Of all the books in the Bible, probably the one I quote the least is Leviticus. Close behind it is Deuteronomy. But just in the last few days I’ve found myself thinking and talking about verses from both of those books. Go figure!
The first time was during a Parenting Teens class. I had just read an article in a magazine titled “Making Disciples at Home” that sited Deuteronomy 19:6 – “These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home…” It reminded me that so much of how we live our lives comes down to heart issues, you know? The article then followed with, “Parents must be disciples before they can make disciples.” Ouch!
Then on Sunday Pastor Sean wrapped up our series on the Apostles’ Creed by quoting Leviticus 19:1-2 which commands us to, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”
Heart issues and holiness, what do they have in common? Just this: They both center on having a relationship with God. And they both require on-going action. It’s not enough to say we want to teach our children God’s commandments. We have to intentionally do it – every day, in word and deed! It’s not enough to say the Apostles’ Creed each Sunday; we have to believe it and then live by it. Easier said than done, isn’t it?
“Holiness,” Pastor Sean told us, “is a natural outcome of being close to God.” But where do we start? I would say begin with prayer and time in God’s Word each day. Then, of the seven days God gave us each week, choose one and make it your day of Sabbath rest. At first we have to make these things a priority. But then, I’ve found, those disciplines become a joy I don’t want to miss! Jesus once challenged the Pharisees by saying, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him…” (Matt. 12:34-35). Let’s fill up on the good stuff, my friends! Stay close to God!