Monday, February 23, 2015

Tuesday, February 24th: Exodus 19-20 1 Thessalonians 5 ~ Nathan

What an awesome experience this would have been for Moses and the Israelites,  in chapter 19, when they reached the Sinai desert.

The Lord spoke directly to Moses up on the mountain there and Moses passed on God's instructions to the Israelites. We would assume that this experience alone would stick with those who were present those days,  and be a reminder to everyone of God's power and presence, and would erase any doubt the Israelites had that God was with them. God tells them that they are his special people, what a privilege to hear this and be a part of this. Yet later in chapter 20 we read how the Israelites, after witnessing God's power,  are fearful and scared,  and even ask that Moses speak to them instead of God.

One interesting verse in in chapter 20 verse 26, where it says to not build steps leading up to the alter because when people look up to the alter they shouldn't be able to see under your clothes. At first I thought this was funny,  and still do,  but then I got serious for a moment and understood that we need to dress and act appropriately. 

I found 1 Thessalonians 5 to be a very encouraging chapter. It starts with warnings to be ready for Jesus' return and goes on in verses 7 and 8 to show us how to behave. Verse 8 mentions self control,  which to me is one of the most important parts of our relationship with God. It's a reminder to me that I need to live the way God wants all the time,  using self control,  even when no one is watching.


Conrad said...

I too was thinking that this would have been an awesome experience at Mount Sinai.

1Thessalonians 5:23a stood out for me today:

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through."

God wants us to be free of sin, to be holy. Not just partially, but through and through. Not just on Sundays after church (or on Mondays after reading Nathan's awesome posts) but everyday.

This verse reminded me of how my kids make fun of me when I make a pizza or a sandwich. I will be very meticulous in placing my toppings in such a way that every bite tastes the same. You could say that my sandwiches and pizzas would taste the same through and through. There would be no surprises of no meat in one bite, and too much mayo in another. God calls me to look like my pizza.

"Avoid every kind of evil." (vs 21)

"May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (vs 23b).

I got some work to do!

Tammy said...

Our Exodus passage reminded me of God's absolute holiness (and His amazing power), especially compared to our sinfulness, and how impossible it is for us to keep the 10 commandments fully.

Our Thessalonians passage reminded me that even as believers, that perfection is impossible - and if we strive for holiness on our own strength we will fail. It is God who sanctifies us, God who kept us blameless, God who calls us to be faithful, and God who will surely do it.

The portion about "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances" also jumped out at me. We live in a thankless society, where we take our privileges completely for granted. We need to be thankful no matter or circumstances, often despite our circumstances. Again, only possible through Him.

Pamela said...

Whenever I think of the ten commandments, I always think back to the time our church did the musical "Angels Aware" when I was about in Grade 5. (As a side note Conrad and I were both tablet holders during this song ;)

These "rules" were commanded by God in a way that is just like a parent giving rules to their children. We have rules because we want the best for our kids. We don't do it to be mean but we genuinely desire our kids to live in a way that will offer them the best life has to offer. God desires this same life for us when we strive to follow his commands.

I think about the passage in 1 Thessalonians that says 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. and I think it reminds us that Jesus can return at any time. How disappointed would we be to be caught in violation of the commandments when He returned.

I also loved this:
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

The most important part is that last part "just as you are doing". I'm a teacher and some days are really exhausting. You can feel like what you are doing is not enough. Demands from parents, admin, difficult students can make you feel discouraged. Ever so often to hear a compliment that you are doing good can be such a boost. People like to hear that what they are doing is good enough. Even if you think they know, still tell them.