Daily Bible Reading
To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
Dwelling Daily In His Presence
The last chapter of the book ‘The Grace Blueprint – The Story of the Tabernacle’ by Lisa Taylor gives guidance on how we can use the tabernacle blueprint to develop and maintain an intimate, consistent, Spirit-led walk with God. This is the pattern demonstrated by the tabernacle priests in their daily worship and ministry. Summarized content below.
In my experience, two barriers prevent us from having a consistent walk with God – sin and shame. They keep us from coming to God by causing us to feel unworthy to be in His presence. The answer to overcoming either of those barriers is to realize what you mean to God. As a born-again believer, baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with His Holy Spirit, you are in a covenant relationship with God. That means you are God’s special treasure. He redeemed you and made you His own. God is committed to you; He loves you and cares for you. Not only are you a member of His royal priesthood and a joint-heir with Christ, but also you are His child, which means you have access to His throne room any time, day, or night.
Additionally, as His special treasure and joint-heir, you are committed to serving Him and obeying His Word. What matters to Jesus matters to you; what is important to Him is important to you. So if there is sin in your life, deal with it quickly. Make things right. Acknowledge your need for cleansing and healing. Whatever you do, never let bitterness, un-forgiveness, anger, hatred, or any other sin strip away your joy and keep you from God’s presence. And if shame is the culprit, realize that God is not the one judging or accusing you – that is the devil’s voice you hear, not God’s. God is your Healer and Deliverer, your Strong Tower, your Rock, your Provider, and Merciful Savior. If you are struggling when you try to pray; get to the root of it. Ask God to reveal whether sin or shame is the culprit. Then deal with it and get into God’s presence where, as a child of God, you were born to dwell.
Through the layout of the tabernacle, God shows us how to approach His presence; we are never to come empty handed. We are to bring a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, surrendering all of who we are– mind, soul, and body– in service to Him. However, when words of praise fail us, we can approach Him with a broken heart, bringing Him our questions, frustrations, and shortcomings. They may seem like unworthy sacrifices when compared to praise and thanksgiving, but God never turns away his children. You may come to Him broken, but He will not leave you that way. Approaching Him in faith is the key. (Hebrews 11:6)
The furniture of the outer court reminds us that repentance and cleansing are requirements before we can enter the Holy Place. The bronze altar is where we daily lay down our sins through repentance (even the ones we are not aware of), renew our consecration to God, and recommit ourselves to His service. The laver is where we examine ourselves in the mirrored surface, allowing God’s word to purify us and make us clean. The word of God is essential in our relationship with God. As the laver, the Word cleanses us. However, as we enter into His presence, we find that at the table of showbread, the Word feeds our soul. Here we seek God for His daily provision. The light of the golden lampstand illuminates our way. At the lampstand we ask God’s daily direction.
At the altar of incense, we literally stand before God’s throne. At the golden altar, our prayers catch fire when they touch the hot coals from the bronze altar. The prayers prayed out of repentance and consecration become the sweet incense that perfumes heaven’s throne room. At the altar of incense, we pour out our soul. Here, we pray for every need, interceding for our children, our spouse, our family, church, pastor, missionaries, neighbors, coworkers, city, country, leaders, state, schools, etc. Here we pray for God’s kingdom to come, His will to be done, His truth to march forward, and for every barrier to the Gospel to come down. At the altar of incense, there is no more veil. At the altar of incense, you are literally in God’s presence, interceding before His throne. There is no fear of judgement for He is seated on the mercy seat. In His presence, you experience His love and grace.
The tabernacle shows us how to live in God’s presence. It shows us to order our hearts according to His Word and deal with our human struggles in the light of His grace. Living the blueprint makes us sensitive to His Spirit, able to hear His voice, and know His will.
Christ’s grace blueprint is sound. Though its pattern is ancient, established by God before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9-10), its truths are as relevant today as they were when God planned them. If any failure occurs, the flaw is not in the blueprint. The flaw is in human execution. Be careful not to change the blueprint. Anyone who makes alterations to the Architect’s design is flirting with disaster. Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). The blueprint works when it is obeyed. Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The blueprint is unchanging. Jesus created it. Jesus completed it. We are simply called to live it.
~ Yoga Raj