Friday, November 30, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - The Ark of the Covenant

Read Ex. 37:1-9 I know we have been over this before in Ex. 26, but every time I study this I get fresh revelation; so let’s go over it again. Beezaleel, which means the shadow or protection of God made the ark first, which would embody the presence of God. It is made of shittim wood (the acacia tree) which has scourging thorns on it. The wood was good for building but you had to endure the thorns to get to the good wood. God had to endure seeing his son scourged and brutally crucified in order to reap a people of his own. Jesus had to endure the cross that we might obtain the inheritance. Roses grow amidst thorns. This ark was 3 and 3/4 feet x 2 and 1/4 feet x 2 and 1/4 feet deep. It was crowned with gold and totally covered with gold just in case we couldn’t figure out this stood for God. It had 4 rings on the corners where the wooden poles were put to carry it. The poles were made from the branches of the acacia tree then covered with gold. Is. 11:1 says, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.” Then he made a mercy seat to sit on top of the ark with two cherubim’s kneeling on top of it. They were both hewn from the same gold rock. I Co. 10:4 says speaking of the children of Israel in their wanderings: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Jesus was put in a grave hewn from one stone. The angels were beaten into form just as Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. These cherubim’s bowed in the presence of God just as all heaven does. They spread out their wings to cover the mercy seat. There are so many references to the shadow of God’s wings but here is a great one: “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Ps. 36:7. Malachi prophesied of a people that would fear his name and for them, the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings. I am contending for the day we will do the “greater works” Jesus talked about. Lord, we worship your holiness and your great wisdom.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Posts and Pillars

Read Ex. 36:35-38 The door of the tabernacle was a tapestry of blue, purple, and scarlet which are colors of royalty and blood. Jesus told us that He is the door and the only way to God is through this door called salvation. Four posts were made of wood to represent the cross; the hooks were made of gold which represents God’s wisdom and glory. It was God’s perfect plan to have Jesus nailed to a cross. The sockets were of silver to represent redemption. Every nail that pierced Jesus spoke redemption clear and loud. I wonder if these 4 posts represent Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are the ones that penned the crucifixion for us to read and understand. Then 5 pillars were made with gold hooks but their sockets were made of brass. A pillar is a support for a building standing as a monument of victory. Brass represents “word” whether God’s or man’s and in this case it would be God’s. I wonder if these didn’t represent Old Testament heroes like: Noah, Moses, Abraham, Elijah, or David; people who only had the spoken Word to lead them. I don’t know…only speculation but these would be my picks! God, however has a hall of fame written in Hebrews 11 and the first four mentioned are Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham. If I had the space I would write out Heb. 11:32-40 because it brings me to tears. They are the posts and pillars of the faith. I would encourage you to read it because these are the ones who are our cloud of witnesses in Heb. 12:1 who watch us and cheer us on. They are watching to see us complete what they started. We can be the fulfillment of their prophesies if we will appropriate the kingdom into our lives. Lord, may we fulfill our destiny.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - From Wood to Gold

Read Ex. 36:20-34 Throughout the Bible men and kingdoms are symbolized as trees (ex: Exekiel 31). I wonder if these boards represent people or nations in the end that will stand around the throne. They were all held together by silver tenons and sockets. Silver is a picture of grace. The sockets were the basis of building; the strength of the structure depended on the strength of the socket. Tenons means an open hand of power. In the end every nation will stand by grace before the throne and yield all power and allegiance to the one who sits on the throne. (Rev. 9:9-12; 15:4). Bars were made of shittim wood to support the boards. This is the wood that they used to make Jesus’ crown of thorns. Because of the cross, we can stand before God and endure to the end. It is our support. The middle bar was made to shoot through all the boards just as the cross has to have permeated our hearts. We have to have born the cross ourselves to stand before God. Last of all these boards were overlaid with gold. When we embrace the cross then God makes even our sufferings result in wisdom - pure gold. Ps. 43:13,14 talks about the bride of Christ who is clothed in gold and whose clothes are beautiful tapestries. What a picture of these boards that have been pierced but overlaid with gold. Jesus could endure the cross for the joy that awaited him and so can we. Lord, give us kingdom thinking. Renew our minds in You.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - The Curtains

Read Ex. 36:1-19 Moses called for all the craftsmen to help Bezaleel and Ahioliab. I have a new appreciation for artists; God calls them “wise hearted”. If you look up those two words in the Hebrew they mean “men with skills that come from their feelings, will, and intellect.” They took the offerings of the people - all the precious metals, gems, and cloth and made the furnishings and clothes for the service of the tabernacle. The people gave so much more than they needed that they had to tell them to stop giving! I’ve never heard a church ask the people to stop giving because they had too much. Last week I went to a client’s house that had an arched window over 20 feet tall. She wants me to make a curtain for it. I was extremely intimidated but I kept reminding myself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The curtains for the tabernacle weren’t that tall but they were 42 feet long and 6 feet tall. There were 5 curtains per side joined together with loops. The loops attached to pins that held them together. It is almost like being surrounded by a protected army that have looped their arms together so nothing can come in. There were 50 of them on each curtain. Fifty speaks of a service being either accepted or rejected. How fitting for the very place the people would bring their atoning sacrifices. The covering over the top of the tabernacle was made of goat’s hair made of 11 curtains 45 feet long and 6 feet wide. This was the first covering over the tabernacle. Goats stand for sin. This sin had to be covered which is the only thing the Old Testament gave provision for. They could cover their sin, but not give them a clean conscience or freedom from sin - only Jesus could do that. Lord, I thank you that we are covered with the blood of Jesus and no longer have to worship under the weight of sin. We are free to worship you with abandon!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - The Craftsmen

Read Ex. 35:30-35 God called Bezaleel by name to fill with his spirit: the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and craftsmanship to construct the pieces for the tabernacle. Bezaleel’s name means “shadow of God”. He is from a lineage of names meaning “light, white, and praise”. So he was a shadow of God on earth creating this work that would represent the righteous glory of God so that all would praise him. He molded the metals, carved the wood, and cut the stone for the various ornamental pieces. God also gave him the knowledge and ability to teach what he had been given to Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan. These names mean “tent of his father”, “brother of support” and “judge”. How appropriate that his very name identifies his ministry. He was to help in the constructing of the “tent” of his father, God. He was to support his brother, Bezaleel and the very things he was anointed to make would sit as a judge to the people. God loves beautiful things because they bring him glory. We should not feel guilty when we appreciate the finer things of life, only if they distract our hearts from the maker of such things. This beautiful gold-laden tabernacle was to be a reflection of God so that the people could understand just how glorious and holy he is. The key is that the closer the person got to the Holy of Holies the more bright, elaborate and glorious the pieces became. The closer we get to the Lord, the more glorious He becomes and the less glittery the world becomes. It is all a matter of perspective. Where are we standing? Lord, draw our hearts to your presence and your glory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - Give From the Heart

Read Ex. 35:1-29 Moses met with the people to give them more of God’s commandments. They are to work 6 days and the 7th will be a sabbath rest. If they work on that day they will be put to death. Since all the laws are to teach us a deeper meaning we know that he is also speaking about the sabbath rest at the end of time. Romans 7:14a says that, “we know that the law is spiritual:” They were not to kindle a fire which would constitute making light because we will be living in the land where God is the light and all the work has already been done. Then God gave the people a chance to give. They were to give gold, silver, brass for the furniture ; blue, purple and scarlet linen for the priest’s robe; goat’s hair, ram’s skins dyed red, baggers’ skins to cover the tabernacle, and shittim wood to build it with; and oil, spices for incense. They could give stones for the breastplate. Others that had talents in building and could give their time and talents. With all these things they were to make the tent, the furniture (ark, mercy seat, table of incense, candlestick, table of shewbread, the laver, and the brazen altar); the coverings, the nails and the cords; and the priest’s garments. When Moses finished with his list, the people went home and gathered these things as they felt in their heart to give. Notice how many times the word “heart” is mentioned. God wanted them to give out of their heart, not obligation. On earth, is the only time we will be able to give to the Lord… after this it will be all given to us. God is looking for a people whose heart is fully given to him and if it is it will show in our giving. Lord, show us opportunities we have to give and may it be out of a willing heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - The Shining Glory of God

Read Ex. 34:27-35 According to medical science your body can’t live 40 days without water and food, but supernaturally you can run through a troop and leap over a wall so you can go 40 days without food and water. Which is what Moses did. He entered into heavenly places where earthly laws aren’t effective. During this fast he wrote and wrote on stone tablets. He descended from the mountain with the tablets and a new countenance that shone so brightly it scared the people and he had to vail his face. Spending time with God will cause you to wear his glory. I believe we are going to come to a time when those who love God and spend time with him will shine again… literally. I want to be one of those people. New Age people know that we all have a certain glory they call aura. They actually have it right. We do carry a glory that has color and as we are purified in God’s presence it will be white. Job 11 says that the righteous shall shine like the morning. Ecclesiastes 8 says that a man’s wisdom causes a man’s face to shine. Dan. 12 says this about the last days: “3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Jesus said in Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Again Jesus was talking about the last days in Matt. 13:43, saying, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Phil. 2:43 says the same thing. And last of all, Jesus was transfigured on the mountain and his face shone as the sun. Even his clothes shone. Lord, shine through us today and show your glory to bring many to you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weds.’s Devo - Three Times of Worship

Read Ex. 34:9-26 God loves to extend mercy and love but he is also a holy God that has to deal with sin. Moses knew this and he also knew that he was leading a very stubborn and quick-to-sin people, so he was constantly interceding and repenting for them. God promised to miraculously drive out their enemies and warned them not to make any covenants with the original people of the land or they would be a snare to them. They were to destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves (meeting places) because another name of God is Jealous; God wanted to be their only god. He warned them against making covenants with the inhabitants of the land or intermarrying or making any metal god. Then God told him the three times a year that the men of Israel were to appear before the Lord: Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the feast of ingathering which is the same thing as Roshashana. When they do this, God will cast out the nations before them and enlarge their borders. There are actually 7 feast of the Lord but they are coupled together in 3 different seasons. The first group (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) occur during the harvesting of wheat. The next feast is Pentecost which is by it self. It is the harvesting of the barley crop. The last group is Roshashana, Yom Kippor, and Feast of Tabernacles which happens in the harvesting of the fruit crops. These all represent great harvests of souls that will happen during the course of history. Here is a brief synopsis of what they represent. Jesus died on Passover, was buried on Unleavened Bread, and rose on First Fruits. He sent his spirit on the Feast of Pentecost. He will come back on Roshashana, judge the nations during Yom Kippor, and set up his millennial kingdom on Feast of Tabernacles. Everything God does is a picture to show us himself and his ways which is why it is so important to read the Old Testament. Lord, may we honor your word and not allow the ways of the world to infiltrate our borders. Spread us out to expand your borders for your kingdom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - The Second Ten Commandments

Read Ex. 34:1-7 The Lord told Moses to make some new stone tablets so he could write the laws on them since Moses broke the first ones. It didn’t take long for them to “break” the law! Moses was told to come alone and make sure no person of cattle came near the mountain. There he would proclaim his name. This time we get to here what he calls himself: “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by NO MEANS clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” I capitalized “no means” because we tend to have a sloppy attitude about sin. We…I, forget that I am serving a holy God and that my righteousness is like filthy rags to him. We think that we can just ask God to forgive us and its over, but it is not. We ARE forgiven but we will still reap the benefits of our sin. Moses, God’s friend, who God said was the most humble man on the earth, sinned, and it kept him from the promised land. Their sin, and our sin is passed down up to 4 generations. This is so true when you are dealing with generational curses. We can sin against our body and end up with a cancer. This cancer can be passed down to our great, great, grandchildren. I know a man whose grandfather had an affair at 40 and so did his father, and so did he. We can break those curses by speaking to them out loud and breaking their power over us and our posterity. They must be proclaimed out loud because Satan cannot read your mind. It must be a declaration. Lord, like Moses, when we read this it make us want to bow our head to the ground and worship you. Please forgive our sins and the sins of our nation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - Face to Face

Read Ex. 33:20-23 Verse 11 says that the Lord spoke to Moses “face to face” then in verse 20 God tells Moses that he couldn’t see his face and live. Which one is right? I looked up the Hebrew word for “face” and in both verses “face” is the same: “paniym” which means “countenance; favor; forefront part; heaviness”. In Duet. 5:4 Moses told the people that God spoke to them face to face when they were on the mountain receiving the law. They didn’t actually see his face but they did see wonders he did on the mountain (fire and smoke), hear trumpets and God’s voice, and feel the earth shake. These were equated with seeing God “face to face”. Duet. 17:10 says that God knew Moses face to face. I Co. 13:12 talks about a day when we will see face to face because we now just see through a glass darkly. So I think this “face to face” could read “heart to heart” or “understanding to understanding”. Then God give us a little prophetic snip-it when he says, “There is a place by me, and you shall stand upon a rock.” We know that there is a place God has prepared for Jesus that is on his right hand. The only way Moses could see God was to be hidden in Christ. That rock was Jesus. God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered his eyes till he passed by. When he had passed he took his hand away so he could see his back side. I wonder how God could cover his eyes with his hand and walk in front of him all at the same time till I think of my dreams at night and see how God could be at 2 places at one time. God is omnipresent! Moses’s human body could not have taken God’s full glory. As it was, Moses absorbed some of this glory and shone from that day on. I think we will literally shine in the last days. After all, we are the light of the world because the glory of God dwell in our earthly tents. Let’s go out and leak today! Lord, we long for an encounter with you “face to face”. I pray that you grant us this so we will shine your glory to a very dark world.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - God’s Goodness

Read Ex. 33:11-19 There were only two people in the Bible that were called a “friend” of God, - Moses was one (Abraham was the other.) Moses spoke to him face-to-face. In this conversation Moses reminded God that it was God’s idea to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. God told Moses that he knew him by name and that they had found grace in his sight. So if that was so, Moses wanted God to show him is ways that he might know God and God might advise this nation. Then God gave Moses a promise that should be our theme song, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” That is the true test of your maturity in the Lord: if in any situation you can walk with God and live in his rest. Moses knew there was no other way to travel…better than American Express. Then Moses asked the question he had been leading up to. “Show me your glory.” God’s response was probably not what he was expecting. He told Moses that he would make all of his “goodness” pass before him and he would give him his name. Then he adds that he will be gracious to who he chooses to be gracious to and merciful to who he wants to be merciful to. That was a strange answer to Moses question in my opinion. So God’s glory comes in his goodness. I looked up “goodness” in the Strongs and it means “beauty, gladness, joy, welfare”. We don’t often think of God in the Old Testament as revealing himself as beautiful and happy. We think of him as mad and wanting to kill someone if they sin. But, when Moses asked to see him, this is the side of him he chose to reveal. Then God spoke of being gracious and merciful. Moses probably needed to hear that after seeing God’s strict judgment on the people when they made the golden calf. Lord, today, help us to know you as Goodness: beautiful, full of gladness and joy and wanting the very best for us. May we extend your name to those we come in contact with today.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Dwelling With God

Read Ex. 33:4-11 God called Israel a “stiff-necked” people and because of this he said he would not dwell with them or he might get so mad he killed them all. Instead, he would send an Angel to go before them. What a rebuke! At least they took it hard and mourned. God had told them to take off their costumes they had made for their orgy. They probably looked like Bourbon Street during Marti Gras. Then Moses picked up the tabernacle of God and pitched it outside the camp. This was to be a visible picture to the children of Israel to see that God had moved outside the camp. The people would watch Moses walk out to the tabernacle and once he entered in, a cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tabernacle and God would talk to Moses there. This picture would evoke the people watching to rise up and worship God also. Joshua was with Moses wherever he went. He was on the mountain when God gave Moses the commandments and now he is in the tabernacle with him. Even though he watched from afar, he was learning from his great mentor, Moses how to lead the people and how to communicate with God. When Moses would leave to go home, Joshua stayed. He must have lived in the tabernacle, always in the presence of the Lord. No wonder he grew up to be such a great leader and was the one to lead them into the Promised Land. Moses was the epitome of the law - which took a conscious effort to be in God’s presence. Joshua is the epitome of a child living in the promise land. He lived in the presence of the Lord, and never left it. Lord, give us a heart to want to dwell in the midst of your presence all day long like Joshua.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - The Giants in the Land

Read Ex. 33:1-3 At the end of the last chapter God told Moses to lead the people into the land that he had told Moses about and that He would send an Angel (capital “A”) before them. He also said that he would blot the sinners names out of his book and judge their sin of making the calf so he sent a plague. In this chapter he tells Moses again to lead the people into the land and that He will drive the people that live there now out. When we get saved (go through the Red Sea) we land on new territory that has enemies. Once we become a child of God we become a direct enemy of Satan’s and he has demons assigned to us to make us stumble and not get our inheritance and our spiritual destiny. These are our “giants in the land”. He gives us a list of them: Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites. They sound like members of the Termite Family! Let’s look at the meaning of their names and meet our enemies. Canaanites: They are the peddlers and their wares are humiliation. They tell you that you aren’t worth being used by God and they find ways to make you feel unqualified, useless, without gifts, etc. They lead you down the path of self pity. The next group are the Amorites. These men were of tall stature and dwelt in the mountains. They were know for their pride. They try to make us compare our selves with others, think more highly than we ought, think we don’t need God and a plethora of other lies. The Hittites were warriors who also lived in the mountains and they stood for “terror”. Fear is directly opposite of faith. The Perizzites lived in the open country and their meaning is “division”. They are the spirits that try to bring division in marriages, churches, friendships, etc. The Hivites which live in villages and are the “life-givers”. They are the spirits that want you to love your life and enjoy it instead of losing it for the gospel and allowing God to give you his life. Last of all we have the Jebusites. They occupied the land of and around Jerusalem. Their name means to fasten down and drown. They love to suck the life out of people so that they don’t have time or strength to follow God. They attack people in their jobs, finances, families - anyway they can to draw their strength so they won’t be able to fight back. These are our enemies we have to conquer to enter the land of promise. Lord, we thank you that our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - The Book

Read Ex. 32:33-35 What is this book that Moses knew God had with names in it of all who know Him? The word “book” is found 175 times but only eight of them have to do with this book of life. One of these scriptures is in Phil.4:3 and the rest are in Revelations. Our Bible is called the Living Bible for a reason. Not only is the word alive and active but it is coded. For centuries godly scholars have known this only they haven’t been able to crack its code. Now that we have computers this goal is more attainable. Scholars have taken the original Hebrew and broke the letters down into matrixes and have found amazing information about people and events that have been coded into the writings of the Old Testament. I believe that we hold and read daily from the book of life - that our names and destines are coded into this book and as we read it we are reading our very own destinies and if we read it out loud we are proclaiming our destinies into operation. That is why it is important to read the whole Bible, even Numbers and Leviticus - the ones that are hard to understand why they are there. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says, 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” That means that even the genealogies are inspired and can teach us something if we read them. God hides his truths in a mystery. 1 Co. 2:7 says that the mystery of God is his hidden wisdom that has been hidden since before the world was made. We know that the most important mystery is Christ; but there are many more. Lord, write your Word upon our hearts that we might fully live out our destinies.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - God’s Judgment

Read Ex. 32:26-33 Moses has just come down from his “mountain-top experience” with the Lord to walk into a camp full of idolatry. He stands in the gate and shouts, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come to me.” The Levites are the first to repent and come stand with Moses. Then Moses told them to strap on their swords and kill everyone at the party. So the Levites went through and killed everyone within the gates which ended up being about 3,000. If you study the feasts you find that the Lord visited his people on the mountain on the first Pentecost. As a result of this 3,000 were killed. In the New Testament God also visited his people on Pentecost and gave his Holy Spirit to them and as a result 3,000 were saved (Acts 2). On the first Pentecost the mountain was on fire; on the second Pentecost the people were on fire. We are to live in the state of Pentecost - on fire for the Lord and full of the Holy Spirit. After the slaughter, Moses told them to consecrate themselves and their families so that God could bless them. They did and the next day Moses met with the people and told them he was going to ask God to forgive them. Moses went back to where he had spent time with the Lord and begged him to forgive the people. He placed himself on the same level of the people and identified with their sin just like Jesus did for us. The Lord told Moses that he would blot the people’s name out of his book that had sinned against him. Tomorrow, I want to talk about this book he is talking about. Lord, you say in Ps. 18 that your judgments are true and righteous altogether and that they are to be desired more than fine gold and that they are sweeter than honey. Thank you for being a just and merciful judge for in keeping your commandments there is great reward.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - The Party’s Over

Read Ex. 32:8-25 God sends Moses back down the mountain to discipline the people who couldn’t stay faithful for 40 days! God wanted to just annihilate all of them and start over but Moses interceded for the people. If God killed all the people he so miraculously delivered from the Egyptians, what would the Egyptians say when they hear that God took them out to kill them. Moses reminded God of the promises he had given to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel of a multiplying their seed as the stars of heaven. So the Lord repented of the plan to destroy them. That is the power we can have with God as intercessors and that is why it is so important to know what God has promised so you can use them to remind the Lord. So Moses left with the tablets God had written and the visions he had in his mind of the heavenly priesthood and started his climb down the mountain. He picked up Joshua who had been patiently waiting and they headed toward camp. They could hear the party and Joshua thought it sounded like a war. But Moses knew what was going on because God had told him they had made a molten calf and were worshipping it. As soon as they got close enough to see what was going on with their own eyes Moses was so mad he took the stone tablets and threw them down and broke them (just as the people had already broken them in their hearts). Then Moses took the golden calf and ground it into powder and mixed it with water and made the people drink it. Moses approached his brother, Aaron, and asked him what the people had done to him to entice him to do such an abomination. Aaron tried to blame the people who were “set on mischief” and Moses because he was gone so long. Then he told the most preposterous lie in the Bible. He told Moses he gathered the earring of the people and the calf just jumped out! Moses looked around and saw that the people were naked like the Egyptians were when they worshipped their idols. Aaron had just failed Leadership 101. Lord, raise up intercessors like Moses to pray for our nation and the nations of the world. Help us to repent and not cast blame on others. Give us leaders who will take responsibility.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Election Win - We Choose God!

I wanted to address the election since I have talked to so many distraught Christians since then. First I want to remind us that God is in control and He alone is our leader. The president is a pawn in His hand to move our hearts toward Him. It is not a time to shrink back in fear but to realize that when God created the earth, he looked down the halls of eternity and picked US to be born during this time. This is our finest hour because we will shine like the moon. The church is a picture of the moon. We have no light of our own, just what we reflect from the sun (God). We shine the brightest during the night when things are very dark. If we had gotten a Republican, once again, we would have been lulled back to sleep thinking "everything will be OK". God never wanted us to look to our government to be our source just like he never wanted Israel to have a king because He wanted to be their King. Well, good news for us: God is our President! and he is really good a taking care of his people and providing everything they need. So rise up, Church of God - This is our finest hour. Lord, we pray like David did when he was afraid: "Enlarge our hearts to love you"!

Thurs.’s Devo - The Golden Calf

Read Ex. 32:1-7 Moses has been up in the mountain with the Lord for a while and the people are getting antsy. They have seen the power Moses had with his God and now they want a god for themselves. It sounds to me like they were being stirred up by Satan to jealousy. Aaron might have felt a little left out himself or jealous too so he took this opportunity to be the leader. He told the people to give him their earrings. Apparently everyone wore earrings. So everyone in the family could give to this idol. With the gold from the earrings he took a special tool and fashioned a calf and gave the calf to the people. Then he told then to worship this calf because it was what delivered them from Egypt. He built an altar for it and proclaimed a feast for the next day to celebrate. So the next day they offered sacrifices and peace offerings and had a party. Meanwhile, God interrupted his time with Moses and told Moses to get back down because the people had corrupted themselves. I want to say it is amazing that they had just witnessed all the miracles of the plagues, the Red Sea, the fiery mountain, (which was still in plain view), God’s audible voice, and countless other miracles, only to so quickly get off track and go after a new god; but experience has told me it is not so amazing. I look at my own life and see the fear and stress I have been under since the death of my mother and am tempted to get really defeated. The truth that I know is that when we are in a storm we only need Jesus in our boat. He can stand up and say, “peace be still” and the waters will obey. Lord, help us to take the authority you have given us in your Word and speak to our mountains instead of giving up and following the way of the world.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - The Artists

Read Ex. 31:1-18 God called Bezaleel out of the tribe of Judah to fill with His spirit and give him the ability and knowledge of how to do all the artistic work in the tabernacle. He gave him the ability and gift to work in gold, silver, brass, gems, and wood carving. “Bezaleel” means “in God’s shade”. His father was Uri which means “fiery light”. His grandfather was Hur which means “white”. We are called to be a cleansed, fiery light dwelling under the shadow of God’s wing. When we live that way we have the anointing to minister in things only God can do. Bezaleel was also a clean, fiery light dwelling under the shadow of God’s wings. God gave him a helper named “Aholiab” which means “tent of his father”. His father was Ahisamach which means “brother of support” from the tribe of Dan which means “judge.” Like Aholiab we are called to dwell with the Lord and to love our brothers and work together in love. Together these two men were to make all the furnishings of the tabernacle, the utensils, the priest’s garments, the anointing oil,and the incense. Then God spoke to Moses about the Sabbaths. The sabbaths are holy days to the Lord. To us, they give us a picture of Millennium. No work is to be done and no one is to defile it or they are put to death. Ever noticed how when Jesus got caught healing on the Sabbath, he was healing in mass - everyone that heard him was healed on those days. It is a picture of Millennium, when everyone will be healed. They were to observe the sabbath forever to remember the covenant they had with God. To us, right now, the sabbath is a rest in the Lord. We should live in the rest of God everyday. Lord, help us to rest in you, under your shade.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - The Laver, The Anointing Oil, and the Perfume

Read Ex. 30:17-38 The Lord told Moses to build a bronze laver (which is a basin) so the priests could wash their hands and feet as a sign of cleansing themselves before they approached God. According to Ex. 38:8 it was made from the bronze mirrors of the women. The Word is compared to a mirror that we use to see ourselves in. It reveals our hearts to us. If the priests didn’t wash they would die. Since we are under a much better covenant, we are all called priests and all can enter into God’s presence; but we too must be cleansed. James 4:7,8 says “7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” We don’t do this with natural water but by the water of the Word. (Eph. 5:26) God also gave Moses the recipe for making holy anointing oil. This oil described the Holy Spirit. It was invisible, sweet-smelling, soothing, and calming. The Holy Spirit is to be out Comforter, our invisible support and our peace-bringer. He is very sweet and sensitive. Every vessel, piece of furniture and priest had to be anointed with this oil. No one was to try to copy this recipe or make it themselves because the Holy Spirit cannot be duplicated; there is only one Holy Sprit. God also gave Moses the recipe for a special perfume to be put before the testimony in the tabernacle. It was not to be duplicated also. If we walk in the anointing of the Lord, we have a sweet fragrance that we extend to all who come in contact with us. This perfume and anointing oil covered the stench of the sacrifices just as the Holy Spirit make the cross a sweet fragrance to those who are saved by it. Lord, may your anointing be on us today that others might smell your sweetness and come to know you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - The Ransom Money

Read Ex. 30:11-16 At certain times they were to number the people and everyone was to pay for their redemption. Their price was half a shekel which was approximately .2 of a an ounce of metal. This was known as the ransom money or the atonement fee for their lives. This ransom money made sure that there was no plague among them. The money was to be used for the service of the tabernacle. Jesus said in Matt. 20:28 that “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” This ransom money made sure that there was no plague among them. The money was to be used for the service of the tabernacle. When we are in Christ we should have no plagues among us. Plagues were sent by God to discipline those who chose to disobey. In 2 Sam. 24 God was angry with Israel so he told David to go number Israel and Judah. He did this without telling the people to pay the ransom money so a plague was sent across Israel. It stopped at the threshing floor of Araunah when David offered a burnt offering. In 1 Chron. 21 Satan stood up and enticed David to number the people. God sent a plague and it was stopped on the threshing floor of Ornan where he offered God a burnt offering. This became the spot he later built the temple. Numbering has to do with judgment. Since there was no ransom for their souls, every time they were numbered some judgment fell. Hosea 1:10 says that the number of the people of Israel shall be as the sands of the sea…innumerable. In Revelations the word “number” is used 8 times and every time it is counting the evil people there is a number, but when it is talking about the saints it is a number that cannot be counted. The exception is the 144,000 that were sealed which kept them free from the judgment. We don’t live under the law where our sins are counted against us, we live under grace where our sins are covered and removed. Lord, I thank you that we are living under the covenant of grace and not judgment. May we live in your freedom and healing.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - The Altar of Incense

Read Ex. 30:1-10 God commanded Moses to build an altar to burn incense on. It was to be 1x1x2 cubits and be made of wood then overlaid with gold. It was to have a crown around the top edge with horns on the corners. The horns were to remind the people of the ram caught in the thicket who was the replacement for Isaac just as one wearing a crown of thorns would be our replacement. The wood spoke of this natural realm covered with the heavenly gold. Jesus came down as a natural man but rose a victorious ruler of heaven and earth and is now seated with God on a throne of glory. This box had rings on the corners to carry it. It was the last piece of furniture that the priest stopped at before he entered the Holy of Holies. On this table was the incense which stood for the prayers of all the people and the priest. The priest would enter behind the last curtain into the Holy of Holies bearing blood from the brazen altar and incense from this table. This is the intercession of others and Jesus who “ever lives to make intercession for the saints.” (Heb. 7:25) And, Romans 8:26,27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” I dreamed one night that I was looking down into an ancient room full of different kinds of lamps all burning incense. I could hear mumblings in every language. It was a very holy place and when I woke up I knew I had been in the prayer room in heaven. Lord, we thank you that your spirit prays for us constantly praying what we need to grow in you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Cleansing the Altar

Read Ex. 29:36-46 Next we have instructions for cleansing the altar. An altar is a place of sacrifice and offering. In the tabernacle there were two altars: the brazen altar which was where the priests offered the sacrifices where the public could watch. The other was the altar of incense where the prayers were offered in a more intimate setting. If the brazen altar stood for the cross then to receive it into our hearts we need our hearts clean and consecrated to God. When we ask Jesus into our hearts then we can still offer up sacrifices to God. Heb. 13:15,16 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” So our sacrifices are first our hearts and lives then our praise, the fruit of our hands and the fruit of our lips. Notice that the priest was to perform these sacrifices morning and night. This altar was where God would meet with his children and dwell among them. The same goes for us. The altar we have built in our hearts for the Lord is where we meet with God and he changes us. This is what the world looks on and knows that we are called by his name. This altar is a place of death, where our old man dies daily so that we might walk in newness for life. Lord, may we sanctify our hearts to receive your glory.