First off tonight, I want to point two new things out. To my left ( <– That way) you may notice that the menu has been updated. For those on Twitter or Facebook, your support would be greatly appreciated!
Tonight was life group night.
I came out of this really challenged, actually. We started off the evening debriefing over the sermon from Sunday morning about loving the house of God, and having the right heart, the right mindset, the right attitudes, the right behaviours that are in accordance with Jesus’ life and God’s heart. I loved the way it was put on Sunday morning, in asking that if we were to walk into the house of God – what calibre of people would we expect to find there?
I love the word calibre. According to my favourite online dictionary, Merriam-Webster, the word calibre can be defined as: a degree of excellence or importance.
So basically, what level of excellence would we expect to find in the house of God?
God’s challenged me with one core thing since I renewed our relationship, and that has been the example of Jesus. The main thing God’s been saying to me, is to live a life that is an example of how Jesus lived. Jesus was unblemished, perfect, the holy and undeserving sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind. If anyone is the beacon of excellence when it comes to life, it’s him.
Ultimately, the calibre of people in the house of God should be demonstrating the highest degrees of excellence, shouldn’t they?
We’re not perfect, I’m certainly not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.
The absolute centre of Jesus’ life and ministry, as I see it, was love. Love for God, and love for others. When we let love come first in our lives, then we start to be examples of what Christ was like.
Now we’re onto the priestly garments. Again, like with the tabernacle, this chapter goes into massive amounts of detail about how the Ephod, the Breastpiece and the other priestly garments were made.
And how about those details?
They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut strands to be worked into the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen – the work of a skilled craftsman. ~ Expdus 39:3
They made gold thread to weave into the priestly garments. That just amazes me…
But after it was all made, they brought the whole lot to Moses. Again, so much detail, instead of just saying it was all brought for inspection, they felt it necessary to point out each item individually. From the incense and bread to the ark of the Testimony (and its poles), everything’s actually mentioned.
Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them. ~ Exodus 39:43
Going back to last night’s discussion about giving God our every effort when we’re doing things – here’s the “payoff”, so to speak. When we give God everything, when we put our entire heart and soul before him and put it into the things that he wants us to do – then he will bless us.
Tonight was the last Sunday night service at Energizer – at least for the foreseeable future.
It was a good night though. We had “our” One50 Dancers come and perform at church tonight, and they were great again!
There was one little piece of message that one of the girls from One50 shared, that I was really struck by in particular. She talked about being on the bus, travelling through Tasmania and looking out at our mountains.
For those who don’t know, Tasmania’s beautiful, and has some amazing mountains.
But anyway, she said that as she looked at the mountains, she could see them as the problems that we face. We face all sorts of problems every day, and sometimes we stare up at them like we’re at the foot of a mountain, and just shake our head thinking that there’s no way that we can climb it. As we look at the mountains, though, we can remember that someone has already climbed it before us; they’ve proven that it can be done. We can be assured that as we stand at the foot of that mountain, that someone’s gone before us and already reached the top, they’ve shown that the mountain can be scaled.
She also pointed out that it’s just a single step at a time. We don’t have to run up the mountain, we can just take it one small step at a time. It may take us a while to get to the top, but if we just concentrate on each little step, then eventually we’ll make it.
I was really touched and encouraged by this.
So as I read about Bezalel and Oholiab I came back to thinking about gifts and talents that God gives us. God says to Moses that he has filled Bezalel:
“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – “ ~ Exodus 31:2
We’ve all been given gifts, skills, abilities and knowledge – and Bezalel was given these gifts, specifically so that he could build God’s meeting place. You’ve got to think, the stuff that this guy had to make was pretty intense and detailed; he was making items to actually present directly to God himself! That, I would think, would be pretty intimidating.
Wow, interesting interruption – God’s just interrupted my thougth process to point out that he doesn’t care about what quality of work we think we can offer him. He only cares that we do.
I’m getting this picture of a parent, whose daughter comes home with a finger painting telling dad that the painting’s a portrait of him. Of course it doesn’t look anything like him, it’s just a massive swirl of blues, reds, yellows, greens, oranges, pinks, all mixed together to make a myriad of other shades and colours. That’s not what the Dad sees, though. He looks down at his daughter, holding up the painting and all that he feels is warmth, admiration and love, it fills his heart and swells in his chest, because his daughter painted this picture of him.
And that’s the way God looks at it. He’s given us gifts, and even though we might feel that what comes out when we use them is nothing more than a messy swirl of colours, God doesn’t see that. He sees us using that gift for him; he sees the painting as a testimony of our love and adoration for him, and he returns that adoration and love straight back to us.
He is a father, adoring of his children, every one.