Scripture reading for February 8th: Leviticus 9-11, Mark 1
Key Scriptures: Mark 1:35-38 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him, and they found Him and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” And He said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out. And He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.””
Jesus, Son of God, separated Himself from His followers and the crowds that sought Him for His ability to heal. He went to desolate places to pray and commune with the Father. He desired only to do His Father’s will and fulfill all the Father’s plans. He had no fear of man or desire for the crowd’s applause. Holiness is separation from the world (Egypt) and separation to our Holy God and His holy will.
Leviticus 11:44-45 “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” . . . “For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
Scripture reading for August 4th: 2nd Corinthians 6
Key scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Corinthians 6:14, 16-18 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. . . .For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and the will be My people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Paul warned the Corinthians to be careful in their relationships and close associations with people from the world. Unbelievers have nothing in common with believers, and are in fact spiritually hostile to God and His people. God wants to live in each believer and be their God totally and for each believer to belong exclusively to Him. This requires a separation of what is holy from that which is profane or worldly. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit and are set apart to God for His use. We are to separate from all that would defile God’s temple or tempt us to compromise our relationship with God!
Observations for over-comers: Separation from evil influences, unbelievers, and sinful practices is mandatory for over-comers. Separation to God for His purposes is the best approach, as all else will drop off. “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Now make confession to the Lord, the God of you fathers, and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (Ezra 10:10-11)
Scripture reading for January 3rd–Genesis 6-9
God saw that the man that He had made in His own image had turned to wickedness instead walking in faith in God’s Word. God’s heart was grieved and filled with pain because of this refusal to connect with Him. Man has a free will to choose his own path instead of God’s, but must accept the consequences. Sin always brings God’s judgment, and ultimately death.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8) God’s eyes are always looking for a way to show favor and mercy! His eyes are looking for any who would be humble and teachable that He might connect with them. God revealed to Noah his plans for judgment of the wicked and a polluted earth. “Noah did everything just as God commanded Him.” (Genesis 6:22)
God did exactly what He said He would do on a specific day in Noah’s life! “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the 17th day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) In the New Testament, Jesus taught that it would be just like the days of Noah when God would again judge the wicked of the earth. (Matthew 24:36-39) But this time it would be by fire! Jesus is waiting patiently for all who will respond to Him, but “a day” is coming!
“By these same waters the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. . . .The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:6-7, 9)