Be Holy Be Loving


Lord, I can’t live a day without You; I need You. Remind me of my dependence on You.

READ: Leviticus 19:1–18

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. “‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God. “‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up. If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted.Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people. “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God. “‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another. “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight. “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.


The greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbors. Think about what that looks like practically.

The dual themes of Leviticus 19 are God’s holiness and the holiness of his people. Seven times in these 18 verses God reminds his people that he is the Lord (3,4,10,12,14,16,18) and that they are to be holy, reflecting God’s holiness (2).

Holiness is to be reflected both in their faithfulness towards God and their fidelity towards their neighbor. Holiness is expressed in their worship of God (1–8). It is revering parents and reverencing the Sabbath (3). It is about not worshipping idols (4) and about offering and consuming sacrifices appropriately (5–8). God is holy and his people are to be holy. How are you doing in pursuing holiness in a Godward direction?

There is also a horizontal dimension to holiness, which is expressed in verses 9–18. It is not just worship of God but also love for neighbors. Generosity is illustrated by caring for the poor and the stranger (9,10), and truthfulness is demanded in dealings with others (11,12). God’s people are to care particularly for those under them or those who are worse off (13,14), and to treat all with fairness (15,16). They are to be forgiving in their relationships with each other (17,18). How are you doing in pursuing holiness in your relationships with those around you?


What practical steps can you take today to be loving towards your neighbors? Whom can you care for? Whom can you be generous to? Whom can you forgive?


Gracious God, Thank You for Your endless well of forgiveness. May we be so rooted in You that we are not governed by our impulses. Remind us that it is not perfection You desire; Your love is not conditional on our actions. Help us to have patience and grace for ourselves as we grow. We pray that our capacity for self-control increases as we surrender to You. May we love those around us well as they walk this same challenging path. You are good, even when we fall short. Amen