Holiness Over Happiness

Whitney Capps

Day: 29 | Plan: Leviticus-Hebrews

Today's Reading: Leviticus 19

Leviticus 19:2 (NIV) “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.’”

Today’s key verse is the theme of the whole book of Leviticus. Leviticus 19 restates much of the Ten Commandments and a summary of Levitical law. 

If you read today’s entire chapter, it’s easy to think holy living is just a list of do’s and don’ts. Maybe you’ve felt like much of Leviticus is that way. If we aren’t careful, we will wrongly conclude that God only cares how we act, and reduce holiness to a list of restrictions.

Don’t do this.

Avoid that.

The reality is holy living isn’t about restrictions; it’s about relationship. Our relationship with God, our confidence in His good and trustworthy character, lets us gladly refrain from anything He restricts. Because He is loving and perfect, when He withholds something from us, it is ALWAYS to give us something better. When He gives us a guideline or restriction, it’s because His ways are best.

He restricts us from work one day a week so that we are reminded that He is our great Provider. This day reminds us that rest is good for our bodies and souls. He extends the tender invitation for us to reflect on Him in worship and gratitude.

He insists we avoid worship of lesser gods so that our energies and devotion can be poured into true worship to Him.

He tells us not to use up everything, we are to avoid excess so that we can give to others.

He commands that we honor our parents to show the dignity and respect that all people deserve, but also to train us to have willing hearts of service and submission.

Is holy living easy? You and I know it’s not. We will have to sacrifice our wants, temporary pleasures, conveniences, comforts, irritations and frustrations. But God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I often forget that no matter how Your commands stretch or challenge me, they are for my good. But I need to let You define what “good” in me looks like. I want to be changed to look more like You, worship You more truthfully and treat others more gently. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In today’s passage we see that God wants His people to be like Him.

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