Daily Readings: May 5th


#DailyDevotion You Have A New Priesthood

Easter Week 3 Friday

Read Ex 39:32—40:16

Exo 40:12-15  Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water  (13)  and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest.  (14)  You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them,  (15)  and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”

 

The Lord want so to separate Aaron and his sons as priest to show the separateness and distinctness of God and His Christ.  The problem with the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods is that it is composed of sinful men.  So they have to be washed and cleansed with water.  They have to offer blood sacrifices for themselves before going in to serve the Lord because of their impurity.

 

But we now have another priest not of the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood.  The author of Hebrews says a lot about this.

 

Heb 7:18-28  For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness  (19)  (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.  (20)  And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath,  (21)  but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.'”  (22)  This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.  (23)  The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office,  (24)  but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.  (25)  Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.  (26)  For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  (27)  He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.  (28)  For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

 

Jesus is the guarantor of a better covenant or testament.  In this testament, Jesus shed his blood and offers it once for all.  Not for himself but for us.  In Christ Jesus, as we are baptized by his blood in the waters of baptism and as we partake of the new covenant in his supper, his body and blood, our sins are forgiven us, our iniquity is forgotten, and we are made kings and priest with him in his kingdom.  He gives us his Holy Spirit so the law may be written on our hearts and we may obey it from cheerful and obedient hearts and not from fear and compulsion.

 

O Lord Jesus Christ, by your suffering and death, by your resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God, you are our high priest forever, who intercedes for us that we may persevere in faith unto life everlasting.  Ever give us your Holy Spirit that we may be a royal priesthood interceding for the world and serving you with praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

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.