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Inside the Box

Numbers 7:89 – “And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.”

Last night, we were in Bible study at church. Our teen group is not yet meeting. We are on break in between semesters. Our preacher has been giving a study into the Tabernacle and the items found inside. Last night, he was looking at the Ark of the Covenant. 

I’ve been thinking about it last night and this morning. 

Let me give you what I have been thinking about so far. There were items inside the Ark – the staff of Aaron that budded, the Golden Bowl of Manna and the Ten Commandment Tablets. Each of these items had a specific reason why they were preserved inside the Ark. They were for rememberance and as symbols to represent the Savior to come. These reasons are very important. Yet, as the saying goes, they were out of sight and easily out of mind. You see, in my mind, there were times that the children of Israel forgot where God really is – everywhere. 

It is easy to put God in a box. We keep Him tucked away in case of an emergency or crisis or something like that. We don’t appreciate the fact that He will sit right beside you, if you ask Him to. We neglect to remember that He isn’t just in the church house. Rather, He is in our every moment. Just like the children of Israel had all these reminders hidden away in an Ark, we have all these reminders in our very line of sight and especially in our Bible. God has preserved and kept His Word all these thousands of years for a reason – to remind us. Just like He preserved and kept those reminders in the Ark, He keeps His Word, the Bible. 

Now, the children of Israel couldn’t just open up the Ark and look inside to get those reminders. We can. We can open our Bible any time we want and expose ourself to God any time we choose. But do we choose to?

Moses met God at the Mercy Seat. You see, He was there all along. He was out there and among them. They just neglected that memory. Moses had real experiences with God. He spoke with Him. He listened to Him. All of this via the Mercy Seat. 

And you know what? He is still on the Mercy Seat. It has just been relocated to Heaven. When Jesus fulfilled the Law, He went to the right hand of the Father. Just like Moses talked with God at the Mercy Seat, we can talk with Jesus Christ who is on the Mercy Seat in Heaven. 

You know, the great thing about the Bible is that it all works together. The Old Testament helps explain the New Testament. We can look at promises and prophecies made in the Old Testament and see them fulfilled in the New Testament. Yet no matter where you start, all of it points to Jesus Christ. He is the reason for it all. He is the main event. He is the Savior of the world. Without Him, it’s all just a bunch of stories. But I don’t know how you can even begin looking into the Word of God and not see Jesus Christ. I see Him in the Garden, in the Flood, in the Exodus, in the Law, in the Judges, in the Psalms, in the prophecies and so on and so on. He is everywhere you care to look. And all the promises, all the prophecies, they all point to one thing – the salvation and return of Jesus Christ.  

It really is beautiful. I would encourage you today to step into the Word and go on the adventure of a lifetime – no, of an eternity. 

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Free Coffee!!

Romans 5:14-19 – “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

It is National Coffee Day! Yeah!!! 

Coffee and I have a special relationship. It’s like a warm little blanket for me early in the morning. It wakes me up and just tastes good – with cream and sugar, of course. 

But today, oh happy day, is Friday AND free coffee day at some places! Does life get any better?? You can bet I’m headed to Wawa after I drop the kids off at school for a delightful cup of joe.

When we get the opportunity for something free, we jump all over it. Buy one, get one free deals at the grocery store are hard to pass up. Free samples at stores are just icing on the cake. We love free. 

These verses have the two words that most people love to hear – “free” and “gift”. So, why is it so hard to get people to listen and consider when you talk about the two things that most everyone loves? I think it is because they have to first admit they are wrong to accept this “free gift”. In order to be saved, you first have to be lost. And to be lost, you have to come to the realization that you are a sinner. There is nothing that you can do on your own, in and of yourself, to gain salvation. The only thing you can do is admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is and did what He said He did, and accept that “free gift” of salvation. Ask, Believe and Confess. ABC. 

Salvation is as easy as walking into Wawa on National Coffee Day and accepting that free cup of coffee. No strings attached. No guilt in taking it. Wawa opened it’s doors today and started making coffee, lots and lots of coffee. Jesus has opened the doors of Heaven to each and every person, offering them the opportunity to accept His free gift of salvation. 

What are you waiting for? What is keeping you from sharing that Wonderful News? I would guess that you will tell someone today that it is National Coffee Day and inform them that they need to look up a place close to them that will have free coffee. But why is that so easy to share yet sharing the Good News of Christ that will change their eternity so difficult?

Happy Friday and Happy National Coffee Day.

Extra Icing

John 10:27,28 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

I was seeing a client and this client told me, out of the blue, that they thought their death was close. This client has multiple medical issues but seems to be functioning fairly well. I probed a bit and found out more information but nothing that would necessarily substantiate the fears that were expressed. 

Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon my heart that I needed to confirm and/or present the plan of salvation to this person. And I did. It was amazing. I told my client very bluntly and candidly about what it takes to KNOW that death is not the end. And my client confirmed that they had the free gift of salvation in their heart. 

I’m a nobody. I love what I do. I love being in contact with people and helping them and walking through all sorts of situations and problems with them. But when I get the opportunity to speak to someone I have grown close to about Jesus and His free gift of salvation- well, that’s just extra icing on the cupcake. I don’t push it but I don’t hide it. And when God was speaking to my heart yesterday, for once, I listened. And it was beautiful!

So I want to encourage you to live it out. We never know how long we have or how long the person across from us has. Yesterday, I heard His voice and I followed and it was truly a blessing in my life. I encourage you to do the same. Happy Wednesday. 

Working

Hebrews 4:10-12 – “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

“I want to take a closer look at one of these verses.                        For he (the person) that is entered into his (Jesus’s) rest, he (the person) also hath ceased from his (the person’s) own works, as God did from his.”

What does this and the rest of the verses mean for you and me? You cannot work for your salvation. It just doesn’t work that way. There is nothing that you or I could ever do to earn our way into Heaven. We have too many things tainting our motive. We have pride, apathy, sympathy and the such ruining our ability to do things with a completely pure heart – at least on our own.

However, we are supposed to work. We are supposed to do things to serve God. We work because of our salvation, not to earn it. Our work, the things that we do in service to God, should prove our salvation and love for Christ. We shouldn’t be working to stack things in our favor so that one day God will let us in!

So, how do we know when we are getting it right? Is there any way to know when we are serving and working for the right reasons? Yes. It’s called reading God’s word. You see, that book is alive. Oh, I’m not talking about some weird, wacked-out book that is going to bite you on the leg if you don’t strike the spine. No, I’m talking about a Living Book that has the ability to be used to convict one of sin that is impeding blessings and success.

This Word is a gauge. This gauge tells us when our works are being done selfishly and/or wrongly focused. However, this gauge cannot and will not work if you don’t use it. You can’t expect the vacuum cleaner to get your floors clean if you don’t plug it in and use it. Just having it in the house is not a way to get your house clean. The same is true for your Bible. Just having it in sight will not make your life and your decisions honor and glorify God.

So let me encourage you today to get involved in your Bible. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and the only way that you will truly find out about Him is by reading about Him. You won’t know when He shows up on your doorstep if you haven’t read about Him and seen Him in your heart. Let His word show you where you can make improvements and what you need to get rid of in order to serve Him fully.

One Direction

John 14:5,6 – “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

No, this isn’t a blog about a popular boy band. 

This blog is about THE MOST important person to ever walk this earth – Jesus. We just celebrated His death, burial and resurrection. Why is this something we celebrate? Because without it, we would have no hope, no promise of something better, no salvation. And you know what, this is something we should celebrate every day. This isn’t a once a year celebration. We have this joy, this hope, this promise every single day. Unfortunately, most of the time we neglect this fact and live our lives in a ho-hum kind of way. 

In the passage today, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His upcoming death. And they just didn’t get it. They couldn’t wrap their brains around what He was telling them.  He was trying to encourage them that  He was going to be away from them but that they needed to remember that other people may come trying to tell them something different.  But they needed to remember that He is the only way to salvation. You can’t work for it. You can’t be nice enough. There is only one way – believing on Him as the One who died for all our sin and who rose again the third day, conquering death and hell. 

You only need to go in one direction. There are not multiple paths. There is not an alternative path. There is no side stepping. No nothing. One direction. One path. One Savior. One way to get to the Father. One way to claim salvation. 

In the beginning…

Genesis 3:1-6 – “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

My husband and I began listening to the audio Bible. We are attempting to get through the entire Bible in a year. We thought that if we listened to it, maybe we would be more successful.

Of course, you start in Genesis and it made me think about the first few sins. The first recorded sin in lying – by the serpent, aka the devil. (Side note: has anyone else ever wondered why Eve was not surprised that the snake was speaking? If a snake started speaking to me, I would freak out and then attack it with a sharp object!) Lying – not telling the truth or only telling part of a truth that is intertwined with non-truth – that’s my definition, by the way. Either way, lying is not good. I always tell my kids they will get into way less trouble if they tell the truth than if they lie to me. I detest lying. Makes me so very mad. Yet our society and culture is littered with it. People lie as well as they breathe. So sad.

The next sin we see is the first one recorded that a human committed -disobedience. The choice to do what you have been told not to do – my definition again. Notice I said “the choice”. See, disobedience is not something you are forced into doing. It is a choice that you make. You choose to eat that giant piece of cake when you know that it will pack on the pounds. You choose to drive 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. You choose to watch that movie or listen to that music that you know is not good. It is a choice.

Then we have number three – blame. Genesis 3:11-13 – “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Adam and Eve had messed up. God came to spend time with them and they were hidden. God called for them and they responded that they were afraid to talk to Him because they were naked. Adam first blamed God for giving him Eve and then he blamed Eve for making him eat. Eve blamed the serpent. None of the parties involved took responsibility for what they had done. It was much easier to blame someone else that to own up to their choices.

And thus began the vicious cycle of our world today. We lie. We disobey. We blame others for our choices. These three are the root of most of our problems in today’s world.

Lovely, right? Now what?

Jesus. Jesus is the answer to these problems. Because of humanity’s choices back in the garden, we required a sacrifice. Just as Adam and Eve needed a sacrifice to cover their nakedness, we need a sacrifice to cover our sin choices. And praise God, He supplied One.

Sometimes in our everyday walk we need to stop and remember all that was given for us and why. So today, Princess, take a moment to remember and celebrate by praising God for providing the Sacrifice so that one day we won’t have to deal with these three sins any more.

Mission fields

Matthew 28:19,20a – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

What is your mission field? You might be thinking, “I’m not a missionary. I don’t have a mission field.” Oh, but you do. And yes, you are a missionary.

You see this verse? Does it say “those of you who go out and get paid” or “those of you that go to foreign countries to spread The Good News”? Nope. Jesus was speaking with His disciples right before He ascended into Heaven. His disciples were His first New Testament church. They were fishermen, tax collectors and all sorts of non-missionary occupations. Yet, here was Jesus sending them out to tell and teach everything they knew about Him.

Jesus wants us to realize that every one needs to hear the Gospel of Christ. And it shouldn’t just be the missionaries out on the field getting paid to do so who are doing it. We all have been given a mission field. We all have people in our lives who need to hear the Gospel. Your mission field may be your child’s play group moms. Your mission field might be the people that you work along side of every day. Your mission field might be the people that live around you. Your mission field might be the kids you go to school with. Your mission field might be the people at the grocery store or the restaurant or the post office. It doesn’t matter where God has put you. He has put you there for a reason. He put you there to tell someone about Him.

What difference would there be in our daily life if we lived like our surroundings were our mission field? Would we see that person that drives us crazy as someone who needs Jesus? Would we feel a greater sense of urgency in what needs to be done because we know that our time is drawing short? Would we have a better attitude when we go to work if we looked at our work place as a mission field instead of a place to earn a living?

The devil likes to warp our view of things. He doesn’t want us to see our interactions as a mission field. He knows that doing so will drive us to be more expressive about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows that by doing so we will make a positive difference in someone’s life. He doesn’t want that. Remember, he wants as many people as possible to turn away from or never accept Jesus as their Savior. He wants Jesus to lose. But we know the end of the story and we know that what God has established cannot be changed – Jesus wins!

So try on something different today, princess. See your work place, your play group, your grocery store visit as a mission field. Don’t let the devil convince you otherwise. Memorize this verse to give you purpose and direction. Jesus wants you out there sharing His Good News of His free gift of salvation. He wants you out there telling and teaching wherever you find yourself today. Be a Light. Be the one to show someone else the Light that changes everything. Be a missionary today.