Friday, October 26, 2012

Amos 6-9: The Tabernacle of David Restored

Amos 9:11-12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David, the fallen hut or booth, and close up its breaches; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old,
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom and of all the nations that are called by My name, says the Lord Who does this.

Tabernacle of David...
A tabernacle is a tent or house of worship.  The tabernacle of David refers to the type of worship that King David demonstrated.  His worship was not defined by tradition or the current societal norm, but was an expression of whole-being devotion to his God.

What is meant by Davidic Worship?

"The phrase 'Davidic worship' simply means worship in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David, that is, worship that is an act of the whole person, not just the intellect. The worship of David's Tabernacle included singing, instrumental music, standing, kneeling, bowing, upraised hands, clapping and dancing. Davidic worship fulfills the command of Jesus to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength'" (Mark 12:30). from the tabernacle of David website

In other words, a person's lifestyle worships God.  

  • How a person speaks reveals the content of their heart.  
  • A person who mistreats others is not living a lifestyle of worship. 
  • It doesn't matter how a person expresses worship in a church service, if his heart doesn't continue to be submitted in worship outside of church.

The evil one stands against this whole-being, lifestyle worship.  he would rather seduce us into believing that the mere acts of dancing or singing a song or attending a service exempts us from submitting our hearts to God 24/7.

The evil one also stands against passionate, whole-being expressive worship saying, "You're overly emotional"  or  "You're attempting to draw attention to yourself" or "You're taking this Jesus thing a little too far."

The pharisees of Jesus day stood against the whole-hearted worship of the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears.  (Luke 7:37-50)

"How could Jesus allow a sinner woman to touch Him?"

Jesus came to set the captives free, those in captivity to sin. The woman sinned, Jesus set her free and her undignified worship followed.  She symbolizes the transformation that Jesus desires all of us to undergo.

Realizing our great need to be set free from sin, crying out to Jesus to save us and responding by dedicating our whole self to Him, summarizes God's intent.  Whole-being worship follows this powerful encounter.

Holy Spirit, please don't allow any person or thing subdue our worship of You inside or outside of a church service.  Empower us to submit ourselves to You every moment of every day through our lifestyle.  In the great and awesome name of Jesus!  AMEN!!! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Amos 1-5: Seeking to Know Abba

Amos 3:6-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be alarmed and afraid? Shall misfortune or evil occur [as punishment] and the Lord has not caused it?

7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.

I am not a Bible scholar, but I do seek to know God, every aspect of God. Reading chapters like those in Amos remind me that God is not One Who tolerates idolatry, any form of idolatry.

There are consequences.

God speaks to His prophets giving them messages to warn. God doesn't desire to punish, but He will if it means our souls are saved for eternity.

I also know that His prophets mishear at times. God is portrayed as either a mean and nasty bully or a pushover parent who fails to set limits.

My Abba is neither of these!

God is merciful, but God is also just.

Jonah 4:2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, I pray You, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and [when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions] You revoke the [sentence of] evil against them.

God is love, therefore He disciplines His kids.

Hebrews 12:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.

God is holy; He doesn't tolerate darkness.

1 John 1:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].

I will spend my whole life and throughout eternity seeking to know Him. He amazes me with mercy and shocks me with reproof. His love swells my heart and repairs its breeches. He reveals Himself through circumstances in life.  He gives me the courage to walk the path set before me; I never walk alone!  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Isaiah 5-8: Hear and Don't Understand, See and Don't Apprehend

Isaiah 6:9

Amplified Bible (AMP)
And He said, Go and tell this people, Hear and hear continually, but understand not; and see and see continually, but do not apprehend with your mind.

This verse jumped out out me while reading because I was already meditating on how God's perfect spiritual gifts can become imperfect when used by men/women. 
Thinking about the times when the Lord whispers a word to my heart, understanding it and following through with it, convinces me that God does bestow revelatory gifts for ministry.  BUT I also think about the times when I heard and did not understand.
The longer I hang out with spirit-filled Christians, the more I realize that this is true with all people no matter how powerful and accurate the gift, it still flows through men and women who are inevitably influenced by the earthly realm.
I also think about the damage that can be done when mere man is placed on a pedestal for the gifts that God has given.  Honor, yes, absolutely.  Worship, no way!  
We are on a level playing field with each other, and the One we worship is God and God alone!

Acts 10:34-35

Amplified Bible (AMP)
34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
35 But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].

My heart is realizing more and more how important it is to build our spiritual gifts on love's foundation.  We need to remember that our goal is to encourage each other using our gifts to assist others in their walk with the Lord.  
Yet, even with the root of love guiding us, there will still be misunderstandings. 

1 Corinthians 13:12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. 

Holy Spirit, I am so thankful for the ability to hear and see spiritually, but also am acutely aware that I am not perfect, neither is any other man perfect in hearing and seeing You!  Pour out Your fierce love on us.  As we use Your gifts in service of others let us all draw on this love as we interact with each other.  In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Your Love Never Fails!

Really enjoy this upbeat version of "Your Love Never Fails" by the Newsboys.

"You make all things work together for my good!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Isaiah 1-4: His Glory Shall Be a Canopy

Isaiah 4:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defense of divine love and protection).

What beautiful imagery! I find myself imagining what that would look like...:)

I am remembering a dream from years ago. I observed the people worshiping in the sanctuary of the church I attend and a huge golden cloth was spread out over them. It was beautiful!

I understood at the time that it was the glory of God spread over His people, but now, years later, I find the Biblical reference for the dream. Thanks, Lord!!!

I also remember another promise of protection from God.

Isaiah 52:12
Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 For you will not go out with haste, nor will you go in flight [as was necessary when Israel left Egypt]; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

God's glory protects you, and it protects me. That promise warms my heart and stirs my love for my Awesome Heavenly Father!

Spread out Your glory over us as You have promised, Lord. We need Your protection and love. All for You! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 26: Battles Forge Humility

2 Chronicles 26:3-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began his fifty-two-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

4 He did right in the Lord’s sight, to the extent of all that his father Amaziah had done.

5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the things of God; and as long as he sought (inquired of, yearned for) the Lord, God made him prosper.

Uzziah, a sixteen year old adolescent, was made king over the people of Israel.  The pressure and responsibility of being king, must have been overwhelming, but in that difficult place Uzziah sought the Lord.  The result...God made him prosper!

2 Chronicles 26, goes on to list the awesome accomplishments of King Uzziah.

  • He broke down his enemies walls and built cities within enemy territory.  (verse 6)

  • His fame spread to the border of Egypt because of his great strength. (verse 8)

  • He built strategic towers at key positions in Jerusalem and the wilderness.  (verse 9-10)

  • He hewed out cisterns for his livestock and had farmers and vinedressers. (verse 10)

  • His army was top notch, possessing defensive and offensive equipment.  (verse 11)

  • He even had a machine, which would shoot arrows and stones.  (verse 15)

  • He was marvelously helped by God!  (verse 15)

2 Chronicles 26:16
Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 But when [King Uzziah] was strong, he became proud to his destruction; and he trespassed against the Lord his God, for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

King Uzziah had it all...strength, fame, power, position, wealth and most wonderful, the favor of God!  But often with great blessings comes the temptation to become proud, believing that somehow man made it happen.

King Uzziah became proud and that pride precipitated his destruction.  Hard words.  True words.

How can I apply this truth to my own life?

Although satan meant to destroy me through disease, emotional turmoil or disunity with others, God poured out His grace on me using those experiences to cause me to recognize my absolute and desperate need for Him!  

When we come to the conclusion that we cannot live this life apart from God, we find humility.

When battles come we can be thankful that God does bring good from them!  

Romans 8:28
Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 We are assured and know that God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

Abba, I cannot live this life apart from You.  I am in constant desperate need of Your wonderful grace.  Even now, the battle continues.  I will cling to You in humility knowing that You have the best in mind for me and my family.  I will always love You, Lord!  AMEN!!!