February 3, 2010

Leviticus 8-10 There HE is!

Posted in Redemption, Revelation, worship tagged , at 10:58 am by webpastormike

One of the pieces of my heritage is hearing Oral Roberts delivering his sermon on Christ in every book of the Bible.  He called it “Who is that fourth man?”  The memory still lingers as a momentous experience and the joy that erupts in me when I find Messiah hiding in plain sight is more than reminiscence it is anticipatory.

Have you ever had the experience while hiking or walking or driving of suddenly seeing a thing of beauty that gives you a sense of awe or wonder?  It is kind of like that when He lets me discover Him where I did not see Him before.  Wow!

Worship is like that, don’t you think?  Suddenly there HE is!

It seems to me that the rapture will be this kind of suddenly.  It is not as if He was not always there, it is just that we did not have the eyes to see Him.  When He physically appeared to the disciples after the resurrection in a room with closed doors, it was a suddenly too.  It is no wonder that Thomas’ exclamation was so worship filled “My Lord and my God”.  I have just enough experience with suddenlies to thirst for more.  Perhaps this is the deposit/gift of the Holy Spirit who guarantees what is to come.  Ah! if so then Maranatha… come Lord Jesus!

Where do you see Messiah in Leviticus 8-10?

I found him of all places on a hat.  There is a beautiful piece of gold on Aaron’s headpiece that is a “sacred diadem”.  You probably already know what that is but I had to look it up.  Here is what it says in Vines Expository Dictionary.

diadema1238 is derived from diadeo “to bind round.”  It was the kingly ornament for the head, and especially the blue band marked with white, used to bind on the turban or tiara of Persian kings.  It was adopted by Alexander the Great and his successors.  Among the Greeks and Romans it was the distinctive badge of royalty.  Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to wear it constantly.  The word is found in Rev 12:3; 13:1; 19:12, in which passages it symbolizes the rule respectively of the Dragon, the Beast, and Christ.  In the Sept., Esther 1:11; 2:17, in some manuscripts in 6:8 and 8:15; also in Isaiah 62:3-4.  For the distinction between this and stephanos see CROWN.

So there He sits, Christ the King on the hat of a priest!  He binds together, makes sacred, and glorifies the head of God’s chosen priest.  Does He not continue to do the same even now, with a substance that is even more precious than gold.  And there He is going with the priest, into the Holy of Holies, carrying blood to sanctify the chosen people.
high priest garments
I think that I will have to rethink my hat bands role from now on.  Now it is a reminder of the taste of the glory that is to come!  My hat band, reminds me of Aaron’s hat band, which reminds me of the King who binds me together with the Holy Spirit, makes me sacred in His service and Glorifies Father God.

Ah, memories and reminders are good things for men and women to carry into our future.

January 28, 2010

1-27-2010 Exodus 28-29 Consecrated by My Glory

Posted in Foundations, God's Character, Redemption, Uncategorized at 9:03 am by webpastormike

“This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests:”

When I met my first friends from Texas, I was introduced to a charming people with a unique turn of phrase: “fixin’ to”.  My new friends were two very attractive and sophisticated  young women from Broadway Baptist Church in the Dallas area, one of whom was performing an impromptu skit with some other friends on our weekend retreat.  Her line was ” Doctor, doctor come quick, my daddy is fixin’ to die!”  That line is all I remember from the skit except that the whole thing ground to a halt while the audience and the cast broke into uncontrollable laughter.

Exodus 28 and 29 are all about preparing the sons of Aaron for the priesthood, and all of that preparation was meant to lead up to one glorious visitation of Yahweh before the tabernacle.  God did not just show up, He ordered that preparations had to be made, and not just any activity would suffice.  These were very specific instructions that had to be followed BEFORE His arrival.

Does this not make you wonder whether we are making sufficient preparations for the visitation that we seek?  Are there conditions of the soul that He requires of us in order for His presence to meet us at the place prepared for Him?  Is there not a requirement of worship that precedes entering his courtyard?

As for me, I will be giving some more thought to ‘fixin’ to meet with the Almighty.

January 26, 2010

Exo 19-21: Freedom to Serve

Posted in Foundations, Israel, Moses, Redemption, The Law tagged , , , , , , at 9:38 pm by Steve

19:6 “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

>> Believe it or not this verse is considered by many to be the central theme of the Exodus. We often think of the Exodus narrative as God’s freeing the slaves to live out their joyful happy lives to do whatever they want in the Promised Land. God defeats Pharaoh’s earthly rule and commands these Hebrews to follow Him to the land He promised Abraham. But God has a greater purpose for the Hebrews, just as He does for us. They are to be a people of priests before the Lord.

What does this mean to be a priesthood and holy nation? They are to be an example of a people wholly dedicated to serving God, loving one another, and living in justice, mercy, and love [see Micah 6:8].

What doe this mean for us as Christians? God did not save us through the blood of Jesus so that we could do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We are also called to be a Royal Priesthood [1 peter 2:5], Ambassadors [2 Corinthians 5:20], and the Body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:27]. We are to live as Christ’s representatives that the world may know how good, loving, gracious, slow to anger, and merciful God really is.

So here’s the big question – how do you think you’re doing?

[19:16] “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.”

>> Does this sound familiar to anyone? On the morning of the third day God comes to the mountain to give the Law. On the morning of the third day Jesus comes to give new life.

[21:1]  These are the laws you are to set before them:If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years.’”

What should we make of this long list of laws from Exodus 21. What I noticed right away is their focus. Notice that the very first law laid down by God is for the proper care of slave. A SLAVE! The first thing God wants the Hebrews to be concerned about is how they care for one another and the slaves above all. In our culture the wealth are the ones we are most concerned about, but not God. God’s focus is on the poorest.

When we as a church try to decide who the church is suppose to serve, is it

(a)  The poorest in our community

(b)  The richest in our community

(c)   The silent majority who do most of the work?

Look over the rest of the laws in Chpt 21. Where is God drawing out attention? What kind of people and issues are being addressed and why?

January 18, 2010

Gen 43-45: The Hidden Call of God

Posted in Israel, Redemption tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Steve

One of the first things I noticed about this passage was that the writer now almost exclusively refers to Jacob as Israel. The change has been made from just a family problem to a national identity.

The fact that Joseph is overcome with emotion and looks for a place to weep lets the reader know that Joseph is not just playing games but his heart is sincere. People may say many things and do things that on the outside look one way or another, but tears reveal what’s really in the heart.

The main point of the Joseph Story: Our Perspective is limited when God’s Grace is

“it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” 45:5

Joseph finally shares with his brothers that Joseph’s life in Egypt, their evil [notice Joseph doesn’t hide this fact], and the sorrow they have experienced has had a divine purpose which none of them could have foreseen. Joseph’s dream has finally been realized but in way he could never have imagined.

Have you ever asked God for a blessing? Did you ever want to be in a position of power, authority, and prestige? Be careful, for the road to success, in God’s plans, is usually paved with sorrow and a new understanding of what it means to be great!

“The greatest among you must the be servant of all” Matthew 23:11

Father God, when we are troubled, anxious about tomorrow, or doubt whether You grace is sufficient to save us, help us to remember Joseph and that even in the midst of storms in our lives, You have never abandoned us, but have placed us where we can do the most good. Help to gain a new perspective, to serve where we can serve, to give what we can give, and wait for the revelation of Your plan in our lives. This in pray, humbly, in Jesus’ name. Amen