Monthly Archives: September 2014

Energy

Do you think God could have miraculously moved the Exodus pilgrims up and out of bondage and into the land of milk and honey in a split second? He really is the God of the universe. Any being who could bring the universe into existence certainly could do that!  However, man didn’t design the true God and we certainly shouldn’t try to define Him outside of His Word.

God is His Word and He hasn’t changed. We can’t see God but we can see His effects. We see Him in the Word and we can see Him wherever an individual manifests His operation in his/her life. Our big example is His son, Jesus Christ. God is spirit and He imparted spirit to Jesus Christ.

So why the trek across the desert? The truth is God didn’t whip an abracadabra world into being when He said ‘Let there be light’. Light is energy and it transforms energy into a force to make things happen. The force needs to be utilized.  God didn’t create a fantasy world. He created a working world. Living things in this world grow, mature, work, produce, function, endure, repair, believe, trust, love, think, and move among many other things that require energy. Even the signs and miracles that occurred when they left Egypt behind required action.

Action is not a way of earning God’s grace, it is the way to carry it out. Grace is unearned favor. It is a gift.  If someone gives you $1000 as a gift, it is not earned. If you don’t utilize the money, you don’t get the benefits of the gift. God is the great giver and He has given us His spirit also.  It is His desire to love and bless people, but people have to act upon His Word and utilize His grace. God’s love is active and grace is not just some lovely bauble. It is the power to do!

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Judging Others?

It is easy to get into the mind set about those early pioneers of Exodus. They appear grumpy, griping every chance they got when something went wrong. But can I truly see the whole picture of their lives when I read Exodus as I sit in my air-conditioned home with all the modern day conveniences and not in the Sinai Desert?  Humans are always passing judgement on others. It can be quite cruel at times.  I’ve been at both ends on this.It is very important to recognize evil:

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good (kalou) and evil (kakou).

Sometimes we are unaware of evil and sometimes we are too aware of it. We can make such a big deal of something that it mushrooms into fear. That is why it is important to run things by God. The key to judgement is God. He does the judging and He has a better view. Our job is to listen. Fear is noise and it is hard to hear when fear is around.

There are times in my life, I have vacillated on things I knew were right courses. God is patient, but there are specific times where immediate action is absolutely required. Exodus is full of examples of this. The golden calf incident is one such incident. Moses had to expose it for what it was. Idolatry is never right. It is a big “No,No” and never beneficial to man. Evil competes with good, good doesn’t have to compete.

Evil involves a system of errors, so it is important to weed out error. We have the Word and we have access to God through Jesus Christ in the form of holy spirit. Anything or anyone who steps into the way of that needs examining honestly. Your walk with God is unique and no one has a right to judge how you serve God. That is between you and God.

Thank God Ananias in Acts 9 understood this! He ministered to Paul. Now there is a situation clearly that judging someone by how he acted would have clearly brought calamity. There is another man named Ananias in Acts 5. His actions were judged and he bought into error.  They had the same name, but they each had two completely different mindsets!

 

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God’s Continuing Presence

People have various perceptions of the book of Leviticus and I have read some interesting commentary about it. Many people question its importance today. Some people label it as legalistic. How many sermons have you heard about Leviticus? It is a very detailed book and centers on worship, atonement and holiness.

As I read through its amazing detail, I am reminded of God’s absolute love. He set down these instructions out of love. God is not a megalomaniac. To the contrary, anything He does or prescribes is to be best for His creation. It is obvious that He desired and continues to desire to be present among His people:

Leviticus 26: 11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

In the history of these people, there are many times they forgot the miracles God wrought among them.  The tabernacle was to reming them of His presence. There was  a prescribed pattern of encampment centrally around the tabernacle.

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The numbers represent the adult male population, so the actual numbers were even larger than written in Numbers. the population of the town I live in is considerably lower that the population of the smallest tribe. Imagine what a huge undertaking this trek through the wilderness would have been! There were no cell phones, restaurants, motels and indoor plumbing!
God’s instructions and set-up reminded them of Him and His desire for them. The set-up for the tabernacle foreshadowed the future appearance of Jesus Christ as the one-time sacrifice for mankind permitting entrance into God’s throne room, the Holy of Holys! God wants to be at the center of our lives. Today His presence is not amidst a bunch of tents, but in the middle of our hearts.

 

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The Tent

God has always desired to dwell with His people. 

Exodus 29:44-46And I will sanctify the tabernacle (NIV ‘tent of meeting’) of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office. 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.

This was the place where God could meet with His people in the wilderness. God gave distinct instructions to Moses as to how this tabernacle was to be instructed and used. Most of all it was a reminder that He was with them. They spiritually could not see Him, they could only see His physical visible acts.

Psalm 103:7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The tabernacle construction and function foreshadowed, in it’s details, God’s plan for the New Covenant later on that would come through  the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  The tabernacle in the Old Testament was a tent that literally  housed the presence of God. Later it was the temple. The veil separating the Holy of Holies was torn down so that today we have the gift of holy spirit:

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Acts 7:44Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built him an house. 48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

The place of rest today is the ‘fleshy table of our heart’.

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