Exodus 35:21 (NKJV)
21 “Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.”
Is your heart being stirred? Is God creating something new in your life? Or, is He asking you to bring an offering to Him? He could be asking for a tithe, but my thought today is He asks for us to give an offering of something else– our hearts. Our heart is where our decisions are made, because we decide out of our affections what we love and what we want to do. Our beliefs create our emotions. Our emotions then create our reactions and our responses. If I am reacting in ways which are explosive, volative or snide and snarky, fearful and doubting, there is something about my core belief that needs to be explored. I can ask Him to examine my heart, my will, my affections, my mood. I can pray to have Him point out what is the root of my belief. My identity is formed around these beliefs. Instead, I need to let God help me form my identity in Him. God is love and He loves you and I perfectly and unconditionally. When we allow God into our hearts, we can make space for Him to fill us up. Now, we will start to make decisions happily based on His desires for us. And, our identity is based upon His love for us and not upon what the world or others feel about us. Then, we can go about doing God’s work, touching other lives with His precious love and grace.
Thank you, Lord for your loving touch upon my life today. I will empty myself and make space for you to move fully in my heart and life. Amen.
Holiness refers to divineness, or distinctiveness and the realm of the divine. John 17:11, tells us
“Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.”
This verse captures beautifully God’s and Jesus’ holiness and intimacy of their relationship as well as Jesus’ teaching about His Holy Father. Jesus also asks His Holy Father to protect His followers and help them to stay united just as He and the Father are.
We are called be holy, just as He is HOLY! Sanctified means to be made holy, purified, consecrated. Joshua 3:5 “Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
God wants to do great wonders in our lives, but our part is to cooperate with God purifying ourselves by asking for forgiveness, walking in His love and obeying His Word.
Deut. 33:3, says: “Indeed, He loves His people; all His holy ones are in his hands. They follow in His steps and accept his teaching.” How do we be holy in His sight? By following in His steps and accepting His teachings!We also walk by faith in Him and His grace for us.
Joshua continued on with the subject of sanctification: in Johua 7:13: “There are devoted things among you, O Israel; you will be unable to stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” Ohhh! We want to stand strong and yet! There are things, hobbies, addictions, people, pleasures that we are MORE devoted to, then being HOLY and right before God. Do you have any “devoted things” today, He is asking you to give UP entirely over to Him?!
If we are of God and are to become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ that they may have the full measure of my joy within Then, we need to learn to strengthen the walls and gates of our lives! Nehemiah’s story of rebuilding the Wall Of Jerusalem in the Old Testament, is a story of persistent faith because he faced a lot of opposition! His is a story of new beginnings and like the disciple’s story in John 17, it’s also a story of protection, perseverance and faith.
If we could look through our time lapsed telescope and go back to about 445 BC, we’d see Nehemiah singing: “Staying on the Wall, staying on the Wall!” Ahh, ahh, ahh, staying on the wall, staying on the wall!! And he did until it was successfully completed! 🙂
He saw what needed to be done in the land of Judah. It had been nearly 100 years since the exiles had returned to Judah after being held in captivity by the Babylonians. The Babylonians had devastated the wall and yet, no one saw fit to start the repairs. But, Nehemiah did! Nehemiah had great faith, commitment, and persistence and was laser focused. He prayed consistently and daily for God’s guidance, seeing the need for change! He also asked God for divine protection. Then, he went to work!
Like Nehemiah, do you see a need for change in your life, in your heart!?
Neh.’s vision, led by God, did more than rebuild a wall. This book is also the story of the restoring of a people from ruin and despair to a new walk with God. Can we see this with the disciples? They had a new chapter in their lives to live, one without the physical Jesus. One where they had to rely on His teachings and His love through the Holy Spirit.
For persevering, rebuilding and repairing the broken pieces of our lives, many of us try to do it on our own and there is no recognition of God and moving in faith as a necessary part of the process!
What are you doing right now that requires faith? And, are you and I praying fervently, asking Jesus for help and protection in His name? I have a F.A.I.T.H. acronym:
F-favored A- assurance I-In T-the H-Holy of Holies! So IF we have a FULL and “favored assurance in the Holy of holies” why wouldn’t we step out in faith, since He has already given the VICTORY to us? Because, if He is calling you to do something, change something, you will succeed in Jesus! God calls us to “Be holy as I am holy.”
Heb. 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Jesus had been faithful throughout His ministry and teachings to the disciples, and He will continue to do so with us! So, I started our teaching today, with the question, “In what ways would you like to glorify God more?” How is He calling you to be more holy? I encourage you to dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to Him! Give back to Him what He has already given you, your gifts, talents, time and resources. And, in His precious love for YOU,
Jesus will help you in that one area that you just cannot seem to get past! Ask Him! He will help you, to create the desired change as you seek Him!
Do you wake up joyful, thankful for a good’s night rest, (because I sure am, when I sleep the entire night! Because…it seems to happen less and less at my age!) or do you wake up, dreading the day? We know don’t we, it doesn’t take much to steal our joy away! Just turn on the news, right?! Or, a diagnosis from out of nowhere, you receive a call from your child’s principle, you or someone dear to you, receives a layoff notice. There are just a 1,000 different things that can happen daily, that can dampen our mood and take our good/positive God attitude down several notches!
I love to garden! My Spring time just been beautiful so far! Isa. 5:7 says, “We are the garden of His delight!” I love that! Gardens are walked in, looked at, admired, spent time in, refreshing, aromatic, soothing and delightful. That is how God views you. He likes you and loves to be with you! If you are sad, then He will turn “your tears into shouts of joy, praise and thanksgiving.” (Ps. 42:3-4) Your heart will rejoice and praise Him as He is your Rock, your Strength, your Deliver and your Joy!
Gardens have such an enticing fragrance to them. The flowers beckon us to come to the garden, to enjoy, rest and stay awhile. I think God created flowers to have such lovely fragrances on purpose, so we would pause and remember Him. Our minds are linked to the sense of smell, as it is the most powerful sense we have. Memories are stirred when we smell certain flowers. Let the flowers in your garden be a physical reminder for you of God’s lavish love, joy and extravagant promises.
So, how do we draw a line in the proverbial garden soil, and allow God the reigns of our lives, so we can go back to our default position of Joy in ALL circumstances?
I have to admit, I am not ALWAYS joyful! Imagine that! I tend to keep myself really busy, so I can have delayed grief when something goes wrong. Are you like this? We can “numb out” to the pain! I am a volunteer lay Counselor at a non-profit Christian counseling center. We tell our clients, “if you can name your feelings, then you can help tame them!” But, you need to verbalize them and get them outside of your head!
At the end of a really hard day recently, in my prayers, I had to surrender the circumstances up to God, realizing there was nothing I really do but RELY ON HIM and the LOVE He has for me! I think it’s knowing and believing Jesus is still on His Throne, He is in control and I can go right back to Him, knowing He, through the Holy Spirit is in me. He’s my Center and I can stay grounded in Him! There is a huge tug-o-war going on to steal your joy! The enemy’s biggest tool is fear, doubt and discouragement! If he can lead you down this path, then he can render you ineffective as a believer, with a tarnished witness, that is joyless, and jaded. God can DO anything! Certainly, He can get you out of a bad mood, out of despair and into His precious light where healing can begin!
Do not agree with the doubt, discouragement or fear! It is not of the Lord! It comes from the enemy of your soul.
Heb. 1:9 Jesus was anointed with the “oil of joy!” Jesus is a joyous Savior and He shares His joy with us through the Miracle within, the Holy Spirit! As a result, we have a claim to the consistent experience of HIS undiluted joy and passion for us!
“ And the peace of God, which transcends(surpasses) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7
God will delight you with His presence. Psalm 27:4
In Matthew 3:16-17, we see God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship! These verses say: “ After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Isn’t this fantastic!? God let everyone know how much He loved His boy!
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 5:13) Joy and peace are friends! Isn’t it great, they walk side by side each other when we trust God?!
“Everywhere He leads us in triumphant processional, in the fragrance and knowledge of Him.” (2 Cor. 2:14) Breathe in His joy and smell the flowers blooming. This is a sign of God’s favor and love for you. This is His wellness in you. This is His blessedness to you!
Let your spirit of joy soar within you and outside of you, so you may touch others with Jesus’ magnificent and extravagant love. You are the best testament to our dying world of God’s grace and loving-kindness. Like the beautiful shades of pink, red, lavendar and peach roses in my garden, you will refresh and remind someone else of God’s lavish love because you have been filled and touched by Him.