Tag Archives: Exodus

Exodus 16; Luke 19; Job 34; 2 Corinthians 4

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, “who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

2 Corinthians 4 is a warm Spring breeze blowing through the open window of a house that has been closed up for the winter. It brings life and renewal, song and sunlight. There’s a new fragrance coming into the house that pushes away the stale air.

This gospel is not about me; it’s not about me clenching my jaw and willing myself to be good enough, effective enough and (the Lord knows) busy enough. This gospel is about Him and his goodness, his love. The gospel transforms the humble and broken; it brings them to life:  life in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I can breathe again.

Here’s my manna from heaven, what feeds my soul: God has deposited within me this eternal weight of glory. It is not of my making nor because I deserve it. It is God’s idea and by his good grace that he invites me to put aside my sorry attempts at self righteousness to be dressed in the very glory of his Son.

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

It’s been the Father’s desire that his people know and enjoy this glory throughout history. He wants us to know and enjoy the peace that only He can provide. In Exodus, God longs for the Israelites to be satisfied, but too often, like me they insist on having their way and refuse his command to honor his provision (they gather too much or too little manna) and don’t embrace his Sabbath rest. This human rebellion grieves Jesus so deeply that he weeps over Jerusalem saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!” Luke 19:42.  And then he enters the very city and ministers to those of us who are so insistent on our not needing him; we end up crucifying him.

But anything I throw at Christ has been conquered by his love for me. This is the love that breaks the power of sin and death over me. This is my eternal weight of glory.   When I accept his love for me and rest in it, I am changed. The peace that he longs for me to possess is mine.

O Lord, may I respond to your transforming love with a full and grateful heart. Help me to recognize on this day the things that make for peace. Thank you for your love and kindness towards me, an undeserving sinner who rejected you. But here I am, and you call me yours. You are my glory and joy forever.  Amen

Kathy

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Exodus 25-27; Psalm 90; Philippians 1

9This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:9-11

I love Paul’s prayers in his letters. They were written to be encouragement for the early believers in the areas he had visited during his time as an itinerant missionary – inspiration to reform certain behaviors unbecoming to the newly burgeoning church or reassurance that the people he introduced to the gospel were holding firm and standing true.

For me, this prayer is a mother’s prayer, one that I have prayed over my children as they sleep at night and as they play during the day.

As a mom, I desperately want my children to experience love…love from me and their dad, love from extended family, friends, and teachers, and most importantly I want them to fully experience God’s love.

I desire my children to be able to view every aspect of life through the lenses of that love they experience. And as they see through eyes of love they will know more and understand more, and the wisdom that they gain will enable and empower them to make good choices with their lives, which will in turn bring glory to God for His goodness and faithfulness.

The truth is that I also pray these same things over myself – an over-tired, over-worked, over whelmed mom, who doesn’t always feel loving and definitely doesn’t always act in a loving way. I struggle with making choices, a battle between what is best for my family and my own selfishness, failing to remember that one of the goals of motherhood is to demonstrate the glory of God to my children and the people around me – to be the Bible they may not have read yet, the fruit of the gospel they may not have tasted yet.

14Fill us with your love every morning.

Then we will sing and rejoice all our lives.

15We have seen years of trouble.

Now give us joy as you gave us sorrow.

16Show your servants the wonderful things you do.

Show your greatness to their children.

17Lord our God, be pleased with us.

Give us success in what we do.

Yes, give us success in what we do. Psalm 90:14-17

Yesappa, I need more of Your love, every morning, all day. I need Your joy and Your encouragements of success in this journey of motherhood. I know You do great things, that You are full of glory and goodness. Help my journey, despite the circumstances that surround me, be a reflection of You and of Your hand in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie

 

International Children’s Bible, Copyright © 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, New Testament, Old Testament, Philippians, Psalms

Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

Moses is the walking definition of an outsider. To the Egyptians who took pity upon him as helpless baby, he is Hebrew pet. To the Hebrews, he is the indulged recipient of their master’s capricious favor and viewed with envy and suspicion. The pain of not belonging is palpable; he is a man without a home.

So he flees. He is a refugee attached to a family and people foreign to him. In the dark and lonely “far side of the desert,” Moses comes to the mountain where God speaks and reveals himself. How is it that in our loneliest places, God appears and the course of history changes?

God calls Moses and the people of Israel into a relationship with him:

“I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you:  When you brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:12

For the first time in history, God reveals his Name:

I AM WHO I AM. Exodus 3:14.

And with that, the fate of the people of Israel is sealed. No longer will they be Egyptian slaves. They are a people freed by their God. They are a people “close to his heart.” Psalm 148:14.

Centuries later, Paul speaks of freedom once again,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Because of God’s great love, because of Christ’s death on the cross, I am no longer a slave. I am no longer a refugee. I have a home. I have a place of belonging and it is near the very heart of God.

Lord,  thank you for the freedom you have bought for me at the cost of your Son. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in this freedom today.  May gratitude and joy rise up from the deepest parts of me.  Father, I ask that my thoughts, words and actions today, somehow make you smile.  Your goodness towards me is overflowing. Amen

klueh

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Exodus 28-31; Philippians 2

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:13-16

As I am reading these verses the first thing that comes to mind is one of the Sunday school song I grew up singing:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

As much as I try to shine like a light, I know that there are days when my light is more dim than bright. There are days spent complaining and grumbling. There are days when I am irritable and argumentative, with little self-control. There are days when I feel and act more like the people of the world than like a child of God; days when I’ve hidden my light under a bushel and it’s all I can do to keep satan from blowing my little light out.

I want people, especially my children, to get a glimpse of God through me, to see what it means to believe and living right. But, all too often, I find myself stressed out and falling into old patterns from before I truly gave my life to Jesus; and then I feel like I’ve failed.

As I continued delving into these verses, looking at a Greek Interlinear Bible, the thing that stood out to me was the words in the New King James version of verse 15 – ‘…that you may be…’ was noted to be ‘…ye-may-be-becoming…’

The noun “becoming” is defined as any process of change…

Even as I strive to live a clean and innocent life, I am going through the process of changing more and more. Whether I have an off day or I am successful at keeping negative behaviors reigned in change is occurring. I am progressing, maturing into the potential that God put in me. I am becoming a better person and my light shines brighter.

I don’t need to feel condemnation at failing to always be a bright, shining light for the Kingdom of God. I don’t need to feel weakened by the mistakes I make. I just need to press into Holy Spirit as I go through the process of learning, trusting Him to check my spirit and teach me how to do better.

Yesappa, Thank You for being there and giving me everything I need to be a shining light…help me to do everything readily and cheerfully, without bickering, without second-guessing. Help me go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Use me to provide people with a glimpse of good living and of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Prayer based on Philippians 2:15-16 The Message.

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Exodus 27-28; Matthew 21:23-39

You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. 2And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and forks and fire pans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze… Exodus 27:1-3

All the pillars around the court shall be filleted with silver. Their hooks shall be of silver, and their bases of bronze. The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height five cubits, with hangings of fine twined linen and bases of bronze… Exodus 27:17-18

Exact measurements, thorough instructions, directions about the minutiae of each facet…

And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and of fine twined linen, skillfully worked. It shall have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together… Exodus 28:6-7

You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth… Exodus 28:9-10

A meticulous plan, specific materials, colors, gemstones, metals, in depth ornamentation and decoration…

You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it—of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen shall you make it. It shall be square and doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth. You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes… Exodus28:15-21

I am struck by the detail.

Piece by piece, item by item, God described the various aspects of the bronze altar, the court of the tabernacle, the Priest’s garments. Each precise feature was designed to be functional and beautiful, as a part of the rituals of praise and atonement. Each portion was also designed to be a prophetic illustration, a foretelling of the coming Christ, as well as a reminder of God’s goodness.

Every time I read these passages about the tabernacle. Every moment I spend in nature, looking at flora and fauna, and learning more about my surroundings. Every day as I watch my daughters grow, I am reminded that God is a remarkable Creator. I look at each element and see the intricacies of each part; and I know that even as I observe, I am still not aware of all of the complexities.

Like God designed the tabernacle and all of its pieces, He designed me. He formed me in my mother’s womb from the inside out. He knows my name and every hair on my head. He sees my going and my coming. He crafted me complete and full of detail. He molded me into a unique being, yet He fashioned me in His image. He created me for such a time as this to show Himself, His love to the world through Christ in me. He chose me.

Yesappa, Thank You for being in the details of everything from the tiniest atom to the largest galaxy and everything in between. Thank You for helping me see Your finished work in those intricate details, for helping me understand pieces of Your vastness. Thank You for letting me be a part of Your plan. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Exodus, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament