January 30 Exodus 25-27; Acts 6
These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.
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His Temple | Robin Laney
S~ Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Exodus 25:8 (NIV)
O~ God gives very specific directions to the Israelites concerning the construction of the Tabernacle.
A~ As I read this morning, the question kept running through my mind, “Why is He so specific in His details? Why does it matter what materials are used and where? Why does He concern Himself with how many loops are on a curtain or how the branches are to extend from the lampstand? I read a few articles about it and there seem to be differing ideas on the whys and hows of building the Tabernacle.
The thing that stands out to me is His desire to be close to His people, to dwell among them and to be the One to so clearly define the terms of the relationship. He figures out a way to be near them, to be in relationship with Him. He pursues them, offers them a way to reconcile with Him through sacrifice, and moves into the neighborhood. When the people go their own way, He departs from them until they desire His closeness again and then moves back to them. His desire for relationship with us is so great that He became flesh and lived among us, became the sacrifice for our sins so that we can be fully and eternally reconciled to Him, and lives inside of us as the Holy Spirit. He is so close to us now that our bodies are His Temple and one day His presence will fill the earth.
P~ Oh, Father, to consider how much I am desired by You is overwhelming. The lengths to which You have gone to be in relationship with us is extraordinary. I cannot wait until the day that all Creation is fully restored. How glorious a day it will be! For now, I will consider what it means for my body to be Your Temple and relish in the fact that You are so close to me. ME! The one who wanders, who neglects, who gets so distracted, who is unfaithful. Father, thank You that You don’t treat me as a deserve and thank You that You know just how to speak to me and get my attention. And thank You for providing a way through the veil!
I Need a Table (and other pictorial reminders) | Tara Wiley
S~ Make special containers of pure gold for the table – bowls, ladles, pitchers, and jars – to be used in pouring out liquid offerings. Place the Bread of the Presence on the table to remain before me at all times. Exodus 25:29-30 (NLT)
O/A~ Why in the world did THIS verse stand out to me today? Because—
I’m shopping for a table. Out of curiosity, I measured the space that needs this long, narrow buffet-style table against the measurements for the tabernacle table in Exodus 25 (um, Moses’ table must have been up on a platform, because 27 inches tall is awfully short. Either that, or they planned on piling it HIGH!). My table will have the same types of items on it – bowls, pitchers, jars, used to serve others when I host events, like the wedding shower I’m hosting today.
A couple of years ago, I participated in an online Advent retreat that was profoundly moving for me. One of the assignments was to create an altar, a visual reminder of the space we chose to make for quiet, secret moments before God. I’m not a liturgical gal, and this was a stretch for me, but I am telling you now, that little TV tray, covered with an embroidered cloth, holding a candle and some items that had strong meaning for me for that particular season, became a place of worship in my bedroom. All I have to do is close my eyes and I am there again, sensing His presence again, remembering the things He taught me in that season (and I need to remember them right.now. I bet that’s why the Holy Spirit brought it to mind today). I wonder if the Levites ever did that. When they were out of the temple, in the mundane of life, or under high stress, did they ever close their eyes and go to that tabernacle table, heaped to overflowing with thanks offerings, with the symbol of the very presence of God? Oh, the Bread of the Presence. It takes my breath away this morning, the bread that is His body, broken for me (Matthew 26:26, I Cor. 11:24).
Remember me, Jesus said as He broke the bread. The Bread of the Presence, before God at all times. Do I remember Him at all times?
Our God is very visual, very pictoral in the way He teaches, both in the Old and the New Testament. Symbols have power to remind us. To center us. To take us back to Him. I think in the evangelical reaction to the worship of icons, we lost something important. We threw away most of the symbols and lost an opportunity that I think is more critical than ever in our over-stimulated culture. We need to see and remember the Bread of the Presence, the broken body of Jesus. We need to see and remember to offer sacrifices of gratitude throughout our day.
I think it’s time again for a few visual reminders in my day. And not just reminder dings on my phone. Something I can hold, see, touch… and remember.
P~ Lord, today I needed this trip down memory lane to that altar. I needed to be reminded of the sweetness of quiet, stolen moments before You. I needed to remember the potency of symbols, because, well, I need them right now in my cluttered, overbooked, crazy paced life. I need to be viscerally reminded of Your presence on a regular basis. Help me creatively form this in my life right now. Show me what to do. I love that You are a creative, pictoral God. I love the way You teach me! I want to be like You in the way I follow You and the way I teach about You to my children and to those I disciple. Help me be a good example in the way I order my own life.
My Wisdom, Isn’t So Wise | Michelle Myers
S~ These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. Acts 6:9-10 (NIV)
O/A~ The Holy Spirit guided Stephen in his words and this made him wise. I know that for myself, when I am connected to You and relying on You for guidance, my words are a lot more direct, to the point, and leave little room for arguing. That doesn’t mean that people (most often my kids) won’t try to argue.
Usually the Holy Spirit directs me down the path of using as few words as possible. He reminds me that staying emotionally detached in the situation is going to be the best, as I can’t control or change anyone else. And, getting into over explaining, reasoning,or defending my position will only leave me frustrated. This is usually how situations escalate for me.
With my personal relationships, there are boundaries and consequences that I can enforce, when people don’t want to listen to reason. This isn’t always the case when dealing with people out in the world, and this is when relying on You to guide me into what to say or do is so important. Many times, You remind me that the only thing I can do, is LET. IT. GO.
Then there are also times, that You remind me that keeping a sense of humor and not being so uptight is the best response to a situation. I can easily loose perspective and forget that we live in a broken world, getting all caught up in the injustices,unfairness, and imperfections of this world.
P~ Thank you God for Your wisdom. When I find myself trying to rely on my own wisdom, I get frustrated, people get hurt, and situations escalate. Please help me stay connected to You, as we are in the middle of a busy, transitional season of our lives.
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Posted on January 30, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Acts, Bible, Bible reading, Bible Study, daily devotions, discover one thing, discoveronething, discoveronething.com, exodus, life journal, Luke 10:42, SOAP note. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.