Category Archives: Uncategorized

Someone you can depend on…

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. -Nahum 1:7

Like everyone else I know, I suffer some unnecessary anxiety quite frequently. It always happens when I try to plan for [and take charge of] situations I am powerless over. In creeps worry and fear, and God is somehow left behind in all of it. Until I realize who I am in Christ and who God is to the universe. Spending a lot of time in His Word tends to minimize the amount of time I waste being anxious and allows me more attention to devote to the Lord.

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ -Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

In a famous twelve step program, one of the promises offered in their primary book is to be able to “intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.” This comes after spending some time not under the thumb of one’s addiction and having drawn closer to God as they have come to understand Him. I can say from personal experience that this rings true.

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. -Isaiah 54:10

All of my Christian life (even when I strayed from Him) I have had a sense down deep in times of trouble of God’s presence and an awareness that He was watching out for me. I have that feeling even still, perhaps even more so. Do you share that same sense of peace (that passes all understanding)? I hope and pray for your sake that you do. It’s the only way to truly live life to its fullest.

The Coverings of the Tabernacle

One of the many things that make it easy to believe the Bible is God’s Word is its honesty. Not only are biblical characters painted in a realistic light (the sins of the famous O.T. men of God were far from hidden, such as David’s adultery and murder of Uriah), but Christ Himself is depicted as no one of extraordinary looks or charisma (at least in the eyes of most of the people of the day).

Let’s look at the words of Isaiah 53 that depict the coming Savior of the world:

He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him. He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. He was led away after an unjust trial—but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully. Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. “My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins.So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.” -Isaiah 53:2-12 (NET2)

The coverings of the tabernacle were nothing special to look at, being dull bluish or gray in color with nothing of any appeal. Certainly not what you wold think of, especially when you look at the way some churches and their worship altars are adorned. In fact, you might even say that they would be “despised and rejected by men” as coverings. That is how Christ is viewed by all who refuse to accept Him by way of the cross.

Christ as the Tabernacle

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. -Eph. 2:13 (NLT)

Recently, in our Friday night Bible study, a friend has embarked on a study of the Temple, beginning of with the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant. I must admit, at first I wasn’t sure what level of interest I would develop in this, but as time as advanced, I have come to realize that I have a great deal of interest in it –and in finding the many ways in the Old Testament writings that Christ is talked about, either prophetically or by illustrating types and shadows.

So, first of all, the novice reader is probably asking themselves what “types and shadows” are. Here is an excerpt from a Web site containing some useful information and resources about the tabernacle (www.abideinchrist.com): Dr. John R. Sampey said, “A type may properly be defined as a person, institution, or event in the old dispensation which was designed to prefigure a corresponding person, institution, or event in the New.”

We know that only the High Priest could make atonement. Jesus is our High Priest. What He has done for us is not something that must be repeated constantly. He did it once and for all: He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. -Heb. 7:27 (NET)

The Tabernacle, as a type of Christ, symbolized a place where God and man could meet. Jesus, in becoming a man and being the atonement for our sins, has bridged that gap between us and God. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands—the representation of the true sanctuary—but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God’s presence for us. -Heb. 9:24 (NET)

The gate to the entrance of the tabernacle was the only entrance, much as Christ is our only gate into the presence of God. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. – John 10:9 (NLT)

Please take the time to visit a well-done page at www.abideinchrist.com/messages/tabernacletype.html for much more useful information. May God continue to bless you as you strive to know Him better!

Wake-Up Call

Without going into too much detail, as I have aged, the frequency of doctor visits has increased. Certainly, this is no revelation to anyone who has been on this planet for more than a few decades! It is certainly true that many of these trips are unavoidable, simply because I am aging and more things are in need of attention. But, I must confess that some of the things I need to be treated for can probably be helped a lot by my attention to them and changes in my lifestyle.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) Considering the foolishness of my youth, I am most fortunate to be in the condition I am in and not much more seriously compromised or perhaps even dead. I must remember this when I am contemplating my ills and taking my problems before the Lord in prayer. There are always things I can find to be grateful for in just about every thing that I have encountered. But what about the times when there doesn’t seem to be anything good I can take from a situation? Perhaps those are the most important to give thanks for.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 5:18-20 (NIV)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) So, the first thing I have had to do is give thanks to God for the doctors who correct me by pointing out ways in which I need to improve the manner in which I take care of myself. Just keeping that one fact in mind all the time should be enough to rectify the situation and help me to employ a healthy lifestyle. But, so often I forget and my thoughts turn to things of this world (which I know are passing away as it says in 1 John).

Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere. -Ephesians 6:18 (TLB) So, sounds good, but how do I do that? By asking God right now and each and every morning to keep you mindful of His presence and the need for prayer!

Who’s In Charge?

I hear it frequently: we live in uncertain times. I get it. I know why people are so concerned and see gloom and doom around every corner. But, in actuality, these aren’t uncertain times at all. They are actually very certain in their outcome. Jesus is returning. Quite possibly sooner than later, if current events are any indicator.

I live in a state controlled by a political party that I do not particularly care for whose policies are destroying the very fabric of the local economy. More people are leaving than staying. Right now, unless there is a drastic course correction, the outlook is somewhat bleak. As a homeowner, I can get very concerned about the state of affairs where I live. To be honest, I sometimes do. Sadly, that is one of my sins. I need to cast my cares upon Jesus, for He cares for me and will take care of me. That is made very clear in the Bible in 1 Peter 5:7: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)

Coupled with the problems I see all around me where I live, my employer is going through some difficulties that cause me a great deal of concern when I forget to leave those troubles in the hands of God. Rick Warren (a rather well-known preacher) made the statement in a broadcast I was watching once that “worry is a sin.” I think he is absolutely right. When I worry, I am saying that God is somehow insufficient to handle whatever the problem is. What an absurd and terrible thing to say or think or feel, especially when one consider’s that the object of my lack of faith is the Creator of the universe Himself! The very fact that I am worrying indicates that I think I might somehow be able to come up with some solution or fix for the problem that God has not been able to. It is easy to see how we can offend the Holy Spirit (who lives in each and every believer in Christ) by thinking and feeling in a manner that diminishes the role of God in our lives. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. -Ephesians 4:30 (ESV)

I believe that one of the best ways to eliminate stress and receive more faith from God (that is where it comes from; we cannot manufacture it) is to be thankful in all things. I mean all things, not just the ones that are easy to be happy about. I leave you with these last verses: pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)