April 22, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 36

You notice how the people who had the best skill and intelligence in construction were commanded by God to work by building the sanctuary (v. 1). This shouldn’t come as a surprise with such an important task before them. With the specific commands that God has given, we should expect the best “contractors” involved in the building of the sanctuary. However it wasn’t just the expertise of these people that God was looking for. Moses also called those whose heart was stirred to do the work of the Lord (v. 2).

I love this. Often we feel like we’re not qualified to do what God wants us to do. We feel like we don’t have the skills that other Christians have or the experience that another can bring to God’s work. You see, God is not just looking for professionals to do his work but someone who has a heart for what He is calling them to. When God stirs your heart for a certain need or ministry area, He does it for a purpose.

But what about the people who didn’t have the construction skills & heart for building the sanctuary? Those people sacrificed and served the mission as well. They may have not had the skill to perform such a duty but they were able to provide the materials for the sanctuary. Not only did they give toward the building of the sanctuary but went above and beyond their giving. To the point where God’s construction crew had to tell them to stop. Can you imagine that? God’s people being so generous that you need to tell them to stop. “We have more than enough money to send our junior/senior students to Puerto Rico or Haiti. You can stop giving now.”

What an amazing response to the work God was calling His people to do. Some built, some gave, all participated. Let this be a reminder for us as a church to continue to be obedient to the mission God has given us. Whether it’s our church’s calling to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ through evangelism & discipleship or a calling in a specific ministry area or need. God uses us to fulfill His mission and we each have a part. We just need to be obedient and have a heart for what He is calling us to do.

  1. Are you obedient to the call God has placed on our church? (Taking every person we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ) What part do you play in evangelism & discipleship in our mission?
  2. Do you have a heart for this type of work? It’s easy to lose heart over time, whether through sin, disappointment, busyness, etc. If so, how can you help stir your affection toward the mission once again?

By: Erik Koliser

April 21, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 35

In today’s chapter we read the instructions God gave His people for Sabbath.  This is so important that these instructions are found in Genesis 7, Exodus 20, Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 5, Ezekiel 20, 31, 34 & 35, Isaiah 56, 58 & 66, Nehemiah 13, Matthew 5 & 12, Mark 2, Luke 4 & 23, Acts 16 &18, Hebrews 4, Colossians 2, and more – over 170 times in the Bible!  Do you think God is serious this?

What is Sabbath?  What does it mean?  Sabbath was the day each week that God instituted (and commanded) that His people rest and worship.  It was a day that was to be different from the others.  This day was to be given to the Lord.

Jewish people still practice this.  If you travel to Israel – everything changes at 6p on Friday until 6p on Saturday.  Christians continued this practice as well adopting Sunday as “the Lord’s Day” after the resurrection.

It is very important for you and I to understand this principle and apply it to our lives.  We need a day that’s different from the others – a day to rest and worship.  Our bodies need it and our spirit needs it.

Use this day to rest, attend church, read, and spend time with family.

Do you practice Sabbath?  Do you set aside Sunday for rest and worship making it different than the others?  Do you give it back to God?

  • What does Sabbath look like for you?
  • How do you lead your family to obey God in this area?
  • Have you taken this day back for yourself – do you need to give it to God?

By: Tim Parsons

April 20, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 34

Just a few days ago, we read about Moses coming down from the mountain and finding his people committing heinous idolatry. He had been up, meeting with the Lord, in what was probably one of the top five moments of his life, only to come down to one of his low five.

And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. (Exodus 32:19)

This moment was terrible because God’s people were breaking fellowship with God while Moses was receiving the 10 Commandments. And……. it was also terrible because Moses broke the original tablets of the 10 Commandments.

Oh yes. The ones that God wrote for him with His own hands.

How gracious is God? He offers the people a chance to repent instead of being completely done with them. And here in chapter 34, we find that He gives Moses another chance to NOT break the most important stone-cut document in all of history. This moment was so special that Moses’ face had to be veiled because it shined from being in God’s presence.

A few thoughts come to mind as I read this today. One: God’s kindness is overwhelming, and it leads us to repentance time and again. He is so good. But we must accept His offer of forgiveness. Second: He has great purposes for His children. Moses’ moment of anger and breaking the tablets didn’t stop the Lord from using him again. That is often the case with us as well. Finally, I am reminded that when I truly spend time in the presence of Jehovah, it changes me. It affects my countenance. It inspires faith. It causes boldness and courage. It makes faces shine.

What did you learn today from this passage?

By: Todd Thomas

April 19, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 33

Today’s passage is a great reminder of what happens when we worship created idols in our lives over God. When we read about how quickly Israel turned away from God and created an idol to worship we are shocked (Gen 32). But, when we pause and take a deep look into our own lives, we don’t have to look hard to see that we give our worship to idols in so many ways.

The results of idolatry are disastrous in our lives.
We clearly see why in this account of Israel: God’s righteous anger burned against Israel for their idolatrous ways. So much so that His presence could not continue to be with them or they would be killed. God told Moses that He would send an angel to lead them forward from that point (not Him) and that the Tent of Meeting would be pitched outside the camp (not among them as the tabernacle was to be.) Israel had lost God’s presence. They had given their worship and trust to something other than God and for their sin they suffered separation from The Lord.

The same is true in our lives today. When we give our worship to anything other than God, it is sin, and we lose the presence and intimacy with God we could have had worshipping Him alone. We certainly aren’t making golden calf statues to worship….but let’s be honest….many of us worship a sports team, a lifestyle, a certain status, comfort, security, success, pleasure, and on and on it goes. Our hearts are created for worship and we will ascribe that worship to someone or something. But, if we desire the presence of God in our lives our worship can only be given to God. The problem is, our sin perpetuates these idols and we cannot be delivered from them on our own. We need someone to intercede on our behalf. That’s what Moses did. He interceded on behalf of Israel and God had mercy on the people who had turned their backs on Him and deserved no mercy.

I think you know where I’m going with this…Jesus Christ interceded on our behalf to satisfy God’s wrath against us and make a way for the presence of God, not to just live near us in a tent, but to live in us as the person of the Holy Spirit! (See Romans 8 for more on this). This is something that should absolutely amaze us. But not only that, the gospel clearly beckons the allegiance of our worship to be solely to God alone and leaves no room for anyone or anything else.

I’ll leave you with a few action steps:
• Spend time praying today that God would clearly identify idols in your heart that need to be repented of.
• Confess those idols to God.
• Trust in the intercessory work of Jesus.
• Discuss your struggle with the person who disciples you and ask them to pray for you.
• Seek further counseling from our pastoral staff if needed.

By: Matt Mofield