Daily Reading: May 4th

#DailyDevotion You Are Holy To The Lord

Easter Week 3 Thursday

Read Ex 38:21—39:8, 22–23, 27–31

Exo 39:30  They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.”


The tabernacle, the altar and the high priestly garments all summed up in this verse “Holy to the Lord.” To be holy is to be separate. It is to used for the Lord’s purposes and only for the Lord’s purposes. It belongs peculiarly to the Lord. Now all these things including the high priest are a symbol or a shadow, a model of what the Lord showed Moses on the mountain of the temple of God in heaven.


The high priest being a forshadowing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our high priest at the right hand of God. He first bore a crown of thorns and through his suffering and death he took for himself a crown of gold. Instead of the blood of bulls and lambs, he offered himself upon the altar of the cross and poured his blood on the throne of God’s mercy that our trespasses and iniquities would not remembered anymore. At the right hand of God our high priest intercedes for us, that we would persevere in the faith and receive for ourselves a crown of glory, a crown of life, a crown of righteousness.


Now the Lord has made and is still making for himself a temple not made with hands. That temple is you. As Peter reminds us we are all living stones in the temple of our God. We are called to be pillars in this temple, unshakable, immovable. Already, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and God’s name is written upon us and he is renewing us from the inside out, its final restoration at the resurrection to eternal life.


Upon us too are the words, “Holy to the Lord.”  St. Paul reminds us, Rom 11:16 “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.” Christ is the firstfruits and the root. We are the lump and branches. Remember, 1Co 3:17 “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” And 1Co 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  (20)  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” We are holy and are called to be holy. Rom 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” And Peter tells us 1Pe 1:15-16 “but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  (16)  since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”


Heavenly Father, you have made Jesus our high priest and made our bodies your temple. You have called us holy, made us holy and call to us be holy in all we say in do. Continually give us your Holy Spirit that our heart, mind, soul and spirit may be thoroughly dedicated to you and grant us such faith and grace that we do it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 3rd

#DailyDevotion Have You Had Your Veiled Removed By Turning To Jesus?

Easter Week 3 Wednesday

Read Ex 34:29—35:21

Exo 34:29-30  When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.  (30)  Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.


When Moses talked with the Lord, his countenance changed.  The glory of the Lord whom he spoke to changed him and his face shone. The people were afraid of Moses and wouldn’t come close to him so he had to wear a veil to cover his face so the people would not fear him. Concern this St. Paul writes: 2Co 3:11-18  For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.  (12)  Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,  (13)  not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.  (14)  But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.  (15)  Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.  (16)  But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.  (17)  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  (18)  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


It is the good news of Jesus Christ that St. Paul says is more glorious and permanent than the covenant of Moses. Indeed when we turn to Christ because of the Gospel, then we can more clearly understand the will and law of the Lord. More than that, the Gospel is the glory of Christ and as we meditate on and believe this Gospel, we are being transformed into the same image of Christ from one degree of glory to another. Paul would tell us while our outer bodies are wasting away, our inner man is growing day by day through the gospel of Christ.


Now what is this Gospel of Christ Jesus that transforms us into the same image of him from one glory to the next? Just this, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. When he returns he is raising all the dead and all those who believe in him, even in his name, he gives the gift of eternal life and the right to dwell with him in the new heavens and the new earth.


The very life of Jesus has become our life. His works, his sufferings, death and burial, and his resurrection have now become our own through trust in him and baptism. The Father no longer counts our trespasses against us. He has given us the life that is in his Son Jesus. So even now, as Jesus says in John eleven, we posses eternal life and the life we live we live to Christ.


Heavenly Father, grant us faith in Christ that we may look into the glory of Christ, the Gospel with unveiled faces, that we may trust in Christ, have his life, participate in his glory and be raised to eternal life on the day of his return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: May 2nd

#DailyDevotion You Know God By His Name

Easter Week 3 Tuesday

Read Ex 34:1–28

Exo 34:6-7  The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  (7)  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”


When Moses renews the covenant the people broke with the Lord and he brought up new tablets for the Lord to write upon, the Lord revealed his name to Moses. Now a name says something about someone. It reveals their very being. The very nature of the Lord is revealed to us here. What does the Lord reveal about himself?


There are ten things. Ten is generally a number of completion, of perfection. The Lord, the Lord is merciful and gracious. The Lord does not give us what we deserve. He treats us better than we deserve. He rewards us with good things though we spurn his will and his ways. He provides for all though we do not always believe in him.


The Lord, the Lord is slow to anger. While the world cannot see it we with his revealed word do. It took centuries before flooding the world saving only Noah and his family and yet he sent Noah to preach to them to repent. He sent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to preach to Canaan and let them be for four hundred years before sending the Israelites to wipe them out. We need not even go how long we put up with his own people, the Israelites, before sending the Assyrians and Babylonians. Now he has been patient with us these last two thousand years, sending out the message of reconciliation in Christ Jesus before bringing down destruction in these last days.


The Lord, the Lord abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love and faithfulness. Oh how often the Lord blesses his people for the sake of his name and his promises. When we should have been destroyed and instead we are preserved it is these qualities of the Lord which keep us.


The Lord, the Lord forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin but by no means lets the guilty go unpunished. It is the very nature of the Lord God to forgive. This is seen on the cross of Jesus Christ. There the sin of the world is forgiven our transgression are no longer held to us. Yet to keep us from continuing in sin and so that we may not treat his grace cheaply, we often still have to bear the temporal consequences of our sins. Those who will not receive his word of forgiveness in Jesus Christ will receive the eternal consequences of their sins.


Heavenly Father, grant us faith to believe in your name and the name of your Son Jesus Christ, that we may receive all your benefits to us and may we who bear your name go forth doing what your name benefits. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 1st

#DailyDevotion Is the Lord Jesus Your Friend?

Easter Week 3 Monday

Read Exodus 33:1-23

Exodus 33:[11] Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. ..20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” [21] And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, [22] and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. [23] Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (ESV)

At first these two things may seem contradictory: Moses speaks face to face with the Lord and the Lord won’t let Moses see his face. But the first seems to be a figure of speech by the words which follow, “as a man speaks with his friend.” So what might this mean? It means the Lord spoke to Moses directly. He didn’t speak to him through dreams and visions, or through angels but directly, one to one. What a great and lofty privileged Moses had. Before going into the promised land Moses wanted some assurance of God’s mercy and friendship to carry along the way. So the Lord deigned to have Moses see his backside because the face of the Lord is too glorious for fallen man to see, even if you are Moses.

Now the Lord used to meet with Moses at the tent of meeting in a cloud. But we have had something more glorious than Moses. The Lord made a promise to send a prophet like Moses to the people after his death. Now the Lord didn’t send any old person to do that job. The Lord himself became flesh and dwelt among us to be the promised prophet. The people of Israel, of Judah, the twelve apostles saw the Lord who dwelt among them in the promised land and talked with him face to face, even if indeed he hid his glory from them, excepting at the mount of transfiguration.

But during that time the Lord Jesus did go among his people and teach them as a friend, face to face. There he showed them his glory though upon the cross for it is the Lord’s glory to show mercy to us. But there is more. The apostle Paul promises us on the day of resurrection, the Lord’s glorious day, we shall Jesus as he is and we shall be like him. On that day we shall be either resurrected of transformed to have bodies like his glorious resurrected body. We shall be able to look into the face of our Lord Jesus Christ and talk with him as a man talks with his friend. Indeed, Jesus promised and said to us already, “I call you friends.” and “I have not kept anything from you.” What glory that is for us that the Lord calls us his friends and has revealed all things in his Word to us. Who are his friends? Those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who believe he has had mercy on them on the cross. His friends believe his promise of the resurrection and being brought into the true promised land, the new heavens and the new earth.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have called us your friends by your great mercy. On the day of resurrection reveal to us your face that we may be transformed into your likeness and dwell with you and the Father unto all eternity. In your name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: April 30th

#DailyDevotion Who Is Interceding For You To The Lord?

Third Sunday of Easter

Read Ex 32:15–35

Exo 32:24  So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”…30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”  (31)  So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold.  (32)  But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”


When Moses saw what the people had done, how they had rebelled against the Lord he broke the tablets and sent Levites to go out and kill that the people may realize their sin. But Moses was not without compassion. Even after they had rebelled against him and the Lord, Moses tells the people he will go to the Lord and see if perhaps he can make atonement for their sin.


Now just how did Moses plan to make atonement for their sin? By sacrificing a goat or a bull? No, he knows the blood of such creatures could never atone for the people’s sin. Moses offers himself up to the Lord. He begs to have their sins forgiven, but if not, to blot him from the book of Life the Lord had written. But Moses was not an appropriate sacrifice. The Lord would blot out those who had rebelled against him. He would send a temporal punishment to bring the people to repentance, a plague. But the Lord would continue to lead them, to give the people the land he promised to their forefathers.


Now we too rebel and have rebelled against the Lord our God. Who will stand before the Lord for us? Who will atone for all our sins for which we deserve to have our names blotted out from the book of Life? Thanks be to God! The very Lord who stood that day on Mt. Sinai speaking with Moses has become one of us. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. He has offered himself on the cross to atone for our sins. He has brought his blood into the Holy of Holies in heaven and poured out his blood upon the mercy seat of God. His blood has atoned for our sins. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father continually interceding for us, pleading his blood so we might not be blotted out from the Lamb’s book of Life but instead that we would be given faith through the promises and persevered in that faith unto life everlasting. When we sin, we need to turn to the promises of what Jesus has done for us and believe the good news that an atonement has been made for us by God himself in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Such trust in Jesus’ work of atonement will be your righteousness before God on the day of judgment.


Heavenly Father, give us your Holy Spirit, that we might believe and remain faithful unto death to the promises you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ. May Jesus ever intercede for us that we may not perish but have eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: April 29th

#DailyDevotion When Worship Goes Wrong

Easter Week 2 Saturday

Read Ex 32:1–14

Exo 32:4-5  And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”  (5)  When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.”…11  But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?…14  And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.


Sometimes you have to wonder about the Israelites. They had seen the Lord’s mighty acts. They had heard the voice of the Lord from the cloud. Yet no sooner did Moses not work on their time table they forget everything they heard the Lord say. Well to tell you the truth, we probably aren’t much better if we are honest with ourselves. We may just not do it on the scale the Israelites did.


Now it is human nature to worship a god or gods. The people wanted to worship. Aaron fills that desire by fashioning a golden calf for them to worship. The Israelites had received the commands not to fashion graved images and worship them. Aaron should have known better but he feared the people more than God. We should note that Aaron does not say the golden calf is another god but it is the Lord who had taken them out of Egypt. They weren’t worshipping other gods but they were worshipping the Lord in a manner he had forbidden them. Perhaps we too should pay some attention to how we worship it the Lord and make sure it isn’t a manner that offends him.


Now the Israelites had roused the Lord’s anger against him because they had rebelled against his word. But Moses intercedes on their behalf and reminds the Lord of his promises. The Lord then relents from the disaster he was going to bring upon them. It is the Lord’s primary will towards humanity to have mercy, kindness, patience and forgiveness. Now when we sin against the Lord, we have one greater than Moses who intercedes for us. Indeed he has taken God’s wrath upon himself, the wrath that is rightly ours. That one is Jesus. He not only has taken God’s wrath upon his own flesh he is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us day and night. He prays for God’s mercy for you that you would turn from sin, believe in his name and walk in the Lord’s way. The Father hears Jesus and remembers his promises. We too need to regularly hear God’s promises, remember them and live our lives according to them.


Heavenly Father, ever hear the voice our Savior Jesus Christ interceding for us and have mercy upon us. Grant us faith to believe your promises and may your Holy Spirit guide all our ways all the days of our life here on earth. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: April 28th

#DailyDevotion Have You Entered The Sabbath Rest Of God?

Easter Week 2 Friday

Read Ex 31:1–18

Exo 31:13  “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you…17  It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'”


The Sabbath day was more than just a day of rest. It was a sign. A sign of what? That the Israelites were a peculiar people. They were God’s people and they were to do what the Lord himself did as they lived out their lives. The Lord rested on the seventh day and set that day apart as holy for the Israelites. It proclaimed the Lord was the true God who made the heavens and the earth. There were no other creator gods out there. So resting on the Sabbath showed and professed the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the one true God.


Now what about we Christians? Why don’t we observe the Sabbath day? Because in Christ, we have entered the eternal Sabbath day. In Genesis, you will note, there was no end to the seventh day. All the other days ended with, “There was evening and there was morning” but not the seventh day. Jesus is our Sabbath. The book of Hebrews goes much further into this in chapter four. For now we have this, Heb 4:1  Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it…3 For we who have believed enter that rest…” Through faith we have entered God’s rest.


Now St. Paul also tells us, Rom 14:5 “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  (6)  The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord.” Now the one who esteems all days alike treat every day as holy and other observe days set apart for holiness. We should not judge one another based on holy days. But it might be observed since the times of the apostles the Church has set apart Sunday, the day of our Lord’s resurrection as a day to gather, rest, hear God’s Word and receive his gifts. We could choose another day or days in Christian freedom. Indeed, it appears Wednesday has become a day for the gathering of God’s people over time, at least here in the States. We are free to do that. The thing is we still separate ourselves from the rest of the world to worship the one true God and to receive from him rest from all our works.


Heavenly Father, ever grant us such faith in your Son Jesus Christ, that we may be found worthy to enter into your rest and find refreshment at your right hand to sustain us as your holy, peculiar people until such time as we experience your Sabbath fully on the day of the Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: April 27th

#DailyDevotion Listen To The Words Of Peace From The Lord’s Mercy Seat

Easter Week 2 Thursday

Read Ex 25:1–22

Exo 25:20-22  The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.  (21)  And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you.  (22)  There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.


The directions the Lord gives to Moses concerning the construction of the tabernacle is in accordance to, that is, it is a model of what he saw in the presence of the Lord. It is a miniature of what we might call heaven. And in the Holy of Holies we see this picture of the throne of mercy and it surrounded by two cherubim. There is nothing on the throne; no depiction of the Lord. He does not want an image of himself to be worshipped. We see in other places of Scripture a similar image. In Isaiah there are two seraphim facing the throne of God. In Ezekiel, the throne of the Lord is carried by four, what we call cherubim. Finally in Revelation there are four living creatures which are similar to those in Ezekiel except each one only has one face. So we get an idea of the Lord always being surrounded by his angels.


Now it would be from the throne on top of the ark which the Lord would speak to Moses often throughout the wilderness journey. It is interesting to note that it is from the Mercy Seat of God the Lord speaks to Moses and communes with him. You see, the Lord is mainly a Lord of Mercy, Love, Kindness, Patience and Forgiveness. It is only when these qualities of the Lord are rejected or despised that we see the Lord who is one of judgment.


In the heavenly places it is on the mercy seat of the Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ brought his blood on Good Friday and poured it out upon there much as the high priest would do every year on the day of atonement. It is there our Lord Jesus Christ began his reign at the right hand of the Lord at his ascension. From there Jesus rules the world with his grace and mercy. He sends the message of reconciliation throughout the world by means of his church, its ministers and its people from this place, because it is the mercy seat of the Lord. It is from there he speaks to his church and to the world everything is forgiven, be repentant and believe, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.


Heavenly Father, ever speak to us, from your mercy seat, the message of reconciliation, your love, mercy, forgiveness kindness and patience and give us your Holy Spirit that we may trust that message and live according to it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: April 26th

#DailyDevotion We Have A Lord Who Makes And Keeps His Covenants

Easter Week 2 Wednesday

Read Ex 24:1–18

Exo 24:3  Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do.” …:6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar.  (7)  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”  (8)  And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”


It was a great and terrible sight, the Lord’s glory on Mt. Sinai and even more terrible was the voice of the Almighty speaking from the cloud. Now Moses has the words of the Lord and all his rules and presents them to the people. He puts forth the covenant of the Lord with his people Israel. The people’s response, “Everything the Lord as spoken, we will do.” And you know what, I believe them. I believe they were sincere when they spoke.


Then Moses sealed the covenant with blood. The point of the blood and the sacrifices when making covenants in the Mid-East at the time was to say, may what happened to these animals happen to us if we break the covenant. The Lord would have to keep his word and the Israelites would have to obey the rules of covenant. The blood was thrown on the altar representing the Lord and upon the people. They were made one through the blood.


Now we know the Israelites did not keep the covenant. But the Lord is faithful. He made another covenant, a new one as he said he would in Ezekiel and Jeremiah. The Lord himself becomes the covenant. He will become one of us spill his own blood and give his body upon the altar of the cross. Jesus the Lord of Old is now Lord of the New Covenant. If we believe he suffered for us what was due us on the cross, then we will not experience on Judgment Day. If you do not take part of his covenant, trusting what he has done for you, then you get what you deserve. His covenant to you is free and is a gift. There is nothing you need to do to earn or merit it.


He gives us the assurance of our participation in this covenant when we partake his body and blood in Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, where the words of the covenant and the seal of the covenant is given, his body and his blood. There we are assured, I will forgive them their sins and remember them no more.

Heavenly Father, may we ever partake of the New Covenant make with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that his sacrifice on the cross removes from us the judgment of our sins. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.