Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.” Leviticus 23:34
After the gathering of the harvest the Lord commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. They were to take choice fruits, palm frond, leafy branches and poplars and rejoice before the Lord. To celebrate they were to live in booths to “commemorate the miraculous benefit of dwelling in tents under the clouds of glory” when God brought them out of Egypt. Here, in the wilderness, “the clouds began to protect and accompany them” – God’s presence made his dwelling, tabernacle, with the Israelites
Gills Exposition of the Bible goes on to say, “as Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us at the exact time of the Passover, and the Firstfruits of the Spirit were given on the very day of Pentecost, or feast of Firstfruits; so it is most likely, that Christ was born, or first began to tabernacle in human nature at the feast of tabernacles.”
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Before Jesus was crucified, in his desperate hour, he prayed for those who would believe. His desire – that the love of the Father would be in believers, that he would dwell in all who believe.
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:26
Through the Spirit believers become a tabernacle where the presence of the Lord, the cloud of His glory, dwells.
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22
This day is coming
It's surely coming
Jesus, you're coming
But until that day comes
Let Your kingdom come in me
Let Your will be done in me
Here on earth as it is and as it will be in heaven
Show Your glory to the world
Tell Your story to the world
Let my life be a preview of coming attractions
Shine Your light through me
Live Your life through me
Let the world see Your kingdom come in me”
Steven Curtis Chapman “Coming Attractions
A day is coming when the glory of the Lord will surround all and God himself will tabernacle with men.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3
Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) was celebrated from September 22-29, 2010.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Jesus walked through the temple, His Father’s house, observing. They had turned the temple into a market. Those who were selling were robbing the people, charging exorbitant prices. It was all about profit. Honor for the Lord was not to be found. These merchants, the priests who allowed the robbery, were distracted by ritual. They had forgotten the purpose of the temple – the purpose of the sacrifice.
God’s house was to be a place of prayer – communion with God. The temple was the place where sin was atoned for, where one could be close to God.
Jesus cleared the temple, displacing everything. He drove out the sheep and cattle along with the merchants. He scattered the money, turned over their tables.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
My body is God’s temple. How often am I distracted by my own desires. I lose focus, lose my way on the journey. Fear and doubt swirl in my head, sin gets the better of me.
Jesus comes and clears this temple – my heart. He turns things upside down in my life. He reminds me I have been bought with a price. His kindness leads me to repentance. When the dust settles I see clearly. The Spirit draws me back into fellowship with my Lord.
Jesus, don’t let me forget, clear this temple of everything that does not bring you glory!
“It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.” John 2:13-17
Sunday, September 26, 2010
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” Colossians 2:13-15
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Continuing a pilgrimage through the Psalms of Ascent I come across this line,
“We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy” Psalm 123:2
When life gets hard, finances run low, children run wild, everything runs out of control – I look to the Lord for His mercy. For His mercies are new every morning and He never runs out.
So I count the gifts of mercy, the blessings Father God lavishly heaps on me. He is an extravagant God and I live in the center of His mercy. My heart sings gratitude and I remember His blessings….Father, for…
731. Walking down the middle of the creek with these three and Precious husband 732. Dollar movies and an afternoon to enjoy them with this growing group 733. The simple joy from one who has grown taller than mom over recent months (a big deal to my children even though I only stand 5’ tall or should I say short)
736. A wall of cuckoo clocks 737. I have completed all six portraits of our children. This is the final one and the hardest – I have always painted a side view of the children. Not perfect, but it will do for this amateur artist.
738. Breakfast with Sensitive Son at one of my favorite places 739. Princess daughter enjoying a good book at the library 740. The privilege of prayer – Lifting the names of dear ones near and far before the throne of heaven – conversation with my loving Father
Check out Ann’s inspiring blog to learn more about 1000 gifts and The Gratitude Community.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Once a year atonement was made for the sins of the people. From the evening of the ninth day to the evening of the tenth day no work was done – they were to fast and treat the day as if it was a Sabbath.
The high priest was to slaughter a bull to make atonement for himself and his household. He then took two goats – one for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. The goat who falls to the Lord was to be sacrificed as a sin offering. The goat chosen as the scapegoat was presented alive to make atonement before being sent into the desert.
Aaron was to take the blood of the goat and sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. After he was done sprinkling the blood, Aaron was to come out and lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites. Then he was to sent the goat away into the desert.
On this day atonement was made, to make the people clean from all their sins before the Lord. The Feast of Trumpets called the people to repentance – a time of introspection. Here, ten days later, cleansing is made for sin.
“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made…He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. …How much more, will the blood of Christ…cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death…Christ…entered heaven, now to appear for us in God’s presence…once for all …to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:11,12,14,24,26
Because it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin, Jesus came and offered himself a sinless sacrifice. Now by a new and living way, through the blood of Jesus, the curtain is open into the presence of God. Jesus is the eternal atonement for sin.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) was celebrated September 18, 2010. The next Feast of the Lord is the Feast of Tabernacles which begins September 22, 2010 and continues until September 29, 2010.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I have been reading through the book of John. Today I read John 2:1-11 and Jesus changing water to wine. I consider…
What thoughts were going through Mary’s mind? Was she on the hostess committee? What did she believe Jesus could do about the problem? Perhaps Jesus had provided for their family when they “had no more wine”, or bread.
Jesus provides for me, today, when I have no more…
When I have problems what do I believe Jesus can do for me? Jesus steps in and fills my heart to the brim, full and overflowing with…
- more patience
- more love
- more joy
- more peace.
Ephesians 5:18 encourages, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,”
I say, “Fill my cup Lord!”
In the above post I have given my thoughts on the Biblical account of Mary and Jesus in John 2:1-11. Please click on the above link to read the passage in its entirety.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
“In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:11-12
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
“I call to the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” Psalm 120:1
Here is where the Psalms of Ascent begin. Psalm 120-134 are called the Psalms of Ascent. These are the Psalms that would have been sung as the Israelites traveled to the Great Feasts in Jerusalem. They are also Psalms that would have been recited as the priest climbed the steps in the temple from the court of the women into the court of the Israelites. The Israelites would have sung these songs as they returned from captivity in Babylon.
Psalm 120:1 is where I begin my journey. Every day seems to hold some kind of distress. Pressures that weigh the soul down grow. Disappointments that drown out joy. The Lord is there to hear my cry. He hears and he answers.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…The Lord watches over you….” Psalm 121-1-2, 5
When I don’t know which way to go, I lift my eyes to the Lord. He watches over me, my coming and my going. Gratitude wells up in my heart. Father, I am thankful…
721. The Lord hears my cry for help
722. The Lord answers me when I call
723. The Lord watches over my coming and going
724. The Lord is my help when I am in distress
725. The Lord is my shade, protecting me
726. The Lord is my light in the night
729. The Lord is seated on His holy throne
730. His throne lasts forever and ever
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
God established the feasts when he brought Israel out of Egypt. He called them the feasts of the Lord. Jesus celebrated the feast when he walked among us as a man. I desire to understand their significance for me.
“The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” Leviticus 23:1
I intended to start my study of the feasts with Passover as it was the first feast the Lord established. God has different ideas. A friend reminds that it is the beginning of the Feasts of Trumpets and another tells of a service where they will celebrate.
We sound the shofar when we begin our day.
Two youngest and I enter the building to the greetings, “Shana Tova!” (meaning “a good year”). “The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the fall feasts. The Jewish people call this feast Rosh Hashanah, which literally means "Head of the Year," and it is observed as the start of the civil year (the religious year starts with Passover) on the Jewish calendar.” It is the beginning of the “Days of Awe” a time of introspection and repentance before the Lord. These Days of Awe end with Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement, one of the most holy days of all.
Leviticus 23:23-24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation.”
Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a day of blowing the horn unto you.”
We listen as music and prayers are lifted in both Hebrew and English. Princess daughter remarks, “It is prettier with they sing in Hebrew.” The prayers speak to God’s faithfulness and call his people to remember all he has done on their behalf.
Throughout the service the shofar is sounded. Five line the back of the sanctuary holding their shofar, ready to blow at the appropriate time. When they begin their blasts these verses come to my mind and are quoted in the service,
“According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
Joy explodes within me and I am encouraged not only by the music and words but also by the sounding of the shofar.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:8-10
I leave feeling like it is a new year. Something inside has been stirred and my eyes focus a little more clearly on the heavens.
Are you ready for Jesus return?
The Feasts of Trumpets began on the evening of September 8, 2010. This is the period of the Days of Awe which will end with Yom Kippur on September 18, 2010.
Many of the links I will have on this journey will be to places on the web where I have found the information most helpful or easiest to understand. I do not endorse all the content on these sites as I have not read all the of the information contained there.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Andrew was searching. Nathanael was a skeptic, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” In spite of his doubts Nathanael followed Phillip to examine Jesus of Nazareth for himself.
I imagine Nathanael’s jaw dropping when Jesus greets him by looking straight into his heart and calling out his character, “A true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." There was no denial on Nathanael’s part, just wonder, “How do you know me?”
Here I picture a twinkle in Jesus eye, “I saw you…” Now Nathanael is completely convinced,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
At this point in the conversation I think Jesus must have laughed. Just wait Nathanael, “you believe because I told you I saw you…You shall see greater things than that.” You will see into the heart of God, “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Jesus saw into the heart of Nathanael and Nathanael believed. Jesus sees into my heart just as clearly and I am convinced,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Just wait, you will see the heart of God. His glory revealed in Christ…
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True….His name is the Word of God.” Revelation 19:11,13b
In the above post I have given my thoughts on the Biblical account of Nathanael. Please read the full account found in John 1:43-51.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
When the music for praise begins I close my eyes. I’m trying to shut out everything and focus on the Father. My mind is fixed on heaven and the Creator of all. I raise my voice in song. I yield my whole being and lean into worship.
I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
… my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Father – I will give you thanks forever, singing in the midst of your saints, praise to your holy name!
714. Butterfly notecards with sage green envelopes
715. Coffee with a new friend
716. Beautiful weather for annual hometown festival
717. Shocking so early, but fall colors
719. Homeschool mom cooking dinner to share with other homeschool moms, sitting around her dining room table enjoying the company, encouragement, and delicious food
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I have been wanting to understand more fully the Old Testament Feasts of the Lord ever since my journey of the tabernacle last year. The opportunity for study has opened up through Beth Moore’s Bible study Stepping Up. I am so excited to take this journey. I am filled with wonder to see more of Christ through the shadows in the Old Testament Scriptures.
So today I begin a pilgrimage through the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). These were the songs sung by the Jews as they traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Lord’s appointed feasts. Songs sung as they ascended the stairs to the temple, drawing closer to Yahweh. Jesus celebrated the feasts. He journeyed with his family to Jerusalem. These Psalms poured from his lips. The feasts were a part of his life as he grew in wisdom and the grace of God that was on him.
I read these words from Jezamama and they bless me as I begin to travel…
The pilgrim: "He is on a journey. It is an important journey and one he has undertaken only after long and careful consideration. Now he is totally dedicated to it. He does not pursue his goal with frenzied haste. He moves deliberately and steadily, yet he seems to have ample time to enjoy what he encounters along the way – flowers, children, fresh grass, the sun, villagers, great libraries, and lonely caves.” (Richard Peace, Pilgrimage: A Handbook on Christian Growth)
A tidbit of information, today at sundown begins the Feast of Trumpets. You can read Leviticus 23:23-25 for the Biblical foundation for the Feasts of Trumpets.
Monday, September 6, 2010
It has rained here for three days. The heavy humid summer air bursts with refreshing rain. Everything soaks up and holds the life giving moisture. The leaves bend beneath the weight of raindrops.
I have spent these days enjoying the patter of rain on the roof. As the rain falls I feel cleansed somehow. The weight of His presence causes me to bend. Most of it has to do with a recent prayer time with ladies where I worship. Then a line from a poem I read at Barefoot Voyage, “But Jesus, I longed for you so much.” Between poetry and worship songs, my heart cries, “heaven fall down on me….let it rain, let it pour.” With the rain I feel Jesus mercy and grace. Images flows through my mind and simple words fall into my spirit…
Blood of Jesus……Mercy and Grace
Rushes to……Wash Clean
Weariness……..Hope of Glory
Though the drops are small, the ripple effects grow. Dry places fill up and overflow. Cracked places in my soul are made whole and holy by Jesus mercy and grace. Shameful sin is proclaimed pure by the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness. Weariness fades and gives rise to hope, hope that is only found in the glory of Christ.
“Blessed are those who WASH their robes, that they may have the right to the TREE OF LIFE and may GO THROUGH THE GATES into the city.” Revelation 22:14
Poetry by Michele Jahncke @ Barefoot Voyage (linked above)
Lyrics “Heaven” by Daniel Bashta (linked above)
Sunday, September 5, 2010
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” Colossians 2:8-10 NLT
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
“…it’s not about what God isn’t giving but what He is giving. We can get so locked onto what we don’t have, what we think we want or need, that we miss the gifts God is giving….Father…I pray for a more gracious posture, to be open and grateful for what you are giving at any given time.” John Eldredge, Walking with God
Father, I am grateful for what you have given over the last week. The moments to slow and enjoy. God, you are so good!
702. Precious husband preparing lunch and having it ready after service
707. Catching up with long-distance friend and feeling like no time has passed at all, even though it has been a few months
708. Snuggled with two youngest and husband watching movies
709. Hugs freely offered by teenage sons
710. The cross of Christ everywhere