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Archive for January, 2011

Bible Reading in One Year Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

Note:  I have realized that I may have been trying to journal on too many chapters to be helpful. So I plan simply to focus on one portion of the chapters from now on.  So there is huge value of other people going through the same Bible reading plan, and commenting their thoughts on a different portion of the same chapters.  =)

January 31 – Exodus 39-40

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • The people finish making all that the Lord commanded them through Moses – Praise God!
  • The tabernacle is erected and Moses finished all the work
  • At the end of chapter 40, the end of Exodus, the most precious thing happens for the people of Israel – God’s promise to dwell among them happens.  The glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle.
  • (God mercifully kept His promise to dwell with His people and bless them with His presence!)
  • The people simply went where God’s presence took them – if the cloud stayed on the tabernacle, they stayed encamped for however long the cloud stayed
  • When the cloud moved, the people moved.
  • (The people of God understood that their identity and blessing as a people stemmed from God’s presence, not from who they were as a people)
  • (And, the people understood that they were under God.  They moved when God wanted them to move.  They don’t move and demand God to go with them.)

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is Immanuel, God with us
  • Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh (tabernacled) among us
  • In Jesus, God provided everything needed to dwell with us as sinful people
  • God punished Jesus as a substitute for sinners on the cross so that God can dwell with any sinner who repents and believes because they are covered with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ

Apply

  • As I was reflecting on God’s presence with His people, I was challenged and convicted how for granted we take God’s presence.  Because of Jesus in the Gospel, we now have God’s presence inside of us, God with us at all times.
  • And because of this truth, many of us have just assumed that we “deserve” God to be with us, and we don’t truly understand the amazing grace and wonder of God dwelling with us.
  • And because God dwells within us, we so often think that we are in control, that we just go places and assume that we deserve to demand God go with us.
  • Please pray that I would regularly be characterized by gratitude, constantly recognizing God’s undeserved grace and mercy in my life.
  • And please pray that I would not take God for granted, and love His presence through His Word and prayer

 

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I have been praying for the unreached every day using the resources of Joshua Project.

May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples!

Please pray for the …

Population: 20,242,000

Language: Javanese

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.02%

For more details…

 

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Bible Reading in One Year Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

Note:  I have realized that I may have been trying to journal on too many chapters to be helpful. So I plan simply to focus on one portion of the chapters from now on.  So there is huge value of other people going through the same Bible reading plan, and commenting their thoughts on a different portion of the same chapters.  =)

January 30 – Exodus 36-38

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • God’s grace is amazing in these chapters, especially given the context of what just happened
  • God had told Israel that He would dwell with them as their God if they kept His covenant
  • But, Israel quickly turned away from the One True God and make and worshiped a God of their own imagination
  • Moses quickly interceded for the people, and God withheld His wrath to destroy the entire nation and re-make a people from Moses
  • AND, through Moses’ intercession, God chose not show continued mercy and dwell with His people – His presence is what distinguishes them from all the nations
  • (And in these chapters, we see God’s merciful hand in gifting sinful people and moving in the heart’s of sinful people to contribute their resources and their talents to build the Tabernacle and everything dealing with the Tabernacle, the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the basin, and the court. )
  • Notice the beginning of chapter 36.  God put skill into the mind of every craftsman.  God stirred the heart of everyone who come to do the work.  God moved in people’s heart to give and contribute to the work.
  • And it was abundant and more than enough that they had to restrain people from continuing to give because there was too much.
  • (When God chose to dwell with His people according to His undeserved mercy, God provided more than sufficient resources to make a dwelling place adequate for Him)
  • (This chapter is more about God’s mercy to help people obey than the people’s obedience to build everything according to the commands of the Lord)

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is Immanuel, God with us
  • Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh (tabernacled) among us
  • In Jesus, God provided everything needed to dwell with us as sinful people
  • God punished Jesus as a substitute for sinners on the cross so that God can dwell with any sinner who repents and believes because they are covered with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ

Apply

  • Everything good in me or that I do is not because of my inherent goodness, but God’s mercy and grace at work in me!
  • God moves in my heart and gives me skill to obey and serve Him.
  • All from God, through God, and to God – to God alone be the glory.
  • Please pray that I would hate the pride in my life and remember that everything is undeserved and because of Jesus alone
  • And please pray that I would strive, by the Spirit, to be faithful and obey all that God’s commands in the Scriptures.

 

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I have been praying for the unreached every day using the resources of Joshua Project.

May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples!

Please pray for the …

Population: 1.711,000

Language: Fulfulde, Adamawa

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.40%

For more details…

 

Read Full Post »

Bible Reading in One Year Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

Note:  I have realized that I may have been trying to journal on too many chapters to be helpful. So I plan simply to focus on one portion of the chapters from now on.  So there is huge value of other people going through the same Bible reading plan, and commenting their thoughts on a different portion of the same chapters.  =)

January 29 – Exodus 33-35

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Two brief observations
  • First, notice in chapter 33 the essence of being blessed by God
  • In the beginning of the chapter, God still promises that He will give Israel the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • But, he also says that He will not go up among them, lest He consume them on the way, for they are a stiff-necked people
  • But, later in the chapter, Moses prays to God, and we see the essence of being blessed by God
  • Moses says in verse 15, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.  For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people?  Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
  • (The essence of being blessed by God is not the actual blessings God gives, like the Promised Land)
  • (The essence of being blessed by God is God Himself, having God’s presence)
  • (God’s gifts to Israel is not what distinguishes them as blessed people)
  • (God’s presence among Israel is what distinguishes them as blessed people, distinct from every other people on the face of the earth)
  • Second, in chapter 34, when the Lord passed before Moses, God gives us the riddle of the OT in verses 6-7
  • God is both merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin AND God is holy and will by no means clear the guilty
  • (How can God be both?)

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is Immanuel, God with us
  • Jesus is the essence of being blessed by God
  • And through repentance and faith, God is not simply among us, but God is within us, in our hearts through Christ
  • What comforting truth!
  • Jesus is the answer to the OT riddle of how God can be both merciful and just, forgiving sin and by no means clearing the guilty
  • God punished Jesus as a substitute for sinners so that He can show mercy and forgiveness to any sinner who repents and believes

Apply

  • Do I love God’s gifts and blessings in my life more than I love God Himself and His presence through His Word and prayer?
  • I AM blessed because God is with me
  • If we want to the world to be blessed, they need GOD, not simply God’s blessings of a better world – we cannot simply do social justice without verbal proclamation of how God can be people’s God through Jesus Christ alone.
  • Please pray that Jesus would be my only joy, and that I would testify to Jesus and His Gospel regularly.
  • And please pray that I would never forget God’s mercy and grace to me in Jesus Christ, who bore God’s justice for me – no room for pride!

 

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I have been praying for the unreached every day using the resources of Joshua Project.

May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples!

Please pray for the …

Population: 1.932,000

Language: Tarifit

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

 

Read Full Post »

Bible Reading in One Year Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

Note:  I have realized that I may have been trying to journal on too many chapters to be helpful. So I plan simply to focus on one portion of the chapters from now on.  So there is huge value of other people going through the same Bible reading plan, and commenting their thoughts on a different portion of the same chapters.  =)

January 28 – Exodus 30-32

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • I want to make two brief observations from these chapters, one about the census tax, and one about the golden calf incident
  • While the census tax could easily be overlooked, it stood out to me as I read it today.
  • Everyone is supposed to give the same amount, half a shekel
  • The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less (30:15)
  • Purpose? – to make atonement for their lives. (30:15-16)
  • (At other places in Scripture, people are called to give freewill offerings based on their wealth, the rich gave more and the poor gave less – in proportion to their wealth.  And NT giving is likewise a freewill offering, whatever people can give with a good conscience, for God loves a cheerful giver)
  • (BUT, when we are talking about atonement and our status before God, money, reputation, power, nothing matters – God is not a respecter of persons as they stand before His holiness as sinners)
  • (Every sinner stands before God equally condemned to death and hell and in need of atonement and salvation)
  • So many have written about the golden calf incident before, so I just want to make one small observation
  • The people “wanted” to worship the one true God – they wanted to worship the god who brought them out of the land of Egypt
  • BUT, what was so grievous and heinous was that they wanted to worship the one true God however they wanted, NOT according to how God wants.
  • (God cares not only that He is worshiped, but HOW He is worshiped.  And, our obedience to HOW He calls us to worship reflects our heart’s desire to truly worship Him as God, not some God of our own imagination.)

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is the only One who provides atonement for sinners through His life, death, and resurrection
  • For those who repent and believe, Jesus is their atoning sacrifice and representative before God
  • Regardless of any or all worldly achievement or possession, when we stand before God, we will either stand naked in our sin or clothed with Jesus

Apply

  • There is nothing about me or worthy about me that moved God to provide Jesus as atonement for my sins – ALL GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY –> please pray that I would kill pride and cultivate humility
  • All people are the same in God’s eyes –> please pray that I too will see all people as God sees them, that I would honor all people as created in God’s image and in need of atonement for their sins
  • And please pray that I would be a committed student to God’s Word to know HOW God desires to be worshiped, and not create an imaginary god in my own mind to worship
  • God’s WORD guides worship, not our emotions or “good intentions”!

 

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