April 27, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 40

The glory of the Lord. The reputation in the narrative of these verses emphasizes the point that the Lord is present with all his glory in the midst of his people: the tabernacle (vv. 34, 35, 36, 38) was to be the tent of meeting (v. 34) where the Lord’s presence was signified by the cloud (vv. 34-38) and fire so that they might be sanctified by the glory of the Lord and know that he was their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt in order that he might dwell among them. (ESV Study Notes)

God is a faithful father. He has always gone to the greatest lengths in order to sanctify and be near to his children. Our greatest example of his unstoppable love is of course is the cross. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

So the real question for us is to what length will we go to in order to be near to him? Will you lay down your comfort in order to walk with him?

By: Chad Wiles

April 26, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 39

In this last section of Exodus we read about the construction of the tabernacle, everything in it, and all things associated with it. This particular passage records the construction of the priestly garments, which were laid out in Exodus 28. One of the things that struck me the most today was the intricate detail with which God does things, especially through imperfect people.

The descriptions of these garments are honestly difficult to comprehend (some of which is my own dimwittedness I admit), let alone carry out and construct. I can only imagine the guys who had to construct these priestly garments to the perfection of God’s command. That’s some kind of pressure! Let’s be real, I feel pressure trying to follow the instructions for my television stand from Walmart…there’s always that extra screw! Imagine these guys finishing up Aaron’s robe and having an extra onyx stone (hmm…I wonder where that one goes?) Of course that didn’t happen, they carried out God’s plan perfectly 42“According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work.”

God had an elaborate plan to be with His people in the tabernacle. The perfection with which everything had to be completed was not softened or cheapened in any way so that the people could complete what He was calling them to do. So, how were they able to do it? Look back at chapter 36 real quick:

1“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.”

The Lord empowered these people to carry out His plan to perfection. He gave them the right skill they needed at the right time to do what He called them to do.  Likewise, we can be certain that God’s plan in this world and in our lives is just as elaborate and intricate as it was in the days of Exodus. He will not cheapen or soften His plans so we can carry them out on our own power. We can also be certain that when He calls us to serve Him and carry out His plan, He will equip us for every good work He has for us to do (most of which will seem totally out of our ability range).

Maybe you feel like the plan God has laid out before you is beyond your pay grade, over your head, beyond your skill level. You’re probably right. I feel that way every day myself. The good news is that we don’t have to fear our weaknesses when God calls us out for His purposes because it is not in our power that He expects us to carry it out, it is in His. I’ll leave you with a verse that I cling to almost daily and I encourage you to memorize this week and live in light of it moving forward:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

By: Matt Mofield

April 25, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 38

The court, basin, and altars are great pictures of worship as we continue the study of the Tabernacle. One of the clearest thoughts that runs through these chapters is this: God deserves the highest quality of worship. The finest materials were used. The most intricate detail was instructed.

When looking at these passages, I was reminded of the fact that, as a New Testament believer in Jesus, I am the Temple of the Holy Spirit! The finest materials were used. The intricate details were attended to by God himself. These verses serve as great reminders:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
(Psalm 139:13-14 ESV)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

But how can I continue to serve as a God-honoring Temple of the Holy Spirit? In a solid, short book by Donald Whitney, I learned some questions I want to pass onto you for reflection in today’s Jumpstart. These questions are great food for thought, and they get at the heart of who we are as Christians. Check them out:

1. Do you thirst for God?
2. Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?
3. Are you more loving?
4. Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?
5. Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
6. Do you delight in the Bride of Christ?
7. Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?
8. Do you still grieve over sin?
9. Are you a quicker forgiver?
10. Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?

Questions taken from Donald S. Whitney’s book Ten Questions To Diagnose Your Spiritual Health.

By: Todd Thomas

April 23, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 37

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

The making of the ark, and the furniture of the tabernacle. – In the furniture of the tabernacle were emblems of a spiritual and acceptable service. The incense represented the prayers of the saints. The sacrifice of the alter represented the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. The golden pot with manna, or bread from heaven, the flesh of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the life of the world. The candlestick, with its lights, the teaching and enlightening of the Holy Spirit. The shew-bread represented that provision for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the gospel, the ordinances and the sacraments of the house of prayer, abundantly bestow. The exactness of the workmen to their rule, should be followed by us; seeking for the influences of the Holy Spirit, that we may rejoice in and glorify God while in this world, and at length be with him for ever.

We may no longer follow the sacraments of the Old Testament but we do have our ways of worshiping and honoring God. Just as the priests were careful to keep the law of the Lord because of their faith in Him, we too should work hard to walk with God out of our faith and worship. Your works does not earn you favor with God, they show your love for Him!

How careful are you to read your Bible, pray, love others, sing songs or serve?

By: Chad Wiles