Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Wednesday, April 11, 2012

~ Read Leviticus 11-12

Lord God,

What am I to make of your dietary regulations? How am I to interpret such laws? Since "All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17), how am I to understand passages like Leviticus 11-12, and apply them to my life?

After all, Lord God, not only did Jesus fulfill the law, but he also freed us from the dietary regulations and practices, that guided your people in the past. He told us that, "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean," "but what comes out of his mouth, comes from the heart, and that is what makes him unclean" (Mt 15:11, 18). What's more, he made it clear that we should "not call anything impure that God has made clean" (Acts 10:14).

Consequently, Lord, I know you don't want me to return to such regulations, as if they could make me clean. I know they cannot make me pure; for nothing can do that other than Jesus. Nothing can make me righteous. Nothing can make me holy. Nothing can remove the stain of my sin except for the blood Christ freely shed for me, and I trust that is what you want me to understand from these dietary regulations.

No matter how hard I try, or how much I want it, I cannot justify myself. I cannot free myself from my slavery to sin, or heal the brokenness that it causes. I cannot make myself holy, righteous, or acceptable to you, by things I think, say, do, or even eat; unless, of course, I am participating in the Lord's Supper, and trusting in spiritual blessings and benefits that it applies to my life, by grace through faith in him. Then what I take into my body does matter, but only because it is sign and seal of your Covenant of Grace.

Lord, I admit, that sometimes I don't know exactly how I should apply your word to my life, particularly since life is so different now than it was back then. Nonetheless, I thank you for being patient with me and giving me your Spirit, to guide me, direct me, and apply the redemption Christ purchased for me through his blood. (Eph. 3:17, 1 Cor. 1:9)

In his precious name I pray, Amen.