~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Exodus 30:11-31:18 ~ Matthew 26:47-68
Psalm 32:1-11 ~ Proverbs 8:27-32
Old Testament - Today in Exodus chapter 30 we read about the bronze basin. The bronze basin was used by the priests to cleanse themselves before performing their duties. It was cast from bronze mirrors donated by women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle:
Chapter 31 verses 1 through 3 stood out to me today: "The LORD also said to Moses, "Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts." These verses make me wonder about our lives. Has God chosen you? What has God given you as gifts and skills? Do you believe that your gifts, skills, and wisdom come from God? Are you using these gifts, skills, and wisdom in the service of God?
In verse 13 we read: "Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy." How about for you? Do you think taking one day of rest – true rest – as a Sabbath is a good idea? Is there an activity that you are doing 7 days a week, that you can do just 6 days a week? Are you over-scheduling yourself maybe 7 days a week? Can you take 1 day a week to not be scheduled? Tons of great Biblical commentary on the Sabbath is online at bible.org at this link, and at this link, and at this link. Today's OT readings finish with verse 18: "Then as the LORD finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God."
New Testament - In Matthew chapter 26 we read about Jesus' arrest. Below is reproduction of a 5th century mosaic of the infamous "Judas Kiss":
Verses 53 & 54 stood out to me today when Jesus says: "Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"" After praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was prepared for what must happen now... Notice how prayer came before this confidence for Jesus of what must happen now. (and Jesus knew that he could call down angels for protection - but he knew he shouldn't) Do you model Jesus' action of praying before embarking on a significant life decision or trial? Below is Jesus on trial before the Council:
When Jesus is before the Council, verse 64 is so powerful when Jesus is asked if he is the Messiah, the Son of God: "Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God's right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven.""
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 32, which is a wonderful testimony of joy about God’s gift of forgiveness to us when we confess our sins to God! In Psalm 32 verses 1 & 2 we read: “Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” Do you agree with this Psalmist that there is joy in forgiveness? Have you confessed your sins to God? Do you make a regular habit of examining your conscience and confessing your sins to God? After confessing your sins, do you continuously pray to God to heal you of sins that may be gripping you? Will you then move forward on the actions or corrective measures that God leads you to - to truly be healed of addictive sins? Will you seek the joy of God’s forgiveness? Will you seek to live your life in complete honesty to God? Below is the famous painting titled "Forgiven." Please take a few moments to meditate upon this painting. How does it speak to you?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 8 verses 27 through 32 are an incredible look at how wisdom was there as God formed the earth! And how wisdom is still here today asking us to listen. Are you listening to the voice of wisdom? Are you listening to the voice of Truth?
Comments from You and Questions of the Day: Psalm 32 is a powerful Psalm on confession and forgiveness. How do you confess your sins these days? Do you confess them verbally to someone else - a pastor / minister / priest / mentor / friend / accountability partner? Why do you confess them verbally? Do you confess your sins to God in prayer? After confessing your sins verbally or in prayer do you feel any different? Do you think confession is relevant? Do you think confession is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced regularly? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!