Leviticus Bible Study

Life Found Through Obedience

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this morning about how her son broke a rule, got into danger, and had to be rescued.  It wasn’t that she had set the rule in order to reduce his fun, it was to keep him safe.  Another example she gave was a time when she had warned him not to play with a toy a certain way or else it would break.  He didn’t listen and his toy broke.  Again, the caution wasn’t given so that he wouldn’t have fun, it was so that he could enjoy the toy for longer.

I know that I have thought, “Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I?” My friends are out drinking, partying, and staying out past curfew with no consequences.  Why shouldn’t I be able to do that too?

In talking to people about God and the Bible, I always find it interesting when they say that they would have to stop doing things they enjoy in order to be a Christian.  I agree, some habits and pleasures of this world do need to be changed. Yes, sometimes those things carry an appeal that we don’t want to give up or are challenging to give up.  But I do believe that everything God says has a purpose.  Every rule or caution was meant to keep us safe, not take away our fun.

If I think about some of the top temptations of this world and where they ultimately lead, whether it is visible to the world or not, is shame, guilt, and brokenness (both of the self and relationships). In each case, we elevate whatever the need is that causes us to sin, above God and his provision.  I know I’ve said it before, but when his timing or provision doesn’t come the way we want it, we tend to seek it from someone or something else.  This is idolatry.


As we get into the portion of the Bible where God starts laying down some rules and going into the steps towards purification, it may seem like he is taking away their fun and being too strict.  But again, God has a purpose in every word and law he says.  He wants us to live in freedom and abundance through him, not the fake and instant gratification that the world gives.

Keep that in mind as you ready on.

S – Scripture: Leviticus 16-18

  • 16:8-10 – “He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the LORD. The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the LORD. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the LORD.”
  • 16:17 – “No one else is allowed inside the Tabernacle when Aaron enters it for the purification ceremony in the Most Holy Place. No one may enter until he comes out again after purifying himself, his family, and all the congregation of Israel, making them right with the LORD.”
  • 16:22 – “As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.”
  • 16:29-30 – “On the tenth day of the appointed month in early autumn, you must deny yourselves. Neither native-born Israelites nor foreigners living among you may do any kind of work. This is a permanent law for you. On that day offerings of purification will be made for you, and you will be purified in the LORD’s presence from all your sins.”
  • 17:3-4 – “If any native Israelite sacrifices a bull or a lamb or a goat anywhere inside or outside the camp instead of bringing it to the entrance of the Tabernacle to present it as an offering to the LORD, that person will be as guilty as a murderer. Such a person has shed blood and will be cut off from the community.”
  • 17:11 – “for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.”
  • 18:3-5 – “So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the LORD your God. If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD.”
  • 18:27-28 – “All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now.”

O – Observation:

  • The Purification Ceremony which took place once per year, involved two goats.  One was sacrificed as a sin offering and the other carried the sins of the people away into the wilderness. This goat was called the Scapegoat.
  • No one could enter the Tabernacle while Aaron was in the Most Holy Place, purifying the people of their sins.
  • A complete Sabbath was to be observed on the day of the Purification Ceremony.  No work could be done by anyone.
  • Sacrifices could only be done at the Tabernacle or else the person was as guilty as a murderer. It had to be done near the presence of the Lord. In this way, the animal and the act of sacrificial offerings would be respected.  The blood is what gives life to the animal.  It’s death, and the pouring out of it’s life blood, gives the person a new and clean life.
  • The Israelites were to live differently than the Egyptians (where they came from) and the Canaanites (where they were going). God’s commands had a purpose, and if followed completely, would give life, not restrict it.
  • All forms of sexual immorality were spoken against.  The Israelites were required to stay pure in their marriages and relationships.


A – Application:

I love the line in Leviticus, “If you follow my commands and decrees, you will find life through them.” In moments of rebellion, when I decided that God’s “abundant” life wasn’t abundant enough for me, I ended up finding myself in a place that I never wanted.  What I thought was going to be life-giving ended up being destructive to myself and many relationships. It was in those times that I saw how false the world’s pleasures truly were.  Sometimes it’s hard to not give in, or to think that a little won’t hurt. That little bit has a way of taking over, doesn’t it?

So what does God’s abundant life look like? How is it better than the world’s life? What are the challenges that go along with it?

1. It won’t be easy. We will have pain and sorrow just like the rest of the world. Jesus even warns us in John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

It’s going to be tough living in this world.  It’s full of darkness and depravity. Jesus came to give hope for a better future, one that doesn’t include all of the crap that we experience on Earth. Which leads me to my next point:


2. Delayed gratification vs. instant gratification. Our abundance may not look like the world’s or even be in this world.  God does have special and specific ways to bless us on earth especially when we are good stewards of what we have a share it with others. He does promise to provide all that we need when we need it.  It’s amazing to trust him in this! The trick is to be patient and expectant. It doesn’t always come in the time we think we need it or the way we expect it.  But it comes nonetheless and at just the perfect time.

Our greatest gift and provision, however, comes after we leave this world and go to Heaven.  Talk about delayed gratification! No matter what our circumstances bring us to here, we can cling to the hope of an everlasting future with God in his Paradise.

3. We will have to say “no” to many things this world offers and may lose friends in the process.  People won’t understand why even if we try to explain it. I’ve had people say that I’ll miss out or I’m a party-pooper because I won’t drink or be frivolous with my money, or whatever.  In reality, I may be missing out on some aspects of it, but I won’t have a hangover the next morning or a go into debt.  I’ll have good health and money. I may also go and find friends who are okay with not doing this things as well and find other forms of enjoying life. I count that as more of a win for me. (I have done both of these things so I’m not trying to be self-righteous here, they are just two examples).

4. The more we try to live in this world but not of it, the more Satan will attempt to pull us away.  I’ve heard it said that a lukewarm Christian is exactly what the Devil wants because they aren’t a threat to his kingdom.  A Christian on fire for God and living differently, sometimes pointing others to Christ, can be catastrophic towards his plans. The temptations may become greater and more often to test our faith in God. It’s in these times that we must rely on God’s Word and his people for support.

5. We are nourished through God’s powerful words and his Spirit working in us. We are blessed when we bless others.

“But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4 (Jesus is speaking to Satan after being in the desert for 40 days and nights with no food and water.)

The things of this world won’t satisfy our deepest needs and desires.  We live and thrive by God’s Word because it teaches us to trust our Creator to provide everything we need.  It helps us learn his voice and follow him more readily. It fills us with a hope and love that last. By sharing this with others, God has more avenues to work and create good change. I want to be a part of that!


Living God’s way isn’t easy.  It still comes with challenges. But the return is worth it. It may not feel like it at the time and it may seem like you are missing out.  Really what you are missing out is the shame, guilt, and brokenness that follows the ways of the world. God’s way is light, free, and guiltless. God is not the taker-away of fun, but the giver of abundant life!

What will you choose? What do you need to give up in this world to follow God and his abundant life?

Here are some other verses I found that go along with Leviticus:

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:3-5

“But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

“And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, ‘Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.'” Matthew 26:27-28

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.” 2 Timothy 1:9-10

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV


P – Prayer:

God, I admit that sometimes it’s hard to wait on you for the things I think I need or want.  Thank you for your Word.  That in times I feel weak or without, it fills me.  Thank you for your Spirit that counsels me and speaks for me when I’m not praying for the right things even though my heart ultimately longs for you. God, I want your abundant life, not what the world offers.  Whenever I’ve tried the world’s way it’s only ended in pain.  When my hope and trust is in you I feel fully alive, even if times are hard. You are so good.

I pray for those reading who have been living in the ways of this world, trying to fulfill some need.  God, I pray that you would give them the strength to break that chain.  Begin to heal the wounds and provide what they really need.  You are all that we need God.  Thank you! Amen.

Leviticus Bible Study

Renewing Waters

I was eleven years old and I remember going to my dad in the living room and telling him that I wanted to be Baptized. What brought that on I can’t be sure of, but I know that the decision was mine. On February 22, 1998, my dad dunked me underwater and pulled me back up.  He then went on to Baptize my sister that same day.

I’m not sure how I felt in the moment (I can’t remember), or if I really understood the gravity of what I had just done. I was still pretty innocent of many things then. But I trust that I had established the basics of it. As I get older, I realize how important that day is in reminding me that I have been washed clean of all of my past, present, and future sins. On days that I feel ashamed because I screwed up, I recall that day. The realness of redemption and newness brings me to my knees. I can come to my Heavenly Father, dirty and messy, and be forgiven, washed clean again.

This story will make sense in a little bit.

S – Scripture: Leviticus 14-15

  • 14:7 – “The priest will then sprinkle the blood of the dead bird seven times on the person being purified of the skin disease. When the priest has purified the person, he will release the live bird in the open field to fly away.”
  • 14:17-18 – “The priest will then apply some of the oil in his palm over the blood from the guilt offering that is on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified. The priest will apply the oil remaining in his hand to the head of the person being purified. Through this process, the priest will purify the person before the LORD.”
  • 14:33-34 – “Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘When you arrive in Canaan, the land I am giving you as your own possession, I may contaminate some of the houses in your land with mildew.'”
  • 14:50-53 – “He will slaughter one of the birds over a clay pot filled with fresh water. He will take the cedar stick, the hyssop branch, the scarlet yarn, and the live bird, and dip them into the blood of the slaughtered bird and into the fresh water. Then he will sprinkle the house seven times. When the priest has purified the house in exactly this way, he will release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. Through this process, the priest will purify the house, and it will be ceremonially clean.”
  • 15:31 – “This is how you will guard the people of Israel from ceremonial uncleanness. Otherwise they would die, for their impurity would defile my Tabernacle that stands among them.”


O – Observation:

  • Extensive ceremonies for the purification of skin disorders, discharges, and mildew found in a home had to be followed.
  • The live bird was dipped in the blood of the sacrificial bird, then immediately into the clean, fresh water. It was then let go, as if to take away to uncleanliness of the person.
  • Blood from the dead bird was placed on the earlobe, thumb, and big toe of the person, just like in the purification of the priests.  Oil was applied to the same places after.
  • Anything or anyone an “unclean” person touched became unclean as well. Everything needed to be washed in order to become pure again.
  • God said that he would contaminate some of the houses. He would choose which ones and how badly.  Some of the houses would be able to be repaired, while others would need to be torn down.
  • If the Israelites did not purify themselves and their homes, they would die.  Their uncleanliness could not come in contact with God.

A – Application:

Sometimes sections of the Bible like this are hard to get anything out of.  Also, I don’t really want to read about oozing skin disorders and discharges.  It’s gross!

But as I pondered what God was really trying to say here, I was led to verses on Baptism and being washed clean so that we could be near to God.  I was reminded of Jesus’ journey through death and then being raised to new life. This is my interpretation that the two doves brought as a sacrifice for the purification of a skin disorder is another foreshadowing of God’s ultimate plan for us.

Let’s play this out: One was sacrificed and it’s blood poured out.  This is a symbol of Jesus’ death.  The second dove was dipped into the blood and then into water, being purified of the blood and death, and then set free.  With Jesus being raised from the dead, he conquered death and carried our sins away.

The second dove could also represent us.  We come to God dirty, disheveled, and burdened from our sin. As we are raised out of the water in Baptism, we are freed, purified, and new. Baptism is a beautiful outward expression of our hearts being washed clean and made new by a belief in Jesus sacrifice.


“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:3-8

“Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Hebrews 9:13-14

You are not too far gone. You are not too bad, screwed up, or messy for God.  You don’t need to get in shape before going to the gym here. He loved us before we knew him, while we were living in sin! He desires to be with us so much more so he made a way to make it so. God wants you to live in freedom, not in the chains of your sin or the consequences of making bad decisions.

How would your life be different if you lived in the newness that God can offer? What would your life look like? What habits would you break, relationships you would build, or choices you would make?

I encourage you, if you haven’t been Baptized, start praying about it and studying it.  It could make the confirmation of being made new and washed clean real to you. If you have questions, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you.


P – Prayer:

Will you pray Psalm 51 with me?

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner–yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me–now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Amen.


Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #47 - Renewing Waters

Leviticus Bible Study

That I Might Be Your God

Dan and I went hiking when we were in Hawaii back in August. We set out in late morning on the trail with excitement and energy.  As we continued, the mountain got steeper and steeper.  We kept thinking we were almost there but the trail just kept going up. The sights were magnificent, but we were losing steam.

Then, the stairs came! WHAT? STAIRS? On a mountain? Yes, it was the 400 stair glute-kicker at the end. Our energy and good attitudes were severely waning. As we passed people on their way down they offered encouragement, that it was all worth it.  We were so ready to be there.

Then, we made it and it WAS worth it.  As soon as we caught our breath we looked around and saw God’s beauty for miles.  His blue waters and lush mountains.  His wispy clouds at eye level. I couldn’t take enough of it in, it was so amazing.

The climb up was tough (even being in relatively good shape).  We wanted to give up a few times. If we had, we would have missed the awe of God’s creation atop that mountain.  As we made the trek down, we offered the same encouragement that we had received.  We didn’t want others to miss out on the blessing at the top.

This happens in other life situations, don’t you think?  Difficult situations arise that force us to push through (usually blindly and grasping for some sense of control) with the hope of experiencing normalcy, or goodness, or greater wisdom at the end.  It usually isn’t an easy journey, but you make it, and reap the blessings of perseverance and hope.


We see this with the Israelites in many cases, but specifically in these next chapters.

S – Scripture: Leviticus 11-13

  • Chapter 11 – clean and unclean foods
  • 11:45 – “For I, the LORD, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy.” 
  • Chapter 12 – the purification process for women after giving birth
  • Chapter 13 – how to deal with skin disorders and diseases


  • God saved the Israelites so that they would be HIS people.
  • It was only by his hand and power that freedom from slavery came to Abraham’s descendants.
  • God is holy, therefore his people must be holy.
    • The instructions and laws were established for that purpose.
  • God is still creating a holy people today.  Even with Jesus sacrifice, that cleanses us from all unrighteousness, we need to choose to stay away from corrupt things in this world. What we allow our eyes to see and ears to hear affects our belief and worship of God.


When I sat and pondered these passages, I felt God saying:

“For I, the LORD, am the one who brought you up from _______________, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy.”

Each of us has our own answer for the fill-in-the-blank.  Typically, it’s only in hindsight that we can fully know. I see it throughout my life, times that God brought me through something for a specific purpose.


He carried me through the rejection of a person close to me so that I would seek him first in relationships, know his unconditional love for me, and set boundaries and expectations for what true companionship. It was soon after that I met my future husband.  Further, the lessons I learned carried over into this new relationship and built it to last.

God guided me through a knee surgery that took me out of the sports that I loved. Those, at the time, were a huge part of my identity.  But because of the Physical Therapy I went through, I chose to go into Personal Training and help others heal through exercise.  What seemed like a setback ended up being one of the greatest trajectory changes in my life.

By his grace, God lovingly and gently pieced me back together after the tragedy of miscarriage. This was the longest and toughest journey I had been on.  Even though things haven’t completely fallen into place on how I can use my experience to bring God glory, I am starting to see future opportunities.

In each situation, I can hear God saying, “I brought you out of this so that I would be your God. It was by my hand that I carried you out and guided you through so that you could experience me and grow closer to me. You are becoming more like me with each trial you go through. The things you learn and unlearn are all preparing you for the great purpose that I have for you.”

When I look back at all that he has brought me through and how he really has worked everything out for a good purpose, I desire to holy. I want to shed off all that hinders me from being the closest that I can to God. I could never do enough to repay him for all that he has done, or do more righteous things to gain holiness. The great thing is, is that I don’t need to.  He’s given that as a free gift.  But I do want to honor him and spread his glory by how I live. I won’t be perfect, but I don’t need to be that either.


“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes–these are not for you.” Ephesians 1-4

What has God brought you through? How has he brought good out of terrible situations in your life? Do you believe that he carried you through those for a specific purpose? Are you honoring all that God has done for you with your words and actions?

Take some time and reflect on all that God has brought you through and how you can now honor him with you life because of it. I’m not saying it’s easy, and it might bring up more questions, but God can handle it.  Work through it with him.

Another post to check out is this: Already Victorious.

P – Prayer:

God, even though going through those trials was not my favorite time, I’m so thankful that you made something good come out of them.  I can see clearly how you carried me and worked it all out.  There are things now that I’m waiting to see how you can use them for good. Guide and direct my path to the people and resource I need to bring you glory out of the new wisdom I’ve gained from my experiences.

It’s a hard thing to wrestle with you about why certain things happen.  God, I pray your mercy and guidance for those who are fighting for answers today.  Be near them. Let them feel your presence and know that you have them and will carry them through.  Thank you, Father. Amen.



Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #46 - That I Might Be Your God

Leviticus Bible Study

God’s Righteous Anger

I know I’ve mentioned my time at a Vacation Bible School in Alpena, MI before.  There were crafts, games, lessons, and singing.  One of the most memorable lessons was on how God bridged the gap that sin caused between himself and his creation.  It looked something like this.

Blog Post #45 design

I grew older, sinned more, and experienced the world and all of its depravity in greater capacities. As I come back to this simple drawing, I am amazed at its complexity and significance. It shows, even more, of the greatness of God’s love for me and the rest of his creation.

In the next chapters of Leviticus, we see God’s great wrath poured out on those who breaks his command.  It’s a tough read.  But it brings up some questions that we all need to wrestle with.  One being, how can God be so loving and so angry at the same time?

S – Scripture: Leviticus 8-10

  • 8:24 – “Next Moses presented Aaron’s sons and applied some of the blood to the lobes of their right ears, the thumbs of their right hands, and the big toes of their right feet. He then splattered the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.”
  • 8:34-36 – “‘Everything we have done today was commanded by the LORD in order to purify you, making you right with him. Now stay at the entrance of the Tabernacle day and night for seven days, and do everything the LORD requires. If you fail to do this, you will die, for this is what the LORD has commanded.’ So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD had commanded through Moses.”
  • 9:6-7 – “And Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded you to do so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.’ Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering to purify yourself and the people. Then present the offerings of the people to purify them, making them right with the LORD, just as he has commanded.'”
  • 9:23-24 – “Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the LORD appeared to the whole community. Fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.”
  • 10:1-3 – “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘This is what the LORD meant when he said, ‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.’ And Aaron was silent.”
  • 10:19-20 – “Then Aaron answered Moses, ‘Today my sons presented both their sin offering and their burnt offering to the LORD. And yet this tragedy has happened to me. If I had eaten the people’s sin offering on such a tragic day as this, would the LORD have been pleased?’ And when Moses heard this, he was satisfied.”


O – Observation:

  • As the blood of the sacrificial animal was placed on the ears, hands, and feet, I am reminded of how we are to listen and hear God’s promptings on how we can serve others. We are the hands and feet of Jesus.
  • The rules and laws that God commanded needed to be followed perfectly.  In many cases, like with Aaron’s sons, death was the outcome of the slightest disobedience.
  • God would only show his presence after the offerings were made.  He would rain down in a fire of glory and consume the sacrifice.  The people were in awe and rejoiced in worship.
  • What happened to Nadab and Abihu is an example of God’s glory and anger for those who commit sins against him.  This shows how those closest to God (who come into his presence) cannot be tainted by sin.  The wage for our sin is death. Praise God for Jesus!
  • Aaron’s heart was broken for the loss of his sons. Maybe he was angry with God and needed to mourn.  Eating a blessing from God was possibly to much for him to handle. Or, maybe he felt that their sin was his fault. Those are just my opinions, trying to read between the lines.

A – Application:

It’s hard to read about God’s terrible wrath on Nadab and Abihu because of the slightest disobedience. His commands needed to be followed perfectly from the greatest to the smallest detail. His anger here is so real and terrifying. I shutter to think if that system were still in place today.  I wouldn’t make it, for sure.

How do we reconcile this loving and amazing Father with an angry and powerful God?  How can he be just and merciful at the same time? These are tough questions that I’ve had to wrestle with.

To start, let’s look back at the Garden, how God intended the world to be.

Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.’ Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground–everything that has life.’ And that is what happened. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”  Genesis 2:26-31


When I stop and think of how there was nothing, just God’s Spirit hovering over some water, and then there were mountains, oceans, stars, land, animals, and humans, I can’t help but be in awe. We see God’s creativity, power, and mastery in the making of this world and all that is in it. Humans were created in God’s own image, to be in perfect community with him, and live without shame and fear. He was everything to Adam and Eve, and provided all that they needed. As I imagine a world like that, I find myself deeply longing for it.  We all do, because that is how it’s supposed to be.


“‘You won’t die!’ the serpent replied to the woman. ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.’ The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it…So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden.” Genesis 3:4-6, 23

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles…They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” Romans 1:21-23, 25

It happened in the Garden with the Serpent and Eve, in Jesus day, and now.  Sin entered the world and we lost the perfect union with God.  Doubt of who God is and all that he can do when his timing doesn’t match up with ours, corrupts our thoughts. When we think he may be holding out on us, it begins to change our belief in his plan and purpose for us.  We start to believe that he has forgotten our hopes and desires. Then, we try to add to our lives by our own strength.  Our worship turns to ourselves, our power and provision.  This, for one, is idolatry and can lead to a multitude of other sins.

Soon, we find ourselves separated from God. You see, his righteous anger comes from the fact that he is divine and we no longer are because of sin.  We have lost the righteousness that he desired us to always have and to live the life that he wanted for us without sorrow, shame, and pain.  He is angry because this isn’t how it was supposed to be and the ones he created and loves are choosing to live a different life than he would have for them.

He has to be just because he is righteous.  But then, his love.  Oh, his amazing love for us.


“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned…But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.” Romans 5:8-12, 15-16

Amen and praise God! Isn’t that beautiful! And just like that, when we believe that God did all of this for us, we are brought back into a relationship with him.  We are placed in the Garden forever, where shame and sorrow cannot follow. We are made new and set free.  I pray that you find that today.

God’s anger and wrath are real.  The price for our sin is death. But because of his even greater love for us, he saved us. It wasn’t when we followed the rules perfectly, that he saved us either. It was when we were at our worst and darkest. I find so much comfort in that.

This isn’t an easy concept to reconcile or understand. It might be challenging for you and for others that you come in contact with.  I still wrestle with it.  But that’s okay! If you still have questions, seek God’s answers. Get in the Bible, pray, speak to a mentor. Find the truth.  In the process, I know God will bring you closer to himself.


P – Prayer:

God, sometimes you are hard to comprehend.  I can’t imagine all that you are.  These glimpses into your anger, wrath, and justice are difficult to unpack. But I thank you that your love is greater.  I thank you that you can and paid the penalty for my sin so that I could come back to perfect communion with you for eternity.  God, I want that for others.  I want them to experience your grace.  Help me to share that with those around me.  Amen.

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #45 - God's Righteous Anger


Leviticus Bible Study

Light to Your Darkness

One of the many interesting things that Dan and I have noticed since moving back to northern Michigan is how dark it is.  If you step outside you can see a multitude of stars, unhindered by light pollution from a city. Feeling the breeze, smelling the fresh air, and gazing at the vast sky puts me at peace.

Even though this may remind me of how small I am, the greater realization is that God is even bigger.  He created light to pierce through the darkest night and shine throughout the day. God also sent his son as a Light to the World. And like driving out, away from the noise and distraction of the city, we experience God when we get quiet before him.

As we continue in Leviticus, we see astounding parallels between the Old Testament traditions and the New Testament promise.

S – Scripture: Leviticus 5-7

  • 5:5-6 – “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin. Then you must bring to the LORD as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the LORD.”
  • 5:11 – “If you cannot afford to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, you may bring two quarts of choice flour for your sin offering.”
  • 6:12-12 – “Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out. Each morning the priest will add fresh wood to the fire and arrange the burnt offering on it. He will then burn the fat of the peace offerings on it. Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.”


O – Observation:

  • Realization, confession, and payment of the penalty (offering) was the progression towards the forgiveness of sin.
  • The Israelites could offer what they had as a sin offering.  It wasn’t necessarily about the type of offering, but the heart of the offerer.
  • The fire on the alter, for the different types of offerings, had to be kept going all day and night.  It was never to be allowed to go out.

A – Application:

I usually have to get up in the middle of the night and fumble around to get where I need to go.  My eyes are heavy with sleep and I have to reach out my hand to feel where the doors and walls are.  Sometimes I get a little afraid of what could be in the corner or my closet. Often, I’ve banged into something, giving out a painful yelp.

Then, I get to the little hallway with a window and a glimmer of light shines through. I take a breath and make it to my destination with more ease.

Have you ever felt like this when stuck in a sin? Maybe when you initially got into whatever habit it is and it fulfilled some perceived need for a time.  It was satisfying or pleasurable, even, at the start.  The “secret-keeping” part may have had a certain appeal as well. I’ve been there.


Then, something shifted.  It became consuming and too much to keep up.  You start to feel like you are fumbling around in the dark, burdened with guilt and shame. You fear the consequences of what would happen if you brought it into the light and the people you would hurt.  I’ve been here too.

You see, keeping things in the dark is exactly where Satan wants you to be.  He wants you to feel like you have to stay there because it keeps you away from God, which is his whole mission.  His burden is guilt, shame, hopelessness, aloneness, and desperation.

Then, you do confess it to someone, maybe God.  It’s brought into the light, or to the Light, you could say.  You cut the distractions, the voices, the pain, and you surrender to God all of your baggage.  You just dump your dirty laundry at the foot of the cross. And you know what you experience?  Pure grace.  It’s not judgement or condemnation.  It’s grace driven by an unconditional love of a Father.

If you are trapped in sin, your first move is bringing it to the Light.  It’s confessing to God and the people in your life that have been affected by your sin.  Yes, there will be consequences that you probably will have to deal with.  However, your ETERNITY is forever changed!  And how you accept God’s grace and start a new life in him, will be a testimony to help others who are dealing with the same sin you had.  Your victory will be someone else’s HOPE and LIGHT.  Someone out there needs your story.  They need to you fight and overcome your temptations and sin.


Here are some additional verses.  Write one out that speaks to you and keep it in sight this week.  Take action on the burden of sin in your life this week.  Bring it to the light, no matter how hard it may be.  You will have eternal grace in God and he will help you sort through the consequences.  Trust him in that.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

“The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:9

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'” John 8:12

P – Prayer:

God, thank you for your unconditional love and grace. Thank you for accepting us while we were still sinners.  We don’t have to be perfect and sinless to come before you.  You want us to come with our burden and give it all up to you.

God, I pray for those who are struggling with some deeply rooted sins.  The burden must be so heavy.  May they come to you this week and know your grace when they confess and believe.  I pray that hearts and lives are changed because of your Good News.  thank you for sending us your Light. Amen.

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #44 - Light to Your Darkness

Leviticus Bible Study

Salt of the Earth

Clean. Pure. Spotless. Washed.

How do you feel when you read those words?  What emotions come to mind? For some, this is a longing.  A desperation to wipe away all of the bad things we have done or the hurt we have caused.  Our decisions have been destructive and we have found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be, questioning who we’ve become. For Christians, these words give hope and show how much we are loved. The sins of our past, present, and future are cast off of us like dirty rags.

Don’t we have such Good News?

As we begin our study of Leviticus, we continue to see God’s novel unfold.  Between the lines of all of the detailed descriptions of the sacrifices and offerings, we see God’s beautiful redemptive work taking form.  Despite what you may be thinking, these chapters have great news for us, and an even greater call to action.

S – Scripture: Leviticus 1-4

  • 1:4 – “Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the LORD will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him.”
  • 1:9 – “But the internal organs and the legs must first be washed with water. Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.”
  • 2:13 – “Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.”
  • 3:14 – “The priest must present part of this offering as a special gift to the LORD. This includes all the fat around the internal organs.”


O – Observation:

  • A transfer of sin had to be made from person to animal. By laying a hand on the animal’s head and then slaughtered, the sin was removed.
  • Blood had to be shed from the forgiveness of sin. It was the only way to be found right with God back then.
  • The organs of the animal needed to be washed clean before being offered to God as a sacrifice.
  • Salt was used as a reminder of God’s eternal covenant.
  • All of the fat off the animal was presented to God. It was a “pleasing aroma” to him.

A – Application:

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me–now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me… You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:7-10,16-17

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15


I know that I keep saying it, but I just love how the Old Testament/Covenant foreshadows the New.  It’s such a beautiful story to me.  Everything that God asked the Israelites to do had a specific purpose for that time.  Then, Jesus fulfilled the greater purpose of those rituals, festivals, and sacrifices. Now our hearts have been washed clean, we are the salt of the earth, and a pleasing aroma to God.

Though we don’t have to do any more to get ourselves into Heaven, we do have a mission on earth.  We serve God out of grateful hearts because of what he has done for us.  In this way, more people have the opportunity to experience all that God has for them too.

This may sound like a weird question, but how salty are to the earth?  Do those around you recognize that there is something different about you?  Do they see God through you?  You have potent Good News to share, are you sharing it?

I have to admit, that I’m probably not doing the best job at this.  As much as I enjoy writing about the gospel, speaking it is a different story. I feel like Moses, fumbling over my words.  Living it through every aspect of my life, with actions and words is sometimes a challenge.

As much as I want to be bold, I know that I hold myself back many times. Why? I have such Amazing News to share! News that changes lives for eternity! This is going to be a bold prayer for me, will you pray it with me?  I want to pray for opportunities to start sharing my faith.  Whew! Even typing those words makes me shaky!


P – Prayer: 

God, your news is so Good! I want to share it with others.  I want to salt and light in this dark and hungry world.  I am understanding the gravity of eternal decisions that we make here on earth.  The life and hope you have given me is something that I know others need and want too.  There are so many hurts and so much brokenness in this world.  Help me to be bring those in need close to you, God.  Give me a boldness that surpasses my weaknesses.  Work through me.  All glory goes to you, Father.  Amen.

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #43 - Salt of the Earth


Exodus Bible Study

The Details of Our Lives

In grade school, some of my favorite assignments were done on grid paper. The projects involved mapping out exactly what our dream house would look like, or drawing out all of the supplies we would for our future job. I would draw elaborate rooms with all of the furniture and decor.  My house had a basketball court that functioned also as a volleyball and tennis court, and a roller rink! (There was also an outdoor tennis court, of course!) There was a pool and hot tub, indoors and outdoors.The upstairs had am epic game and movie room.  All of my favorite things were included.

My house now doesn’t have any of those things, and I never became an art teacher.  But it was amusing to draw them up when I was a kid and to look back on them now.  My desires changed and other passions developed as a I grew up. However, the dreams I had as a kid have manifested in different ways.  I became a teacher of exercise and nutrition.  One of my favorite hobbies, and what calms me and fills me, is doing some sort of art project.  How do your childhood passions show up in your life today? It’s fun to think about!

Those little details that we drew up as kids have purpose. They are intwined in our being by God. He drew us up and knitted us together especially for this world.  The details mattered to him when he created you. I’m not sure if he used grid paper, but his vision of a perfect dwelling place for his Spirit was drafted and you were the outcome. Isn’t that fascinating! I get teary-eyed when I think about that.

In the last chapters of Exodus we see God’s plans for his dwelling place (back then) come to fruition.  There are so many great lessons from it too!

20171008_140459S – Scripture: Exodus 39-40

  • 39:3 – “He made gold thread by hammering out thin sheets of gold and cutting it into fine strands. With great skill and care, he worked it into the fine linen with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.”
  • 39:30 – “Finally, they made the sacred medallion–the badge of holiness–of pure gold. They engraved it like a seal with these words: HOLY TO THE LORD.”
  • 39:42-43 – “So the people of Israel followed all of the LORD’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the LORD had commanded him, he blessed them.”
  • 40:31-32 – “Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”
  • 40:34-38 – “Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the LORD hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.”

O – Observation:

  • Bezalel worked with great skill and to the finest detail to create what the Lord had asked.
  • Aaron wore a “badge of holiness” that stated, “Holy to the Lord.”
  • The Israelites did everything that the Lord had commanded them.  Every detail was accounted for.
  • Every time Moses or the priests needed to enter the Tabernacle, they had to wash themselves, as commanded by the Lord.
  • When everything was finished, the “glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”  His cloud settled over it and was their guide.  When it moved, the Israelites packed up and continued their journey.
  • It was a cloud by day and a fire by night so that they could always see it. He never abandoned them.


A – Application:

Like Aaron, we have been given the “badge of Holiness.” This was not by anything we have done or deserve, but by God’s deep love for us.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:10-12

“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

“Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Let that sink in. I felt like moving ahead while writing this and God prompted me to just sit here for a minute and bask in the gravity of what that means. Once, and for all time he has cast out the sin in my life.  That is past, present, and future sin.  The burden of sin is no more.  I feel light and free.

“He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:10-12

By God’s New Covenant, we have been made holy, “once for all time.” Praise God! Declare that today! Say it out loud over and over until it rushes in and takes hold.

One of the many things that I have noticed out of the last few chapters in Exodus is that God cares about the finest details.  He gave measurements and mapped out exactly how he wanted things built. Everything had a purpose. Each piece of the Tabernacle, instruments, and clothing were created in a specific order and design. The details of each command mattered.

The instructions that God has given us today (in the New Testament) are all written and given for a purpose.  He didn’t just give a list of rules as a way of chaining us or keeping us from having “fun.” There is a reason he says to stay away from certain things of this world. When we follow his instructions, it’s a sign of our love and devotion to him and his people. We are called to live differently because we are different. We are set apart and holy, made clean and pure, unchained by the sins of this world.

From personal experience, the weight of sin is far heavier than the call of obedience to God.


Our greatest commandment is to Love God and Love Others. Again, it’s not just in the grandiose gestures (though those aren’t bad in any way), but in the small details of people’s lives. Our small acts of kindness in the ordinary, everyday things in life can make an eternal difference. Am I (or are we) following his command perfectly?

“And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

“Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.” 2 John 1:6

God has made us his home.  He is no longer just in one place but in all of our hearts.

“Jesus replied, ‘All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.'” John 14:23

“Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” Ephesians 2:20-21

Like I mentioned above, “God drew us up and knitted us together especially for this world.  The details mattered to him when he created you. I’m not sure if he used grid paper, but his vision of a perfect dwelling place for his Spirit was drafted and you were the outcome.”

How we manage our physical being is important, absolutely! What we feed our eyes, ears, hearts, (and bellies), matters.  Our hearts are the outpouring of what we allow in.  When I watch, read, or listen to the things of this world, that seeps out into how I speak to others, how I worship God, and my attitude towards life and those around me. If I’m not feeding myself good, spiritual, and filling food (The Word, prayer, or fellowship with other Christians, to name a few), I won’t be as effective for God’s Kingdom.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” Matthew 6:22-23

I want to furnish God’s dwelling place with the fruit of the Spirit and fill my mind with good things, so that he can work through me.  My desire is to follow his commands to the letter, not because I think I can increase my standing with him, but because he has given me so much more than I deserve.  I cannot not add anymore righteousness or holiness or love-worthiness to myself.  I want others to know that they can experience the same freedom and joy. 

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:22-25

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8


P – Prayer:

God, thank you for creating me, with every detail having a purpose.  You can take what I think is weak or bad and make it work for your Kingdom’s purpose.  It gives such freedom to know that I can’t do anything more to earn your love or grace, you have given it all to me.  Forgive me for not being completely obedient in love others.  I want to be better in this area.  I know it comes from what I fill my heart with. I want that to be more of you and not things of this world.  Continue to transform my mind and heart so that I can better serve you. Amen.


*I hope these lessons gave you some good food to munch on and fill your soul. I’d love to hear your personal take on them.  Please comment below!

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #42 - The Details of Our Lives


Exodus Bible Study

All That We Need and More


S – Scripture: Exodus 36-38

  • 36:1 – “The LORD has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the LORD has commanded.”
  • 36:6-7 – “So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.”
  • 38:22-23 – “Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses. He was assisted by Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, a craftsman expert at engraving, designing, and embroidering with blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth.”

O – Observation:

  • The Lord gave special abilities to Bezalel, Oholiab, and others specifically for the construction of the Tabernacle and all its furnishings.
  • They made everything as the Lord had instructed.
  • The Israelites were so eager to give that they gave too much for the project.  Moses had to ask them to stop giving!
  • The sum of gifts brought was: 2,193 pounds of gold, 7,545 pounds of silver, 5,310 pounds of bronze, plus the tax (which was 1/2 a shekel) from 603,550 each man.  WOW!


A – Application:

I’ll let the Word speak for itself this time:

God has provided and will continue to provide all of the resources we need to carry out his purpose in us.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” Psalm 23:1

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

Each person has been given natural and supernatural gifts in order to serve those in need. Not one is greater or lesser than the other.  All are necessary for the body of Christ. Of course, one of the greatest gifts (besides our salvation), is the Holy Spirit.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” 1 Corinthians 4-6

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” 1 Corinthians 6:19


When we use the gifts and resources God has given us, we can bless others, and God promises more blessings in return. This shouldn’t be our motivator for doing good, as nothing more that God’s gift of grace can save us from our sins and get us to Heaven. When we give freely and cheerfully, not expecting anything in return, God can open up his storehouses of blessing and make great change among his people.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10

“Remember this–a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

“Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.” Deuteronomy 15:10

“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!'” Malachi 3:10

We have great motivation to share in our blessings.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:3-8

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1

“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” James 1:17-18

Isn’t God’s Word so good?  I honestly have nothing more to say, haha! My hope is that these verses leave you with something to ponder today or this week.

What verse(s) stuck out to you? What gifts has God given you that you aren’t using in their full capacity? Is anything holding you back from giving or serving others, using your gifts? Are you holding any blessings (time, energy, money, prayer, etc.) back from others because you fear not having enough for yourself? I know I’m guilty here! What other verses come to your mind?

Please share some of your answers in the comments. I’d love to pray with you about them!

P – Prayer:

God, your Word is such a gift.  You have given us so much and we don’t deserve any of it. Salvation, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, purpose here on earth, spiritual gifts, community, love, joy, hope, and so much more.  You care about every little detail of our lives. Nothing we can do will bring us closer to salvation.  Only by accepting your gift of grace cleanses us.

Father, I have nothing to offer you, except my life.  Take it and use it, Lord.  Help me to not hold anything back.  I know you will restore me.  Grow the gifts you have given me so that I can use them in full capacity for you. It’s in your wonderful name I pray, Amen.


Exodus Bible Study

Closer Leads to Bolder

I would consider myself an introvert. This means that I like putting my energy more towards the inner self, ideas, and concepts.  I get energy from and form decision in a quiet space, usually alone.  I often like to figure out a solution on my own, with my own knowledge and strength. I prefer that independence.

However, my dear friend leans slightly more towards the extraverted side.  She, to my sometimes closed off self, can read between the lines of what I say, or see on my face what is in my heart, and ask the tough questions.  She draws me out of my self and graciously coaxes me to be vulnerable.  She’s not afraid to handle to ugly, the hurt, and the doubt in my heart. She wants to know because she loves and cares for me.

We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in life together.  We’ve been there to witness each others successes, failures, celebrations and tragedies. Life is ugly sometimes, and fortunately, we have found great comfort and strength in knowing that we can reach out to the other with it all. We both have dreams to fulfill and we can pray for each other and keep each other accountable to follow where God would lead us. I know she has my back and I have hers as we try to be bold and live out our purposes on this earth.

Friendships like that are hard to find.  I am so grateful that I have her in my life.

Like my friendship, we see Moses’ close relationship with God in the coming chapters. They have this beautiful exchange that shows a friendship so true, that they can ask bold things of each other.  God can call Moses to do great things, and Moses can ask God to do even mightier things to help him through it.


S – Scripture: Exodus 33-35

  • 33:11 – “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”

Moses’ first request: “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” (v.13)

“The LORD replied, ‘I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest–everything will be fine for you.'” (v.14)

Moses’ response: “How will anyone know that you look favorably on me–on me and on your people–if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” (v.16)

“The LORD replied to Moses, ‘I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.'” (v.17)

Moses’ final petition: “Then show me your glorious presence.” (v.18)

“The LORD replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.’ The LORD continued, ‘Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.'” (v. 19-23)

  • 34:5-7 – “Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.'”
  • 34:29 – “When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the LORD.”
  • 35:29 – “So the people of Israel–every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the LORD had given them through Moses–brought their gifts and gave them freely to the LORD.”


O – Observation:

  • Moses had an intimate relationship with the Lord. They spoke face to face, like friends. God said that he knew Moses by name, how beautiful!
  • God knew exactly what Moses was asking when he said, “who will go with us?” There was more to the question. I love God’s response: that he would be the one going with him, that everything would be okay, and that Moses would have rest. Moses’ heart must have needed to hear that.
  • Moses must have needed more reassurance that God was going to go with them. He didn’t want to leave if God wasn’t going to go too.
  • Moses asked bold things of the Lord: to see his glorious presence.
    • When we know God, we know we can ask big and bold things, and he will answer.
  • God allows Moses to see the back of his glorious presence as he passed by.  He hid Moses in a crevice in the rock with his hand until he it was safe for him to look.
  • As God passes, he calls out his name, “Yahweh.” What an amazing thing to have been able to witness! I can’t even imagine!
  • When Moses finally came down from the mountain after 40 days and nights, his face had become radiant as he spoke to the Lord.
  • The supplies needed to build the Tabernacle with all of it’s accessories, including the priest’s garments, were given freely and eagerly as an offering from the people.  Everything that was needed, was provided.

A – Application:

I love this exchange between Moses and God.

What it says about Moses:

  • He was a friend of God and was favored by him. He knew God intimately because he had spent time with him.
  • Moses longed to understand God and his ways.  He want to know him fully so that he could trust him more.
  • He needed to know that God was going to go with him as he led millions of people to the Promised Land.  Here was a man that knew that he couldn’t do any of what God asked for on his own.  Here was a desperate soul, pleading for assurance that he wouldn’t be alone on his journey.  He wasn’t going to take a step without God going with him.
  • Revealing the glory of God to the world, through himself and the Israelites, was of the highest importance to Moses.  He knew that they were an imperfect and forgetful group, but they were chosen by God, to show the world who the Sovereign and Everlasting King was.
  • Moses wasn’t finished, he asked if he could see God’s presence.  Maybe he needed a tangible reassurance of who God was and is.  This was a bold request, but one done only because he knew God.
  • As he came down the mountain after being in God’s presence, his face glowed.  Being with God so intimately showed on his face!


What it says about God:

  • He hears the words we are speaking, but knows what we are really asking and needing.  He knows our heart and motives better than we do. Based on God’s first response, I gather that Moses was overwhelmed and possibly tired. There may also have been a sliver of doubt there. Not only did God promise to be the one to go with Moses and the people, but also that everything would be fine and that he would be able to rest.
  • God loves and favors his children.  He wants to bless and protect them. He knows us each by name. I am so comforted by that!
  • He will answer bold prayers when we ask, though often in his own way.
    • What if Moses had never asked? He would have missed out on an amazing blessing. Even a glimpse of God’s Presence is so much more that I could hope or imagine! I love too that God placed his hand on Moses as he passed by.  What an amazing feeling that must have been! God can and will reveal himself in tangible ways when we need him to and it’s okay to ask.
  • It’s too good not to repeat: “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.”
    • God is all of these things and more.  He is all we need at exactly the time we need it.  He is so good.

Lessons of how God responds:

  • God can answer, “yes” for what we ask, but it can also involve more or something we hadn’t thought that we needed.  He sees the bigger picture of how answering our requests will affect us and he knows what we really need.  Typically, we need the know that everything will be okay and that we can have peace in him.
  • Sometimes it’s with a word, a vision or sign, or a touch that God answers. Often, God answers prayer through other people’s words and actions.  I’ve experienced all of them at different times, and the best way I can describe how it felt was how I think GRACE really feels. In times of hurting, it was a tender and gentle grace.  Other times when God was calling me to action, it was a fierce and bold excitement, knowing that God was with me and his grace made it so that I didn’t have to be perfect, just willing.


Lessons on how to pray and do life:

  • When we KNOW God, we can pray BOLDLY to him.  The more I study God’s character in the Bible as well as speak to him and experience him throughout my life, the more in tune I am with what his purpose is for my life. As I allow him into my heart, I notice more that my desires begin to intertwine with his.  I see steps of faith that I need to take, people I need to encourage, and opportunities to serve more often because my will is growing deeper into his. I begin praying more crazy and bold prayers because I know God wants his glory shared on earth and I have finally come to a place where I am 100% willing to go out and do anything possible for that to happen.
  • He knows our hearts, even when our words can’t describe exactly what we need.  Knowing this allows us to just come to him in surrender.  Our prayers don’t have to be clean and perfect, they just need to happen.
  • When we spend time with God, it changes us.  We become more and more like a light that breaks through the darkness of this world.  People do recognize something different when we have God shining through us.
  • When we spend time with God, our faith grows and God can ask us to do even greater and bolder things for him.  We have built up a secure trust and hope in him, that we respond in obedience.  In this way, we bless others and can be blessed in the process. This cycle can produce an amazing story that glorifies God for generations.  We never know how the actions God calls us to will affect eternity.  It’s crazy to think!


What bold prayer have you given up on? You, and maybe many others need you to keep praying that bold prayer!

I encourage you to start praying that again today and let God speak truth to you. I’d love to hear how he answers you!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7


P – Prayer:

God, thank you for loving us so much that you want to have an intimate relationship with each of us.  You know us all by name and long to bless and protect us.  There are so many prayers out there that have been given up on.  There are desires that are buried deep because we don’t think they are possible anymore.  God, I pray that, as we’ve learned today, you answer those BIG and BOLD prayers. It’s in your timing and your way, but you do it.  Grow us in those times of waiting in order to prepare us for exactly what those desires will have us do and be.  You are so good and you do such amazing and miraculous things.  Amen.


Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #40 - Closer Leads to Bolder

Exodus Bible Study

Worshiping Through God’s Timing

When I left for college, I knew that finding a church was going to be a crucial thing. One campus church had a service on Thursday nights in an auditorium.  A group of us decided to go the first week we were there.  I walked in to the giant room where the only lights were coming from the stage. I could see the students raising their hands and singing to God with such passion and abandon. I hadn’t ever really experienced that kind of holy energy before.  It was captivating!

So it began. I would go to church on Thursday and Sunday, as well as join a Small Group.  Pretty much all of my friends went to church, so I was completely surrounded.  There was no way I could forget God.  But it was a choice to go through college that way.  Things could have been different if I didn’t make the effort to keep myself close to God.

Living life with a bunch of Christians, through tough times and good, was a constant reminder of God’s awesomeness.  We prayed boldly for each other, we did missions trips together, we supported those in and outside the family of God in order to be a light to the world.  We worshipped wildly and brought God’s Kingdom down to our little campus. It was an amazing time.

As I read through these chapters in Exodus, I was reminded of how important it is to set aside time for worship and remembering God and all that he has done. The Israelites, unfortunately, missed the mark here, and teach us crucial lesson for us today.

S – Scripture: Exodus 30-32

  • 30:6 – ” Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Ark’s cover–the place of atonement–that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. I will meet with you there.”
  • 30:10 – “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the LORD’s most holy altar.”
  • 30:15-16 – “When this offering is given to the LORD to purify your lives, making you right with him, the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring the Israelites to the LORD’s attention, and it will purify your lives.”
  • 30:21 – “They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be observed from generation to generation.” 
  • 30:29 – “Consecrate them to make them absolutely holy. After this, whatever touches them will also become holy.”
  • 30:32 – “It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy.”
  • 30:37 – “Never use this formula to make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the LORD, and you must treat it as holy.”IMG_8508
  • 31:3 – “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.”
  • 31:13 – “Tell the people of Israel: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”
  • 32:1 – “When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. ‘Come on,’ they said, ‘make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.'”
  • 32:4 – “Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, ‘O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'” 
  • 32:8 – “How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”
  • 32:11-12 – “But Moses tried to pacify the LORD his God. ‘O LORD!’ he said. ‘Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people!'”
  • 32:14 – “So the LORD changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.”
  • 32:16 – “These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself.”
  • 32:22-23 – “‘Don’t get so upset, my lord,’ Aaron replied. ‘You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.'”
  • 32:25 – “Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.”
  • 32:26 – “So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, ‘All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come here and join me.’ And all the Levites gathered around him.”
  • 32:31-32 – “So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. But now, if you will only forgive their sin–but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!'” 

20170928_191735O – Observation:

  • Places, objects, incense, and oils were being set apart as holy. Anything that touched them would also become holy.
  • People were being set apart with special gifts, directed by the Holy Spirit.
  • Blood had to be spilled, offerings made, hands and feet cleansed with water, and a ransom of money had to be paid in order for the forgiveness of sins.  This had to occur daily, weekly, and yearly!
  • A reminder for obeying the Sabbath is given.  This is meant to be a day of complete rest so they wouldn’t forget the Lord and his holiness.
  • We, as humans, can be quick to forget what God has done. So when we don’t see God working, or we feel like he is distant, or it’s taking too long, we begin to take things into our own hands.  This leads to idolatry and pride in our own strength and provision.
  • Aaron had a moment of doubt or confusion or weakness.  Instead of bolstering the Israelite’s faith in God, he made the golden calf that led to their idolatry.  Then, he tries to cast the blame off of himself and onto the people.  (This reminds me of Adam in the Garden of Eden.)
  • What and how we worship (when we call ourselves Christians) is a representative of who God himself is.  If people see us valuing something more than God, it makes it seem like it’s okay to do.  It shows that God isn’t really All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Wonderful.  It shows that he isn’t enough to fulfill our needs. It appears that all you have to do is say a little prayer and then go off and do whatever you want.  God will forgive you anyway, right? Far from it!
  • When our worship goes to someone or something else, it diminishes the power of the Cross. If I do this, I’m saying that I need something more and that I can get it myself. Those things never last. But when I come to God, broken, weak, and surrendered, he is all that I need, forever.
  • Moses prayed boldly for the forgiveness of his people, and moved God away from  his anger against the Israelites. His argument was: How would it look if the God who had done miraculous things to get his people out of Egypt, turned on them and destroyed them?
  • God’s glory (and sharing it) is important.  He can take the weakest in faith and power, and raise them up.  In doing so, his glory is shown throughout the world.
  • The people had to make a choice on who to serve: God, or the Golden Calf. Those that chose the latter, perished. We always have the choice.

IMG_8511A – Application:

I am reminded of a story in Luke, about a woman who believed that all she needed to be healed, was to touch Jesus:

“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, ‘Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.’ When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. ‘Daughter,’ he said to her, ‘your faith has made you well. Go in peace.'” Luke 8:43-48

Jesus was anointed and set apart as holy.  Just like the alter in the Tabernacle, anything that touched him, would also become healed and holy.  What amazing faith!

Another story that came to mind was a parable that Jesus told:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.  When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” Matthew 13:44-46

The woman had nothing left to lose. She had tried it on her own, and nothing made her better. The man in the field and the merchant sold everything they had for the Kingdom of Heaven. They became poor in the sight of the world, but rich in the glory of God’s Kingdom.

I want that kind of faith! I want that to inspire my worship. How powerful is Jesus’ holiness in my life?  How valuable is the Kingdom of Heaven to me?  Am I willing to give up my pride, need for instant gratification, my accolades and accomplishments, my wealth and possessions, in order to bring glory to God and enter his Kingdom? Is waiting worth it? Is the Kingdom worth the struggle and the wait?

20170926_180044I can roll my eyes and get frustrated with the Israelites, but how often is that me? How often do I doubt God’s work in my life and change my focus to an idol, in order to try to take back some control or explain why something happened, instead of letting God do his thing? How many times have I lost patience with God for taking too long to let something happen?  Or allowed me to suffer for too long? How often do I grumble when I don’t get my expectations met? How is it that I can claim to have such a strong faith, yet doubt God just as strongly? What idols do I hold in my life currently?

If I’m honest, I’m struggling with these things daily.  I am constantly questioning God’s timing and goodness.  But when I stop, rest, and remember all that he has done so far, I can refocus my worship on him.  And it is a sweet and beautiful time of peace.

We are called to live differently.

We are set apart as holy. The power that Jesus carried in him, is now in us. 

Our ransom was paid by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

How and who or what we worship matters.  It shows our trust in the Greatest and Mightiest God when we worship him in the good times and bad.

The Sabbath is still necessary today.  We need reminders for who God is.  We need to practice gratitude for all that he has done for us.

How we live and worship either represents God’s glory, or not. When I give my worship to something else, I’m saying that God’s timing, provision, and power are not enough for me. Idols never last.

When everything is stripped away of this life, God will be the only constant. 

I’ve been there, where God has been the only thing left.  It was a vulnerable place to be. But it was a place where God did his best and most powerful work.  As much as I fought for control, I was left to rely only on the holiness and healing of Jesus Christ. Nothing else worked.

I desperately want to stay in that frame of mind, even as God is answering some long-lost prayers of mine.  I never want to lose focus on God’s power and provision in my life.  In the seasons of thriving and of drought, I want God’s glory proclaimed by my worship.  Idols don’t last, God does.

I asked a lot of questions today.  How did you answer them?  What spoke most to you in this scripture or discussion?  Take a little time for reflection.  Ask God to speak to you specifically in regards to your potential idols or worship. He is so gracious and forgiving.  He longs for you to seek him like the treasure in the field.  He wants your focus to be back on him so that he can bless you and take care of you.  Take one small step today towards him and see what happens.

IMG_8501P – Prayer:

Lord, I confess that I have been just like the Israelites.  Sometimes my faith is dependent on how I feel or when things are going right. I confess that I start taking control and restrict my surrender when things aren’t going as fast as I think they should go.

You have made promises to me. Thank you! Help me to be patient in your timing. Keep teaching me and preparing my heart for when those promises are fulfilled. I want to look back and say that it was all you.  I want to glorify you with my life. I want others to come closer to you because of my testimony. Strengthen my resolve. Help me to see any idols that I have set up and bring them crashing down. You are all I want!

I pray for those reading this today, Father, that you would speak directly into their lives.  Reveal any idols and bring them closer to you.  Help them to choose you in the bad times and remember you in the good times.  You are so good, all of the time. Amen.

Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #39 - Worshiping Through God's Timing
Finding life and grace through God’s Word.