Good morning Kingdom Seekers!
I heard so many positive comments regarding our guest. Heaps of you got a whole lot out of it and enjoyed hearing The Word from a different voice and paradigm. Rick really challenged some folks in The Word and in life. He brought out some really good points and the way he wove the three blessings into the lives of Abraham, Jesus, and then to us was masterful. I was blessed to have a day to enjoy and to be really fed in some areas. It helps to be hungry, amen? And we can only be hungry be eating more. Remember it is not like natural hunger.
Thank you to everyone who talked to him afterwards. That is so very important. To acknowledge him with a thanks, a question, or an introduction from as many of you as possible is part of being a Kingdom Subject. Recognizing his scholasticism and dedication to The Word and teaching it to others was so very important. I know that many of you did that. You blessed me in that.
Numbers is so interesting!! Whenever I read I try and picture what things looked like. I let my imagination work a bit to see it. When I came to the section on the encampment around the tabernacle (recall Father recapturing His desire to dwell with us) and how the various tribes are laid out, I had trouble seeing it. So I found a diagram of what that may have looked like and attached it. Also an artistic rendition of the pillar of cloud and fire which rested over the tabernacle. What a sight that must have been.
A couple of observations:
1. Notice the location of the tribes around the tabernacle. The tribe of Judah is placed right at the entrance on the east side. Recall that Judah means ‘praise.’ The way into the presence of the Lord Almighty is through praise. It is only when one puts aside all of the stuff of the life around, enacts praise of some sort, enters His gates with thanksgiving, that The Presence can be encountered. I think this layout was purposeful. A type and shadow illustration for us. Also, notice which tribes are camped on either side of Judah, Zebulon and Issachar, which mean ‘labor’ and ‘rest’ respectively. So regardless of what we are doing in life whether, toiling or sabbathing (not really a word), engaging in our work or about to take a nap, praise is in the middle of it all! Also, this side of the camp was always facing east. The direction of the sunrise. I think the picture there is that we are to start the day with praise. Early in the morning our incense of thanks and dedication should rise to Father as an aroma pleasing to Him. I want to be a part of the crew that goes into The Presence of Father via praise- not part of the pedestrian, superficial crowd who just hang outside. If you look at the numbers, there are not many who actually go in. Likewise there are many who call them Christians who may be part of the overall group, but few press into The Presence of Father, who actually enter the gates to go in to fellowship with Him. And it only happens when one enters through praise. What a beautiful picture!
2. I was captured today with the amount of work it had to take to tear down and set up this whole deal. Certainly if all you had to worry about was your tent and family, that would be no big deal. However, the Levites, Kohathites, Gershites, and the Merarites all had to work on the tabernacle and all the articles involved. They were responsible to transport all of the poles, ropes, covers, stakes, banners, articles of service- candlestick, ark, basin, forks, knives, etc.. I wonder if everyone pitched in to help the priests and servants out so that they could tend to their responsibility without the stress of other things and getting burned out? Father was incredibly ingenious in keeping them busy as they traveled through the wilderness. Not just sitting around grumbling.
I was thinking again about what the tear down and set up of the tabernacle means for us today. Probably so that all of us have to pitch in to make the local church work. We all need to be faithful in serving in one way or another. Whether it is hospitably- greeting all we see, taking care of little ones in the nursery, bringing snacks, playing guitar, vacuuming, taking out the trash, leading a Small Group, working the sound board, picking up trash after service, faithfully bringing our whole tithe into our storehouse, paying the bills, keeping track of the finances, bringing a meal to someone, inviting someone over for a meal and fellowship, interceding in prayer for our family of believers, speaking highly of everyone with gracious words, blessing someone financially with an offering of appreciation. I could go on and on. Let’s all pitch in and give someone who has been serving in an area a break for a bit. Life is so much better when we are about doing something for others, looking outside of ourselves, living with purpose, and moving in a positive direction. What a glorious picture of industriousness and service to each other and Father.
The next time you see someone who serves our body, thank them for what they do. Thank Ethel for faithfully paying our bills. Thank Lynn and Doug for keeping the sound system in good order. Thank Lee for putting out coffee and snacks every week. Thank Heidi for her beautiful voice helping us into His presence. Thank Holly for cleaning our toilets. Thank Karen for teaching our kids- and those are just a few of our incredibly faithful servants! You be creative in how that sounds and what it looks like.
Boy reading through the Bible is really challenging me in what life is supposed to look like. I love serving Jesus with you. Thank you for making it a joy! Pastor Mark.