Daily Encouragement

March 2 – Previewing Baal

Leviticus 25:47-27:13
Mark 10:32-52
Psalm 45:1-17
Proverbs 10:22

Leviticus 26:1-4 — As a follower of the historical-grammatical method, I want to know what the biblical authors meant when they wrote the text. To do that I need to understand what their challenges and situation was. Moses is warning the Israelites how they are to behave in the land.

The Israelites are:

  • Prohibited from making idols
  • Mandated to keep the sabbaths, and
  • Promised that God would bless with rain, increase, and fruit.

They had a choice (Joshua 24:15) between Baal and the LORD. Interestingly, Baal was the god of fertility and rain. The Israelites would be tempted to worship Baal for fertile crops, but God would withhold the rains creating a famine, until the prophets of Baal were slain (I Kings 18).

Interestingly, Baal’s fertility came in seven-year cycles. But the LORD says if you trust Him with observing the Sabbaths (both the seventh day of rest, and the seventh year of rest), He will give you rain, increase, and fruit, so much that “you shall eat your bread to the full.” Not only will they have physical blessing, but “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Leviticus 26:14, 18, 21, and 27 — Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings judgment. As the old hymn goes:

When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Mark 10:34-41 — Jesus unveils His master plan – His trial, death, and resurrection. But His disciples are busy planning on where they’re sitting when the Kingdom comes, and they get upset with each other for not asking first.

Mark 10:46 — Another gospel song is based on this verse:

One sat alone beside the highway begging
His eyes were blind the light he could not see
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee

When Jesus comes the tempter’s power is broken
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay

Psalm 45:6 — This verse is quoted in Hebrews 1:8 as applying to the Son. In verse 2 of this psalm, God is referred to in the 3rd person, while in verse 6 He is referred to in the 2nd person.

Proverbs 10:22 — A great comfort to those who need comfort and provision.

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

March 1 – Proclaim Liberty!

Leviticus 24:1-25:46
Mark 10:13-31
Psalm 44:9-26
Proverbs 10:20-21

Leviticus 24:11 — Reading this verse reminded me of a scene from the movie “Time Changer” … amazing how few Christians are bothered to see the name of the Lord blasphemed.

Leviticus 25:10 — “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Does this sound familiar? The 1752 Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contains this phrase around the top of the bell.

Leviticus 25:23 — As we discussed earlier, the land is the Lord’s, and He governs its use.

Mark 10:14 — Let’s memorize this verse with Earl Martin:

Mark 10:17 — We discussed this passage in depth in a previous post on the parallel passage in Matthew.

Psalm 44:22 — This verse is quoted in Romans 8:36. God’s people have always suffered.

Proverbs 10:20 — The sharp contrast is a feature of Hebrew contrarian poetry. Choice silver vs. little worth.

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 28 – The Feasts of the Lord

Leviticus 22:17-23:44
Mark 9:30-10:12
Psalm 44:1-8
Proverbs 10:19

Two months in! Great work staying faithful in God’s Word!

Leviticus 22:20 — Why the concern about blemishes? 61 times in the Old Testament it talks about blemishes.

  • 35 verses of sacrifices being without blemish in the Pentateuch
  • 5 verses of priests without blemish in Leviticus 21
  • 8 verses on the Millennial Temple sacrifices without blemish in Ezekiel
  • 1 verse in the New Testament explaining (1 Peter 1:19) that Christ was without blemish
  • 1 verse in the New Testament telling (Ephesians 5:27) that the church will be without blemish
John Henry/Landmark Bible Baptist

Leviticus 23 — Welcome to the festivals! This is the Holiday Calendar, rather the Holy Day Calendar of the Israelite nation! Jimmy DeYoung discusses these feasts:

Each of the feasts has at least a historic and/or prophetic significance. These first three “spring feasts” are related to Israel’s past. The “Passover” is to remember the Exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Promised Land.

The second feast, the “Feast of Unleavened Bread”, is also associated with Passover. For seven days, the Children of Israel were to stop eating the “sourdough bread” to eat “unleavened bread” for the purpose of “separating” the bondage and the journey into the Promised Land.
The third feast, the “Feast of First Fruits”, was to be the celebration and thanksgiving of the very first of the “barley harvest”. These thoughts cover the historic aspect of the first three Jewish feast days. These feasts also have a prophetic significance.

The “Passover” was a prophecy of the “Crucifixion” or sacrifice of Jesus. “Unleavened Bread” was to honor the “burial” of Jesus Christ. Then on the first day after the Sabbath, after Unleavened Bread begins, or Sunday, would be the celebration of “First Fruits”, and that pictures the day of the “resurrection” of Jesus.

The historic record indicates that Jesus was indeed crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, and did, in fact, resurrect from the dead on First Fruits, thus Jesus fulfilled the first three of the Jewish Feasts, in the proper day sequences.

There are three “Fall Feasts” when Jesus will come back, enter into the Temple, and set up His Kingdom on these three Jewish feast days. In our next devotional from the book of Leviticus, we will look more in depth into these future events, which are foretold in these feasts that God has given the Jewish people.


Leviticus 23:22 — Bible Trivia: Who would be a beneficiary of this Levitical command? The young Moabitess who would fall in love with the owner of the fields she came to glean (Ruth 2:3)!

Mark 9:42 — If Jesus is advocating the death penalty for those who offend the little ones from their faith in Him, what would He say about the secular education systems today? Ray Moore of Exodus Mandate and Jeff Keaton of Renewanation.org are encouraging pastors and church leaders to commit to Christian Education.

Mark 10:11 — Notice how Jesus reproves the fastidious legal observers for their neglect of the importance of marriage. Jesus is teaching about the true meaning of adultery in connection with the Pharisees. Luke 16:14-18 reiterates this teaching.

Psalm 44:1, 4, 5, and 8 — Notice the changes in the verb tense. Testimonies of God’s past actions prompt current faith, and hope in future victory.

  • “We have heard” – past perfect
  • “What work thou didst” – past
  • “Thou art my King” – present
  • “We will push down” – future
  • “Praise thy name forever” – eternal

Proverbs 10:19 — Or as our modern proverb says, “Silence is golden.”

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 27 – Firstfruits, Gold, Silver, and Us!

Leviticus 20:22-22:16
Mark 9:1-29
Psalm 43:1-5
Proverbs 10:18

Leviticus 20:24 — God will give the Israelites another nation’s land, flowing with milk and honey, and in return He asks obedience (Leviticus 20:22). God is in the middle of teaching His people that the land will be a gift (Exodus 6:4, 6:8, 12:25, 13:5, 13:11, 33:1; Leviticus 14:34, 23:10, 25:2, 25:38). So, when He asks for the firstfruits (Exodus 22:29), it is the product of the land that He gave them.

Similarly, when God asked for an offering of gold and silver (Exodus 35:5) – where did a band of former slaves get their gold and silver? From their former masters, the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35). Why would the Egyptians give gold and silver to their slaves? The LORD changed their heart (Exodus 12:36). Even more amazing – the LORD told Moses He would give them gold and silver earlier (Exodus 3:22). So, when God asked for the gold and silver, He was merely asking for some of what He had given them.

Which is part of why God was angry with His people over the golden calf. This was not their personal property that they had labored for and deserved. He had given gold and silver to them, and just asked for part, but they used His gift to make an idol (Exodus 32:2-4).

The gold and silver was not the Israelite’s, it was God’s. He took it from another and gave it to them, and He only asked for a portion back. The land was not the Israelite’s, it was God’s. He took it from another and gave it to them, and all He asked was for the firstfruits to be given back to Him. So, when the LORD asks you to give of your time, talent, and treasure to accomplish the Great Commission, all He is asking for is a portion of what He has already given to you.

To be fair, the gold, silver, and land were not the Egyptians or the Canaanites – Psalm 24:1 tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.

Leviticus 21:9 — There are only two Mosaic statutes that contain as a penalty human immolation, and both are sexual crimes. In Revelation 18:8, Babylon the harlot will also be burned with fire.

Leviticus 22:10 — We have been told who can eat of the holy thing and who can’t eat of the holy thing. However, there was a “loophole” that allowed David’s men to eat of it (1 Samuel 21:3-6). Jesus used this action (while not lawful, was not totally illegal – there wasn’t a corporal or capital punishment assigned) as a proof for His actions (Matthew 12:3-4).

Mark 9:6 — If you don’t know what to say, you’re better off saying nothing!

Psalm 43:5 — More promises for the hurting soul. Sometimes you need to give a “pep talk” to yourself: Hope in God!

Proverbs 10:18 — More warnings about the fool – may we avoid hatred, lying, and slander!

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 26 – Who is Molech?

Leviticus 19:1-20:21
Mark 8:11-38
Psalm 42:1-11
Proverbs 10:1

Leviticus 19:2 — The theme of the Book of Leviticus is stated – if it sounds familiar, we’ve seen it often. “Holy” is used 95 times in Leviticus, and this is the second time we’ve seen the phrase “You shall be holy.”

Leviticus 19:28 — In debates about whether it is appropriate for Christians to get tattoos, this verse comes up often. The KJV does not use the word ‘tattoo’ because the word was not invented until 1769 when Captain Cook landed in Tahiti (the KJV was translated in 1611, 150 years earlier). Interestingly, almost all Bible versions in recent years translate ‘qaaqa’ (Strong’s Hebrew #7085) as “tattoo”. By the way, this is the only time this word is used in the Bible.

Leviticus 19:37 — Forty-five times in Leviticus you will find the phrase “I am the LORD.” In many cases, it seems to be the answer to “Why?” If you don’t like God’s answer to “Why?”, Joshua 24:15 deals with that.

By Joachim Menant – Glyptique Orientale, fig. 95 (p. 152);, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4664980

Leviticus 20:2-5 — Rarely in the Bible do we see commands that have the death penalty. Only 60 times in the Old Testament do we find the phrase “put to death.” This chapter contains more “death penalty” judgments than any other chapter in the Bible. Not only is the worship of Molech one of the few death penalty commands, but this is one of the few commands to “stone him” (in contrast to burning, beheading, or strangulation according to the Mishnah). “The people – many – shall stone him. Israel must unite to eliminate this plague.” By the way, we read about Molech yesterday in Leviticus 18:21, and we’ll read about Molech again when Solomon builds an altar for Molech (possibly on the Mount of Olives in 1 Kings 11:7). The worship of Molech seems to have been moved to the Hinnom Valley when 300 years later (in 2 Kings 23:10), Josiah finally destroys the altar. So why would people sacrifice to Molech?

A couple sacrificed their firstborn by burning the child on a metal idol of Molech, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children … Today’s Molech is the abortion industry, sacrificing babies for the idol of financial greed, veiled in the hopes of the development of new cures through biomedical research.

By Charles Foster – Illustrators of the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us http://associate.com/photos/Bible-Pictures–1897-W-A-Foster/page-0074-1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11785813

Mark 8:25 — Why did it take two steps for Jesus to heal the blind man? The best explanation I’ve found comes from ChedSpellman.com. Dr. Spellman is a professor at Cedarville University:

[Jesus] says “Do you not yet see or understand? Having eyes do you not see? and having ears do you not hear?” (Mark 8:17-18). Jesus is saying, Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you! His point is that, though they have physical eyes, they still are in some sense blind to who Jesus really is.

Seen in this context, Mark’s placement and record of this miracle is brilliant. They see a blind man, who Jesus then leads by the hand out of the city where Jesus heals him. The first time, the man can only see slightly, his vision is blurred. Then Jesus did it again, and the “man looked intently” and was healed and could then “see everything clearly”. This is essentially a parable that Jesus is acting out for his disciples….His point is that his disciples are blinded to who he really is though he is demonstrating his power to them day by day right in front of their eyes. Their understanding is coming, but it is coming in stages.

The passage following confirms Mark’s textual strategy. Right after this healing, Peter finally “sees” and confesses Jesus’ identity, that Jesus is “the Christ.” But then, Jesus begins to tell them that the Messiah must suffer, which they don’t fully understand. They see, but not clearly.

Mark 8:36 — This cartoon summarizes it well:

From Earl Martin – here’s a great way to memorize the verse:

Psalm 42:1 — This verse inspired the song, “As the Deer“.

Proverbs 10:17 — A great verse to teach your students and anyone that needs to be corrected.

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 25 – Who Will Be Cut Off?

Leviticus 16:29-18:30
Mark 7:24-8:10
Psalm 41:1-13
Proverbs 10:15-16

Leviticus 16:29-31 — An interesting challenge to the workaholic culture – “afflict your souls” by doing “no work at all.”

Leviticus 18:6 — In contrast to our minimalist clothing culture, God expects us to respect others with specific instructions.

Leviticus 18:22 — God’s standards may not be popular, but you cannot say they are not clear.

Leviticus 18:29 — What sins lead to the phrase “shall be cut off?” Rejecting circumcision is literally rejecting identification with Israel (Gen 17:14), eating leavened bread during Passover (Exodus 12:15 and 19), working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), eating the Lord’s portion of the sacrifice (Leviticus 7:20 and 25), defiled eating of the peace offering (Leviticus 7:21), eating the blood (Leviticus 7:27), offering sacrifices independently (Leviticus 17:4, 9, and 14), committing sexual sins (Leviticus 18:29), profaning the sacrifice (Leviticus 19:8), incest (Leviticus 20:17), defiling the holy things (Leviticus 22:3), breaking Sabbath (Leviticus 23:29), skipping Passover (Numbers 9:13), and many more.

Mark 8:4 — The disciples saw Jesus feed 5,000 yesterday, but they struggled to see how He could feed 4,000 today.

Psalm 41:4 — Those who confess their sin and request mercy will see God answer (2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 25:16-18).

Proverbs 10:15 — Interesting the correlation to Proverbs 14:20.

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 24 – The Day of Atonement

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 of them may draw our attention (e.g. women who have an issue of blood). It’s interesting because we read about a woman with this issue several days ago (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25–34; in a few weeks we’ll read about her again in Luke 8:43–48). The woman was forbidden from touching Jesus (Leviticus 15:11), so she sought to touch only the hem of His garment. Interestingly, just like the lepers, this woman would also need to offer a sacrifice (Leviticus 15:29). Makes you wonder what the priests thought when people came to offer their 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 and offer atonement for himself, his house, and all the congregation of Israel (Leviticus 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.


Leviticus 16:22 — The scapegoat was fulfilled in Jesus, our vicarious atonement, who takes 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?

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 23 – The Law of the Leper

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, 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 read earlier about the sinfulness of wasting time, but that doesn’t mean all time has to be busy. Time does need to be stewarded, though – there are times that you need to relax, times you can invest in recreation with a friend, or times you should 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! Interesting that if the disciples had not called out 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 full of righteousness or wickedness?

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 22 – Why Is This in the Bible?

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, Mississippi. 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 illegitimate, not the son of Joseph.


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.

Share how reading through 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.

Daily Encouragement

February 21 – Dietary Laws … and We’re Not Talking the Atkins Diet!

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:

  • Moral Laws (universal to all people, e.g. Ten Commandments)
  • Civil Laws (explanations of the moral laws – “what if someone accidentally …”
  • 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) is 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, 1 Peter 1:15-16).

Mark 5:22 and 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), and B) Repent from your sins (1 John 1:9).

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

Share how reading through 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.