practicing Sabbath, (Website: www.celebration.org/resources)

Day 18
Leviticus 9:1-24

Family Devotional:

As we begin the next phase of our reading through the book of Leviticus, let’s reference the Torah Portions for a deep-dive into this section of the Torah. It reads as follows:
Shemini is the twenty-sixth reading from the Torah and third reading from the book of Leviticus. The word shemini (שמיני) means “eighth,” and it comes from the first words of Exodus 9:1, which says, “Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel” (Leviticus 9:1). The text goes on to describe the events of the eight day after setting up the Tabernacle, a phenomenal worship service followed by a tragic incident. The reading concludes with the biblical dietary laws regarding animals fit for consumption and prohibitions regarding those that are unfit.
Daily Demonstration:

Eight days after the construction of the Tabernacle, the priests were commanded to begin their ministry. Effectively reaching the nations in the name of Jesus is a ministry that, similar to the setting up of the Tabernacle, requires prayer, preparation, and assignment. Are there any necessary steps you could take today to prepare you for ministry? Consider educational paths, evangelistic best practices, and honing of the gifts of the spirit. Take the steps necessary to be best prepared.

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Brian Russell, Tips on Teaching the Bible
• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)

Day 19
Leviticus 10:1-20

Family Devotional:

Leviticus 10 is not one of the most upbeat passages of scripture in the Old Testament – that’s for sure! In this episode, we witness the death of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, due to an “unauthorized” fire. The text does not give us enough information to grasp exactly what happened in this instance, but it is clear that these two men failed to do what God had asked them. If there is any takeaway from such a sad event, it is to do that which God has called you to do with excellence and grace. No – God is not going to “consume you,” but there’s a lot of other things in the modern world that certainly can. Stay focused on your mission, do not abuse the power you have received, and take the responsibility necessary to care for those around you.

Daily Demonstration:

What opportunities has God put in your path? Do you feel like you have taken those opportunities seriously? How could you operate with more excellence in this capacity? What kind of impact on the world does God want you to have today?

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Kingdom Roots, Podcast, Scot McKnight, Paul as Pastor

DAY 20
Matthew 3:11-17

Family Devotional:

The story of Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3 is a necessary section of scripture to understand for a few reasons. First, it gives believers a sense of the purpose of baptism. It is an outward declaration of the allegiance declared to the kingdom of God. More, Jesus’ baptism also demonstrated the spiritual implications of baptism. Notice, as soon as Jesus was baptized, something in the spiritual realm shifted. So much so, in fact, that the heavens opened and God himself affirmed Jesus’ identity. These two truths help us to see that baptism is more than just a commitment. Baptism is a siding with God’s kingdom paired with a declaration of war on the enemy. God’s people are made new through the incredible work of Jesus – evidenced by baptism and participation in the kingdom.

Daily Demonstration:

Have you been baptized? Perhaps there is no better time than now to declare loyalty to King Jesus. Do you know other people who have not taken the step of baptism? Consider reaching out to these people and presenting them with the gospel and the meaning of baptism. Pray that God would move on the hearts of his people.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Baptism
• Michael Heiser, The Unseen Realm, (Amazon)

Day 21

Leviticus 11:1-23

Family Devotional:

On the surface, the food laws in Leviticus could appear as mundane. Upon deeper inspection, however, there are many lessons to be gleaned from these laws. In Leviticus 11, God outlines the importance of his people to avoid the meat of “unclean” animals. Interestingly, God goes as far as to forbid Israel from even touching such animals. This is an important lesson in temptation. When you know you shouldn’t engage in something, it’s best not to put yourself in a situation in which you are close to the very thing you are looking to avoid.

Daily Demonstration:

Take a moment to be honest with yourself. What are some of the most influential temptations in your life? In what ways are putting yourself within “touching” distance of those temptations? How can you avoid both the temptation and the nearness of the temptation? Act upon those things today.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods, (Amazon)

Day 22
Romans 3:1-31

Family Devotional:

In chapter three of the book of Romans, Paul speaks to the faithfulness of God. In our readings throughout the book of Leviticus, we have been exposed to numerous aspects of law and its purpose for the nation of Israel. Paul addresses the law through the lens of the New Testament audience in Romans 3. He helps to reassure people that, though the law existed to create a standard for living, it is not where believers are to derive their hope. The law, by itself, can be condemning and unreachable. Salvation, as Paul notes, does not come by way of the law but instead through the incredible faithfulness of God and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Daily Demonstration:

One of the ways the enemy attacks God’s people is by convincing them that they must “work” their way to YHWH. Why does the enemy so heavily utilize this tactic? Simply because “working” our way to God is impossible. The incredible part of the story is that God came back to get us! You cannot earn salvation, but you certainly can step into it through allegiance to King Jesus and participation in God’s kingdom. Has the enemy tried to convince you to “work” your way to God? How? In what ways can your perspective on this shift? How can you move from “earning salvation” to “demonstrating salvation?”

Additional Resources:

• Matthew Bates, Gospel Allegiance, (Amazon)
• Kingdom Roots, Podcast, Scot McKnight, Salvation by Allegiance Alone

DAY 23
Leviticus 11:24-47

Family Devotional:

The latter half of Leviticus 11 deals directly with worship practices in Israel. In particular, God outlines the preparation of the people before they engage in worship. In Levitical days, people who were “unclean” were not permitted to worship as to keep order and avoid chaos. In the modern world, there still exists a preparation before worship. Numerous times in the New Testament, Paul stresses the importance of order within worship. Thus, necessary steps must be taken to ensure healthy postures of heart and environments that are prepared to worship YHWH.

Daily Demonstration:

Are there any distractions in your life that are holding you back from fully engaging God in worship? Perhaps it is anxiety, shame, or suffering? Remember, God desires all of your heart. Don’t be afraid to take the necessary steps to overcome these barriers in the name of Jesus.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus

Day 24
SABBATH MEAL

2 Samuel 6:1-7:29

Family Devotional:

2 Samuel chapters six and seven tell the story of David’s moving of the Ark of the Covenant – the place in which God’s presence dwelled in the Old Testament – and the covenant made between David and YHWH. Though David learned some interesting lessons along the way, his successful movement of the ark to Jerusalem marked an occasion that caused celebration for it had been rescued from Israel’s enemies. Immediately following this event, God makes a covenant with David that would change all of history – his family line would carry on forever. Guess who emerged from this lineage? Jesus Christ, himself!

Daily Demonstration:

King David’s story is helpful for God’s people as he demonstrates the reality of a life with God on this side of the New Heaven and the New Earth. Guess what? Even with good intentions in mind, you may not always get it right. God, however, is filled with grace and mercy. David was imperfect, but still became the recipient of an incredible covenant. Now, Jesus has ushered in a new covenant with God’s family – one that promises a hope, a future, and an eternity with the Father. What kind of standard do you hold yourself to? Is it aimed to be too perfect? In what ways? How could you readjust your standard to stay holy, but give yourself grace? Consider talking this out with a loved one – perhaps even over tonight’s Sabbath meal!

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, John Walton, What is Covenant?
• Sandra Richter, The Epic of Eden, (Amazon)

Sabbath-Specific Resources:
• John Mark Comer, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, (Amazon)
• Celebration Church, Prayer and Resource Guide for Practicing Sabbath, (Website: www.celebration.org/resources)

Day 25
Leviticus 12:1-8

Family Devotional:

Leviticus 12 begins a section of the book that outlines the methodology of how Israel was to care for the sick, vulnerable, and impure. As we start this journey, let’s look to the Torah Portions for a quick description of what is to come. It reads as follows:
The name of the twenty-seventh reading from the Torah is Tazria (תזריע), which means “she conceived.” The name is derived from the words of Leviticus 12:2, where the LORD says to Moses, “When a woman [conceives] and bears a male child …” Leviticus 12 discusses the laws of purification after childbirth. Leviticus 13 introduces the laws for diagnosing and quarantining lepers. Except in biblical calendar leap years, Tazria is read together with the subsequent Torah portion, Metzorah, on the same Sabbath.
Daily Demonstration:

One of the positive outcomes of the methodology for women who give birth in Israel is that it would separate them from their daily work to care for their newborn child. In many ways, the law served as a way to ensure that all of God’s people were cared for – sick and well. How well are you caring for those around you? Are there methods you could put into practice to ensure the wellbeing of loved ones? Take an inventory of those closest to you and begin to put into motion the means to care for them.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)

DAY 26
Leviticus 13:1-59

Family Devotional:

Leprosy is an all-encompassing term that defines skin diseases that were prevalent in the nation of Israel. Unfortunately, leprosy was extremely contagious and therefore required that those effected were to be quarantined away from the general public. Often, leprosy is used throughout the Bible as an illustration of sin. This is because, like leprosy, sin is highly problematic for one’s wellbeing and places people in situations where they are separated from the ones they love.

Daily Demonstration:

Like leprosy, sin could also be seen as contagious. In what ways do you see sin as contagious? Has there been a time in your life in which you have fallen victim to sin due to your environment or the sin of another? Take an inventory of your surroundings – including those you surround yourself with. Are there any contagious situations from which you need quarantine?

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus

Day 27

Luke 2:25-35

Family Devotional:

In the Gospel accounts, there is not a lot of information about Jesus before his baptism. One of the few events written in the Gospel of Luke regarding Jesus’ childhood takes place in the temple in Jerusalem. While in the temple, Joseph and Mary, with Jesus in hand, are approached by a man named Simeon. What happens next is fascinating – he sings them a song! This song includes a compelling message: Jesus would be an incredible gift to some, but also become the downfall of many as they reject him. This prophecy indeed found its fruition in the life and ministry of Jesus.

Daily Demonstration:

The acceptance and rejection of Christ is a theme that continues to reveal itself throughout the New Testament writings. These acts of allegiance – or non-allegiance – are at the core of the Gospel message. As we learn from Luke 2, however, it was always going to be that way. There were going to be those who are loyal and those who were not. What is critical to note, though, is that there is no neutral ground. What does loyalty to Christ mean to you? What does disloyalty look like? How could your loyalty be demonstrated? Do you consider yourself allegiant to the kingdom of God? Ask God to reveal the practicality of allegiance to you and act accordingly.

Additional Resources:

• Matthew Bates, Gospel Allegiance, (Amazon)
• Scot McKnight, The King Jesus Gospel, (Amazon)

Day 28
Leviticus 14:1-57

Family Devotional:

The next section of Leviticus speaks to how Israel was to care for those with leprosy – severe skin diseases that plagued much of Israel. The Torah Portions begin this study as follows:
The twenty-eighth reading from the Torah is Metzora (מצורע), a word that means “leper.” The word appears in the second verse of the reading, which says, “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing” (Leviticus 14:2). Leviticus 14 spells out the complex purification rituals for the cleansing of a leper and a leprous home. Leviticus 15 briefly covers the laws regarding ritual unfitness stemming from bodily emissions. Except in biblical calendar leap years, Metzora is read together with the previous Torah portion, Tazria, on the same Sabbath.
Daily Demonstration:

It is all too easy for those with a physical ailment to feel as though they are outcasts in society. The line between caring for them and ensuring the safety of others is a delicate line to balance. No matter the case, there are ways in which all people can feel loved and cared for. Think about someone in your life who has some type of physical ailment. Consider reaching out to them today and offering love and support.

Additional Resources:

• The Naked Bible Podcast, Michael Heiser, Leviticus
• Torah Portions, Messianic Reading Plan, (Website: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/#horizontalTab2)

DAY 29
Romans 4:1-25

Family Devotional:

One of the interesting truths about the Roman church is that it contained mostly converted Jewish Christians, but included a good number of Gentiles, as well. In Romans 4, Paul uses language that would resonate deeply with the Jewish audience – namely the story of Abraham. Paul uses Abraham as an amazing example of faith demonstrated in the Old Testament. Notice, Paul did not choose someone who was under the law but instead chose someone whose faith was noted as inspirational. This does not mean the law wasn’t necessary, but the law never existed to save people. Faith, however, is an essential part of one’s walk with God – including the desire to be obedient to the law in the first place!

Daily Demonstration:

Following the rules of the law is not the end-all-be-all of a relationship with God. Adherence to law allowed for a demonstration of obedience, whereas faith displayed allegiance to YHWH and his kingdom. Take time today to examine your faith. Reflect on past times when you were prompted by God to exercise faith. What was the outcome? Is God calling you to demonstrate faith today? In what way? What is one thing you can do today to start moving towards a deeper faith in the Lord?

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, John Oswalt, Can We Really Be Holy?
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, John Oswalt, What is Holiness According to the Bible?

DAY 30
Leviticus 15:1-33

Family Devotional:

The Bible defines sex as one of the most important intimate acts of a married couple. Through sex, the human race expands, and marital relations flourish. This is why Leviticus 15 is so specific on the laws surrounding sexual intercourse. Not only should sex be viewed as sacred, but it should also be used wisely as it can easily create bad situations if done out of order. Thus, in the eyes of a Christian, sex should be reserved for intimate, marital relationships.

Daily Demonstration:

How has culture defined sex for you? Does it sound similar to the view of God, or has it taken on a new meaning in the modern world? Take time to reflect upon your view of sex – both good and bad. Begin to work out the bad aspects of sex. Consider pursuing wise counsel on this matter as it is essential for one’s understanding of marriage.

Additional Resources:

• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Mark Ongley, Redeeming the Church’s Discussion of Sexuality
• Seven Minute Seminary, YouTube, Seedbed, Mark Ongley, Good Theology Leads to Healthy Sexuality