Friday, February 27, 2015

Settled Around the Tabernacle

"Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father's house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting." -Numbers 2:2 NKJV

It is difficult to imagine moving and ordering the thousands of people of Israel though the time in the desert. Yet, there was order, and that order had great meaning.  The tribes were set up around a centerpiece: the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was the place where God designed to meet man. There the sacrifices would be made.  There the Ark of the Testimony sat. There the bronze laver, there the show bread. Each of these things pointed to Jesus Christ.  The Tabernacle was the place where the Holy God would meet with sinful man. This was the center of their camp. Each tribe was given a place around the tabernacle. Their relationship to God was the center of their existence; bothe corporately and individually.

Everything in the tabernacle is a picture of all that Christ came to accomplish.  Now we spiritually must mimic what God had Israel display physically. We must gather ourselves around the One who "tabernacled" among us. (John 1:14). Our relationship to Him the source of our unity and our direction. If you long for greater unity in the Church you must settle around the One who, alone, sits at the center.

Remembering His Return

Therefore be patient, brethren, until coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also be patient.  Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. -James 5:7-8 NKJV

Once on my high school cross country team a friend of mine decided he was really going to get ahead.  He put his head down and ran as fast as he had ever run in a race. When the team finished the race we looked around for my friend.  We found out later that he had been disqualified. Having lost sight of the goal he ignored the course markers and ran wildly off course...quickly! It is easy for us to do this spiritually.  We can try to put our head down to charge through our lives.  Yet, the word regularly beckons us to be mindful of Christ's return for us. We are not called to simply know about it, but to call it regularly to our attention. This anticipation sets our course, sets our priorities, and gives us the much needed patience that only comes from a proper perspective.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Living and Active

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NASB

While most of us today do not have a great deal of experience with swords, we do use knives quite often.  Around the kitchen, in the workshop and out camping we have plenty of use for a good sharp blade.  It is quite easy to lose track of things and cut yourself with a very sharp blade.  If the blade is quite sharp there is a sort of delay between the cutting and the pain and the blood coming forth.  It is easy to see how a good sword could do its work with great speed. 

The Bible is like that.  It is the only book on earth that is so vitally powerful. While many books may cut into the depths of our thoughts and feelings, only the word of God cuts right down to the point where our soul (our self consciousness) and our spirit (our God consciousness) meet.  The word of God is the only "blade" that is so sharp that it can cut so deep and edify us on the most important and needed level.  All we need to do is to pick it up and this tool, like a scalpel in the Surgeon's hand, the Lord will use that word to transform your life.  All we need do is pick it up, read it, and apply it.