Treasuring Faithfulness

Exodus 26:1-27:21;  Matthew 25:1-30


“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that is in front of the Testimony, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening til morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.” -Exodus 27:20-21

In reading the Exodus passage for constructing the tabernacle I’m amazed how specific it is. God orchestrated every detail in the materials used, measurements and instructions so there would be no confusion. He is the God of order not chaos. We see this reflected in how the Israelites were to worship also. Do we affirm like Israel, after Moses told them everything the Lord commanded, by responding, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey” (Exodus 24:7)? We’re familiar enough with the Biblical history cycle of: call to obedience, failure, judgement, repentance, and restoration. Like a worn path, this is our story too. We all share in this heritage of sin as Adam’s race. But there is hope.

Just as the actions of Israel illustrate every human heart, the components of God’s tabernacle were pointing to an even greater Temple in His Son. We are prone to wander, in need of a powerful and merciful Savior Who is capable and willing to rescue a damned people. God provided Jesus as the way to Himself. Now, as His Beloved Bride the Church, we pursue faithfulness to Christ alone. He is our treasured Bridegroom.

We are to make ourselves ready for Him by staying faithful in the work He has given us to do until His return or until we die. A faithful heart to the Lord creates the desire to walk in wisdom, please our Master, and share in His happiness. Have you ever thought about obedience as a means to be happy?





Following Christ is not easy. It certainly cannot be done in our own strength, yet those who abide in Jesus, choosing to trust His ways and obey, will discover a deep-seated joy that gets lovelier over time. Its like finding a priceless treasure buried in the dirt. After persistently rubbing off the grime it begins to gleam. The treasure becomes even more precious to you as its beauty is uncovered. This is what its like to know and obey the Lord. He simply calls us to follow Him, to stay true to our Bridegroom.

Jesus laid the pattern for us to walk in, going before us. We know the way, so we walk by faith. And if  when we stumble, His Hand is right there to pick us up because Jesus’ grace toward His children is boundless. Through His Spirit we have access to God and transformed hearts that are now always tied to our King. Jesus’ blood makes standing in His holy presence possible.

The Lord tells us to keep the light of His Spirit burning in our hearts, letting it shine for others to see (Matthew 5:14-16). We are to be faithful and unashamed. Our faces will shine with the light He has placed inside our hearts, one that never goes out. This is our worship. In this way, we actively wait for God, anticipating His coming again.


Grace upon grace,




The Living Temple

Exodus 23:14-25:40; Psalm 30; Matthew 24:29-51

“You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” -Psalm 30:11-12


God’s redemption makes the impossible possible. We can have a peace-filled fellowship, a love relationship, with the King of the Universe. How amazing is that?! In the Exodus reading portion we read of the types of Christ under the law. The institution of a priesthood, sacrifices, and tabernacle foreshadow Jesus fulfilling these roles once and for all as our Great High Priest and Perfect Sacrifice, the Lamb of God. Through Him we are cleansed, forgiven, and restored as God’s own sons and daughters. It is because of Jesus that we are free to worship anywhere. His Presence is no longer confined to a portable tabernacle or man-made temple. Jesus is the Temple (John 2:18-22).

The Holy Spirit dwells in each believer thus making up Jesus’ Church from a patchwork of languages, nations, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Rich and poor, Jew and Gentile all have Christ in common. We, His Bride, become where Jesus’ temple resides (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This truth has enormous impact, ministering to us as we realize God has not left us alone. He has given Himself to be with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).


Even when the curtain of human history comes to a close, if we are still here, we can have courage as our faith assures us of the outcome. Our Father literally wrote out the ending for us (Isaiah 35: Revelation 21-22). The time of judgment will be cut short for the sake of His people (Matthew 24:21-22). God will shake the Earth of wickedness then redeem it, creating a New Earth where Heaven and Earth meet. For now the wheat and tares live together but one day God will separate them. It is His grace and long-suffering mercy which causes God to be slow to anger, abounding in love, not wishing any should perish to eternal Hell.

Christian, you can rest secure in Christ because Jesus lives, and He lives in you, His living temple. God destroyed the Temple in Jesus on the cross so that you and I will never be destroyed. We carry His sacred temple within us. Just as Christ was resurrected we too are not overcome by death, but will taste resurrection for ourselves. When we pass from this Earth to our eternal Home we will see Jesus our Lord, the Living Temple, face to face. This is our heritage, this is our glory.


Grace upon grace,


The Great Deliverer

Exodus 13:17-15:18; Psalm 26; Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 21:23-46


“In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling.” -Exodus 15:13


The character traits outlined in our Proverbs passage describe what God hates: pride, liars, murder, deceitfulness, divisiveness, and hatred. Examples of this nature are seen in Pharaoh and his army as well as the Pharisees who challenge Jesus’ authority. The nature of man apart from God does not change. How the Lord addresses our sin may vary. Meaning, the Egyptians experienced immediate consequences as they were drowned in the Red Sea. Their wickedness brought about their own ruin, but God’s glory.

On the other hand, the Pharisees’ rebellion against Jesus does not receive prompt judgment. It looks like they’ve won as Jesus is crucified and they triumph over His death. But this isn’t where the Story ends. Death did not hold Christ. The One murdered on the cross will judge the hearts of men at the end of Time. Like the Pharisees, all who remain unrepentant in their sins will be held accountable on Judgement Day. This is the worst consequence of all.


The righteous pray for God’s salvation over them. As David does in Psalm 26, we can seek the Lord without fear as He no longer sees our former nature. We boldly come before His Throne and appeal to the Lord. He has covered us in the righteousness of Jesus and our sins no longer condemn us (Romans 8:1). Our love for the Father grows and deepens hope. The desire to live in holiness is His gift to us and the mark of genuine faith.

El Shaddai delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt. Then in His perfect wisdom and time, the Lord came in the person of Jesus Christ to be our Great Deliverer. Rest in God’s wisdom today. He will watch over you and be your Help for those who know their need of Him and seek His Face.


Grace upon grace,



Exodus 10:1-12:13


More than once Pharaoh tried to compromise with Moses on conditions for letting the Israelites go worship. Moses was unwavering because these were God’s terms. Like Pharaoh, those who attempt to negotiate with the Lord have no fear of God, not rightly understanding Who He is.

The last plague left no room for compromise with judgment over every firstborn son in Egypt. The instructions for Passover were very clear, as the Israelites obeyed God’s word by placing the blood of an unblemished lamb on the sides and top of the doorframe to their homes. Then each Hebrew ate the roasted lamb, bitter herbs and bread without yeast in haste as instructed by the Lord. Because of their obedience, God spared the firstborn in each Israelite home unlike the Egyptian families.






God defends those who take His Word seriously and obey Him- these are His people.  We may think it harmless to cut corners at work, lack integrity in how we treat others, or see how far we can push the envelope, but how we live before others matters. John MacArthur points out how the Church is responsible in representing Christ to the world saying,

“The Church’s greatest testimony before the world is spiritual integrity. When Christians live below the standards of biblical morality and reverence for their Lord, they compromise the full biblical truth concerning the character, plan, and will of God. By so doing, they seriously weaken the credibility of the gospel and lessen their impact on the world.”

The truth is God will not honor bargaining His commands of any kind. He does not haggle. This is the way of the unrighteous. God’s people obey Him and serve others because this reflects the heart of Christ who did not compromise His mission on the cross. Aren’t you glad Jesus perfectly obeyed the will of the Father? Christ set the example for daily living by demonstrating whole-hearted devotion to God alone as the only way to live. It’s important to note that this isn’t done in our own strength. As we mature in our understanding of God’s grace, the Holy Spirit enables us to live out the Lord’s will. Gradually our desires begin to match His, as our hunger for God grows. How incredible God even helps us obey Him!

God’s standard is ultimately in our best interest. We need not fear “missing out” on a full life because we don’t succumb to the pressures of the culture. God’s way leads to solid joy in a forever relationship with Him. In the end, those who remain steadfast and uncompromising in the Lord will hear “well done, My good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). Keep persevering. Our Father sees your faithfulness to Him.


Grace upon grace,


Set Apart

Exodus 8:1-9:35; Psalm 24; Matthew 19:13-30


There is a fatal misconception that there many ways to heaven- in the end all people are God’s people. This simply isn’t true. The Bible shows us how God set apart the people of Israel for Himself. He is a Covenant-keeping God, long-suffering with wayward, scared, ungrateful and at times faithless people. Good news for us. We aren’t that much different in our sin nature from Israel and yet God still pursues His people, displaying a love and power only He can possess.

The Lord wields His dominion over creation with the plagues He set upon Egypt. Scripture specifically points out how God protected His people from these afflictions, passing over the land of Goshen where the Hebrews lived (Exodus 8:22-23; 9:4; 26). He saved them from His wrathful plagues. The wonder of salvation is that none of us deserve it. We are all dead in our sins, guilty to have plagues set upon us before a holy God. Yet in His great mercy the Lord created and preserved a holy nation, a royal priesthood, the body of Christ, the Church. We who are in Christ Jesus are set apart as His holy possession. All acts of redemption recorded in the Bible foreshadow God’s greatest work in Jesus, rescuing us from the slavery of sin, resurrecting spiritually dead men and women for His ultimate Glory and our eternal good.


Jesus told His disciples that with man salvation is impossible. We cannot save ourselves or find another way to heaven than through Him (John 14:6). But with God, the miracle of salvation is not only possible, He actually made this a reality for all who place their trust in Jesus. God makes the impossible, possible.

Since the beginning of Time it was God’s desire to enjoy fellowship with His creation- us. When we separated ourselves from Him in sin, God made a way in Christ to set us apart once again, but this time with a purpose to make us holy. As Christians we are no longer held captive to our culture and the depravity of man. He has made and is making us holy to be like He is. Paul explains it this way, “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). If you are a Christian, you are becoming what God has already called you to be. He is faithful to sanctify you and me until the day of Christ Jesus when we see Him face to face (Philippians 1:6). As God’s beloved, we are set apart to be free.


Grace upon grace,


Signs and Wonders

Exodus 5:22-7:25; Psalm 23; Proverbs 5:22-23


Our Father is a faithful leader guiding His people throughout history with anointed leadership, Scripture, the Holy Spirit and prayer. God used Moses and Aaron to speak on His behalf, to demonstrate His Power when the Israelites were in Egyptian captivity. Even when Israel lacked faith in God’s redemptive plan and Moses became discouraged, the Lord still moved forward in rescuing them. Moses’ staff becomes an object of God’s power and authority as it turns into a snake. His staff then swallows the Egyptian magicians’ staffs turned into snakes.

God’s goodness to never give up on His people, to guide and correct us when necessary carries over into the beautiful 23rd psalm. He is our Great Shepherd with His own staff and rod, not out of sadistic pleasure but out of His love for us. It is always for our good, as we learn to walk in the footsteps of Christ.


By contrast, Pharaoh’s hardened heart depicts the wicked who refuse to obey God’s correction. Rejecting His truth, His light, darkens the mind and sears the conscience.  The Lord will eventually give them over to their sin (Romans 1:21-25; 28). Disobedience is not freedom but eternal slavery.

God’s staff of righteousness is the perimeter by which we live our lives. Boundaries are for safety yet we must trust in our Father’s wisdom, operating within His commands. The Israelites didn’t demonstrate faith in Egypt until they were shown God’s signs and wonders.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders who demanded a sign from Him to prove His Sonship (Matthew 12:38-41). They hated Jesus’ ministry and condemned Him to the cross. Yet this was not the end. Just as the Lord prophesied, this generation witnessed the ‘sign of Jonah’ as Jesus overcame death and lives today. What other wonder do we need? Blessed are those who acknowledge the Lord’s goodness and authority without demanding a sign and walk in obedience (John 20:29).


Grace upon grace,


Unfolding Mercy

Exodus 4:1-5:21; Psalm 22:19-31; Matthew 18:12-14


“Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.” (Exodus 4:29-31).

In our reading of Exodus today we see the Lord is placing His plan of redemption into motion for the Israelites. They have been held captive in Egyptian slavery for 400 years and at just the right time God accomplishes His purpose through them, “For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” (Psalm 22:24).

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Psalm 22 was written by King David as his own cry for help, laced with adoration of God. This Messianic psalm looks forward to Christ our Redeemer imaging these words as well looking back to God’s great deliverance of Israel during the exodus. The Bible is layered with experiences from different men, separated by hundreds of years, yet when their stories align we see a bigger picture unfolding- God’s great mercy saving His people for His Glory and our good.

Human emotions are as old as time. We still have a felt need to be rescued from this world of captivity, to be satisfied with something meaningful and know we are loved even though we sin. The words in Scripture are comforting because they are just as relevant today as they were for Moses and David. Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He knows we are a needy people. When you and I recognize our need for a Savior our cries for salvation transform into songs of praise because of His mercy. Remembering that the Father delights to save and He “is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:14)  are words of certainty we can hold onto in uncertain times.


Grace upon grace,