Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just As One Speaks With A Friend

Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. (Exodus 33: 11a NLT)

Moses and his people had to get it right before he could go into the Tent of Meeting.  God was pleased with their offerings and spoke to Moses face to face.  Through our sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ, we can talk to God just a man speaks with a friend.

In Numbers 7: 89 NLT God showed his pleasure with Moses and all Israel by conversing intimately with his servant.  The law is very precise.  Moses had to wash his garments, make sure he had not touched a dead person, and sacrifice a burnt and sin offering.  The people had to bring all types of free-will offerings. In the Old Testament, the privilege of meeting with God came for a select person and only after lots of sacrifices.  In the fullness of time, God sent his Son so we would not have to live under the requirements of the law (Romans 6:14 NLT).  Now for all, not just a particular person, New Testament believers, though we do not always get it right, can freely approach the throne of grace.  All who call upon the name of the Lord in faith can bask in his marvelous presence.


This privilege we have is free to us but costly for God.  It cost our Father the life of his only Son.  Just because something is free, does not mean it is not valuable.  If you and I understood the expenditure of God’s grace in purchasing our freedom, maybe we would spend more time talking with him, just as one speaks with a friend.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com
                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Waiting and Learning

Levites Learning
 List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. (Numbers 4: 3 NLT)   “This is the rule the Levites must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five.”  (Numbers 8:24 NLT)

We live in a culture that is very impatient with any delay.  Although wait may not always be a good thing, many of us want things yesterday.  There is a general pattern in the Scriptures in relation to training of God’s servants.   The preparation of God’s servants, unlike the processing speed of your computer, is not based on the rapidity of the process, but the quality of the product produced.

In the Scriptural references above, there seems to be a five-year difference in the starting point of Levitical service.  Commentators tell us that before their appointment as a Levite at thirty years of age, there was a probation period where the skills and the wherewithal to serve in the Tabernacle were learned.  In the time of King David, this phase lasted ten years where there was more to do; A mentoring relationship is evident throughout the Bible.  Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, and Jesus and Peter, James, and John are some examples.  Matthew Henry writes about the Levites, “they must learn before they teach, and serve before they lead.” 


Never despise the time or place God uses to prepare you for his service.  It is time you spend doing things that others deem a priority that God teaches you what it means to serve.  It is the places where you don’t want to be that changes your character.  In the grand scheme of things, waiting may be far more productive than doing.

Images used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com
                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Grace Abounds

But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” (Mark 16:7 NASB)
 
Peter was the disciple that seemingly failed the Lord more than any of the other disciples at His death.  The angel singled him out for the message of the Lord’s resurrection.  Why?  When sin abounds, more so does grace (Romans 5: 20 NASB).

Would it not have seemed right for Jesus, based on their conduct, to have singled out one of the other disciples, possibly James or John?  How might Peter have been feeling?  Possibly, like he was no longer was worthy to be called His disciple?  How may the other disciples have been looking upon Peter?  Perhaps, he had disqualified himself from being among their group.  God, unlike us humans, always makes room for repentance.  When Jesus first revealed Himself to Peter, it must have been somewhat traumatic. I can only imagine; he looked into the eyes of the one he had miserably failed, expecting an overwhelming sense of guilt.  But Peter feels only loved and accepted.  It is the first time in days that he has looked into someone’s face that knows everything about him and yet he felt no shame.  He realizes that it is Christ first pursuing him instead of him pursuing Christ.  Grace has swallowed up guilt, and once again mercy has triumphed over judgment.

The disciple that may have been viewed by himself and by others as disqualified rose to the top three in the Lord’s leadership team. The next time you are tempted to consider a person unqualified for leadership, be careful, God may be ready to show us again, where sin abounds, more so does grace.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com
                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com