Hope for today: righteousness, peace, and joy

Hope

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:17-19

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The Lampstand

Lampstand

31 “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.

37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39 A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. 40 See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. Exodus 25:31-40

Once again, we see pure gold symbolizing the deity of God. We are not told the dimensions of the lampstand but how glorious they must have been. Verse 39 tells us that “a talent” of pure gold was to be used to hammer out the lampstand and the accessories (wick trimmers and trays). A talent is equivalent to 75 pounds. How absolutely beautiful these lamps must have been.

The command is to make them “according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Once again, we see the God of detail. The lampstand had seven branches hammered out with almond flowers, buds, and blossoms. Verses 31-36 reveal the pattern that was shown on the mountain and points to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If He were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. Hebrews 8:3-6

The lampstand, or menorah, provided the only light in the Holy Place for the priests and was paced on the north side. The priests were to keep the lampstand well supplied with pure olive oil so it would burn continually.  The lamps were to be trimmed by the priest every morning and every evening (Leviticus 24:1-4; Exodus 30:7-8).

The lampstand points forward to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the True Light and the Light of the World.

In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. John 1:4-9

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 8.12

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: lifted, healed, and praising

Hope

1 I will exalt You, LORD, for You lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 LORD my God, I called to You for help, and You healed me.
3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; You spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you His faithful people; praise His holy name.
5 For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The Table of Showbread

Table of Showbread

23 “Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. 24 Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. 25 Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. 26 Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. 28 Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. 29 And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. 30 Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.
Exodus 25:23-30

The Israelites were instructed to make a table of acacia wood and overlay it with pure gold. It was to measure three feet long, a foot and half wide and twenty-seven inches high. Remember the acacia wood symbolizes our Savior’s humanity and the gold His deity. Again, we see the gold rings to insert poles to carry the table and a gold molding around the rim.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 14The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2,4,14
In verse 30, the Jews were instructed toPut the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.” The table was to hold the showbread as well as gold plates, along with gold ladles, bowls, and pitchers for handling the incense and drink offerings. 
According to Leviticus 24:5-9, each week twelve loaves of bread were made of the finest flour and baked and placed on the gold table to acknowledge that the 12 tribes of Israel were “sustained constantly under the watchful eye and care of their Lord (Warren Wiersbe).”  The bread was a thank offering for God faithfulness to His people. New loaves were placed on the table each Sabbath and the old ones were eaten in the Holy Place by the priests on duty.
The showbread pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ who described Himself as the Bread of Life. John 6:25-58

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

John 6.35

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: throwing off

Hope

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Wisdom Wednesday

1 John 2.2aMy dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Blessings today! It’s Wisdom Wednesday and we continue to give God glory for His grace and mercy…for so loving the world that He Himself atoned for our sins! It is amazing to me the number of people, even Christians, who would rather not discuss “the blood.” The number of times that I have been told that it is “just too horrible for me.” I thought I would find so simple words and ask God to open our hearts to understand that “the blood” gives us reason to shout. Only the One, True, and Living God could love us so much that He would give His Son as our Sacrificial Lamb. This truth is not to be avoided but embraced with such love that it causes us to worship this God as our Lord, Savior, and Greatest Treasure. Perhaps just one of the Scriptures or quotes below will cause you meditate on the loving goodness of God…bow before Him…and worship.

From gotquestions.org:

“The whole of the Old Testament, every book, points toward the Great Sacrifice that was to come—that of Jesus’ sacrificial giving of His own life on our behalf. Leviticus 17:11 is the Old Testament’s central statement about the significance of blood in the sacrificial system. God, speaking to Moses, declares: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

A “sacrifice” is defined as the offering up of something precious for a cause or a reason. Making atonement is satisfying someone or something for an offense committed. The Leviticus verse can be read more clearly now: God said, “I have given it to you (the creature’s life, which is in its blood) to make atonement for yourselves (covering the offense you have committed against Me).” In other words, those who are covered by the blood sacrifice are set free from the consequences of sin.”

Mercy 16For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Mercy 21But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5mercy-20.jpgFor you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1:18-19Mercy 19And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9
Mercy 18He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…Titus 3:5Mercy 10The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29Mercy 17God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. Romans 3:25aMercy 14For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17Mercy 11

mercy-8.jpg

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10Mercy 7And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14Mercy 5

Mercy 3

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Hope for today: light and joy shines

Hope11 Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name.  Psalm 97:11-12

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The atonement seat

Exodus 25.17-22

17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.  Exodus 25:17-22

The Isaelites were instructed to create a lid to mount on top of the ark of the Testimony. It is called the mercy or cover seat. This lid was to measure 2’3″ x 3’9″ and have two cherubim facing each other on top whose wings were to overshadow the ark. These angels were to be made from pure gold.

It is believed that these two gold angels resembled winged angels in God’s presence (1 Samuel 4:4, Psalm 99:1, Isaiah 37:16). The cherubim would also be woven into the curtains that covered the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-6) and those separating the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:31-33).

The Lord promise that He would meet with His people above the atonement cover between the two cherubim. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat. This blood covered, made atonement for the sins of the people for another year.

The atonement cover (seat) symbolized for Israel what Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God accomplished when He made atonement for sin (Hebrews 9:11-10:14) by His shed blood at the cross. (Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Praising God today for the privilege that believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have of coming in the presence of God through His blood!

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, 21 and since we have a Great Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25

Praise God! Hallelujah! Jesus is our mercy seat!

1 John 2.2

Romans 3.25

John_1_29

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: my heart trusts in Him

Hope

Praise be to the Lord,  for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Psalm 28:6-9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The Ark

Exodus 25.10

10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.   Exodus 25:10-16

Remember that the Lord said to Moses in verse 9, “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings EXACTLY like the pattern I will show you. The tabernacle of the Lord where His presence would dwell and He would meet with His people.

Exodus 25:10 – 30:6 gives the EXACT directions of how to construct the tabernacle and furnishings. We will not look at the detail of each piece but the ark as described above is of most important.

It was to be a rectangular chest built from acacia wood (2’3″ wide, 3’9″ long, and 2’3” high). The chest was to be overlaid inside and out with gold. The chest was to be mounted on four legs and have four rings. Two gold-covered poles were to made to fit through the rings so the chest could be carried from place to place.

Moses was to place the two stones tablets with the Testimony written on them inside the ark (Exodus 25:16, 21). The ark also contained a jar of manna (Exodus 16:33) and Aaron’s rod (Numbers 17:10). It is also known by different names within the Bible:

Once again, we have the privilege of reading the verses, meditating, and seeing the character and nature of our God! All of this with redeeming man in His heart…all of this as a shadow, pointing to Jesus as our Great High Priest!

Hebrews 7:26-8:5

26 Such a High Priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a High Priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If He were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 8

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