How shall we worship?

Today, I want to share another purpose we learn from studying the Tabernacle that Ole Mo built. Purpose # 3—It teaches how sinful people may worship a holy God. I don’t know about you but I mess up a lot and need God’s abundant grace. Ecclesiastes 7:20~Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (ESV) It is God’s Tabernacle that reveals how a relationship broken by sin can be restored. 

Therefore, if we desire to worship God, we must understand the process of dealing with our sin. The seriousness of our sins is revealed in the sacrifices required at the Tabernacle. To approach and worship God, two things are required: a blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22) for our sins and a mediating priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). Today, both are made available to us in Jesus Christ. 

You may in fact know someone who is asking what are the steps to salvation? Many people are looking for steps to salvation. People like the idea of an instruction manual with simple easy steps that, if followed, will result in salvation. Because the idea of a step-by-step process to salvation is appealing, many in the Christian community make the mistake of presenting salvation as a result of a step-by-step process. Roman Catholicism has seven sacraments. Various Christian denominations add baptism, public confession, turning from sin, speaking in tongues, etc., as steps to salvation. But the Bible only presents one step to salvation. 

When the Philippian jailer asked Paul in Acts 16 this is what Paul tells him in Acts 16:30-31~Then he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. (ESV) In Romans 10:9 Paul says that we are to confess Jesus is Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead. It really is that simple for someone to become saved. 

Faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior is the only step to salvation. The message of the Bible is abundantly clear. We have all sinned against God. (Romans 3:23) Because of our sin, we deserve to be eternally separated from God. (Romans 6:23) Because of His love for us (John 3:16), God took on human form (John 1:14) and died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve. (Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21) God promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven to all who receive, by grace through faith, Jesus Christ as Savior. (John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, Acts 16:31)

Salvation is the free gift of God and is not about certain steps we must follow to earn salvation. Salvation and forgiveness of sins is not about following steps. It is about receiving Christ as Savior and recognizing that He has done all of the work for us. God requires one step of us—receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin and fully trusting in Him alone as the way of salvation. Jesus said it best right before He died on the cross in John 19:30~…It is finished. (NIV)

That is just the best news! Who might you share that news with today? I bet God has someone who is going to cross your path and they would love to hear that there is a God who loves them, and wants to have a personal relationship with them, and all they have to do is take a step. Ask the Lord who you can share your faith with and who might be ready to take that step. Then share. You have got this. May the Lord bless you today as you share your faith.

Part of the plan

Have you ever just sat and wondered about the Old Testament Tabernacle? How God shared with us the purposes of moving closer to Him in worship. Today, I want us to consider a couple of purposes that God’s Tabernacle reveals about worship as it pertains to the Tabernacle.

Purpose # 1—It Provides a sacred space and a specific place to worship God. God tells Ole Mo in Exodus 25:8~And let them make me a sanctuary (מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash), that I may dwell in their midst. (ESV) Here God calls the Tabernacle (מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash), a sanctuary. This is a consecrated place, a place of holiness. In our church building, we have a sanctuary and we use it for worshipping God. 

That’s why we don’t allow our sanctuary to be used as a public building or civic auditorium. Because the word auditorium means just a building, or hall, where there are lectures, concerts, and other events. The place where we collectively worship God is a sanctuary, a sacred space for prayer and worship. Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 21:13~…My house will be called a house of prayer…(NIV) Not an auditorium. Every time someone drives by and sees our church or worship center, I want them to know, that building is a sacred place to worship the living God. 

Purpose # 2—It’s a Witness of God’s Presence. God commands Ole Mo to make the sanctuary according to the pattern shown on Mt Sinai. Exodus 25:9~Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle (מִשְׁכָּן mishkan), and of all its furniture, so you shall make it, (ESV) (מִשְׁכָּן mishkan) or tabernacle means dwelling place. So what Ole Mo and the people of God built was a place for God to dwell, reside, to settle in among His people. Numbers 17:8~The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed, and produced almonds. (NIV) With this event, God has chosen the priesthood and the staff will later be placed in the Ark of the Covenant with the golden pot of manna, and the stone tablets of God’s covenant. (Hebrews 9:4)

So, in looking at Tabernacle we see and are reminded that God has a physical testimony, or witness, of His presence among His people. God is in our midst. He is Jehovah Shamma—God is There (Ezekiel 48:35) That’s why it is vitally important that believers be a living witness of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7~God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (NIV) What is the symbol of God in the midst of your life that shines forth His glory of God? As we’ll see later, every aspect of the Tabernacle gives us a picture of Jesus Christ. John 1:14~The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (σκηνόω skēnoō) among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV) (σκηνόω skēnoō) means Tabernacled. So, when Jesus Christ was physically on earth. His body was the Tabernacle of God.

Today, as you head out, know that you represent Jesus Christ in our world. So, be the best ambassador of Christ by letting the people you come in contact with know that the Lord God has brought His kingdom near to them today. I bet the Lord will even open a door for you to share that you know a great place where they can learn and grow and encounter an amazing and holy God. All you have left to do is invite them.

The Tabernacle

Nothing in the Bible reveals more about the true worship of God and how He desires to be worshipped than the Tabernacle. The importance of the Tabernacle is revealed to us by the sheer number of chapters devoted to its construction, the priesthood who perform all of the duties of the offerings, and all that goes into sacrifices made by God’s people. 

If you’ve ever wondered to yourself, Self, I wonder what the Bible says about where we worship? Does God care about our style of worship and what we use? Or, is worship just something we do haphazardly? Let’s take that bite by bite today. First, there are 12 chapters in Exodus (25-30 and 35-40), 12 in Leviticus (1-10, 16, 23), 5 in Numbers (8-9, 18, 28-29), and 4 chapters in Hebrews (4-5, 8-9) That adds up to 33 chapters all about worshiping our amazing God. In comparison. God devotes only 2 chapters to the creation of our world and everything after it’s kind. 

That is why we should study the Tabernacle. To grasp what God shares with us, humanity, through a physical object lesson for how He desires us to truly worship Him. The Tabernacle teaches us the principles of God’s model for worship, which helps us understand the words of Jesus Christ in John 4:24~God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (NIV) Over the coming weeks, we are going on a journey of exploration on, in, and through the Tabernacle. Learning with each new step that God has a plan and purpose in everything that He does. 

Moreover, God isn’t looking for haphazard worship, for Him, worship is meaningful, purpose-filled, intent laden, revealing our deep need to be in relationship with Jehovah—My Lord God. He is Jehovah Jireh—My Provider (Genesis 22:14). Jehovah Rophe—My Healer (Exodus 15:26). Jehovah Nissi—My Banner (Exodus 17:15). Jehovah Makadesh—My Sanctifier (Leviticus 20:7-8). El Shaddai—My Supplier (Genesis 17:1-2). Adonai—My Master, the Sovereign Lord (Genesis 15:1-6). When we worship God we need to understand, at least in part who He is, and what He desires from us. 

So, who is God to you? You were created to commune and worship the Living God who planned an amazing life with good things for you to do and who wants to participate with you. Why not take time to ask Him right now what He would like you to do today? Ask Him who He might have you minister to and share His amazing grace with. Then, just respond, and watch as He gives you the words to say and opens up the moment to minister.