Reading #1 – Exodus 35
Reading #2 – Psalms 28
Reading #3 – Proverbs 10
Reading #4 – Jonah 3
Reading #5 – 2 Thessalonians 1
Exodus 35 – Gifts for the Sanctuary. It amazes me that God never needs strong arm tactics in order to get people to give (5). When God’s Holy Spirit is at work in your life, you will naturally follow its leading and that includes opening the hidden vaults of your life. The gifts that were brought to the temple mostly came from the nation Egypt and Moses could have said something like this, “Being it was given to you, it should go into the community fund” thereby strong-arming the people. As the people caught the fire of the Spirit, they gladly brought more than was needed and would be told, “stop giving” (Exodus 36:5). All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord. They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle,[a] for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments. Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the Lord. 23 All those who owned the following items willingly brought them: blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; and tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather. 24 And all who had silver and bronze objects gave them as a sacred offering to the Lord. And those who had acacia wood brought it for use in the project. Building the sanctuary was a community affair and everybody willingly helped in whatever capacity they could. As the Psalmist said, “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting (Psalms 133 NLT.”
Psalms 28 – If ever there was a time that we needed this Psalm, it is now! The Psalmist is asking for God’s help in the midst of trouble that is shaking the entire community. Trouble will naturally cause us to react in one of three different ways, “act in fear”, “become complacent”, or “pray through the storm” the writer chose to “pray through the storm”. I encourage all of my readers to “Pray through the storm” as it will enrich your faith in our foundation, Jesus Christ. The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms forever (8-9 NLT).
Proverbs 10 – Wisdom and its rewards. It is ironic that we want to go our own way in life yet, the first place we go to when Trouble is destroying our home. I have said many times, “You will live and die by your decisions”. In our youth, we may have mistreated our body through drugs, excessive amounts of alcohol, going without rest for long periods of time, over-eating, under-eating, etc as we age, those things come back to remind us of our choices by the way our body has aged. People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray (17).
Jonah 3 – When Jonah was told, “Get up and go warn Ninevah” (1), he acted promptly. To Jonah’s surprise, the people reacted to the call by promptly confessing their sins and turning away from. From the corporate confession, God did not destroy Ninevah that day. When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened (10).When Jonah saw that the destruction did not happen, he became angry thinking his time had been wasted. Yet, as usually happens when people turn back to God, hs blessings flow. When the storm passes, we become complacent again thinking, “I had nothing to fear why did I even go to church”? God hears the cries of his people and he does respond the problem is, we do not see it all happening.
2 Thessalonians 1 – Encouragement during persecution – Nobody in this world is exempt from persecution. Each of us is tempted by the Devil, encouraged by the actions of others to give in to Folly. For the church at Thessalonica (Northern Greece), the persecution and pressure were from the people of the community who had been “Hellenized” and had long ago given up restraint. The trouble the church faced in the first century is the same as ones our churches face today except, in the 1st century, the dissadents were put to death if they did not capitulate into the corporate system of beliefs. Today, churches are being sued because they chose to stand upon Biblical principles and their 1st ammendtment rights. Paul understood the issue of comprise and how just one compromise occurs, compromise will become a way of life and our “1st Ammendrights” will be ineffective. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ (11-12 NLT).