Saturday, March 03, 2007


Jehovahjireh - The Lord will Provide - Genesis 22:14

As we set about to create a youth center in our town it can, at times, seem like a huge project. So, as we should, we turn to the God’s Word to see how other “huge projects” were handled. What we see, is God’s man telling the people what was needed, and the people responding in obedience to God. God provided then for His work and He will provide now as we walk in obedience.


God told Moses to build a tabernacle, describing it in intricate detail. Moses then told the people what was needed, both material and financial.

Exodus 35:5b (NASB)

‘Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution.

Moses told the people that workers were needed to build the tabernacle.

Exodus 35:10 (NASB) ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the LORD has commanded:

The people responded and brought the materials.

Exodus 35:21 (NASB) Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD’S contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.

The people responded and brought gold to pay for the tabernacle.

Exodus 35:22 (NASB) Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the LORD.

God provided skilled workers to make the tabernacle.

Exodus 35:30 - 33 (NASB) 30Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; 32to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, 33and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work.

Just one last thing…

The people brought more than was needed.

Exodus 36:6 - 7 (NKJV) 6So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, 7for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.


Friday, March 02, 2007


We go through life making comparisons of one thing to another. That is how we see what is best.

Now sometimes comparisons don’t point out better or best, just differences. For example, when we compare ourselves to others and either, think we’re not good enough or that we are better than they are. That kind of comparison doesn’t work because God has made each one of us unique and gifted us in different ways.

At other times, comparisons show progress, as when we compare how we, or an employee, are performing a specific function now versus when we first began.

The whole of chapter three of Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth deals with the Letter or the Law versus the Spirit. When Paul is comparing the Law to the Law, that doesn’t mean the Law was bad, just that the Spirit is better. God’s progression is perfect.

“…for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Cor 3:6b (KJV)

The Law brought death, because it showed us we were sinning.

  • The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23

The Spirit and only the Spirit gives life – biological and eternal!

  • Jesus said, the words I have spoken to you are life…John 6:63

The Law came from God through a man named Moses.

  • The law was written on tablets of stone. Exodus 31:18

The Spirit came from God through the Son of God, Jesus.

  • Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18

The Law caused men to seek approval of men.

  • They might see that we had kept the Law on the outside but we knew it was only for looks. John 12:43

The Spirit causes us to seek approval from God.

  • Only God knows our heart. Acts 15:8

Paul tells us in Romans 2:29 that, “…true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Truly, this comparison not only shows us the worth of the Law, but the more valuable characteristic of the Spirit of God living in us.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (NASB)



Thursday, March 01, 2007


Is there something that you own without which you do not think you could live? Maybe it’s that new car, or perhaps it’s your iPod ®. What ever it is, would you be willing to give it up for something even greater? What if someone asked you to give up all of your earthly possessions, could you do that?

Here’s a story, told by Mark, about such a man,

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17 (NKJV)

The first part of Jesus’ reply to him was that he shoud keep the commandments, to which the man replied that he had kept them ever since he was young.

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21 - 22 (NKJV)

Now, do you think then that all Christians are to give up or sell everything they own in order to inherit eternal life? No!

Jesus knows each one of us. He knows what is important to each of us and He knows how important He is in our life. The truth of the matter is, whatever in your life is more important than Jesus, you will be asked to give it up. Or, at least, to come to the point of willingness to do so.

The Bible says that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). He wants to be number one in our lives. The first commandment says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). When Jesus told us what was most important, it was to love God and to love each other (Matt 22:37-39).

Each day I end my devotional with “Seek first the Kingdom of God”. The rest of that verse reads “…and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words IF you put God first in your life, you will lack for nothing. That doesn’t mean you will be rich, but it does mean that even if you are poor, you won’t notice it!

There’s a beautiful chorus by Wayne Goodine © 1989 that says it all,

Jesus is everything I need:

Jesus, Jesus.

Jesus is life and breath to me.

Jesus, my Lord.

© 1989 New Spring Publishing


Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The idea of being “perfect” is a little foreign to us. After all, we can’t achieve it, right? We’ve all heard that perfectionism is a “bad thing.” The problem is that, as humans, we often take the opposite path and don’t even worry about “being the best we can be.”

So what does Jesus mean when He says,

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 (NASB)

The Greek word, teleios, is translated here as “perfect.” According to Thayer’s Greek Definitions it means,

1) brought to its end, finished

2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness

3) perfect

4) that which is perfect

4a) consummate human integrity and virtue

4b) of men

4b1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature

In order to understand fully what Jesus meant we must then look at the tense of the verb “be”. In this instance, it is in future tense. We might think of it as, “You are becoming perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Becoming perfect is a process. Of utmost importance to realize is that the ability to become perfect only resides in us as the person of the Holy Spirit. It is not something we are capable of on our own. Jesus said, apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5), and that includes being perfect!

Paul makes it clear that it is God’s work in us that will bring us to completion or perfection:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

So what is our part?

Do our best…

Colossians 3:17 (NASB) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Surrender to Him…

Romans 12:1 (NASB) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Now, there is a cost. And, as King David said in 2 Samuel 24:24,

“I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.”

What is the cost? Your life!

Matthew 16:24 - 25 (NASB) 24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I’m sure you have spent some time in front of a mirror whether it be in the morning, afternoon or at night. You look at what you see and you try to transform that image into something that you feel is presentable to the rest of the world.

Paul speaks of a different kind of a mirror in his second letter to the church at Corinth:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)

Remember whenever Moses went into God’s presence, he lifted the veil and, as a result, he glowed brightly with the glory of God (Ex. 34:29-35). Christ lifted the veil that kept us from coming to God when He gave His life for us on the cross.

Instead of merely being able to enter that Most Holy Place in the tabernacle or temple where He resided, His Holy Spirit lives inside of us as believers in Christ. We are in God’s presence simply by trusting Jesus as our Savior after we have repented of our sins.

Every time we read God’s Word, we are in His presence. His Word, the Holy Bible, acts as a mirror of our lives to see how closely we resemble God, our Creator. He has given us specific things in His Word that can tell us whether we are closer to being like Him:

  • Are we thinking about things that are noble, true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise? (Philippians 4:8)

  • Are we displaying the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23)

  • Are we thinking of others more than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3-4)

The word transformed is the same word used in Matthew 17:2 when Jesus was transfigured in front of Peter, James and John. The Greek word metamorphoō is used. From that word, we derive our English word metamorphosis. Perhaps the most graphic image of metamorphosis is seen in the process of a plain cocoon turning into a magnificent butterfly. It is transformed from one thing into an entirely different thing.

That is why we are to be transformed from a person who used to be a sinner, to a saint set apart to God, holy and righteous through Jesus Christ.

Does the Bible speak elsewhere of being transformed? Look at Paul’s letter to the Romans:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Two more questions as I close:

  • Do you like what you see in the mirror of God’s Word?
  • How much time are you spending in front of God’s mirror?