Remember when we went to get Zoe? We drove to the breeder in Pennsylvania. There was a pen full of pug puppies. After playing with them and observing them a little while, we all agreed Zoe was the one we wanted. We chose her. She had not really done anything spectacular. In fact, I am not sure she had done anything at all. It was all us choosing her, and none of her choosing us.

It is a glimpse of what God has done for you and I. It is all Him and none of “us”. Isn’t that what you think of when you hear a message on sanctification? Ha! I doubt  it, but we should. Look at today’s passage in Leviticus. Verse 20:8 is God telling his people to keep his statutes and do them. Why? Because He, God, “sanctifies” them. As a reminder, the definition of “sanctify” is to “set apart as” or to “declare holy”. For almost 20 chapters we have been reading all about laws, regulations, statutes, and rules God has for his people. His reason time and time again is “because I am holy.” Today, that holiness is NOT just used to describe God, but instead, it is a process God tells us He is doing on us. He is setting us apart and making us holy. He chose the Israelites, out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to make His people and to set apart from all others. He was doing a great work on them and in them, and of course now, that includes believers worldwide, including you and I. The picture I really want us to have in mind is that picture of leaning into the dog pen when we went to get Zoe, and her being picked up out of the pen, separated from the others. She was ‘set apart’ to be our dog. She was chosen, we decided to make her special from all the other dogs and to become part of our family forever.

The problem with my illustration is we could not really change Zoe. We could try a few things, like fixing her nose, keeping her healthy, and providing for her, but we can not make her a “better” or perfect dog. God, on the other hand, has chosen us, and CAN make us holy. He has all the power, ability, means and time to sanctify us. This is precisely what He is in the process of doing. Part of that process includes “following his statutes” which we should be daily committed to, but even then, it will take the power of God and assistance of the Holy Spirit in our lives to achieve this. Our job is to keep following our master, just like Zoe follows me around the house! Follow Him, love him, look constantly for the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives, and be dedicated to doing  what He says and shows us. Today, stop for a minute and try to really appreciate the fact God has specifically chosen you to be in His family. You and I are the ones He desires to bring into His “home”. He is preparing us for a home in eternity where He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. Right now, he is “sanctifying” us in preparation for that. How can you not want to be chosen and changed to be in that home?

Stand up… it still matters.

Do you remember the “Manners” video we got from the library? I have tried to look for it online and can not find it or even the title anywhere. It sure was old-fashioned, but the content was valuable. It showed you how to put a napkin in your lap when eating. It discussed chewing your food with your mouth closed. It even taught that no bite of food going into your mouth should be larger than a grape. Many more manners were covered, and I bet they could have included today’s verse right in there with them.

Lev. 19:32 would be considered by most  to be “good manners”. Today, though, we can see it is not only “good manners”, but actually instruction from God. This verse is in the midst of a number of verses where God is giving instruction on how His people are to treat others around them. It is of importance to note that this entire chapter is preceded with the statement “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:1) Apparently, holiness is seen and related in part to how we treat others. Reading this verse in light of that context, it means that when we respect and honor the elderly or those who are older than us, we are “being holy” in a way. As stated directly in the verse, it is connected to  “revering” God.” It is a reflection of our treatment of Him. It is a reflection of our own “holiness” through Christ.

Sometimes we can read the Bible and the instruction is not crystal clear in our day and age as to how to live it out.  This time, I doubt anyone would have trouble understanding. Honor older people. When you were younger, we taught you to give up your seat for someone older. I am not sure I even considered this an act of “holiness”, but perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, we should. Sometimes representing God well will be an act of us honoring an older person.

Today, as we consider the holiness of God, our part in becoming his children and reflecting his holiness, consider this piece: How can you and I honor those who are older around us? Giving up a chair or seat is one easy way. There are other ways though too.  We need to respect their opinion and listen better, realizing they are speaking with wisdom and experience. The message today is to disrespect and laugh at those older than us, looking at them as ones who are perhaps “behind the times.” May we instead see them as the gifts from God that they are,  to be revered and  honored. We should realize how much we can learn from them. May we purposefully seek time with those around us who are older, asking them to share what they have learned from living a life walking with God so we can follow in their footsteps. Spend time with people older than you who come from a different generation. Take their wise counsel to heart-they have lived much more of life than you and I. We would be wise to text or call to ask advice from our parents or grandparents and heed their counsel. Respect them at all times. Our honor and reverence of those older, will show our reverence to God, and be part of our own transformation into a proper reflection of the holy God we claim we serve. Respecting elders as it turns out, is far more than just “good manners”.


Guard rails…

When you were babies, dad and I did not let you touch the tv remotes. Holding the remote certainly was not morally wrong, but remote controls are not baby toys. If we had let you “play” with it as a baby, at some point, we would have had to teach you later not to play with it. It was a preventative measure, and a step in teaching you the difference between what was a toy, and what was a decoration or item used for something else. As you got older when we visited friends, we could tell you something was not a toy, and you had learned not to touch it.

Preventative measures are good for all of us at all ages. They are like guard rails that keep us on the right track. They are often a rule or guideline about something, that in and of itself is not morally right or wrong, but can help keep us from sin. After a little research on today’s Leviticus chapter, I believe God’s intention here was also a “preventative” measure. If you look at todays verses, at first they seem a little odd. Why would a person be required to bring all of the named animals to the tent of meeting that were killed? Lev. 17:7 gives us the big clue. It talks about not sacrificing to a “goat demon”. The animals mentioned in Lev. 17, ox, lamb and goats, were common animals used to sacrifice to other gods for those nations around the Israelites. God knew the heart of his people, and their tendency to go astray very quickly. He had already seen them do so with Aaron and the golden calf, so He was putting up some very clear “guard rails” to protect them from repeating that sin again. It was a guard rail against becoming, or adopting the behaviors of the pagan nations around them. They were to bring any ox, lamb or goats killed to Him, and to Him alone.

The draw to become or be influenced by those around them is not only a characteristic of the Israelites. We will always have that same inclination. Conforming to the world is a natural, slow and insidious process. If we do nothing to fight it, it will happen automatically. We need guard rails just like the Israelites. Just as one example, I am reminded of Ps. 101:3, which says “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” Based on this, dad and I use OpenDNS with the internet here at the house to help us not set “anything worthless” (some versions say “evil”) before any “eyes” in this house. OpenDNS blocks sites in the categories of gambling, drugs, dating, lingerie, weapons and more. Not ALL the sites included in these are morally bad, but most would lead us in the wrong direction. OpenDNS is a “guard rail” for our eyes when we are on the internet.

What other guard rails do you and I have in place? First, think about the world we will be drawn to conform to. What are activities, thoughts, or time investments that we are naturally encouraged to do by our neighbors, the internet, and those around us, go against what God calls us to do? What do we have in place to help protect us? It could be a friend that we ask to hold us accountable in a specific area like language or media content. We could create a “guard rail” to protect us from becoming greedy setting up automatic transfers from our paycheck to church or to support another ministry. The world will NATURALLY conform us to its image. The question is, do we have any guard rails in place to help fight against this?

Heed the warnings … “lest you die”

When you got your wisdom teeth out, the pain medication prescribed had many warnings. One of those warnings was: “Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.” Percocet makes a person drowsy and a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. Doctors and pharmacists do not put the warning on the bottle just to be mean. It is not on there to prevent their patients from having fun or going about their normal daily activities. They put it there to protect the patient and others from serious harm or death.

When you and I read God’s Word, and read something that is “restrictive” to our current lifestyle or our desires, it would do us good to think about medical warnings. No one likes to be told what to do. We naturally do not like to be prevented from doing something we desire. But, none of us complain about or disregard the warnings and restrictions on prescription drugs. In the same way, we shouldn’t complain or disregard God’s warnings and instructions either.

Am I exaggerating by using this comparison? You tell me. Look at today’s verse in Leviticus. This verse ends a chapter regarding purification rituals about the tabernacle. God tells Moses to tell this to the Israelites so they will not die. We are talking death here. Unsure? Ask Aaron, whose 2 sons were killed instantaneously for not following the instructions given by God. God does not kill people on a whim, or because He likes to punish people. This entire section of Leviticus is explanation for the people on how to purify themselves because impurity CAN NOT stand in God’s presence. God is not just looking at people and has decided he only likes “pure” people. It is a fact, just like a fish will die out of water. It is a mere truth. Unholiness in the midst of a holy God results in immediate death.

We are no longer required to sacrifice a bird and be examined by a priest if we have an open wound on our skin, thank goodness, but there is still clear instruction from God about how we are to live. Sometimes, God’s instruction is easier to follow due to our gifting and personality. For instance, I would say I have seen the 3 of you are hard workers, obeying God’s instruction in Col. 3:23 which says “whatever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord…” This seems to come naturally to you, so I doubt you struggle to obey that instruction. But, there are other commands from God that we will have to choose to obey and obedience will be hard. They will require us to sacrifice something-our time, our money, our desires, or something else. The key and a helpful motivator to do what is right in these circumstances is to remind yourself that ALL of God’s instruction is for our good. It is to protect us, to bring us through to something better than what we think we wanted and to bring God glory through it all. God is not out to be a killjoy, though Satan will try to deceive you that He is.  God’s intention is for good, not evil, as Joseph tells us. God does not want us to die, as he reminded Moses and the Israelites in Leviticus. He gives us warnings and commands for the same reason dad and I did not let any of you drive while taking Percocet (the pain medication); “lest you die”.

Grab the stain remover!

Keeping whites white is no easy task. I am talking about white shirts, white sheets, white towels and so on. I have tried every conventional suggestion as well as the strange suggestions one can find on Pinterest or Facebook. The reason I try to do this is because no one wants to wear a white shirt with a stain in it, or use a kitchen towel that looks dirty due to stains. Stains can ruin the entire item. It is no longer considered clean.

In today’s chapter of Leviticus, we read about all kinds of regulations for people with skin diseases. God was laying out guidelines as to what “defiles” a person and would ‘disallow” them from entering His sanctuary due to “uncleanliness”. In other words, these diseases were like physical “stains” that made them no longer “clean” enough for God’s presence. Spiritually, sin does that exact same thing, except to our soul. Sin keeps a person eternally separated from God. That is the result of life in sin without forgiveness.

Along with definitions of clean and unclean, we see the priests  in Chapter 13 repeatedly making a “pronouncement”. They let the rest of the people know publicly if a person was clean or unclean. Over 10 times in this chapter alone, the priest has to observe someone or something and then “pronounce” it clean or unclean. I only chose one example for today’s devotion, but look at this chapter and see for yourself. What did anyone who came to the priest hope and pray for? That hoped to be declared “clean”.

We live in a day and age far from the days of Leviticus. Pastor Curtis does not stand at the door of church and examine our skin before allowing us in to church. But God is there and he has completed the examination and made the pronouncement public.  Romans 3:23 states; “For we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We failed the examination. Of course, the problem is, God still desires that we enter His presence in a “clean” state. As believers, we thankfully can do this. We were pronounced “clean” the moment we decided to allow the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sins. This does not negate the “filthiness” of sin though. It can still get on us, stain us (just like my white shirts) and defile us. We need to continually be repenting of our sin, making sure we are not in a “chronic” state of sin (habitual sin) that is dirtying us. It is a good practice to go ahead and ask our priest, Jesus, to examine us with his Spirit daily, to reveal our sin and cleanse us from that. Why? Because just like stains on a white shirt ruin the whole shirt, sin in our life will ruin our lives. It will ruin our witness for Christ. It can ruin our personal fellowship and prayer life with God. It can ruin friendships. It is always a stainer and destroyer. God does not receive any glory from our lives when we are living in sin and not repenting of it. Each day that we are living in Christ, we are having our sin “stains” cleansed, and we are learning more about how to avoid those “stains” in the first place.

Can you or I think of a sin we were struggling with a year ago or 5 years ago, that we have repented of and God has helped us turn away from? Being able to look back and see how God is transforming us can be a great encouragement to continuing to press on in the faith. It is like pulling the terribly stained shirt out of the washer and finding that the stain-remover did its job. It is finding the stain is no longer there. Clothing is much more useful when the stains have been removed. We are much more useful to God too, as each of the stains of our sins are removed from our lives and we better reflect Christ’s pure image to those around us.

Consider the long term cost…

This year was a rough year for Ezekiel Elliot to say the least. I don’t know much about it, but I know two things: He did something wrong and because of that, for a number of games, he was not allowed to play. This affected him, his family, his team, and anyone who had him on their fantasy football team as well. His choice to do something wrong was very costly. The cost was long term and painful. He was punished for doing wrong.
We all are familiar with the Old Testament punishments for doing something wrong in God’s eyes. Today’s verses are just one example. Disobedience regarding what the Israelites ate could cost them to be cut off from their people. That was God’s instruction. It was a harsh punishment. In this case, it would have also been immediate. The Israelite offender was cut off from his people and from God. This means unless he was restored and that sin was atoned for, he was no longer a part of “God’s chosen people”, the promises were no longer his and the blessings God would be giving his people would not be his to partake of. This was a high cost.

Doing wrong still has a cost. Ezekiel Elliot’s cost was not quite as immediate as the Israelites, but it eventually came. He was “cut off” from “his people”. His punishment became very public. But not all “doing wrong”, or sin,  is made public and not all consequences are immediate. I do want to make a quick distinction here between punishment and consequences:  All sin has consequences. As believers, Jesus took the punishment for our sin, but we will still suffer the consequences of that sin. Keeping this in mind, what can we learn from this portion of Leviticus that shows God’s character and teaches us today?

Sin is still serious. This is not new news. Because our consequences may not be made public like the Israelites or Ezekiel Elliot’s, it may seem like we won’t experience any. Don’t be fooled- they are coming. The sowing and reaping principle always holds true. The habit of speeding will eventually end up with in a speeding ticket. Sitting under the influence of coarse words amongst friends or media will eventually creep into our own language patterns. A careless word “misspoken” or “mistyped” will destroy a friendship. These things will most likely not be on the front page of ESPN, but they will fracture relationships and cut us off from others. It will cut us of from “our people”, just as sin and impurity cut the Israelites off from their people.

The saddest piece to this equation? Who is the loser? You and I. The sinner. Sin breaks trust and relationships. Sin keeps us from God. Sin causes guilt. Sin separates us from believers-someone walking closely with Christ will not desire or choose to be with someone walking in habitual sin. They won’t be BFF’s for long and their idea of favorite “activities” will differ greatly. There will be a separation of friends.

Today’s stark words from Leviticus should resound in our hearts as a warning. Pray God keeps us from sin. Walk closely with God and His instruction so we can hear His still small voice warning us of danger. Obey that still small voice immediately. Where there is no sin or disobedience, there are no consequences. We have nothing to fear if we start each day and ask for the Spirit’s help to “walk in His ways” all the days of our lives. This is the life of fulfilled promises of God, blessing and healthy, vibrant relationships that will extend into eternity. It is then that we can be certain not to be a headline on ESPN or anywhere else, and we can enjoy all the blessings and privileges of being on God’s “team”.

Stay away from the mud…

When you were little, I sometimes let you go outside to play in the rain or mud. What is the first thing I said to you before you came back in the house? It was probably something like: “Don’t come in” or “clean off first” or maybe even just “take your shoes off before coming in”. I certainly wanted you back in the house, but you had to clean off first instead of coming in a complete mess and getting the whole house dirty!


If you can get that mental picture in your mind, it will give us a hint of the feeling or meaning behindwhat we can read in Lev. 5. Keep in mind, this analogy is only a hint, because a clean house falls WAY short of a holy, pure God we read about today. In Lev. 5, God lays out sin and guilt offering instructions. At the end of each section, we see today’s verse or something similar. It speaks of atonement and forgiveness. Atonement is not the most common word for us. I found my german Bible helped me understand this a little better. This is probably more of a paraphrase, but goes something like this: “With this offering, the priest gets things straight (or pure) again, and he is freed from his sin.”  Two key thoughts here: purity and sinlessness. God prescribes pages and pages of instruction for his people to get them “pure” and “free from sin”.

Why is that? It is because they can not come into His presence unless they are in that state. We can not either. At the most basic level, God will not and CAN not let us “in his house” is we are “covered in mud”.

Have you ever read through Leviticus? Do you know how much instruction is given to the priests, what they must wear, how to preform these sacrifices and offerings and all the rules to follow? If you haven’t read it, just skim it for a couple of minutes and start counting pages. There is a LOT about what is to be done for atonement and the sins to be forgiven. Everyday. These things were bloody, costly, animals died, and it was a full time job for these priests. Why is all that there? Why did God bother with all that?

It is because HE WANTS US IN THE HOUSE. As he stated in Exodus, God desires to dwell with us. If he didn’t want to be with us, He would not have bothered with any of this. Where the muddy child analogy falls short is with God’s holiness. Walking in a dirty house just makes more mess for a mom to clean up. Approaching a holy God covered in sin is completely different. There is no entry, only death.

Leviticus was the start of what Jesus finished. Leviticus showed that really, no matter how much we try to follow those instructions, we continue to be covered in sin. We need an outside source to wash all the sin off and to do it so that we can dwell with God. Jesus was our atonement and through him, we are forgiven forever. He was both the priest and the sacrifice. The door is open, we are no longer muddy, and our father desires that we spend as much time in His presence as possible. Now that we can come in the house, He can teach us and give us the tools for us to learn how not to get “dirty” in the first place. So, come on in. Spend time in His house, and let’s learn to stop playing in the mud, moving on to the much better things our Father has for us!


Where are you on the “org chart”?

Aaron will probably run for a position in student council for next year. The structure of student council at school is SGA president, SGA VP, Class President, Class VP and then numerous other positions along with those. Companies have something similar with CEO’s, vp’s and so on. These are most often called organizational charts. Companies and schools were not the first to come up with the idea of structures or “org charts”. God was.

We see it in Leviticus 4 today, as instructions are given regarding the sin offerings. The priest was the “top level” so to speak in God’s org chart. He goes from the top down. The responsibility also goes from the top down. The priest is responsible for making sure he makes his offering if he sins. As the priest, he is responsible to make sure he is in a right standing with God, to seek restoration to God through the offering, and he will set an example for those under him as well. From there, the same is done at each level; someone is responsible for others, they are to model restoration in their relationship with God and set that example for the rest of the people.

Lev. 4 shows us our God is a God of order. He does have set roles for people. It started in Genesis when he created man and woman, and set roles for them-men are to lead the family, and wives are to be their helpmate. God expands that order for his people in regards to offerings and worship. It continues to the description of how God’s church is to run in the New Testament with teachers, elders and believers. With structure, order and position comes a plan that can be accomplished. God’s plan. The leaders have a responsibility in their given positions and are to model proper behavior. Every person has their role serving those they are given responsibility for and this includes us.

You and I also have a place in God’s organizational chart. He has placed us in a role there we are responsible for some others in some way. Right now, as a mom, I have a God-given responsibility to lead you all, my kids, well. I am responsible to model godly behavior and let you see what it looks like for me to repent from my sin. I should be modeling godly behavior, what it means to spend time in God’s word daily, and how to obey God’s instruction in every day life. I am also in the role of wife, to be a helper to dad. I am to show him great respect and to honor him in my words and actions, loving him unconditionally (which is easy to do since he is so kind to me!). What is your role? Aaron may have the role of SGA president next year. If he does, he will be observed by the others in the school and he should set an example on how to lead well, respect authority, not speak poorly of others. Jordan has a new role of leadership with youth at church. What suggestions or life styles will he live out that are examples to them? Miriam has held positions of leadership in school and in sports. What characteristics could her friends and teammates model that would be pleasing to God?

Our God will always be a God of order. Remember, God does not change. He has set this world up with order and structure from the most basic building blocks of husband, wife and family to the highest level of churches and government. Without order, chaos reigns. Know your role. Pray frequently that God would show you the role he has chosen for you in each season. Take your role seriously as far as the responsibility you have amongst friends and others, and remember the influence you have. That influence does come with responsibility and a calling to be the example God wants you to be. 1 Timothy is a great reminder for this where God tells youth (but really all of us) to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Bubba burgers and saltines…

I picked up some of the bacon and cheese “Bubba burgers” last week when I was grocery shopping. On Sunday, we had communion in church and that consisted of the usual cracker pieces and a small portion of juice. Bubba Burgers, saltines and grape juice can all be easily purchased at Giant or even through Amazon, so in and of themselves, they are not particularly “holy” foods. The crackers and juice served a completely different purpose though than the Bubba burgers will, didn’t they?

While the items are, on the one hand, really all just food, their usage distinguishes them and makes them different. I thought of the Bubba burgers today when reading about the “meat” burnt offerings and grain offerings in the first couple of chapters in Leviticus. Instruction was clearly given as to what to bring for these offerings. What happened to these every day food offerings after they were presented as offerings, though, altered them. The meat offerings were burnt and said to be a “pleasing aroma” to God. Does this mean all meat when it is on the barbecue is a pleasing aroma to God too? I don’t think so. The “pleasing” part came in the heart that willingly gave the everyday food to God, recognizing the need for forgiveness in some area and cleansing. It was the offering of a willing repentant heart recognizing a need to be changed.

Offerings are such a foreign concept to us really but the New Testament can help us. References in the New Testament about offerings change it from meats and grains, to much more personal things. In Philippians, Paul speaks of his life as being “poured out like a drink offering”-Paul’s life was given as an offering. 1 Peter 2:5 says as believers we can now offer  “spiritual sacrifices”-so not grain and meat, but spiritual sacrifices that please the Lord. And of course in Romans 12 we are told to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

We have no altar, and don’t need to burn Bubba burgers or saltines  as offerings to God. But that doesn’t mean we are unable to still make choices as offerings that please God, that are a “sweet aroma” to Him. We can and should be doing these things. Somehow, there are ways, that our everyday lives, the most common pieces of our lives, can be used in a way and offered to God that change them from ordinary to a service for God and pleasing to Him. Such modern day offerings might include the way we do or do not use  our bodies. It might also include actions we take that are spiritual in nature like a spiritual discipline we commit to. That would be a pleasing aroma and become an offering to God. Maybe we are called to take one path in life instead of another because of where we see God leading, instead of just our desires. Offerings require a sacrifice of some sort. A willing giving of something to God out of our love for Him and desire to change our ways and/or repent of sin. Consider today if you and I have made any offerings to God lately or if perhaps He is calling us to do so. Our sins are already all forgiven as believers, but if we want our lives to be pleasing to the Lord and a sweet aroma, I suspect offerings and sacrifices in life will still be involved for the rest of our lives.

We should be better than Alexa…


I was just talking with Mrs. K. about how the Alexa (Amazon Echo) would be helpful and useful for seniors like her dad or her aunt. Part of the discussion included the fact that AI still is not quite where it needs to be in understanding and fulfilling our verbal commands. It has a long way to go.

In terms of doing as commanded, Exodus 40 today shows us the opposite of an Alexa.In Chapter 40 the phrase “all that the Lord commanded” or a similar phrase is written multiple times. I only listed one of the many verses here, but if you look at the chapter you will see this idea is repeated 7 times.  Moses and those assembling the tabernacle are described as doing “as the Lord commanded”. God’s commands regarding the tabernacle were very, very clear. Moses and those he was working with diligently did what was commanded. In fact, if we were to describe these people just based on this chapter, a fair description would be that they were people who “did just as the Lord commanded.”

I wish that is how I could be described as well. Just as we desire Alexa to do what we command her, God desires we do what He commands us. He has stated very clearly, using language we have no trouble understanding.  We don’t have the excuse that Alexa has of not understanding due to being AI (Artificial Intelligence). We volitionally make a choice, day in day out-whether to do what God says or not. In fact, our natural “inclination” is to not obey. But, this can be changed and it doesn’t take the latest software update to do so. It takes the Holy Spirit working in our lives. God tells us that day by day He is sanctifying us and that, in conjunction with a consistent daily intake of his Word, we are being transformed into His image. We become more obedient children who follow His commands. If we find our desire to obey God’s commands increasing daily, we can be sure we are on the right track. If we don’t see ourselves desiring this, or loving what God loves and hating what he hates more each day, than we need to check what we are allowing to influence us in our daily life. Joyful, fulfilling obedience does not come naturally, it comes through transformation of the heart. Transformation of the heart comes from godly disciplines in our lives getting us into His Word daily. To be described as a person who lives “as the Lord commanded” is the best description we could ever have. It would be a wonderful prayer to pray that we might respond like a more “perfect Alexa” when it comes to God’s commands on a daily basis.