Thirsty Thursday: Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

Many people I know are turning 30 years old. For some reason, this is a sad prospect to most people. They are no longer considered “young” by our youth obsessed culture and feel that their relevance is slipping. Dreams vanish. Life is over.

I don’t think so.

In Numbers Chapter 4, God chose people who were aged 30 – 50 years old to do one of the most important jobs: breaking down and setting back up the tabernacle. I know what you’re thinking: That sounds boring.

Does it?

These people were moving the holy of holies. They were moving God’s throne on earth. This physical place was where God came to meet with Aaron and his sons, the High Priests. This was where the sacrifices happened. This is where blood atoned for the sins of the people. Since the Israelites were moving through the lands, the tabernacle had to come along.

The furnishings from the sanctuary were so holy that if the people accidentally touched something, they would die. They weren’t even allowed to look at these things. Automatic death. Aaron and his sons had to go in first and cover all the things in the sactuary before the Kohathites were to come in and move it.  Other guys had to cover up the pieces of the tabernacle correctly and carry it to the next destination. That was a huge responsibility and an honor. I am sure that there were guys who were 29 years old wishing they were 30 and guys who were 51 wishing they were 50.

You have been given a similar calling. You are moving a tabernacle from place to place in order to help bridge the gap from this life to eternity. As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, you carry holiness inside you: Jesus Himself and the Holy Spirit. You carry a tabernacle with you wherever you go. You can make it available to others or you can close it up. You can clothe it in righteousness or you can hide it.

God has a specific calling on your life that does NOT quit once you reach a certain age and it isn’t waiting for you to reach a certain age. It is now. It is being kind to a stranger. It is calling that family member. It is sacrificing your time to sit with a friend. Or sacrificing money to help out. It is being the arms of God to hug someone, the hands of God to feed someone, and the feet of God to walk with someone. It may sound boring, but when you change your view to look at it from the throne of heaven (God’s perspective), it is everything.

 

Thirsty Thursday: We’re Thomas

What happened after Jesus rose from the grave?

He appeared to different sets of people to let them know He was alive. He appeared to His original eleven disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there. When they told Thomas that they had seen Jesus, he didn’t believe them.

But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of His nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.” John 20:25b

Thomas gets a bad rap for this: “Doubting Thomas.” But in reality, Thomas loved Jesus and did not want to believe something about Him that wasn’t true. Everyone was talking about seeing Jesus, but he hadn’t seen Him. What if everyone were lying? What if they were hallucinating? What if they wanted to see Jesus so badly that they believed it happened even though it really hadn’t? Thomas needed more than his friend’s word.

Eight days later, all the guys were together in a locked room. Jesus showed up.

Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” John  20:27

When Jesus saw Thomas, He didn’t condemn him or judge him. He knew Thomas needed proof and He gave Thomas what he needed.

Do you think God doesn’t know your thoughts? He knows every one of them. He knows you are wondering if He’s really there. He knows that you think He doesn’t see you suffering. He knows what you need. He wants to show His love for you. He will show His provision in your life, and He will prove that He is real in a way that is meaningful to you.

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

30 Days, 30 Scenes {Day 10} Behind the Scenes Scene One

Yes, it’s the 20th of April and I am ten days behind. Between sickness and not having a laptop, it’s amazing that I’m not further behind.  I am finally feeling well enough to sit up and type.

Today is Easter Sunday and I wanted to share what the first one was like. This scene is taken from John 20.

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I love that Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus until He says her name.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27

We are His! Hallelujah!

Thirsty Thursday: The Famous and The Forgotten

Easter is an important holiday to me. It is the day I celebrate God’s ultimate gift to humanity: Salvation.

The most quoted New Testament scripture and most “famous” is John 3:16 (the reference is well known, but the actual text may not be), which says:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Most people have heard this verse or they roll their eyes when they see people hold up signs with “John 3:16” on them. Do you know what the following verse says?

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be saved through Him. John 3:17

So, God didn’t send Jesus to tell us how awful we are and how dirty our lives are? No! God sent Jesus to the world to save us.

God WANTS us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for US. He LOVES us.

There may have been a person in your past who told you all the things that were wrong with you and why you needed to “get right” with God. Someone may have told you how unworthy you are or how bad you are. But God looks on you with LOVE. He looks at you with COMPASSION. He sees you and DESIRES YOU. His desire is for you. If He didn’t want you, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die on the cross. When Jesus prayed that God would take this cup from Me, meaning not die on the cross (Mark 14:36), God wanted Him to do it anyway. He wanted you so much that He tore Himself apart for you. He did this to give you an opportunity to have a close relationship with Him while on earth and to spend eternity with Him in heaven.

Thirsty Thursday: A Lamb for The Lamb

For the four Thursdays leading up to Easter, I’m going to be focusing on the reason there is a holiday: Jesus.

In my personal devotion time, I am reading through the Bible. I saw something in Leviticus that reminded me of something I had heard before that I would like to share with you. The twelfth book of Leviticus contains instructions for purification after childbirth.

“And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” Leviticus 12:6-8

After Mary gave birth to Jesus, she was considered unclean for thirty three days after his circumcision (Leviticus 12:3-4). Then Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to give the sacrifices according to the law in Leviticus. Mary was unable to afford a lamb. She brought the two turtle doves or two pigeons (Luke 2:22-24).

The Lamb who was slain for my sins was born to a woman who could not afford a lamb for an offering.

Not only did Jesus give up everything to be human, He gave up His status and was born to a poor unwed mother (Joseph and Mary weren’t married until after the birth of Jesus. See Matthew 1:24-25, Luke 2:5). Instead of being worshipped and adored, he was scorned as the bastard child of Joseph’s fiancee. His paternal lineage is questioned to this very day.

Jesus went through that humiliation for something bigger than other people’s opinion of Him. He went through it because God loved you and me. God loved us so much that He couldn’t bear for us to be apart from Him, so He sent His Son to be our sin offering.

Mary didn’t have a lamb for her offering. She unknowingly raised the Lamb to be her ultimate sin offering and ours.

Thirsty Thursday: Family

God is so awesome.

I have been privileged enough to have access to the Bible for my entire life.  And I am able to read it.  I have to admit that I am spoiled in that area.  I have had access and ability to read God’s Word daily for the entirety of my life, and I haven’t.  I haven’t.  It makes me sad to think of all the blessings and comfort I could have received but did not because I did not read my Bible.  But I’m making up for it.  I’m not going to let a day go by without meditating on some part of God’s Word.  Even if it is a single word.

Noah and his ark are not new to me.  I can spiel the whole thing to you… Or at least, I thought I could.  God showed something to me that I had never noticed before.

Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark. Genesis 8:19

They went in as couples and came out with families.

Family is so important to God that He not only kept Noah and his family safe and secure in the ark, He gave the animals families.

It reminds me of what becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is like.  You go into it alone.  You pray to God and admit that you are a sinner, you believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins with His life, and you confess Him as your savior.  All alone.  But then something wonderful happens.  You know who your Father is – God.  You have a Brother – Christ, AND you join a family full of brothers and sisters.  All ages, all races, all nations in one family.  It is amazing.

Having a family of your own can be rough.  Sometimes I think, God why did you give me a family?  I don’t know what I’m doing.  Being single was so much easier.  These people are driving me CRAZY! But these are the people God entrusted to me.  They are special to Him and He blessed me with them.  Yes, I wish I could get a moment’s peace more often than once every eight months, but it is an honor to have them in my life.

Take a moment to thank God for the family He gave you and the heavenly family He adopted you into.

Thirsty Thursday: Today is All You Have

Death surrounds me.

Steve Jobs’ death is not as impacting or profound in my personal life as the death of my Uncle.  But it is still a harsh blow.  Steve Jobs was born the same year as my parents.  In recent years, he has been a huge inspiration to me, not as the co-founder of Apple computers, but as the guy who helped Pixar become a company when George Lucas was willing to let it die.  Thankfully, like my Uncle, Steve Jobs is no longer suffering under cancer’s cruel reign.

My friend and fellow blogger Daniel wrote a post about Steve Jobs’ death.  He said that he always thought Steve Jobs would get better and keep creating innovative products.  That’s the problem many of us have (including and maybe foremost myself).  We incorrectly assume we have an unlimited amount of time on earth.  We don’t.  Our days are numbered.

O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!
Selah                  Psalm 39:4,5

This is meant as an inspiration to live today at its fullest.  Here is an inspiring look at life from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

It’s so true.  God gave you a purpose.  God gave you a specific job to do on earth.  Aside from knowing Jesus Christ as your personal savior, there is nothing more important than fulfilling God’s will for your life.  I remember hearing a pastor say, “God is not going to ask you why you weren’t more like Moses or more like your successful neighbor.  He’s going to ask you why you weren’t more like you.”  You are the only you God has created or will ever create.  You are it.  If you die today, there will never be another person with your abilities, passions, appearance, and opportunities.  Make the most of what you’ve been given, where you are, right now for His glory.

Today is all you have.