Saturday, June 17, 2017

Todays Word

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come…Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Hebrews 10:1; Colossians 2:16-17)
Just as an approaching shadow points to the arrival of the person casting the shadow, so the law pointed to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus (with His abounding grace) is the substance that the law foreshadows. "The substance is of Christ." Jesus is the one who brought "the good things to come."
One of these "good things" that Jesus brings by His grace is the full rest seen in the shadow of the Sabbath. The law of God called for a day of rest every week for His people. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD" (Exodus 20:8; 31:15). This shadow provided regular physical rest for the Israelites. However, it pictured the substantial rest (true spiritual rest) that Jesus brings us. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29). Jesus is now the daily Sabbath rest for all who humbly depend upon Him. "For we who have believed do enter that rest" (Hebrews 4:3).
Another of the "good things" that Jesus provides by His grace is the full fellowship that is foreshadowed in the Tabernacle of the Old Covenant. The Tabernacle reveals God's desire to dwell in the midst of men. "Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle…just so you shall make it" (Exodus 25:8-9). This elaborate portable tent was to be set up right in the middle of His people. "You shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony…they shall carry the tabernacle…and camp around the tabernacle" (Numbers 1:50). The priests of the tribe of Levi would encircle the Tabernacle, with the other tribes of Israel encamped around them. This is a significant shadow: God dwelling in the middle of His people. Yet, something far more substantial than this shadow is fulfilled in Christ. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt [literally, "tabernacled"] among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Now, this same Jesus has made the church collectively, and our lives individually, the tabernacle of His presence among men! "Do you not know that you are the temple of God...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (1 Corinthians 3:16 and Ephesians 3:17).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Follow with us as we continue to study God's Word

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Teaching on 2 Timothy Chapter 1

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nov. 1st Teaching

November 1st
Moses Refusing Egypt, Choosing God's People, by Faith
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. (Hebrews 11:24-25)

The natural tendency of humanity is to desire privilege and pleasure. Moses certainly had these two abundantly available to him in Egypt. Yet, he demonstrated the impact that trusting in the Lord can have by refusing Egypt and choosing God's people.
When the daughter of Pharoah discovered baby Moses, she decided to raise him as her child. "Moses was born...and he was brought up in his father's house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son" (Acts 7:20-21). As an offspring of the palace, Moses had access to the very best of human education, and he became proficient in all that was provided for him. "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds" (Acts 7:22). In terms of conventional earthly perspectives, Moses was guaranteed a life of privilege and pleasure.
However, when he reached the age of relative maturity, his heart was drawn in a distinctively different direction. "But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel" (Acts 7:23). The wording implies that he had been taught of his link with the Israelites as he was growing up in Pharoah's household. Eventually, his heart was stirred by this connection, and he made a life-shaping decision, by faith. "By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." He decided to renounce his place of privilege in Pharoah's family and to identify himself with God's people. He was aware that this choice was a renunciation of a pleasure-filled life and would inevitably lead to suffering: "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin."
To commit to the palace would have been pleasurable, but sinful. Furthermore, those sinful pleasures would have been temporary. On the other hand, the blessings of following the leading of the Lord would last forever. Moses' heavenly perspective was much like the Psalmist "For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [that is, anyplace else]. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10).
Heavenly Father, help me to discern whenever the offer of human privilege is competing with Your will for my life. Please give me a heart to identify with Your people, even though inconvenience or suffering might result. Strengthen my faith to choose eternal blessings over the passing pleasures of sin, Amen.

Faith's Checkbook 10/31/2013

October 31

Immortal Till Work Done
"I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." Ps. 118:17
A fair assurance this! It was no doubt based upon a promise, inwardly whispered in the Psalmist's heart, which he seized upon and enjoyed. Is my case like that of David? Am I depressed because the enemy affronts me? Are there multitudes against me, and few on my side? Does unbelief bid me lie down and die in despair -- a defeated, dishonored man? Do my enemies begin to dig my grave?
What then? Shall I yield to the whisper of fear, and give up the battle, and with it give up all hope? Far from it. There is life in me yet: "I shall not die." Vigor will return and remove my weakness: "I shall live." The Lord lives, and I shall live also. My mouth shall again be opened: "I shall declare the works of Jehovah." Yes, and I shall speak of the present trouble as another instance of the wonder-working faithfulness and love of the Lord my God. Those who would gladly measure me for my coffin had better wait a bit; for "the Lord hath chastened me sore, but he hath not given me over unto death." Glory be to His name for ever! I am immortal till my work is done. Till the Lord wills it no vault can close upon me.
—Faith's Checkbook