Exodus 37:1-38:31 ~ Matthew 28:1-20 ~ Psalm 34:11-22 ~ Proverbs 9:9-10
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Old Testament - I found Exodus chapter 38 verse 8 intriguing today: "The bronze washbasin and its bronze pedestal were cast from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle." Apparently mirrored glass had not yet been invented in these days, but highly polished bronze gave off a good reflection. This reminds me of Paul's writings in First Corinthians 13:12 - "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." Below is an image of the type of ancient bronze mirror that could have been used in the making of the bronze washbasin (obviously this ancient bronze mirror below is not currently "highly polished" :) -
New Testament - Matthew 28 is one of the most important chapters of the Bible we will read this year! Jesus' resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. The resurrection is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and of Jesus' own statements. The Christian faith stands or falls on the bodily resurrection of Jesus. We can read more about this important point from Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. Tyndale Publishers outlines these 5 points in their commentary today that the resurrection guarantees:
1. Jesus was truly the Son of God. (Romans 1:4)
2. God the Father accepted what Jesus did at Calvary on the basis of the resurrection. (Romans 4:25)
3. Jesus as our Risen Lord pleads for his people before the Father. (Romans 8:34)
4. Believers have the hope of eternal life. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
5. Believers will also rise and have resurrected bodies like that of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:49, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:2)
The Great Commission at the end of Matthew chapter 28 in verses 18-20 is so important for us as followers of Jesus on Earth today: "Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."" I like that we see the Trinity in this commission - the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen! The NIV Study Bible commentary today says that Jesus' Great Commission has three steps: 1. Go 2. Baptize them. 3. Teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. I know the Great Commission encourages many to go on mission trips, which is wonderful and makes sense. However, I believe that often times the mission field many of us are called to "go" into is in our own backyards. Our own towns. Our own cities. Maybe even our own homes. Let us go where the Lord calls us to go - near or afar. Will you go?
Psalms - I love Psalm 34 verses 17 & 18 today: "The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." I am sure all of us have moments of needing help. Moments of trouble. Moments of being brokenhearted. Moments of being crushed in spirit. The big question is what do we do in those moments? Or, who do we turn to? Do you call to God in those moments? Do you know that he will help you? Do you know that he will rescue you? Do you know that he is close to you? Do you know that He is near?
Proverbs - I love this image below for Proverbs 9:10 today. Bob Deffinbaugh has a great look at this Proverbs verse - and many others - in an essay titled "God and Man in Proverbs" at this link. A great quote from Bob at this link is: "Proverbs persists in confronting us with the urgency of coming to a decision regarding the fear of the Lord. There are only two ways, the way of wisdom and the way of folly. Those who follow their natural bent will continue on the road to destruction. Those who admit their sin and trust in God will receive life and peace and fellowship with God. Whether by decision or default, every man, woman, and child makes this choice. Do not delay to choose to follow the way of wisdom, the way of life."
Worship God: Reading about the Great Commission today reminded me of MercyMe's great song "Here Am I Send Me":
Are you in a relationship with God such that you could sing "Here Am I Send Me?" Not sure? Click here and get sent!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Comments from you & Question of the Day - How are you participating in Jesus' Great Commission today in your life? Are you in some way helping make disciples? Are you in some way helping to baptize? Are you teaching people to obey Jesus' commands? One thing that I think we can do as Christians related to the Great Commission's call to disciple is to encourage our fellow believers - and non-believers - to read the Bible. Obviously I'm a fan of the One Year Bible format, but there are so many other ways to encourage people to read the Bible. Leading or participating in a group Bible study through your church is one great way. Life Transformation Groups - anyone familiar with these? Great way to read the Bible in pairs/threes. This year will you seek ways to encourage others in your life to read God's Word? Do you think this type of encouragement is part of the Great Commission in any way? (Let me plant this seed - this year will you think of 5+ people you can give a One Year Bible to as a gift and will you encourage them to read the One Year Bible in 2010? Personally, I have found that giving someone a OYB greatly increases the chances of them actually reading the Word...) Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!