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Churchless Christianity?

Daily Reading: Leviticus 17-18

Scripture Focus: …bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the Lord… (Leviticus 17.4)

Devotional Thought: The Bible knows nothing of a "Churchless Christianity." But, there are some who think that the church is not necessary in God’s economy of grace. All they need is to have a personal relationship with Jesus. What an impoverished view of Christianity!

In the Old Testament there were people who had that same tendency. They thought it would be acceptable to worship God where and how they pleased. God corrected that in Leviticus 17 when he said, in essence, No, you need to worship me at the place I have designated.

What was the danger in offering their sacrifices at their homes or in the open fields? God makes that plain a few verses later when he says, “So shall they no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons…” (v. 7). God knows from the beginning days of human history, that mankind’s tendency would be to have a free-wheeling approach to him. Cain thought he could sacrifice as he pleased, but discovered that God was not pleased with his sacrifice. His self-justifying behavior ended up in the murder of his brother Abel!

We need the Church today for many reasons, not least of which is to serve as a corrective to our irreverent and nonchalant approach to God. May God renew in our day a faithfulness to the Church!

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for shedding your blood to make the Church holy and blameless. Help us to love the Church as you have loved the Church and to give our lives to see you build the Church. May the gates of hell never prevail against your Church!

Psalm of the Day: 6 Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! 8 May his days be few; may another take his office! 9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! 10 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit! 11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil! 12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children! 13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation! 14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out! 15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth! (Psalms 109:6-15)

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