OYB February 14
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Feb 13
Regardless of the origins of Valentine's Day, Jesus LOVES you today, and forever! Every day is a great day to celebrate His love. We love because He FIRST loved us. In fact today, is it any coincidence that we will read about the Ultimate Love Story in His-Story?
Chapter 37: Here we find the description of the Ark of the Covenant. I found a unique and Biblical perspective as to the future contents of the Ark (you can visit this website to learn even more): the clay jar of manna, Aaron's budding staff, and the stone tablets (Hebrews 9:4). I have edited the web version (following 5 paragraphs) for a little more fullness and clarity.
These three articles were preserved in the ark throughout Israel's history as an unpleasant symbol of man's sins and shortcomings: Manna-a reminder of how they rejected God's provision (Exodus 16:32), Aaron's staff-a reminder of how they rejected God's authority (Numbers 17:10), and the Stone Tablets-a reminder of how they had rejected God's right standard of living (Exodus 25:16). But today, these items have taken on a different meaning since Jesus Christ redeemed us from our sins.
Clay jar of manna: When Jesus donned a mortal human body and came to earth, He didn't reject God's provision. Rather, He demonstrated the necessity of existing on God's provision when He stated, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (Matthew 4:4)." Jesus also became God's lasting provision to us in a perishable container (we are described as clay pots). Jesus, the true Bread from Heaven came to impart eternal life.
"Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.'" (John 6:32, 48-50)
Aaron's budding staff: Jesus didn't reject God's authority. Instead, He submitted Himself to the Father's will and died on the cross. "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me (John 6:38)." Through His obedience, He was established as our highest authority. "Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me...'" Matthew 28:18.
Stone Tablets containing the Ten Commandments: Jesus didn't reject God's right standard of living. He demonstrated a life of perfect obedience to God's Torah, becoming our perfect sacrifice and intercessor. "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8)!" Not only did He keep the Torah, from the beginning, Jesus is the Torah. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1)."
The Ultimate Love Story!! Modern day (true) fairytale (sorry, boys, indulge me for a moment). The valiant Prince comes to save His beloved from the evil villain. He courageously gives His life for her in a bloody battle. But this is no earthly Prince. After rising from the dead, He comes back on a white horse to rescue His Betrothed once and for all (Revelation 19:11-21), and carries her to His glorious Castle in His glorious Kingdom where He makes her His Bride (Revelation 21). And they live happily ever after... See what I mean? All lies are based on a truth somewhere, even the notion of fairytales!
34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Questions for reflection:
After reading all about the detailed, minute, elaborate specifications for God's Tabernacle, His Ark of the Covenant, and His altar of sacrifice, do you think that God may also have some elaborate, inspiring, detailed plans for anyone who will give Him free license to construct their lives according to His glorious plan? Do you know that through the work of Yeshua, YOU have become His Tabernacle, His holy dwelling place? Do you think He might take that every bit as seriously as the construction of His original structures?
Have you ever thought about His-Story as a great romance, better than any fairytale? Did you know that Jesus wants to be your greatest Lover? Have you ever stopped to think that He made you to love being loved and to love giving love? All Love comes from God, because God is Love. Bask in that thought today.