Knowing God #OT14

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God in the Wilderness

God has been so kind and gracious to me, teaching me more about Himself even in the books of Leviticus and Numbers. Here are several things that I learned in this week’s readings:

1. The Lord demands offerings. He demanded, commanded, offerings from his people. Even though we as post-Cross Christians don’t live under the demands of the Law, we still serve a God who desires us to make offerings. This may be our very lives. Our church is having a missions conference coming up. Serving in foreign countries may be exactly what God is wanting you to do – but it may be sacrificing and offering your gifts and talents to those less fortunate in an opportune way to share the gospel.

2. The Lord desires acceptable worship. He has told us already what he desires of us: Micah 6.8 How are we living that truth out as acceptable worship in spirit and in truth under the freedom of the gospel?

3.  God frees us!  We are no longer in Egypt.  We no longer make bricks with no straw.  We are free to love Him and serve Him and follow Him because He first loved us!  Isn’t that glorious news!

4.  The Lord sanctifies us!  I’ll be talking about this more when I do a write up on Ephesians 5 – but let this be a gracious thing in your life – not one that you despise!  He is a good and gracious God in his sanctification of his children.

5.  The Lord desires rest for his people.  In Hebrews it says that’s what Jesus us.  In the gospels it says that Jesus wants us to come to him and rest.  Don’t you see how Jesus fulfills all of the Old Testament – everything that was prophesied of him or that we can’t do for ourselves – the answer is Jesus!

6.  The Lord speaks to us in our wilderness.  Do you ever feel like you are wandering?  Call out to him!  He hears us.  He speaks to us in the dry and dusty places where there doesn’t seem to be any water!

7.  The Lord requires a Mediator.  See #5.  Christ is that wonderful forever mediator for us!

8.  The Lord does what He says He will do.  He is faithful.  If he says he will do something, even though we don’t know the when or how – we can rest assured in his character that he will do it!

In your reading of the Word this week, what has God been teaching you about himself?

God Loves Colors, Too!

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God loves color!

I’m still reading through the OT and making lists of the God the people of the OT encountered, served, feared, and loved. I am loving seeing how God interacts with his people. I know that He is the same God today as he was 8000 years ago.
Currently, I’m in Leviticus, and its not very exciting reading – but still I see that God talks to his people and tells us how we can please him. I see him showing mercy. Here are seven things that I learned this past week.
1. God has a purpose for color. I saw this as I attended the Bloggers in Bloom event last week and as I await the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. The reports in Exodus about color is that God intended certain aspects of the temple and of the worshiper’s attire to be a certain color. He is an exact and detailed God. But, how he uses color now for our benefits are different. He uses color to express warmth and invitation. He uses color to express that winter is over and spring is finally here. He uses color to brighten moods and take away frowns. All of these are great reasons to use color in your home, kitchen (in what you cook), and in your wardrobe.

Georgetown Cupcakes
2. God is a free-ing God. The If:Gathering was this weekend, and although I wasn’t able to attend in Texas, I was grateful for one of my friends, Sharon Miller, who posted some of her favorite quotes. I particularly loved this one by Christine Caine: “You came out of Egypt, but Egypt is still in you. But God wants to get Egypt out of you so we can walk into the Promised Land free.” This basically means that we desire so often to return to what God has freed us from. But, how much better life would be if we never turned back and desired the old ball-and-chain!
3. The Lord shows mercy to stiff-necked people. I’m not talking about chiropractic care (though I love mine in Raleigh), but I’m talking about the mercy that he shows us when we refuse to give up our sinful ways, when we balk at his correction, when we settle for every day ho hum when he has called us to live the extraordinary!
4. God gives gifts to people to use for his glory! Let’s take a look at the oil maker in Exodus 37. God gave him the talents and abilities to make oil so that a particular type of oil might be used in the worship of God! That is so cool to me. That God might give me a particular gift that I can use to bring God glory in our home, in the local church, and in the church around the country and world. That gets me excited!

Bella Blu NYC
5.  The Lord requires sacrifice for sin.  I often thought in reading all of the lists for sacrifices that I’m glad that Jesus paid my sacrifice once for all so that I don’t have to sacrifice daily or weekly or yearly or anything to recompense for my sin.  The perfect Christ already did that! Oh what a blessing.  And this is how we can use the Old Testament, even in Leviticus, to teach others about the beauty of the Gospel and that the whole Bible points us to Jesus!

6.  The Lord tells us what is pleasing to Him.  He has given us His Word.  That Word, the Bible, is sufficient in us knowing what it means to please Him.  In one way, we stand before God because the Son has pleased the Father in his death and resurrection.  But, we still try to please God in our actions.  Not for acceptance.  No, but for his pleasure.

God's Word

7.  God shows his glory to his people.  He did this many times for Moses, and He dwelt in the Tabernacle with his people.  How we might long for that.  Do you long for Heaven?  Do you long to be worshiping and singing where God and Jesus and the Spirit are front and center?  I was reading a Donald Miller article about why he doesn’t feel the need for church and the first paragraph – singing really isn’t my thing – I just don’t like it.  It made me sad for him because Heaven will have singing in it.  We will get to sing to the Lamb!  Moses’ song will be sung there!

How are your devotions going?  Do you find them dead and lifeless?  Or do you long to meet with God every day?  I’m not quite to the last one – but I am finding the more time I am in the Word the more I want to be in the Word.


Knowing God in the OT #3

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The God Who Is

I’m a little behind, but I am still loving this study of the OT.  When I come across the written accounts throughout history of what God did – and who He was – I know that He is the same very God today and we can believe Him!

These are some of the ones that stood out to me in my readings:

1.  God cares for his children.

2.  God’s Word is true.

3.  God speaks to His people.

4.  The Word of the Lord is to be feared.

5.  The Lord brought His people out of slavery.

6.  The Lord will fight for you.

7.  The Lord triumphs gloriously.

8.  The Lord is my banner in my war.

9.  The Lord is greater than all Gods.

10.  The Lord is compassionate.

May these truths remind of who God is for you today!

Knowing God in the OT: Week 2

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This morning I stood in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean on New Smyrna Beach. As I stood there with the cold water saturating my feet (that desperately need a pedicure coming soon thanks to friends), tears filled my eyes when I thought of the faithfulness of God. I thought to myself of all the men and women of old who I’m reading about in the book of Genesis and remembered that God never changes. So the faithfulness of God then – is the faithfulness of God now.
Here is what I learned in this week’s readings:

1. God is a God of perfect timing.
2. The Lord answers questions
3. The Lord looks on our affliction.
4. God is a gracious giver.
5. God is just.
6. God orchestrates all things in our lives.
7. God is the Almighty.

Knowing God in the OT: Week 1

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God is...

This year I am working my way through the Old Testament.  How did this goal come about?

I was driving on I-40, listening to an Andrew Peterson song with a ton of names.  I thought to myself all of those people knew God somehow.  They all had an encounter with God.  I wanted to know more about that God.

So, I am reading through an OT reading plan.  With each day I’m jotting down my thoughts, and what I learn about God, who He is.  By the end of they year I plan to take photos, quotes from reading, journal thought and compose an ebook out of it.  I am looking forward to this journey.

Each week I will share a snippet with you.  I hope you enjoy.

1.  God is a seeking God.

2.  God is a faithful God.

3.  God is the sustainer and giver of all of life.

4. God is extravagant

5. God makes covenants with us.