Set apart

CONSECRATE: To make or declare to be sacred, by certain ceremonies or rites; to appropriate to sacred uses; to set apart, dedicate, or devote, to the service and worship of God.

When I read this word, I can’t help but take it personally. My name literally means consecrated to God. But you don’t have to be named Elizabeth to be consecrated to God.

…you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)

One translation says we are set aside to be a royal order of priests. Set apart. Consecrated.

But Israel was unfaithful concerning the things set apart for the Lord.*

Joshua 7:1a (NLT)

*The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by completely destroying or by giving them as an offering.

The blood of Jesus as a sacrifice completes our consecration. We belong to God. We are His possession.

In our reading in Joshua today, we see how the selfishness of just one man caused the death of many as well as Israel’s defeat in battle. Because one man withheld what belonged to God, the entire nation suffered.

Since this line of study is so personal to me, I had to ask myself the question of whether or not I’ve been faithful with the thing set apart for the Lord. That thing is my life. Have I been faithful to God with my life? Am I that one person who causes the entire body to suffer loss because of my own selfishness? God, I hope not.

But if I am, if you are, there is still hope! Israel was able to rectify the situation. While the unfaithful man and his family were stoned to death and burned, we have a greater hope. Israel built an altar and offered sacrifices before the Lord. Our sacrifice has already been made. Jesus blood was enough and still is enough to intercede for our unfaithfulness.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Romans 3:23-25a (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: Joshua 7-8, Luke 2:25-52

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