Month: January 2017

Exodus 25-26

Exodus 25:2
2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.

It is important that everything we give to the Lord, whether it be our finances or our time, be given willingly from a pure heart. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul says, So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. We must never give begrudgingly, for to give in this manner, we would be better off not giving at all.

Exodus 25:8-9
8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

The tabernacle which was portable and would be carried with the Israelites while wandering in the desert, was a pattern for the temple which would come. The book of Revelation tells us that when the new earth and heaven are created, Jesus will be our tabernacle. John the apostle wrote, when Jesus was born, when He became flesh, God dwelt among us (John 1:14). I love how perfectly the bible is tied together, from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation.

Exodus 26:1
1 “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them.

I have always loved putting together those prefabricated pieces of furniture from Ikea. I love opening all of the packages of screws and wooden dowels, etc., and then following the very clear and detailed instructions on how it is to be constructed (though I must admit that I am not the best instruction follower).

Try to imagine how spectacular the tabernacle was, and what a testimony of who God is that it was. They would soon be watching this magnificent structure being built, from scratch, with the very clear and detailed instructions given to Moses, directly from God. Each and every time they would set up the tabernacle, they would be reminded that God was with them. It must have been an amazing thing to behold.

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Exodus 23-24, Matthew 20

Exodus 23:9
9 “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

I believe one of the best ways to share Jesus with others is to reach out to strangers. It is easy to reach out to those we know, but offering a cup of cold water to a complete stranger is a powerful thing. Jesus said, “As often as you do this to the least of one of these, you do it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Exodus 23:20-21
20 “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.

The Angel spoken of here is none other than Jesus Christ. It is what we would refer to here as an Old Testament Messianic reference. Any time we see Jesus in Old Testament, it is a Christophany, a physical manifestation of Jesus prior to His physical birth.

Exodus 23:24
24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars.

The Lord wants to make sure that our spiritual houses stay clear of anything that will distract us from Him. When we come across anything that gets in the way of our personal relationship with Him, we must completely destroy it.

Exodus 24:7
7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”

Throughout the bible, we read of these accounts where the Word of God is read to the people. I like reading such accounts. It reminds me of what we have an opportunity to do every time we get together as a church body. Would be to God that our response might always be a heartfelt determination to respond with, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”

Exodus 24:8
8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

Pay close attention to how often the use of and reference to blood is presented in connection with obeying the Lord, His promises and dealing with sin. It all points to the picture of ultimate forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus.

Matthew 20:13-14
13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

This is a great parable (a story which illustrates a spiritual truth) which speaks of the ability and heart of God to save anyone who calls upon Him, whether young or old. I love that the Lord shows no partiality. The key is, that we call upon Jesus before we die, and none of us know Ethan that might be.

Matthew 20:32
32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “ What do you want Me to do for you?”

Jesus wants to hear those things that we would like Him to do for us. Just remember, that He knows best and whether or not we really need him to do the things we want Him to do. I love putting my life in His hands. It is the absolute safest place we could ever be.

Exodus 21-22, Matthew 19

Exodus 21:1
1 “Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them:

This is the beginning a series of laws and regulations that the Lord intended to protect mankind from any number of problems and conflicts. We would do well to take to heart many of these things today.

The purpose of these laws was twofold; one, to protect God’s people and two, to show us the impossibility of perfectly keeping the law. The purpose, we learn from the New Testament, is to declare us guilty, pointing us to the need of a Savior.

Exodus 22:22-24
22 “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

The Lord has a very special place in His heart for the widows and the orphans. In the book of James we read the definition of pure religion; “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble…” (James 1:27).

Matthew 19:6
6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The bible is very clear about how he feels about divorce, He hates it. Why? Because it covers ones garment with violence (Malachi 2:16). It is the violent tearing away of flesh. It must be avoided at all costs.

Matthew 19:20
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

We tend to search and search until we think we have arrived at all we need to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. However, if we are honest with ourselves, we find that there are things that are lacking, things the Lord wants us to give to Him, but we hold back. Until we are willing to give it all to Him, we will never fully attain to the depth of relationship with the Lord we desire to have.

Matthew 19:26
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “ With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus is speaking of salvation here. Without God, and His willingness to give us Jesus, it would be impossible to be saved.

Exodus 19-20, Matthew 18

Exodus 19:5
5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

The Lord loves us, and all He wants from us is obedience. He wants to bless us, He wants to encourage us and equip us for everything we will ever face this side of heaven. He is ready to do His part, and the only requirement from us, is that we do what He tells us to do. Failure to obey, leads to consequences that we can only blame ourselves for.

Exodus 19:8
8 Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.

How often do we tell God that we will do whatever He tells us to do and then do just the opposite? Our only hope to stop that vicious cycle, is to realize how dependent we are on Jesus and His words and His teaching and daily come before Him in prayer, seeking His help to walk in obedience. When we do this, we find it easy to do what He tells us to do.

Exodus 19:21
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish.

Prior to Jesus, coming before God without being harmed was virtually impossible. It is important that we understand this, because it helps us to understand how wonderful a role Jesus plays in reconciling us with our heavenly Father.

Exodus 20:20
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”

God wants us to have a ‘healthy’ fear if Him lest we take sin casually, without thinking it will not affect our relationship with Him. Sin separates us from God. One of the problems among many Christians today, is that they do not have a healthy fear of God and therefore enter into sin, content with a shallow relationship with Him. I am not interested in this kind of relationship. It robs me of God’s best for my life.

Exodus 20:23
23 You shall not make anything to be with Me—gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.

We will see how much the violation of this got the Israelites into a whole lot of trouble…and rightly so. It gets people in trouble today as we are plagued with all types of gods. They come in the form of entertainment, money, power and sex.

Matthew 18:5
5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Whenever we come to Jesus, we must come to Him with the faith and trust of a child. This will keep us from second guessing the things He tells us through the Word and prayer.

Matthew 18:21-22
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “ I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is both a wonderful and a hard thing. We love to be forgiven, but we don’t like to forgive. We want to limit how much we must forgive, but the Lord tells us we must be willing to forgive always. He is our example of such forgiveness. When I think of how often He has forgiven me, I am more apt to freely forgive others.

Exodus 16-18

Exodus 16:3
3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

The world can look pretty good when we are going through a trial. We mustn’t believe it for a moment. What God has for us on the other side of the trial is always better.

Exodus 16:11-12
11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God. ’”

Having raised six children I heard a lot of complaining. There were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I thank God that He is not that way with us, He listens and if that were not enough, He responds accordingly.

Exodus 16:27-28
27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?

We must always, always take the Lord at His word. He will do what He says He will do.

Exodus 16:35
35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

Can you even imagine how nutritious ‘manna’ was? I would love to have been able to taste it, especially knowing what I know about it now.

Exodus 17:4
4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”

We must learn to cry out to the Lord, the very first thing, whenever we don’t know what to do.

Exodus 18:8
8 And Moses told his father- in- law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.

There is nothing I enjoy more than talking about the Lord and all the marvelous things He has done in my life. I am always disappointed when I am hanging out with other Christians and the Lord never seems to come up in their conversation. I don’t understand why.

Exodus 18:20
20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

As a pastor, the best thing I can do for the people under my care is teach them the word of God and then show them how to walk as a Christian and how to serve the Lord.

Exodus 14-15, Matthew 17

Exodus 14:11
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?

It is incredible to me at how quickly we can forget all that God has done for us. The least little interruption in the way we think things should be done can send us into a tailspin (although I will admit that an Egyptian army chasing you in chariots is no small thing). It is important that we always consider those things that God has done in our lives lest we become distracted by uncomfortable circumstances.

Exodus 14:14
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

I love that the Lord fights for me!

Exodus 14:22
22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

You would think that this would be a miracle they would never forget. Such that they would never mistrust God again.

Exodus 15:11
11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

There is no one as great and wonderful and glorious as our God…no one!

Exodus 15:24
24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

As I read this, I realize how easy it is for me to complain about things, even right after I have been blessed of the Lord. As I find myself a bit disgusted by their complaints, I am stirred to make sure that I don’t slip into complaining. It only leads us down a bad path.

Matthew 17:5
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Imagine talking with someone and being interrupted by God!

Matthew 17:20
20 So Jesus said to them, “ Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

This has always been a difficult verse to grasp. I believe I have a lot of faith, but when I read this I feel like a lightweight in the faith area. Lord I do believe, please help my unbelief.

Exodus 12-13, Matthew 16

Exodus 12:23
23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

This story is one of the most beautiful pictures in all of the bible of the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus was the unblemished, the perfect Lamb of God whose blood was shed for the sins of the world. In the same manner that the smeared blood of the lamb on the door posts and on the lintel (forming the shape of the cross) delivered the Israelites from death, so the shed blood of Jesus on the cross delivers us from eternal death. Jesus was crucified on Passover over a thousand years later.

Exodus 13:11-12
11 “And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s.

We must walk in the understanding that all that we have belongs to the Lord. We must never think that we committed our lives to Him and then go about our own merry way. No, we commit our lives to Him because He is the only One who can save us, and then we give him everything else that we have, because in reality everything we have is from Him. we can tend to forget this if we are not careful…may it never be.

Exodus 13:21
21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

The Lord wants to lead us in everything we do, all we have to do is let Him!

Matthew 16:2-3
2 He answered and said to them, “ When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening. ’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

The signs of the times today, tell us that the Lord’s return is very near. Maranatha…which means, ‘Come Lord Jesus come!’

Matthew 16:13
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “ Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

When we stand before God, He will not be interested in our good deeds, but rather what we say about His Son Jesus, and who we say He is. If we confess anything less than, “He is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of the living God who came to take away the sins of the world,” we will not enter into eternal rest with God. It is as simple, sobering and profound as that.

Matthew 16:23
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “ Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Being mindful of the things of men, rather than the things of God will get us into trouble.

Matthew 16:26
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Absolutely no profit!