Daily Encouragement

February 24 – The Day of Atonement

February 24
Leviticus 15:1-16:28
Mark 7:1-23
Psalm 40:11-17
Proverbs 10:13-14

Leviticus 15:25 – As we read these different maladies, some may pop out like a woman with an issue of blood, because we’ve read about a woman with this issue several days ago in Matthew 9:20-22, a few days ago in Mark 5:25–34, and again in a few weeks in Luke 8:43–48. The woman was forbidden from touching Jesus (Leviticus 15:11), but she desired to touch but the hem of his garment. Interestingly, like the lepers, this woman also would be offering a sacrifice (Leviticus 15:29). Makes you wonder what the priests thought when people came to offer a sacrifice, and upon being asked why, they said “Jesus healed me.”

Leviticus 16:2 – Aaron, the high priest was limited in his access to the LORD.  The Day of Atonement is the day that he could come, offering atonement for himself, his house, and all the congregation of Israel (16:17).

William Holman Hunt’s The Scapegoat (1854-1856)

Leviticus 16:10 – The scapegoat, or in Hebrew, Azazel, has entered Jewish mythology.

“While there are different versions in the Book of Enoch, the Book of the Giants, and other pseudepigraphal books, the story is essentially that Azazel was the name of one of the fallen angels who sinned in Genesis chapter 6. As a curse on his sin, Azazel was forced to take the form of a goat-like demon. This myth is not supported by the Bible and is not compatible with what the Bible says about Azazel or the scapegoat. –GotQuestions

Leviticus 16:22 – The scapegoat was fulfilled in Jesus, our vicarious atonement, who taketh our sins away (John 1:29, I John 3:5). How far did Jesus take them away? Psalm 103:12.

Mark 7:21-23 – Do any of these things occur in your life?

  • evil thoughts
  • adulteries
  • fornications
  • murders
  • Thefts,
  • covetousness,
  • wickedness,
  • deceit,
  • lasciviousness,
  • an evil eye,
  • blasphemy,
  • pride,
  • foolishness:

Check your heart – which spirit is controlling you?

Psalm 40:17 – It’s humbling to say you’re poor and needy. But God dwells with the humble (Isaiah 57:15).

Proverbs 10:14 – What’s a way you can lay up knowledge today?

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Daily Encouragement

February 23 – The Law of the Leper

February 23
Leviticus 14:1-57
Mark 6:30-56
Psalm 40:1-10
Proverbs 10:11-12

Means of Discerning Leprosy, Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations

Leviticus 14:2 – The Law of the Leper is one of the most exciting Messianic Prophecies!

Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum states:

Although the priesthood had all these detailed instructions as to how they were to respond in the case of a healed leper, they never had the opportunity to put these instructions into effect, because from the time the Mosaic Law was given, no Jew was ever healed of leprosy. As a result, it was taught by the rabbis that only the Messiah would be able to heal a Jewish leper….

The three Gospel accounts that tell us about the healing of a leper are: Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16. Matthew and Mark merely state that the man was a leper, but Luke, who by profession was a medical doctor, gave more details.

To find out what Dr. Luke said about this leper, and what the priests did with the leper, and how that influenced their response to Jesus’ teaching – read the rest of the article!

Mark 6:31 – We’ve seen earlier the sinfulness of wasting time – but that doesn’t mean all time has to be busy. It does need to be stewarded – there are times that you need to relax, times you can invest in recreation with a friend, time to spend with your spouse. Make sure that you are the master of your time, and that time doesn’t run out on you before you can accomplish what God has for you!

Mark 6:48 “and he saw them toiling” – Jesus sees you when you are toiling, struggling, ready to give up. Jesus may not be visibly present, but He is there! Interestingly that if the disciples had not called to Him (even out of fear), they may not have had His provision of relief!

Psalm 40:1 – The Northern Lights recorded a song based on verses 1-3.


Proverbs 10:11 – Is your mouth of righteousness or wickedness?

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Daily Encouragement

February 22 – Why is this in the Bible?

February 22
Leviticus 13:1-59
Mark 6:1-29
Psalm 39:1-13
Proverbs 10:10

Leviticus 13 – I came across a sermon transcript, “Why is this in the Bible?” from First Presbyterian, Jackson, MS. In summary:

The ceremonial ritual uncleanness of this passage ultimately points to…what? The problem of sin. And thus moral uncleanness and cleanness is being illustrated in ritual or ceremonial cleanness or uncleanness. And you remember what the psalmist says in Psalm 24:3: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully..”

What is that passage talking aboutIt’s talking about our own state of sanctification and the enjoyment of the presence of God, and that principle from Psalm 27 is illustrated in the ceremonial code. Those who are covered in sin, who are contaminated by the fall, cannot enjoy unhindered fellowship with God.

Mark 6:3 “the son of Mary” – Jesus was in His own country (Nazareth), teaching in His synagogue, and the neighbors still implied that He was an illegitimate, not the son of Joseph.

Salome rushed back To Herod Antipas and demanded, ‘I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter – right now.’ Herod was distressed at her request but could not break his rash promise in front of all his guests. – FreeBibleImages.org

Mark 6:26 – Herod was sorry he ‘had’ to execute John the Baptist, similar to Pilate’s ‘sorrow’ over ‘having’ to execute Jesus (Matthew 27:24).

Psalm 39:5 – “every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Think on this.”

Proverbs 10:10 – Haven’t heard the word ‘prating’ before? Vocabulary.com not only gives you a definition, but shows you usage examples in current literature.

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Daily Encouragement

February 21 – Dietary Laws (And we’re not talking the Atkins Diet!)

February 21
Leviticus 11:1-12:8
Mark 5:21-43
Psalm 38:1-22
Proverbs 10:8-9

Clean & Unclean Animals Chart from Yashraal.org, a group that holds exclusively to the Tanakh (Old Testament). This line of clean/unclean was removed in Acts 10:13.

Leviticus 11:4 – Welcome to the dietary law! Some people differentiate the Mosaic law into three types:

  1. Moral Laws (universal to all people, e.g. Ten Commandments “don’t murder”)
  2. Civil Laws (explanations of the moral laws – “what if someone accidentally…”)
  3. Ceremonial Laws (laws relating to the temple, specific to Israel)

CARM.org divides the 613 laws into 34 categories under these three categories, however the lines do appear arbitrary at times.

A better system for analyzing the law is “dispensationalism” – the idea that God deals with different people in different ways at different times. It also means that God is not fair (“why can’t Joshua eat bacon if Noah could and Peter could?”) but He is just and has a plan! God replaced the 613 commands of the Mosaic Law with over 800 commands for the New Testament believer!

Speaking of bacon – here’s the overview of when people could and could not eat bacon:

Leviticus 11:44 – Even though the Mosaic Law doesn’t apply to our dispensation, the principle of the Ceremonial Law – showing the distinction between Clean and Unclean as a picture of the distinction between Holy and Unholy. While God has removed the division between clean and unclean animals he has not removed the distinction between holiness and unholiness. We are still required to be holy, because He is holy (Leviticus 20:7, I Peter 1:15-16).

Mark 5:22, 35 – While Jesus had an adversarial relationship with the religious leaders, especially the Pharisees, individuals like the ruler of the synagogue had faith in Jesus. Groups of people are unlikely to follow Jesus, but thankfully individuals are always welcome.

Psalm 38:3 – Do you have no rest in your bones because of sin? A) Be grateful that your Father is rebuking you (Hebrews 12:6) B) Repent from your sins (I John 1:9).

Proverbs 10:8 – Continuing contrasts between wisdom and foolishness.

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Daily Encouragement

February 20 – Carest Thou Not That We Perish?

February 20
Leviticus 9:7-10:20
Mark 4:26-5:20
Psalm 37:30-40
Proverbs 10:6-7

Leviticus 10:1 We’ve seen over the last few days that God was clear in how He demanded worship. Here, two sons of Aaron disobeyed Exodus 30:9, and died.

Mark 4:38 – Carest thou not that we perish? A line in Master the Tempest is Raging.

Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 4:41 – Ben Everson used this verse for his song “What Manner of Man?”


Mark 5:19 This is the 4th time that Jesus says “Go” – even today we’re told to Go and Tell!

Psalm 37:40 – How can we have deliverance and salvation? By works? Nope – Trusting in the LORD!

Proverbs 10:7 – While the wicked may be in power now, their name shall rot.

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Daily Encouragement

February 19 – The Last of the Levitical Offerings

February 19
Leviticus 7:28-9:6
Mark 3:31-4:25
Psalm 37:12-29
Proverbs 10:5

Leviticus 7:29 We’re making our way thru the offerings of Leviticus, and are in the peace offerings. These are optional unlike the others. If you’re a bit overwhelmed by the offerings, Wayne Stiles has a one-page PDF overview of what they are and why they matter – “The offerings in Leviticus served as God’s gracious provision for how one could regain and sustain fellowship with God.” I like his blog because he makes extensive use of Israeli geography.

Leviticus 8:17 – They were commanded to burn the bullock for the sin offering “without the camp” in Exodus 29:14. In the New Testament Hebrews 13:12 explains how this command was fulfilled. ICR has a good overview of the phrase “without the camp.”


Mark 4:21 Hide it under a bushel? NO!

Psalm 37:23-24 The chorus of The Steps of a Good Man from Mac Lynch of the WILDS comes word for word from Psalms 37:23-24. Another version is recorded by the wife of a pastor friend of mine.

Proverbs 10:5 – Compare to Mark 4:25 that we read just a few minutes ago – God rewards diligence!

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Daily Encouragement

February 18 – More than just a regional sensation

February 18
Leviticus 6:1-7:27
Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 10:3-4

Leviticus 6:1 – As we tour throughout the legal code of Israel, we are entering Contract Law. If someone makes an agreement, but then reneges on it, it is a sin against his fellow man, but also against the LORD (see Leviticus 6:6). Sin affects man and God.

Leviticus 7:26 – This command about not consuming blood is found in Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 3:17, Leviticus 17:10-12, 14, 19:26, Deuteronomy 12:16, 23, 25; 15:23, Ezekiel 33:25, Acts 15:20, 29, 21:25… so by the time Jesus says in John 6:53-56 that we are to drink His blood, the people are confused.

Source: Grace Communion / https://www.gci.org/bible/mark3a

Mark 3:7 – Yesterday, Jesus just performed a miracle in the synagogue, but today He withdraws to the lake.  Yet he has crowds from many many miles around.

Psalm 37:4 – The Herbster Trio song Delight Yourself in the Lord is based on this verse.


Proverbs 10:4 – While the Bible talks much about care for the poor, it also teaches that becoming rich is a blessing for the diligent. Especially because it gives the ability to give (Ephesians 4:28).

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Daily Encouragement

February 17 – Unclean Men make Clean Men Unclean. Except…..

February 17
Leviticus 4:1-5:19
Mark 2:13-3:6
Psalm 36:1-12
Proverbs 10:1-2

Leviticus 4:2 – Sinning thru ignorance. Centuries earlier Job was concerned about his children sinning in Job’s ignorance (Job 1:5).

Leviticus 5:3 – A “clean” person became “unclean” by touching an “unclean” person. The person did not become “clean” by being touched by a “clean” person. Except when one man did so 1,400 years later (Matthew 8:3).

On a boat on the Sea of Galilee, Author’s Picture

Mark 2:13 – I had the opportunity to travel with Jimmy DeYoung to Israel and we stayed by the sea side of Galilee.

Mark 2:17 – I’m glad that Jesus came to call me to repentance!

Psalm 36:7 – Lovingkindness – again we see the root word Hesed. Discover the Word points out how this word is exemplified in Ruth 3:10, she chose to stay loyal to  Naomi, an act of kindness, a choice of love. John MacArthur discusses hesed as well.

…the Hebrew word chesed which basically is translated loving kindness. That is the attribute of God that we want to focus on. God is possessed by an innate good will toward sinners, an innate kindness. God is by nature merciful, tender-hearted, compassionate. God withholds judgment. God grants benevolent favors because it is His nature. It is a reason to praise Him. It is a reason to honor Him. It is a reason to worship Him….

Proverbs 10:1 – We have moved from the introductory contrasts, to the pithy saying section. 26 of the 32 verses in this chapter use “but” as a contrast as a feature of antithetical Hebrew poetry.

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Daily Encouragement

February 16 – Specifics of Burnt Offerings

February 16
Leviticus 1:1-3:17
Mark 1:29-2:12
Psalm 35:17-28
Proverbs 9:13-18

Congratulations! We’ve completed 3 whole books of the Bible! We’re 1/8 of the way thru the year as well (don’t worry other books in the Bible are shorter!)


Leviticus 1 – What were the characteristics of burnt offerings?

  • 1) Personal,
  • 2) Cattle,
  • 3) Male,
  • 4) Without Blemish,
  • 5) Voluntary,
  • 6) At the tabernacle,
  • 7) Physical touch,
  • 8) Atonement,
  • 9) Personally killed,
  • 10) Blood sprinkled,
  • 11) Cut in pieces,
  • 12) Burned,
  • 13) Washed; for a sweet savour.

God had a detailed process.

Leviticus 3:17 – The Israelites were forbidden from eating blood, because the life was in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).

Mark 1:30 – A major religion teaches that their clergy must be unmarried, however we see that Simon (later Peter) had a mother-in-law. Most people with a mother-in-law, also have a wife.

Mark 1:34 – Again Jesus orders the devils to not speak (as we discussed yesterday).

Mark 2:4 – As Vic Eliason used to say – the press caused problems even back then.

Patch the Pirate has a song, “The Quartet that Raised the Roof” (Amazon MP3).

Psalm 35:17 – Are you hurting? Pray this prayer with the Psalmist!

Proverbs 9:13 – Solomon warns against the foolish woman’s house of ‘hospitality’ – by v.18 the guests are now in the depths of hell.

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Daily Encouragement

February 15 – Aaron’s Breastplate, Jesus’ Ministry

February 15
Exodus 39:1-40:38
Mark 1:1-28
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 9:11-12

Ceramic replica of the Breastplate of Aaron, by Dr. Avishai Teicher Pikiwiki Israel

Exodus 39:14 The names of the tribes of Israel were engraven over the heart of the High Priest. God says that He has graven our names on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).

Exodus 39:30 A religion that denies the inerrancy of the Bible and calls the sufficiency of Scripture a foolish doctrine has put the words “Holiness to the Lord” on each of their “temples.”

Interestingly the next time in the Bible the phrase “Holiness to the LORD is used” is in Isaiah 23:18, referring to the merchandise of Tyre will become spoil for those who dwell before the LORD.

Mark 1:12 – We read earlier in Matthew 3:7 that many of the Pharisees and Saducees came to investigate John the Baptist. Interestingly after Jesus is publicly acknowledged by John and by His Father, Jesus is immediately taken into the wilderness. We’ll notice that Jesus would not have fulfilled all of the Messianic prophecies at this time, so the Sanhedrin could charge Him with blasphemy if He claimed to be Who He was publicly, and attempt to execute Him prematurely. Thus we’ll see Jesus be very guarded about His identity, and interestingly starts His public ministry with 40 days of silence.

Mark 1:24-25 – As we were saying, Jesus is telling the demons not to share Who He is.

Mark 1:28 – Galilee. TGC shares 7 Differences between Galilee and Judea in the Time of Jesus

Psalm 35:10 – Remember our previous discussion of anthropomorphism? Here’s a great example: “All my bones shall say”

Proverbs 9:11 – How can you have long life? Read Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 4:40, 5:16, 5:33, 6:2, 11:9, 11:21, 22:7, 25:15, 32:47; I Kings 3:14, Proverbs 3:2, 3:16, 4:10, 9:11, 10:27, 28:16, and Ephesians 6:3

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.