Window Of Your Heart


Today’s Devotion: Exodus 39.

Today we learn about the exquisite details of Aaron’s robe – one that would give the best dresser on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards a run for their money. There is so much detail, color, gold, and special patterns in the design that I can only imagine what it looks like. This chapter has my imagination running wild so here’s my story:

I remember going to church with my family on Sunday’s and, out of boredom, I would analyze every detail of the church. I would study the slivers of specially cut stained glass in the huge sanctuary windows, I would watch “the man in a dress” parade up and down the stairs to and from the pulpit. I observed the choir in their V-shaped sashes draped over their shoulders responding in a very formal way to the baton of the choir directors wand. I often wondered why human beings acted so different in church. These people would visit our farm and act “normal”, but in church, the transformation in their behavior kind of freaked me out.

I was reminded of this reading Exodus 39. We are coming to the end of the book of Exodus and after reading about the tabernacle and God’s incredible expectations around the conduct that He expected of people using the tabernacle. Now I see why people acted differently – it was out of respect for God.

You see, when I would watch everyone in church doing their thing in an “out of character” sort of way, I thought it was all for show. Fast-forward a few decades and as an adult I now realize that it wasn’t for show at all – it was worship demonstrating respect and honor to God.

So now many of our churches have become less fancy and I see another behavior; our hearts are connected there. I see hands raised, eyes closed, heads down and souls connected. These people aren’t putting on a show for man either – They are connecting their mind, body, and spirit to God.

In the New Testament – the church is the body of Christ and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to get all ritualistic and formal, yet some still prefer to worship that way. Regardless of the style in which we worship, one thing hasn’t changed – our respect, honor and reverence to a Holy God. As we go to church tomorrow, be reminded that whatever style of worship you participate – its not about the show, it’s about your heart.


Holy Boots?


Today’s Devotional: Exodus 35.

Give! That’s what the Lord is telling the Israelites to do, Give! Verse 5 says, “From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord and offering of gold, silver, and bronze.”

God doesn’t need stuff, but God uses our stuff for His kingdom work. According to this chapter, God will use these offerings for the tabernacle. Today He uses our churches, ministries and missionaries. Another cool thing is that He will call and equip a specific few who can use the work of their hands for God’s benefit. (Verse 30 & 31)

The older I get the more I realize how much more God can do with my stuff than my closet can. When I make a gift to our church or a particular ministry that I am passionate about, I may not tangibly see how God uses every dollar, but I have confidence that the work being done IS the Lord’s work. People all over the world are being taught, fed, served, trained, equipped and sent – hearts are being transformed, lives are being changed.

So this chapter is timely in that I am being convicted. Confession: I just bought a couple pair of (expensive) new boots and those boots haven’t left my closet in 3 days. I have contemplated returning them because I have other bills to pay, but this chapter has caused me to ask, “What have they done to advance God’s kingdom?” I know I don’t have to feel guilty for having nice things like new boots and I’m quite sure God could use my new boots in some way, but the truth is that the material collections in my closet aren’t doing God as much good as the offering I put in the collection plate on Sunday.

This chapter is a reminder to me that God asks me to give and not be materialistic. He is capable of so much more than I am and whatever God uses, and the people He uses, can make such a difference in the world. It calls me to action; inspiring me to do more and not let what God has provided to me sit idle and waste.  You never know what God will do with the ‘stuff’ we give in service to Him.

Does God Tell You Twice?

Altar at the Tabernacle

Today’s Devotion: Exodus 27. As we move outside the tabernacle proper to the court that the articles of furniture are made, the emphasis is on the work of Christ. It is evident that the tabernacle is a respectable place. Back in the old testament God went to great lengths to make sure that everything was placed in its exact place for a precise reason. I’m taking particular interest in the altar that is symbolized in this chapter.

I think of it as the place you bring a sacrifice to God that is worthy of him. God has specific instructions about the making of the altar itself; He even emphasizes in verse 8, “Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.” He’s repeating Himself! He showed them on the mountain and now He’s reminding them what they were told. If God has to repeat Himself, He wants them to get it right.

So here is my question, “Do I have to be reminded that God wants to make sure we get right?” I think He does tell us more than once. Clearly He gives us His Word, but He also uses friends, family members, children, sermons, bible conferences, authors, creation, counselors, hardships, circumstances, and quiet moments to remind us or teach us what He wants us to know.

I want to go into the day today with a heightened awareness of what God is telling me. Rather than rush through the day with the adrenaline to tackle my to-do list, I want to make sure I see God at work or become aware of what God is showing me. I’d love to hear your comments on where you see God at work in your life today…. What is He telling you?

Interior Decorations Of My Heart


Today’s Devotion: Exodus 26. “Things are what they seem in the bible.” I heard this on the radio yesterday on my commute to work. The radio guy said that we need to take the Word of God literally. Many take scripture, read it to what they want it to say, and twist it to defend it against itself. I can’t say I completely disagree with that because I have had people take it out of context and misuse it. I used to be a surface reader, but I have come to appreciate reading God’s Word and looking deeper, beyond just the words to the heart of the meaning.

I especially find myself doing that as I read the intricacies of the tabernacle. If we were to read it too literally, we would think God is quite the interior decorator. So I ask myself why God put such a thorough description of this tabernacle in His word? I can muster up a lot of theories and questions like, “Where did they get all of this stuff? They are supposed to be in the desert. Is it a literal desert with sand and cactus and stuff, or is it one of those deserts that I have faced in my life that are places of isolation, discomfort, and pain?”

For this I went to my commentary and this is what I learned from Dr. Vernon McGee, “Everything in the tabernacle speaks of either the person or work of Christ. Every covering, every thread, and every article of furniture reveals some facet of the Savior. As the bars held the tabernacle together, so the Holy Spirit of God holds true believers together today. Believers should be held together by the Spirit. In fact, believers are told “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

McGee, J. Vernon (1984-01-06). Thru the Bible Commentary, Volumes 1-5: Genesis through Revelation (Thru the Bible 5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 11849-11852). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I love that! It all points to Christ. God is very deliberate in the old testament to point to the coming Messiah. I find it especially interesting that He has every detail covered. This tells me (us) that He has everything in my life covered too. I also can’t help but realize that He is pointing every detail of my life to the return of Christ and He is being very deliberate about that too.

Life may be a metaphoric desert, but it doesn’t have to be hell, nor does it have to be insignificant. God has a plan and His plan is detailed and perfect. What an honor that He has all of that figured out in advance for us. We simply need to be reading His Word, growing in knowing Him and having a relationship with Him. It’s as if He’s decorating my heart with His love.

Rock Star Status

Rock Stars

Today’s Devotion: Exodus 26. I have friends in the hospitality/hotel business and the definition of hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. Certain guests that are of a “celebrity” status can set very high expectations when they come to town – unrealistic and unreasonable in most cases.

Examples: I have heard of a certain (Christian) artist whom requested a specific type of bottled water, with an exact number of ice cubes and the caps slightly twisted so all seals broken. It was said only one of the bottles were used – the others had to be wasted. I learned of a certain rock star that only likes blue M&M’s and red Starbursts; a specific request that there would be a bowl of blue M&M’s and another bowl of just red Starbursts in their suite upon arrival. The bags of M&M’s that had to be purchased to only remove the deserved ones; the others were wasted. Or an unnamed pro football player who expected a type of pillow that he was known to have a fit if it wasn’t ‘perfect’ – staff had to keep bringing in selections until the pillow of satisfaction was chosen. (And we have starving children in the world… I digress…)

Who do these people think they are? God? Surely they are not, but they most certainly have a God complex.

When I read Exodus 26 and all of the offerings that God requests for the Tabernacle, I couldn’t help but think about the stories of my hospitable friends. In perspective, these requests weren’t to make God treat people like doormats – they were very specific, symbolic, intentionally selected items that would allow people to come into the presence of God himself. GOD!

Two thoughts:

1 – We are people and no matter what our income, social status, college education, or inheritance; we are (according to Genesis 3:19b), Dust! That makes us pretty insignificant.

2 – God is GOD! Isaiah 45:5a, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.”

Building a tabernacle wasn’t just some frivolous hospitable task; it was honoring the one and only God. We should probably put into perspective what we bring to God and why we bring it – not what God brings to us and why we  “think” we deserve it.