Everyday Christianity

Ministering to the Lord is one of the greatest honors received in salvation by grace, as we place our faith in the hands of the holy one of Israel. Making Christ the Lord of our lives, for He is the Savior of the world, slain in our stead. We’ve walked the purposeful Tabernacle grounds and paused in each movement for a moment of affirmed reflection. Witnessing the intentionality of God’s replica of His house of worship in heaven. With the specificity and quality of craftsmanship shared, the provision of care required, we now turn our attention towards the utility of service. 

 

Yes, to fully understand the Tabernacle and all it teaches us about true worship, we, must also study the priests and their ministry appointed by God. Understand, none of these men chose to be priests, nor were they elected by a board of their peers. There was no conclave, smoke, or casting of ballots. Rather, they were chosen by God. Exodus 28:1a-b~Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—(ESV) The priesthood, as instituted by God, consisted of Aaron as high priest, his sons as priests, and his tribe, the Levites, who were made responsible. Numbers 1:50-53~Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law…Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and…set up…The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law. (ESV) 

 

It is essential we discern that God still chooses people for ministry. He calls some to each of the offices He has appointed. Ephesians 4:11- 13~And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith…(KJV) However, this is not the only place or office where ministry is to occur. It is important that we process our place and calling in life because some of you were called by God to be school teachers, secretaries, accountants, factory workers, mechanics, doctors, nurses, police officers, & yes, homemakers. 

 

Today, where ever you go, go as a priest of the Lord. Listen to 1 Peter 2:5~you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (ESV) You have an amazing opportunity to make a difference in our world. Let the Lord use you for His good.



The Roar

Have you acknowledged your need for mercy? Although we think of the ark as one item. Scripture speaks of it as two separate items. It is the Ark and yet it is also the mercy seat. Which means a place of covering, as it is the place our sin is covered. This word even gives us Kippur, as in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The most holy day in Israel when the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood to cover the sin of the people at the mercy seat. (Leviticus 16:11-14) 

Nothing is taught more clearly through the Tabernacle than God’s holiness. Because God is holy, all sin is an atrocious offense to Him. Don’t waste your time trying to categorize or rank and file sin. In Isaiah God says Here I am, I reached out to a rebellious people, following their own devices, a people who provoke Him. (Isaiah 65:1-4) Isaiah 65:5~Yet they say to each other, ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!’ These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away. (NLT) 

That is why Paul says his own righteousness is filthy rags, compared to Christ. (Romans 3:10) Isaiah 64:6~We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (NIV) Therefore, God’s holiness and justice prover itself over and over again. (Isaiah 5:16) Demanding that sin be fully punished. However, because of God’s fathomless love. He provided a way to justify us though we are sin-cursed and fallen by making provision for forgiveness in Jesus. 

The apostle John wrote in his first epistle that we might not sin. 1 John 2:1-2~My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV) Therefore, since the innocent sacrifice for our sin has been made. God can show mercy to us that in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21~God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)

I believe that all too often we fail to grasp what Jesus has done for us. Our very nature is to be children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:3) However, because God is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4-5~But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. (NIV) 

So, let me ask you, has Christ cleared your sin debt? I am not just talking about a sinner’s prayer. We all owe God a debt from our daily lives, our words, actions, and deeds. Some of us have killed Uriah to cover up a transgression, like David in 2 Samuel 11-12. Some have hidden things in their lives like Achan in Joshua 7. Some have defrauded others, like Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Still, others have plain old homemade sin. Have you placed your whole life, under the blood of Jesus, for Him to clear your sin debt? Before you head out into the wide world about your life, don’t waist another moment. Let Jesus be your righteous sacrifice, let Jesus be your righteous reward, and you be His hands and feet.



The Testimony of God

God is not like us, rather we are to be remade in the image of Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus, who is our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) does for us at Calvary. We should never get over Calvary. Paul writes in Colossians 2:20~Since you died with Christ…(NIV) Dropping down four verses to Colossians 3:1~Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (NIV) The Tabernacle is a picture of God’s throne room in heaven. As believers, our defining reality is Calvary’s cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. That’s why Paul says in Romans 10:9~ because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (ESV) We die with Christ and are raised with Christ, to walk in the newness of life.

God says make we a chest, a holy throne where I may dwell, that holds my special possessions to remind you of what I have done for you. Thus, preserved inside the Ark are three important articles. What are they? Hebrews 9:4~In that room was a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant…Inside the Ark a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. (NIV) Now the Tablets are the 10 Commands that establish God’s covenant with His people (Exodus 20), and remind them of Israel’s sin and need for the blood covering sprinkled on the mercy seat.

The gold jar held the daily bread of God provision during their wilderness wanderings. (Exodus 16:33) Though the manna could not survive the night, it remained in God’s presence. That is a truly valuable lesson for us as believers, that in the presence of God everything is different, and that with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) The third item was Aaron’s staff that budded, revealing that God chose Aaron’s family, from the tribe of Levi, to be the priestly tribe. (Numbers 17:1-10).

For the top of the Ark, God tells Ole Mo to make a mercy seat of pure gold. Exodus 25:18~And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. (ESV)The cherubim are to face each other, with their wingspread out over the mercy seat and their faces looking down on it Exodus 25:22~There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. (ESV) Numbers 7:89~When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way, the LORD spoke to him. (NIV) 

If our desire is to obtain God’s mercy, then the Ark reveals that we must approach His throne under the blood of Jesus. The beauty of this wonderful picture is that God desires us to come near and listen to Him and learn from Him, His ways. That we would walk out our faith under the new covenant of Jesus Christ. When is the last time you sat down and discussed what God has for your life, your family? I want to encourage you today, after you have asked for forgiveness and prayed for the needs of your family and community, listen. Ask God to speak and wait, as you listen to Him. Then simply respond.