Day 11

Exodus 20:  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to theLord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God thinks that rest is important! He modeled it to us in the creation account.  The creator knows that we His creation need time on a regular basis to rest and recuperate, to recharge and reconnect.  It is an important part of our existence.  But in commanding that we keep the Sabbath holy, God is not recommending a day of slothful inactivity, rather it is a day that is set apart (the meaning of holy) to resting from work and for worshipping God in activities such as gathering together with other believers and taking time to fellowship and grow.  

This command seems to be increasingly ignored in our 24/7, always on culture.  Don't fall prey to the lure of busyness, take time to rest, recuperate, recharge and reconnect.

Take a moment to meditate on God and who He is each day.  Here is an attribute to meditate on.  Write down what God would reveal to you about this.

God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) is Personal - He is intimately present and aware, caring & loving; He knows you and me totally and wants what is best for us and for His glory; Christ is our "personal" Savior and He is our Mediator and Advocate with the Father; Even as God is "transcendent" (separate from, above and beyond, and infinitely greater than all creation), He is also - by His own sovereign choice and purpose - "immanent," meaning intimately close-up, involved, and present in our individual lives. As He demonstrates such closeness, He desires and intends that we be communal and in constant fellowship with one another, as we are united in Him; He desires for the intimacy He has with us to be extended by us within the community of faith.

Ask yourself these questions...

(1) What does this attribute mean about us and our attitudes? 

(2) Where would we be if God/Christ did not have this attribute? 

(3) What is our proper and reasonable response to this attribute of God? 

(4) What things is the Holy Spirit revealing to us as we meditate on this attribute of God? 

(5) How can we relate this attribute of God to the righteous life, atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ?


Exodus 39

42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded

I want to clear up something this morning.  I think that some can get the idea from my posts that I believe in working my way into God's good books.  That in order to be worthy of the love of God I need to work hard doing stuff for God.  That is not my belief at all.  There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, in fact the Bible reminds us in Romans that even while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  He loved us before we even acknowledged Him.  I don't think my value goes up if I do more "Christian work" than others, I am valuable because God declared I am, and again long before I even came into relationship with Him.  We cannot work our way into God's good books, nor do we work for our salvation, it is a free gift from God.

Having said that I must explain why I am adamant about obedience and serving God.  It is because of my love for Him.  My obedience and serving is driven by love for a God who loves me, rescued me, adopted me into His family and gives me all the rights and privileges of being His son.  I cant help myself, as God demonstrated His love towards me I want to return the action so I choose to show my love by using all five love languages.  God's love language is all five:

Words of affirmation:  My spoken and sung worship to Him.  God you are awesome, You are wonderful, You are majestic and powerful.  I love you.

Quality Time:  It is the time I set aside each day to focus solely on Him, talking to Him, reading His Word, just enjoying being with Him, sometimes without even any talking.  God I love you.

Giving Gifts:  My tithes and offerings, my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength.  All that I have is yours God, I love you.

Acts of service:  This is the one that I have been referencing this morning.  I will serve you.  My life is yours to be used for your honor and glory because I love you.

Physical Touch:  This is what I think our times of worship are.  The sense of connecting with God in a way that is tangible.  We also experience His presence as we meet with His people and live in covenant relationship with each other and with Him.  God I love you and I experience you in the community of believers.

Hope that helps to clear up any misunderstandings.  I don't do stuff to try to cull God's favor, I do them because I love Him.

BTW my love language is not even acts of service, it is quality time.

Exodus 38

The human race is in trouble. We’ve been in trouble for a long time. Enormous energies have been and continue to be expended by many, many men and women to get us out of the trouble we are in—to clean up the world’s mess. The skill, the perseverance, the intelligence, the devotion of the people who put their shoulders to the wheel to pull us out of the muck—parents and teachers, healers and counselors, rulers and politicians, writers and pastors—are impressive.
At the center and core of this work is God. The most comprehensive term for what God is doing to get us out of the mess we are in is salvation. Salvation is God doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves. Salvation is the biggest word in the vocabulary of the people of God. The Exodus is a powerful and dramatic and true story of God working salvation.
It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, or a precise definition or a catchy slogan, but as story. Exodus draws us into a story with plot and characters, which is to say, with design and personal relationships. Story is an invitation to participate, first through our imagination and then, if we will, by faith—with our total lives in response to God. This Exodus story continues to be a major means that God uses to draw men and women in trouble out of the mess of history into the kingdom of salvation.
About half the book (chapters 1–19 and 32–34) is a gripping narrative of an obscure and severely brutalized people who are saved from slavery into a life of freedom. The other half (chapters 20–31 and 35–40) is a meticulous, some think tedious, basic instruction and training in living the saved, free life. The story of salvation is not complete without both halves.  (Taken from The Message)

Funny how we love the part about being saved from a life of slavery but we all find it tedious and boring when we are instructed in how to live once we are free.  The problem is that if we do not take heed of all of the instructions, (which is how God works out His salvation in us) we end up becoming slaves again.

Here's to freedom and learning how to live the free life!

Exodus 37

As I am reading this morning about the craftsmen and their teams setting about building the tabernacle I can't help but wonder how they must have felt.  
 Were they excited to be building such a place?  
 Were they honored that the Creator God would entrust them to build a house for Him to dwell in?  
 Did they catch a glimpse of the eternal significance of their work?  
 Did Bezalel have any clue how sought after his handiwork would be?  
 Did he know that the famed Indiana Jones would one day find his masterpiece?  

Wouldn't it be cool if we could have that kind of significant work to do for God?  Wouldn't it be awesome if the Creator God chose us for something as incredible as building a temple in which His presence would dwell?  Oh wait, we have the same calling.  
 We have been called to build up the kingdom of God by continuing the work that Jesus started.  
 We are to multiply Christ-followers everywhere.  
 We are to build a temple of worship that God inhabits...that is our body.  

Our work is a sacred calling.  Our relationship with Christ is a sacred calling.  Each one of us is significant in the fulfilling of God's commands.  Of each one of us the Bible could read...

Exodus 31:1 –Exodus 31:6 (PGV) 

God spoke:

“See what I’ve done; I’ve personally chosen Gary son of Razac, son of Jaleel of the tribe of Khan. I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, I’ve given the skills to make (fulfill) all the things I’ve commanded you (DSC):

Add your name in there and then ask yourself what is your skill, talent, and ability that God has given you to fulfill what He has called Desert Streams to do.  Are you fulfilling your call?

Exodus 36

 6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: "No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary." And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

I know I must sound like a broken record but I want to say it one more time.  When God commands us to do something He provides everything we need to accomplish it.  The provision comes in what He gives us individually and then we must be willing to bring those resources as an offering to Him.  Too often I am guilty of taking the time, talent and treasure He has given me and using it only for my purposes instead of putting Him first and giving back to Him. 

What a wonderful predicament it would be to have to say as a leader, "Stop giving, because we have enough to do what God has called us to do."  As usual what tends to happen is that a few are willing to give obediently and most others ignore the opportunity to bless God.  I would challenge you to give obediently and freely to the mission of "multiplying Christ-followers everywhere." 

Exodus 35

 10 "All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded:

21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.

As God's people we have a responsibility to use our gifts, talents, abilities, time and resources to do what God has commanded of us.  For the Israelites that meant funding and helping to build the temple and all the things that went with it.

For us at DSC we are called to multiply Christ-followers everywhere, so we are to use our gifts, talents, abilities, time and resources to make that a reality.  From praying for three people who don't know Christ and reaching out to them with purposeful acts of kindness to giving of our tithes and offerings and serving in some area of ministry we are to be people who are fulfilling God's mission.  Easter is coming up and we have the perfect opportunity to "build God's church."  Invite a friend to our Easter celebration and do whatever is necessary to help them get there.  Take time to pray for our Easter service and that people will come to know Christ.  That is what we can all do.

Let us bring our offering to the Lord by using what He has given us to further His kingdom.  It is what He desires of us.

Exodus 34

"his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD"

One quick thought today...Our daily encounters with God alters us in a way that is obvious to the people we come in contact with.

Have you drawn near to God in a way that leaves you changed and draws others to Him?

Exodus 33

14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.

We all function in a leadership role some time or another.  Leadership is influence, as John Maxwell would say, and we all influence someone somewhere.  if you are a parent you are in a position of influence, as a spouse you are in a position of influence.  At work, at school, as a GROW leader...you get the picture.  We all have influence in people's lives, the only difference being the scope of our influence.

With that said, today's passage should be looked at through leadership eyes.  The people had sinned and God was angry with them.  He is not angry with Moses and God tells Moses that He will be with him but not with the people.  Now if Moses was not thinking on behalf of the people, if all he was thinking of was himself, then this would have been the perfect situation.  He would have said, "See ya later" and left them.  But Moses was a leader and the leader was thinking about the welfare of those over whom he had influence, and what was best for them was not to leave them behind (although that would be much easier) but to help them be formed into the people God wanted them to be.  So God tells Moses He will be with him and give him rest but Moses intercedes on behalf of the people.  If you don't go with US don't send US up from here.

God calls us to lead others to His presence in the same way.  Moses first went into God's presence and interceded for the people he led so that they too could experience God's presence.  Let us as leaders do the same.  Influence by example and intercede before God for the people we have influence over.

Exodus 32

Where to begin?  We could camp out on this chapter for forty days.  How about my highlights and then you can share what God spoke to you from this chapter.

The desire for instant gratification can leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Leadership is not for the weak-hearted who care more about the opinion of the crowd rather than the approval of God.
God is angered when we try to put Him in a box.
A leader's responsibility is to intercede on behalf of those he/she is leading.
One of my absolute favorite lines in the Bible is from Aaron, "they gave me the gold and I threw it into the fire and out came this calf."  It's magic Moses!
What a waste of good gold!  Come on, gold tea?

Share your thoughts with us today.  Don't be afraid.  Throw your words into the computer and see what comes out.

Exodus 31

vs 6 "I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you"

There is lots of good stuff to think about in this passage but the thought that struck me is that whenever God gives us directions to do something He provides everything we need to accomplish it.  Many times I think that we misappropriate His provisions though, using them for things they were not intended to be used for. 

Think about it...
Someone commented to me this weekend that there was a lot of directions involving gold and that is true.  Where was the gold to come from?  The people had it.  Remember how they got it?  God worked it out that the Egyptians gave it in abundance to the Israelites.  One of the reasons God did that was because He knew that the building of the Tabernacle was coming down the pike and He was getting the materials ready.  Imagine what would happen if the Israelites thought that the gold was all theirs and didn't understand that they were stewards of God's resources.  Then there would have been a shortage of material to fulfill God's will. 

Then there were the men and women that God's spirit was upon who were skilled in making everything God had commanded.  What would have happened if Oholiab and Bezalel and the others would have said, "We are too busy making stuff so we can make a living so we don't have time to do what God commanded."  Having read the chapter would you say that they would have been grossly disobedient if they had done that? 

Today God has commanded DSC to multiply Christ-followers everywhere.  It is our tabernacle building instructions and God had provided all the resources and skill to make that a reality.  Everyone is needed to do their part and God has placed you here because of what you have to give in time, talent, and treasures.  Are you being obedient to doing your part?  Are you using your skills to accomplish our God-given mission?  Are you being obedient to give back to God the resources He has entrusted to you?  Are you too busy making a living that you miss the calling of God on your life as a part of the unfolding plan at DSC? 

Didn't even get to talk about the fact that spiritual gifts are things like building stuff, fixing cars, sowing, etc.  How practical is God huh?