Monday, February 29, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Nazarite Vow

Read: Numbers 6, 10
I associate the Nazarite vow as to our salvation. It was a time when a person wanted to dedicate some time and attention totally to the Lord. When we become Christians we give up everything to the Lord. He becomes our covering. The Nazarite would let his hair grow to show that his head was covered. To drink no wine had to do with taking a sedative if they were sad and a way to be happy if they got drunk. It is a picture of God’s peace and joy. We are to drink the wine of the Lord which comes from reading his Word and fellowshipping with him and his people.
I don’t understand the person dying next to him so if you have any revelation I would love to hear it. But, I do think I got a glimpse of something concerning the end of his separation time. He is to come to the door of the tabernacle and present his hair on the fire under the peace offerings. The priest takes the shoulder of the ram and some unleavened cake and wafer and puts them in the hand of the Nazarite. Then the priest waves them as an offering to the Lord and now the Nazarite may drink wine.
I think that this is a picture of the end of our life. We have walked under the wings of God’s covering. The shoulder of the ram symbolizes our cares of this life - our burdens that Jesus takes from our hands and waves them before the Lord. The unleavened bread represents our sinless-because-of-Jesus life. Then we can drink wine which means we enter into the joy of the Lord. We don’t have to wait till we die to experience this. It is ours every day. But I think this is a picture of the ceremony at the end.
We will let the Lord’s prayer be ours today: “The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us; The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace. And may the Lord put His name upon us as his children and bless us.
I apologize for Friday's post. I just realized it didn't post. I have posted it if you want to read it. Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Spirit of Jealousy

Read: Numbers 4-5
I am intrigued by the jealousy ritual. If the wife has gone astray and been unfaithful to her husband by having sex with another man, she has defiled herself. The problem is that there is no witness and the only thing her husband has is his suspicion and the spirit of jealousy. She is taken to the priest and has to drink this bitter water that is tainted with the words of her own agreement which will show if she is lying or telling the truth. At first, I thought this was awful for the woman, but if she is innocent, it is freedom for her. If she is lying then her abdomen will swell like she is pregnant but there will be no baby inside because he womb will have shriveled. I wonder if this is an immediate response. It sounds like it might be which is a wonder in itself.
The children of Israel did go astray and they did have to drink the curse of their unfaithfulness. It caused them to be unfruitful and die. The cross turned the bitter curse to a blessing and we can walk away with life.
Notice, there is no test for the husband who might have been unfaithful. I think it is because Jesus is suppose to be our bridegroom and he is totally faithful. It does seem a little unfair for the wives living back then but God knows best!
Lord, thank you for redeeming us from the curse of the law. Thank you for the blood of Jesus.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The Tribes and their Gifts

Read: Numbers 2-3
Every tribe had a flag and a position. They were to march with their family under their flag in the form of a cross. It was like the cross was marching across the land bringing salvation to whoever wanted it. Every tribe had its strengths, gifts and talents. The tribes also give us the history of God’s people in the order of their names but I don’t have time to go in to all that. What I do want to do is give you a list of the tribes and how they relate to us now. We are all a member of one of the tribes though we should function in all of them. We have one or two strengths that identify our tribe. Here is a list of the tribes, their stone and their gifts:
Reuben - ruby - the evangelists
Simeon - topaz - the artists, writers, public speakers
Levi - chrysolyte - the priests who understand the deep things of God; bring the anointing
Judah - emerald - healers, money-makers
Dan - sapphire - judges, intelligent, protectors
Naphtali - diamond - resilient, bring truth and victory, deliverers
Gad - jacinc - spiritual warriors
Asher - agate - faithful, child-like faith, favor
Issachar - amethyst - know the times and seasons, authority
Zebulun - beryl - bring refreshing
Joseph- onyx - know who they are in Christ, favor and authority and honor; bring new life
Ephraim - double blessing
Manasseh - grace and healing from past
I pray that you find your tribe. You will find that people of like gifts will be drawn to you and you will become a tribe.
Lord, help us to find our place in your army and may we fly your banner high.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Redemption and Priests

Read: Lev. 27-Numbers 1
Reading the value of a person is so foreign to our culture. The interesting thing is that Jesus should have been worth 50 shekels but he was sold for 30. They did not even consider him worth the price of a person.
In reading about redeeming gifts offered to the Lord, it was always the priest that assessed the value if it was unknown. Jesus alway assesses the value of our gifts to the Lord by looking at our heart. Every gift is considered holy to the Lord and can not be changed. All property was valued by it’s nearness to the next Jubilee. If you were selling your property during the year of Jubilee you were to value at its highest amount. The farther from Jubilee the less the value. This is the year of Jubilee where our gifts and property are at their highest value. This is the year we can expect to get the highest return for the things we do for the Lord. Our witnessing should reap the greatest return, our praying should be most intense and powerful.
In Numbers we have the first census of the people taken. The ones that were numbered were only the ones able to go to war. The only ones in our dispensation that are able to war are the born again people who know spiritual warfare. The Levites were the ones who maintained the presence of the Lord for the people. They were exempt from being counted because they would be the ones to exemplify grace.
Lord, may we be counted as Warriors but accepted as priests.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Jubilee

Read: Lev. 25:24-Lev. 25
Every fifty years was a Jubilee which is this year on the Jewish calendar. There are many laws about the redemption of land during Jubilee so what does that mean to us. If we are Christians, if means that our inheritance and what we have lost through hardship, sin, or circumstances can be restored to us if we ask. It means that the prodigals will come home this year and that financial miracles can happen this year. I am particularly interested because we are trying to sell two houses and buy one. This is the year to do it!
I love the promises of Chapter 26. They are conditional on the first three verses. They were to not make any idol or graven image to worship. They were to keep the sabbaths and reverence His presence. And, they were to walk in all his statutes and commandments. Then the blessings were limitless. They would have more than enough to eat, peace from their enemies, victory over their enemies, many children, and best of all…God’s presence.
To not listen to God and obey him brought fear. This fear would lead to total downfall. It is true that the only way not to live in fear is to live in faith and trust in God and to totally rely on His Word. We can live in the land of plenty where peace and joy reigns in the midst of a terrorized world only if we put our trust in Jesus. He is our rest. He is our Jubilee!
Lord, help us to see that these feasts were a picture of who you are. You are the one who sets us free and blesses us and our families. You are the redeemer and the lover of our soul.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - God’s Appointed Feasts

Read: Lev. 23-25:23
Every year when I read through the Bible, I realize how much importance God puts on his feasts. They are his appointed times he will do something great with his people on the earth. I know I have gone over this many times but God keeps going over it so here it is again. The Passover was to represent Jesus death on the cross and our deliverance from sin. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was to represent our consecrated life of righteousness. The Feast of First Fruits was to represent Jesus’ resurrection - the first fruit to rise from the dead. It showed Jesus’ defeat over death. The Feast of Harvest or Pentecost was to represent the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. The two loaves represent the Jew and Gentile becoming one. This was the only festival that allowed yeast. This is because it would manifest under a new covenant of grace, not law.
The last three have yet to be manifested on the earth. The Feast of Trumpets represents Jesus return to earth. It will happen on Tishri One. I know the Bible says that no man will know the day or the hour because we don’t know which year he will come but he will fulfill this feast just like he has the others. From the first day of the month to the tenth are days the Jews call the Days of Awe or Yom Kippor. These are the days that man’s fate is sealed and any repenting that is ever going to be done for the past must be done by the tenth because on the tenth the books are opened. The Day of Atonement happens 10 days after the Feast of Trumpets and is the day the priest goes into the Holy of Holies to presents the prayers of the people and atone for the people for the next year. This would be Judgment Day.
Five days later is the Festival of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles. It is the final harvest of fruit. It is when God gathers the fruit of all the ones that are his. God’s people live in temporary dwellings where there will be rest from toil, joy and great rejoicing.
Next we have a picture of what this festival will look like. The people are to bring pure oil of pressed olives and flour to bake 12 loaves. The Feast of Tabernacles happens during the olive and grape harvest. This feast is about judging fruit and using it for God’s heavenly temple.
The picture of the man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father who blasphemed God is the picture of a person who didn’t chose to believe so he was judged eternally.
Last we have the Year of Jubilee which is the year we are living in now. It is a picture of Jesus setting up his kingdom on earth and the earth being given back to his followers. It is a year of redemption and fulfilled promises.
Lord, may we redeem everything the devil has stolen from us this year. May we proclaim your blessings and goodness!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Consequences of Sin

Read: Lev. 20-22
Yesterday, we read about the sins and today we read about the punishment for those sins. They were not to offer their children to Molech or they would be stoned. Molech means “king of shame”. God said he would cut these parents off himself and be against them because they bring shame to his holy name. This means that if you teach your children condemnation or that they have to obey God or he will punish them you are teaching against God’s character. To be stoned spiritually means to be taught with words of truth. The truth will kill false doctrine. In the Old Testament they were literally stoned, in the New, our old man dies when we hear words of truth.
Reading about the sexual sins and the consequences makes me wonder how many people would be left alive if we enforced these laws and their consequences. Thank God for his mercy and the blood of Jesus. I thought it was interesting that if you were the daughter of the priest and you gave yourself over to prostitution, you were burned to death. This is a picture of a person who grows up in a Christian family and is taught the truth but goes astray. Conviction will burn in her heart till she repents. She won’t be stoned because she has the Word in her already. She knows the truth.
The physical defects are a picture of sins that are outward and visible. If you dress like a hooker and act like one, then you have a physical defect. If your conversation is full of curse words and gossip then you have a physical defect. Sins affect they way we grow. They cause our walk to be lame or our eyes to be blind, etc. We will never be able to be intimate with Jesus till these blatant sins are confessed and repented of.
If you are afraid you have unconfessed sins and don’t know what they are…don’t worry, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to show them to you. Then you can repent. God is very gracious and compassionate and wants us to come into his presence.
I had a dream last night where I was in a grocery store and stole a Twinkie. I woke up before I had a chance to go back and pay for it. It felt so bad and asked God if I could go back and pay it. Then I prayed about it and God showed me that I had not payed my tithe this month or my sales taxes yet. Needless to say, that was the first thing I did this morning.
Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirt’s conviction.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Choose Life!

Read: Lev. 17-19
If you take two things away from today’s reading, let it be this: God is serious about death and life and He doesn’t like mixture. Blood is a substance that carries life so if we eat the blood of an animal, we are allowing its life to mix with our life. If we listen to another’s beliefs about God that are contrary to the truth in God’s Word and allow it to soak in, we are drinking that person’s blood and his life is being poured into us. That is why God had strict laws about what you eat. He also had strict laws about how a sacrifice was to be administered. He didn’t want the non-priest to mess with the blood or he would defile himself. He wanted the trained priests to sacrifice the animals and deal with the blood. God did not want to mix our blood with animal’s blood.
The same goes with someone who is kin to you. God did not want to mix bloods. Sexual relations with people in your bloodline would eventually bring about a life in which the blood was mixed. We now know that that can cause serious birth defects. That brings to my memory the reason God destroyed the earth with the flood. The bloodline of human beings was being mixed with demons (Genesis 6). God found Noah who had a righteous bloodline so he preserved him and started over.
This spreading of life goes to our mouths and what we say. The power of life and death is in our tongue.
Mixture is the opposite of holiness. Holiness is pure but mixture has a hint of the pure and an alloy. Satan brings mixture. He comes in like an angel of light but leaves death and destruction behind. God comes in as The Angel of Light and leaves growth and healing and life behind. We can be a messenger of either one we choose. Let’s choose life!
Lord, may we be aware of mixture that tries to creep into our lives. Help us to crave the pure and holy.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Day of Atonement

Read: Lev. 14:33-16
Once again, leprosy represents a sin of the flesh. The house can represent a person (Matt. 12:24) or a family (Gen. 12:1). It is the Lord that allows the leprosy to become manifest so the person can do something about it just as it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us and causes circumstances to show us our sin. The priest is to close up the house for seven days and come back to see if the leprosy has spread. It is like an offense. When someone offends us God waits to see what we will do with it. If we spread the story to others then it will cause them to be offended also. This is the spread of leprosy. The priest is commanded to take away the stones where the plague is and replace them with other stones. Stones represent our words. We need to replace our negative words with blessings. This is how to stop the leprosy from spreading. Then the same process for cleansing had to take place. It had to be brought under the blood and cleansed through the blood.
The bodily discharge was a discharge from their body that they couldn’t control. We call this besetting sins or addictions. If it is gambling, alcohol, sexual addictions, whatever the addiction - it always affects more than the person with the addiction. They must be bathed in pure water. Many times this issue is settled when the person is baptized.
The Day of Atonement is the most holy day for the Jew, even today. It is the only day in the year where the High Priest can enter into the Holy of Holies. He takes with him incense and offered prayers of repentance for him and his family first then for the people for the next year. During this ceremony two goats are chosen. One is sacrificed for the sins of the people. The priest lays his hands on the live goat’s head and transfers all the sins of the people to the goat. It is then sent to the wilderness. This one is like the bird that is set free. He is the sin-bearer. Blood is sprinkled on the priests, the altar and the people to make them clean. This all happens between the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Lord, thank you for the cross. Thank your for shedding your powerful blood. May we rightly appropriate your blood in our lives.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Infectious Diseases

Read: Leviticus 12-14:32
I’m going to be honest and say that I have no insight about the purification after childbirth but it you do, I would love to hear it. So I’m going to skip to the part about contagious diseases. Everything is a picture of a greater truth and contagious diseases have to do with sin and offenses. In the New Testament, Galatians 5:19-21 gives us a list of sins of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Sin of the flesh is depicted as skin diseases in the Old Testament. If they were only on the surface it took going to the Priest and presenting yourself for him to examine. This is the same as letting the Holy Spirit examine your heart. If the disease is healing then you had to go through a process of cleansing. If your skin disease was under the skin and oozing then you were pronounced unclean and set outside the camp for a designated time to allow the skin to heal and not contaminate others. We really see this process in big-name preachers who have slipped into sin. God will expose them to keep them from contaminating the others in the church. They will have to leave the ministry for a season to heal. For most of us it looks more like this: we entertain a sin and if we don’t address it we will notice things being taken from us like our influence in ministry, our peace and our joy. We will eventually put in “time out” of all our ministry if we continue.
When a person is finally healed of their skin disease they would bring a sacrifice to the priest and he would do a ceremony with two birds. The first bird is the one who dies for their sins and whose blood is sprinkled on the person making them clean. Note that all the props : the scarlet yarn, the hyssop and the cedar stick stand for instruments used when Jesus died. The other bird is let free to carry the disease away and show that they are free from disease. When we repent of our sin, we bring it to the cross and the blood is applied to cover our sins. Then it is removed as far as the east is from the west on wings of a dove. We are now free.
Lord, help us to repent before our sin gets under our skin. Help us to forgive and repent quickly.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - God’s Pictures

Read: Lev. 9-11
The Old Testament is full of natural laws that were to teach a spiritual truth. God was serious about them keeping the picture right so we wouldn’t miss its meaning. So when Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire on the altar it was like us trying to get to God through the occult. Fire stands for the Spirit and strange fire would have to do with spirit not from God. That is why they had to die. If we are in the occult and practice it’s magic we have to die to that sin and be born again to live unto God. Aaron’s other two sons, Eleazar and Itamar took their place. They were the resurrected sons who were to continue the work of the ones that died.
I want to skip to the clean and unclean animals. They were to depict what we should eat spiritually. We are to eat the Word that rightly divides the truth. The split hooves were suppose to represent this balance. They were also to eat animals that chew the cud. We are to meditate on the Word: let it into our hearts and become nourishment to us then we are to be able to spit it out for others and ourselves when it it needed.
Fish in the water are a picture of us moving in the spirit. They were to have both fins and scales. We are to have the direction of the Holy Spirit (fins) and be covered with the blood of Jesus (scales). They were not to eat winged insects that walk upon the ground. They were to eat winged insects that not only walked upon the ground but had jointed legs so they could jump. Grasshoppers don’t get their wings right away and are hoppers till their wings grow. God always gives us a way of escape from temptation and our enemies. Insects without the ability to hop have a time in their lives when they are defenseless.
Animals that walk on four legs and have paws are unclean. These would be the animals that prey at night and can sneak up on their prey silently because of their paws. These animals along with the small animals that scurry along the ground have the characteristics of demonic beings.
If such an animal falls into a clay pot, the pot is defiled and must be smashed. If a demon goes into a clay vessel (a man) then he is defiled and must be broken. If that same demon goes into a person who is moving in the spirit, it will not defile them. It will flow right down the stream and he will not be affected by it.
Lord, thank you for your pictures that teach us about Your ways.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Guilt and the Peace Offerings

Read: Lev. 7-8
When Jesus died on the cross he satisfied all the offerings. Today we read about the guilt and the peace offering. Jesus blood took care of our guilt of our sin and gives us peace with God. It is the devil that condemns us and tries to make us think we are still guilty. He robs our peace.
They were not to eat the fat or the blood. We now know through scientific research that fat and blood are not good for us nutritionally or health wise.
Reading about the ordination of the priests gives us a vivid picture of what Jesus went through when he rose to heaven. He was exalted to be our High Priest. Hebrews tells us that a priest has to be a person who has walked among men and knows their temptations and can sympathize with their struggles. Jesus’ life on earth qualified him to be our High Priest.
During the ordination, they would put some of the blood of the sacrifice on the priests right ear, right thumb and right big toe. This was to sanctify what he heard, what he did and where he went - his walk. These are the same places God sanctifies on us to be his priests. We are to hear only what he says and obey it. We are to do only what we see the Father doing and do it. And, we are to go only where he leads us to go. That is how Jesus lived his life. They were to eat some of the meat and the grain offering sprinkled with blood and oil. We are to be consumed with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are to eat the Word as our daily bread.
Lord, may we be priests before you. Sanctify us through your blood and your Word. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Importance of the Sin Offering

Read: Lev. 4-6
First, we read about the procedures for the sin offering. They start with the sin of the leader, the High Priest. His sin affects the whole community just as what our leaders do affects our whole nation. He must atone with a sin offering. Notice that it doesn’t matter if he sinned intentionally or not; if he broke the law, he is held accountable. The same goes of the entire Israelite community, a leader, or a common person. They are guilty whether they knew it was a sin or not. When they realize it was a sin then they bring their offering to the Lord to atone for their sin. That is where we are blessed. If we sin unintentionally, we have an advocate, Jesus who already took care of it. We just need to thank him and repent.
If one of the people was an eye witness to a sin, it was required that they come forward with the truth or they would be in sin. To touch something unclean requires a sin offering. To us these mean that if we know the truth and don’t speak it then we are wrong and need to repent and speak the truth no matter the consequence. If we join in a sin and then we are convicted of it, we need to repent and turn from it.
The quilt offering seems to have to do with defiling the Lord’s sacred property. Then, that would be anything that had to do with the Tabernacle or the priests. So to us that would be talking against the church or the leaders. They were to bring an offering to the one they offended. We are to bless those that we have wronged and ask their forgiveness. Jesus said to love our enemies and do good to those who wrong us.
The guilt offering went further than the sacred objects and priests to the people they worked with. God calls all people his sacred possession. That is why Jesus told us that the second greatest commandment was to love others as you love yourself.
The sin offering was the most holy offering because Jesus was the most holy sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
Lord, help us to honor You in our walk and love our neighbor and treat everyone with honor.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Eternal Covenant

Read: Numbers 8- 9:14; Lev. 1-3
The first sentence gives us a truth Jesus taught. When they set up the lamp stands they were to place them so that their light shined forward in front of the light stand. It reminds me of Jesus statement: “Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify God.”
The Levites were to shave their whole body in sanctification for service. Since hair is a symbol of sin, they had to be sinless. The only way we can do this is to appropriate the blood of Jesus and his offering for us. The Levites were to take the place of all the first born sons. Now, it would be the priests that were the Lord.’s inheritance. He was showing that one day, instead of the nation of Israel, it would be a group of set-apart priests that God would call his own. Hebrews 10 talks all about Jesus our High Priest who sanctified us through his blood that we might be kings and priests unto him. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that praise Jesus.
They were to be priests until they turned fifty, then they were to be mentors to the next generation of priests. This is still in effect today. We are to become mentors of the next generation when we reach maturity.
It was time to have their second Passover so God instructed them how to celebrate it. The first Passover was to commemorate the children of Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. It was a picture of our deliverance from sin through the blood of Jesus. They were to
celebrate it every year after that.
God gave them instructions about how to prepare the different offerings :the burnt, grain, peace, sin, and guilt offering. Today we read about the first three. The burnt offering and the grain offering were required but the peace offering was optional. The burnt and grain offering were the same offering. If you could afford to, you brought an offering from your cattle but if you were poor, your brought flour. They were both a picture of the cross and God’s offering of his son. The animal was to be perfect and the flour was to be without yeast signifying the sinlessness of Jesus. The animal was to be sacrificed on the north of the altar where Jesus was crucified - north of the temple. If you brought a grain offering you were to add salt to it to signify God’s eternal covenant. Since the flour represents Jesus, the Word, then it spoke of God’s eternal covenant with us. Jesus said that he was the salt of the earth. He was God’s eternal covenant to the earth. We are to be salt to the earth also. We are to be a picture of what God’s eternal covenant is to the world.
The peace offering is to show that we are at peace with God. We are without guilt or shame.
Lord, may our lives portray the promises of your covenant.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Tribal Gifts

Read: Numbers 7
Today we read the offerings each of the tribes were to give. No matter what the size of the tribe, they all brought exactly the same gift. God is no respecter of persons. We are all the same importance to the body. Notice that the containers were of silver and gold and carried grain, flour and olive oil which would be used to make the shewbread for the priests. They also brought something for the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the peace offering. All these offerings were satisfied in the ultimate offering: Jesus. He was the burnt offering, totally consumed on the altar. He was the sin offering that atoned for all our sins. He was the peace offering that made peace between God and man. He is the bread of heaven, the Word of God that came down from heaven to feed us spiritually.
I am always intrigued with the order and the lists of the tribes of Israel. Sometimes they are in birth order and sometimes, like today, they are in another order. Sometimes Levi is included, sometimes Joseph and sometimes Manasseh and Ephraim. There is always a reason even if I don’t always know why. Today it is all scrambled up as far as order. In each of the groups I looked up the three names associated with them and it looked to me like the first name described God the Father, the second name described Jesus the Son and the last name described the Holy Spirit. If so, then God is divine, the giver, our father, the Rock, peace, a gatherer, hears, rewarder, huge, help, the event, creator of evil. That last one is confirmed in Isaiah 45:7. Jesus is giving, humble, strong, the spreader of light, the rock of the Almighty, known of God, splendor, a rock, warlike, of the Almighty, knows trouble, sees all. The Holy Spirit is joyous, brings us rewards, is our habitation, helps us see Jesus, causes us to hear God, helps us invade the heavenlies for our fortune, double fruit, causes us to forget our past, son of the right hand (came through Jesus), helps us judge, happy, causes us to wrestle. If some of these seem to overlap it is because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and have the same heart.
Lord that we may know you as our Father, Savior and Comforter.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sun’s Devo - Moving

Read: Ex. 39:32-40:38; Numbers 9:15-23
Happy Valentines Day! May the Lord be the lover of our soul!
God chose Aaron to be the priest over his people even though he messed up and made a golden calf and lied about it. God is a god of mercy, second-chances, forgiveness and love. It is amazing his compassion toward us.
Today we have the list of all the equipment it took to make up the tabernacle and the kind of worship he required. It was quite a list. The end of our reading says that they moved when the cloud moved. Sometimes it was during the day and sometimes at night. Sometimes it was after a day and sometimes after a year. When the cloud moved, they had to not only pack up their own tents and belongings but disassemble the tabernacle and pack it all up.
God has made it so easy for us living in grace. We carry the tabernacle in our heart. We can access the presence of God in a matter of seconds. The Holy Spirit is always with us. I would love to have a visible cloud to tell me when to move and when to stay. But then, we do have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our spirit that moves us.
Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit. Thank you that you dwell in our hearts in mercy, love and compassion. Help us to reach out today with Your love.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Reflect Jesus

Read: Ex. 37-39:31
We’ve already talked about what each of these pieces represent so I want to talk about some things that caught my attention. The first was the fact that woman served at the entrance of the tabernacle. These women had donated their mirrors to make the laver or the washbasin. They gave up the only way they could see their reflection to reflect the Lord instead. I don’t know if I could give up my only mirror. Hopefully, I could… some days I would love to! What a contrast these women were to the women who served as prostitutes at the entrance of the idols of Egypt.
Another thing that stood out was the tax they received from those who turned 20. Twenty was a right of passage year. At twenty, the men were able to go to war. Levitcus 27:7,8 tells us that the value of a man below twenty is five shekels but a man between twenty and sixty his worth is fifty shekels. Over sixty we are priceless! No, actually, we are worth less. I’m glad we are not living in the law. David, who transcended the law in worship said that the righteous will bring forth fruit in their old age and be fat and flourishing. Amen!
Lord, Help us to reflect your face today and bring you much fruit.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - The Workmanship of the Tabernacle

Read Ex. 35-36
God was serious about no work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a picture of the last millennium where we will live and reign with Jesus. No work will be done. We are in the sixth day of God’s week.
Everything in the tabernacle was to be made of offerings given by the people. Jewelry of the Egyptians that was used in idolatry was cleansed and used in the tabernacle of the Lord.’s That is what God does; he redeems!
God took Bezaleel, whose name means “shadow or protection of God” and filled him with His spirit of wisdom, knowledge and the skills to engineer all the working of gold, silver and brass. He was able to teach Aholiab and Ahisamach. Aholiab means “tent of his father” and Ahisamach means “brother of support”. Together they made supports for the tent of their Father, God.
Everyone that had a heart to work or to give did until there were too many and Moses had to stop them from bringing supplies.
I make curtains so I am so impressed with these curtains. First they had to dye the thread. Some of these colors were made from crushing a certain kind of worm. Then they had to make the material by twining the linen to make a decorative cloth with cherubim of blue, purple and scarlet - all royal colors. These curtains were each 45 feet long and 6 feet wide and there were eleven of them. Next they attached gold rings and loops to join the pieces together on the sides. What a feat! I can’t imagine how heavy these curtains had to be and how they carried them. Everything was measured and perfectly planned. That is the way God is. His works are perfect and planned.
Lord, thank you that we can look at your loving care on the tabernacle and trust you with the simple details of our lives. Everything is for a reason in your kingdom.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Importance of Waiting on the Lord

Read Ex. 32-34
Impatience can lead us to miss God and in this case get into worshiping the wrong thing. God had just given them the commandment not to make any graven image and worship it. Aaron was not a strong leader at this time so he bended to the cry of the people instead of teaching them to wait on God. He instructed them to give him their earrings and gold rings and he molded and fashioned the calf and told the people that this is what lead them out of Egypt. When he saw their excitement he built an altar and planned an orgy. This was not the story he gave Moses. He put all the blame on the people and magic. Notice that it was to the amusement of their enemies. They were on the outskirts of the Promised Land and their enemies controlled the land. What Aaron did made themselves a mockery to their enemies and to the Lord.
Also, notice that Joshua had nothing to do with it. He had gone half-way up the mountain and waited for Moses to get down. He might not have been invited to the top but he become addicted to the presence of the Lord and wanted to stay as close as possible. He continued that stance throughout his journey through the wilderness. He slept in the Tent of Meetings and rarely came out. No wonder it was Joshua who was chosen to take the people into the Promised Land.
We can learn a lot from Joshua. We might not be in the public eye, but we are always in the eyes of heaven. What we do in secret will be announced before the world one day. It is better to be faithful, no matter who sees than to be famous and living for the praises of man. That is what Aaron was doing and it gave him fleeting fame. Joshua was being prepared in secret for a great position later. God is not impressed with our accomplishments; he is impressed with what we become. If we let God mold us in secret in what he wants us to be, we will stand faithful when exalted in the eyes of the people.
Lord, help us to chose to do the things that matter in conforming into your image. Take the need of the praises of men far from our hearts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Dedication of the Priests

Read Ex. 29-31
There was much information in today’s reading so I’m just going to concentrate on the dedication of the priests. We are to be kings and priests to the Lord so to be a priest we must be consecrated. God told Aaron to consecrate himself an his sons. They were to present a young bull, two rams and bread made with wheat and oil but no yeast. The animals represent Jesus as the spotless lamb and the bread represents Jesus as the Word of God.
Then Aaron and his sons were to wash with water and dress Aaron in his priestly garments. Aaron means “light-bringer” so he is a picture of Jesus our High Priest. Jesus was sinless because he chose to wash himself of the world and live as God’s Son. The tunic was made of linen so that the priest would be cool and not sweat. Jesus lived in the state of rest in his Father. He did not enter into works. Linen is also a fabric of the poor and humble. Jesus humbled himself as a man and came down to earth to die for us. Over his tunic he wore a robe which stood for his kingliness. Over this he wore the ephod. The ephod had the stones of the children of Israel. They were next to his heart. On his chest piece was the onyx stones. They sat on his shoulders. On each shoulder was engraved the names of six of the twelve tribes. This was to show that God could look down from heaven and always see their names. The sash was wrapped around his body holding all the clothes close to his body. The tuban on his head shows his submission to God. A medallion is placed on the turban that reads “Holiness to the Lord”. Next he is anointed with the anointing oil over his head. Jesus was bapized in the Holy Spirit’s anointing.
After he is dressed, he turns and dresses his sons in their priestly garments. That is a picture of Jesus dressing us in our priestly garments. We are to do the things that Jesus did and greater according to John 14:12.
Lord, help us to daily put on the garments of praise and the spirit of worship. Thank you for the armor of Christ and the blood that covers us. We wear your Word.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Tabernacle

Read: Ex. 25-28
God had instructed the children of Israel to ask the Egyptians for gold, silver and jewelry and it was so that they could use it in building the tabernacle. Everything in the tabernacles was symbolic of God’s heavenly temple. God had shown Moses a picture of heaven’s sanctuary and he was to copy it on earth. God has always wanted to bring heaven to earth and earth to heaven. This was a start of that goal. The ark had rings on the corner where the poles would fit and it could be carried. God wanted to show them that this ark was to be untouched by human hands. Everything about the altar was holy and heavenly. The ark was called the mercy seat because it was here that God’s presence would rest and it was here that the priests were to bring the prayers of the people for their nation. On top of the mercy seat sat two cherubim. They bowed facing with their wings spread to touch one another. Inside the ark would rest the Law, the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded later. This ark represented the manifesto presence of God. In his being is the Word of Life, provision and the authority he gives to us. The ark was housed behind curtains and only the priest could enter in once a year on the Day of Atonement. On this day, the priest brought the incense and prayers of the people to grant them forgiveness for another year. It was overplayed with gold to show God’s holiness. It even had a crown to represent He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the room outside the Holy of Holies where the ark rested was the Holy Place. It housed the table of shewbread, the candlestick and the table of incense. Appointed priests ate the shewbread daily, kept the candlestick burning and offered incense as prayers. The shewbread represented the Word of God which we need daily. The candlestick, which was really a menorah represented the enlightened Holy Spirit who enlightens the Word and gives it clarity and life. The table of incense stood for the prayers of the saints and the priests. Outside this room was the outer court. Here is where the brazen altar and the laver sat. The brazen altar stood for the cross which was where sacrifices were made. The laver was a huge bowl of water where the priests would wash after sacrificing. It stands or our sanctifying process where God changes us and conforms us into his image. The tabernacle was roped off with curtains to contain the people. God makes a distinction between whose are his and who isn’t. All are invited in but it is a choice.
Lord, thank you for giving us such a vivid picture of your plan of redemption.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases

Read: Ex. 22:16-Ex. 24
Reading the law shows you God’s loving heart towards his people. He loves the widow, the orphan and the poor and made laws to protect and honor them. He even tells us not to curse the ruler of the people. That word does not just mean a godly ruler but it mean a king, sheik, captain, chief, governor, prince, or president. Jesus meant the same thing when they brought him the question about paying their taxes to an unjust ruler. He told them to render to Caesar the things that were his and to God the things that were His. We pay our taxes whether we agree with what our government is doing or not. We honor our president whether we agree with what he is doing or not. God placed us in this country at this time and gave us this president. We get what the people want just like God gave them Saul even if it wasn’t what God wanted them to have. Our leaders and government cause us to call out to God for his rule over our lives and his government over our lives.
God gave them three annual feasts where they were to appear before God at these times. The first was Unleavened Bread. This feast included Passover and First Fruits. They are in the spring and associated with the wheat harvest. Jesus died on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread and rose on First Fruits. The next was Pentecost which was 50 days later. This was the beginning of the barley harvest. The Holy Spirit was given on this feast. The next group of feasts are in the fall. They are Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippor, and Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus will come back with the blast of a trumpet on Feast of Trumpets. The world will go into the Great Tribulation during Yom Kippor and God will set up his kingdom on earth at the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus was in Jerusalem at every feast as was commanded by the law. He was and is the fulfillment of these feasts.
I don’t think I ever say that Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the 70 elders actually saw God and had a meal with Him. How did they go back down and make a golden calf? How quickly we forget!
Lord, cause us to remember the times when your presence is so obvious and not fall to deception after we come down. Thank you for your loving kindness.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Come Boldly

Read: Ex. 20-22:15
Dueteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect; forGod his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” God is just and you can see that reading his laws. Laws are made to punish the wicked but most importantly to protect the innocent. God’s laws do this; I’m sorry to say that is not always true in our judicial system. We can rest in knowing that God is the eternal judge and he reigns even over unjust systems.
Moses first gave them the famous Ten Commandments but then he went into detail about laws to one another. Jesus made the law so much simpler. He summarized it into two: love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. If you do these two, then you will fulfill all of them.
Romans 7:14 tells us that the law is spiritual which means that it has spiritual meaning. That word “spiritual” comes from the Greek word pneumatikos which means divinely supernatural; humanly etherial.
For example, lets take Ex. 20:26. It is talking about approaching the altar. You are not to go up by steps to God’s altar, because your nakedness would be discovered. The word “steps” in Hebrew is ma’alah. It means “elevation; i.e. the act or journey to a higher place; a thought arising; specifically a climactic progression.” What that means to me is that you are not to approach God using a formula like a 12-step program or like the New Agers do. They go through channels to ascend out of this world. Our way to approach God is through the blood of Jesus. We don’t have to work anything up or attain any position by works. By faith we can boldly approach the throne of grace and obtain grace and mercy whenever we need it. God’s door is always open and we are always invited. To approach God by earning our way only exposes our unworthiness or our nakedness. Jesus blood clothes us and covers our sin. It makes us righteous priests who can minister before his altar.
Lord, teach us the divine supernatural meaning to your Word. Thank you that we can boldly come into your presence whenever we want to. You are a good Father.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The First Pentecost

Read: Ex. 16-19
If there is one word you can use to describe the children of Israel it is complainers. They complained about everything. Immature people complain against people, mature people take their requests to the Lord. The people complained against Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron took their problems to the Lord. God answered Moses and Aaron. God’s answer to their hunger for their body was spiritual food from heaven. That is always the answer. We complain about natural things, things we think we need and that will satisfy us, but the answer to all our needs and longings is found in eating the Word of God and devouring Jesus into our very being. He is the only thing that will satisfy. He is always there and is just what we need for the moment. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. God used manna to teach the children of Israel this concept. God took that manna that wouldn’t last over night and preserved it two days on the Sabbath and for generations when laid before the Testimony. God Word endures forever even though we need it fresh everyday.
In Exodus 17 the people are thirsty and there is no water. Remember that they are at the wilderness of Sin because they will return here forty years later and have the same problem. They are actually right before the promised land. God commands Moses to strike the rock. 1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that that Rock was spiritual: it was Christ. Jesus was struck on the cross for our sins and out of his side flowed blood and water. This water is the living water of the Holy Spirit. They were about to have a meeting with God where he would demonstrate his power which will be a type of what he will do millenniums later on this same feast found in Acts 1 and 2.
First, Moses has to divide his authority and give it out to the people he can trust as leaders. It is like Jesus giving his gifts to men in the Church (1 Co. 12:28).
Now it is time for God to come to his people and give them the law. It will have been 50 days since they applied the blood on their door posts making it Pentecost. The people are to cleanse their bodies and clothes for the third day. God appeared in a cloud of smoke like a furnace at the top of Mt. Sinai amidst thundering, lightning and the voice of an invisible trumpet. God spoke and called Moses and Aaron up to the mountain.
Lord, thank you for the times we live in. Thank you for sending us your son and your Holy Spirit.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - The Passover and the Exodus

Read: Ex. 13-15
God makes a big deal about buying back the first born son. The first born son is a picture of us and our natural birth which is our first birth. If we are to be a son of God then we have to be bought back by the blood of Jesus. This is the picture of Passover. The lamb was slain for us, but we have to appropriate his blood to be saved. Unleavened bread has to do with our sanctification process. The yeast stands for sin so we spend the week, or our lives, getting the yeast out and becoming like Jesus. This feast was to be a visible sign like a mark branded on their forehead or their hand.
I am also doing a Bible study on Revelation and I find it interesting that this mark God gave his people will be copied by Satan in the end. He will demand a mark on the forehead or the hand to be able to buy or sell in the end times (Rev. 13:16). Salvation is our mark that identifies us as His sons.
They emptied Joseph’s grave to take his bones into the promised land. This would have been on the third day after Passover, the same day Jesus’s body rose from his grave and went to the promised land of heaven. Joseph’s life was a type of Jesus’ life.
God led them under the canopy of a cloud by day and the warmth and light of fire at night. This way they could travel continually. This is a picture of God’s total protection over us in our darkest nights or gloomiest days. We can keep walking our walk with him. He covers us with his loving kindness and protection.
Israel received their salvation at Passover and their baptism in the cloud and in the Red Sea. In 1 Co. 10:1-2 Paul says, “I do not want you to be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” John came with a baptism of water (the sea) but Jesus came with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (the cloud). We need to be baptized with both. The enemy was defeated in the sea. Our sanctification renders the enemy inoperable. If we have a struggle in an area and allow the Lord to cleanse it with his sea of forgiveness and love then the devil can not defeat us in that area - both horse and rider will be hurled into the sea.
They didn’t get to celebrate their victory long before they came to their next obstacle - bitter waters. God told Moses to cast a certain tree into the waters and it made the waters sweet. That tree is a picture of the cross. We can apply the cross to every situation and it will become sweet.
Lord, help us to see the power of the cross in our lives today.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - No Compromise

So much happened in today’s reading, I don’t know what to concentrate on but there are some things that stuck out to me. Locusts were the eight plague and God told Moses why he was making Pharaoh stubborn. First was so that he could display his power to a people who had so many gods and dealt in such witchcraft and idolatry. But, for the Israelites, it was so they could tell their children and grand children about how God made a mockery of the Egyptians. God had gone through their glorious land and brought it to ruin in a matter of a year. Pharaoh was contemplating letting them go and asked them who they planned to take with them. He told them they could not take their children and threw them out. On the next plague of darkness, he told them they could take their children, but they had to leave their animals. Satan always asks for a compromise. We need to be strong like Moses and not give him an inch.
God had one more plague which he had told Moses at the beginning he would do…kill Pharoah’s first born son. After this, Moses and the people left with everything they owned and all the riches of Egypt. That is God’s plan for us. We not only get what belongs to us but we get the spoil of the enemy. No compromise!
Then, God set up a whole new calendar. This month, which was their seventh month, Nisan, would be their first month. It would take too long to explain this in detail but God was giving them a picture of salvation. This was their new birth of their nation. We are born first of the natural and then of the spirit when we get saved. We have two birth days. Israel was getting a new birthday - their spiritual one. Today Israel has a civil calendar which starts in Tishri and a religious calendar which starts in Nisan. Their passover feast was a picture of the cross. The blood stood for Jesus blood. He is the door. They were to apply the blood at the same points that Jesus bled and walk through the door and be saved. What a picture!
Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation and the blood of Jesus that saves us and our household. Help us to stand firm against the devil and not compromise when he offers an easy way out. You will give us the victory and it will be complete.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The First Seven Plagues

Read: Ex. 7:14-9:35
Yesterday, Moses had shown Pharaoh his staff that turned into a serpent who ate the other staffs-turned-into-serpents. This hadn’t impressed Pharaoh enough to convince him to let Moses take the people to sacrifice. So, God told him to meet Pharaoh at the Nile when he went to get his morning drink and turn it to blood. Not only that water turned to blood but all the water in the land that came from the Nile turned to blood. Pharaoh went about his business and they had to get water by digging wells. This is always the first act of God - to change from water to blood. Jesus first miracle was to turn water to wine. God always brings the dead to life and life is in the blood.
Then came the frogs, gnats, flies, the plague on the livestock, boils and hail. Their magicians could imitate the first two but when the gnats came they admitted it was the finger of God that did this.
On the fourth plague, the flies, God made a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites and the flies didn’t come into the Israelites homes. Jesus was sent in the fourth millennium to make a distinction between his people and Satan’s. Pharaoh tried to control their worship. Pharaoh told Moses they could sacrifice to their god but it needed to be in Egypt. Moses explained that their animal rights laws would cause them to be stoned if they sacrificed there. They had the same problem we do today. They thought it was okay to sacrifice their children, but not animals.
Pharaoh was still hardened when he saw that the Israelites didn’t lose a single animal in the plague. In the sixth plague, the boils, the magicians were rendered inoperable. The seventh plague was one of total destruction. All of the plagues correspond to what God created in creation. Notice that it destroyed all the harvest of that time but not the harvest to come. God always leaves a remnant.
All these plagues were against the gods of Egypt. I don’t have room to explain what these gods were but there is plenty of information about them on the web. God wanted Pharaoh to know that he was the only God.
Lord, we realize this is also a picture of the end time judgment. We pray that the harvest will all come in before that time and that you would use us to bring it in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Tests of Leadership

Read Ex. 4:18- 7:13
I don’t know if I ever saw that God told Moses from the very start that he was going to kill Pharoah’s firstborn son. That was the last plague God sent. When God gives us a hint into our future we can be sure there is going to be a waiting period and a test on the way. For Moses, there were many tests. The first test happened along the way to Egypt. This one remains mysterious to me. God tried to kill Moses so Zipporah circumcised her son and touched his feet with the foreskin. Commentators say that he had probably neglected to circumcise his son to please his wife. She saw it would cost him his life and did it herself out of love for Moses. The blood of his son saved him just as the blood of God’s son saves us. This was the test of obedience.
It is important for us to see that when God calls us to a task there are always oppositions and roadblocks. He doesn’t always part the Red Sea when we want him to although it will happen if we wait. To be a leader or an influencer, there are tests we have to pass. Moses first test was to overcome his fear. God sent him Aaron to walk with him. Another test Moses had to pass was the test of rejection. He was not only rejected by the Pharaoh but his own people gave up on him when it cost them more than they wanted to pay. Moses complained about this to the Lord and the Lord kept telling him to watch what He was going to do. Pharaoh would let them go; he would force them to leave. Then God gave Moses a name for him that no one knew before: Jehovah Yahweh, which means self-Existent or Eternal. Before they had only known him as El-Shaddai which means God Almighty. Revelation is on-going, ever being made known to the Body. There are always new things to learn in the Lord. He reveals himself as we need.
Lord, thank you for your awesome Word that is always revealing who you are more and more.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mon.’s Devo- Moses’ Commission

Read Exodus 1-4:17
It has been about 300 years since Joseph died and the new Pharaoh doesn’t know his history about all the good things Joseph did for his nation. Racialism has been a part of mankind since the tower of Babel. People are afraid of people that are different or they don’t understand. The Egyptians were afraid of the Hebrews because they were multiplying faster than them. The Pharaoh tried bribing the midwives to kill all the boy babies which sounds familiar. It seems like the devil smells someone great is about to be born and tries to kill him just like he did when Jesus was born. God always has a way of escape. For Moses it was in a basket floating down the Nile.
Moses always knew his true roots and returned to them after undergoing the test of rejection and misunderstanding. Every great leader must go through these tests to make them humble and stronger. Moses tried to hide away but God found him and sent him back to deliver his people. Moses was not so happy about being the hero. He knew the sting of betrayal. But, he agreed to take the assignment. What blows my mind is the detailed instructions God gave him about how it would go and what to do at every step. I would love to have my life given to me in that kind of detail. I am also amazed how Moses argued wit God about speaking. God must have wanted to slap him, but in his patient love, he gave him Aaron. God knew that Moses would need instructions and a partner to go on. God tells us just what we need to know and what we don’t. He sends us people and spouses to walk with us through our journey. Most importantly, we have the Holy Spirit that walks with us to show us the way. Moses didn’t have the Bible to show him the plan of God. We have that!
Lord, thank you for your Word and your Holy Spirit to lead us. Thank you for the people you send to aid and encourage us along the way. Help us to pass the tests of leadership so that we can be used for the good of your kingdom.