We were never meant to go thru life alone!


We were created to have relationships! We were created to have a relationship with God!

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. –from Ecclesiastes 4

What the real plan is to have relationships with God in the center of them! Be it a marriage or a friendship, when we have Jesus in the center, the relationships are stronger! It’s great to have friends and not be alone, it’s better when those relationships have Jesus in the center! We find this when we run into challenging times for we have someone to speak hope, speak truth, speak love, speak wisdom, speak discernment into our lives! We aren’t alone to try and figure it out ourselves! We aren’t alone to try and make ends meet!

We find the strength of this when we get married! When we are both focused on Jesus it always pulls us together towards the center rather than apart!

7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” –from Mark 10

So don’t try to go it alone! Always walk with Jesus! And then whomever you bring into the relationship will be able to tie off making the relationship from that point forward stronger!


Better Together

Day 52: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 5:15-23, Mark 6:6-29, Exodus 29, Exodus 30

Let’s checkout through today’s devotional and readings how two is better than one, two is stronger than one…but we need to have Jesus in the center to make it complete!

1. Marriage: two become one

15Drink water from your own cistern,running water from your own well. 16Should your springs overflow in the streets,your streams of water in the public squares? 17Let them be yours alone,never to be shared with strangers. 18May your fountain be blessed,and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always,may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21For your ways are in full view of the Lord,and he examines all your paths. 22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23For lack of discipline they will die,led astray by their own great folly.

–from Proverbs 5

Marriage is a source of blessings! Marriage is a source of joy! Marriage is a source of love! Marriage is a source of grace! Marriage is a source of satisfaction! Marriage is a source of romance!

Intimacy – closeness · togetherness · affinity · rapport · attachment · familiarity · friendliness · friendship · amity · affection · warmth · confidence · chumminess

The emotional bonds and the physical bonds with Jesus in the center becomes unbreakable! Don’t allow it to be stolen or robbed from you! Don’t allow yourself to be tempted or lied to about things being better outside of it! Draw closer to God when things get hard (both of you) and rather than falling apart you will fall closer together and the relationship will get stronger!

The devil comes to rob, kill, and destroy! The devil doesn’t want you to have true love and true joy! The devil wants to get you in a weakened positions so that he can tempt you with something that you normally wouldn’t and couldn’t be tempted by if you were sticking close to God! Like the wolf that goes after the weak or the lamb that ran away from the flock, the devil is looking for someone who has stepped away and is trying to go it alone! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be lured into adultery and risk losing what you already have! God sees you! You can’t hide anything from Him! You can’t hide your words, your thoughts or your actions! So stick close to Him, draw close to Him and He will draw close to you! Let’s love our spouse like God loves us! Ephesians puts it this way comparing how we should love each other as Jesus loves us!

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. –from Ephesians 5

Neither should position themselves over the other but more that the relationship is aligned with the will of God so that their spouse is loved and respected!


2. Mission: two by two

6He was amazed at their lack of faith.Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12They went out and preached that people should repent. 13They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. 14King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15Others said, “He is Elijah.”And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” 16But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!” 17For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. 21Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 24She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. 25At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. –from Mark 6

Even when Jesus sent out His disciples, He didn’t send them out in 12 directions but rather He sent them two by two. We weren’t created to be alone and so He gave us one another! Not being married doesn’t mean you have to be alone and incomplete! Jesus wasn’t married and He was and is the most complete person to have ever walked the earth! Jesus provided us another way to be complete and modeled it out for us! Jesus was going out serving others and He taught His disciples to go out and do the same! He gave them power and authority and then sent them out two by two. By sending them out in pairs, Jesus provided them one another when things get tough, one another when they needed someone to talk to or be encouraged, one another so they wouldn’t be alone! We read above in Ecclesiastes the importance of two! Imagine the comradery! Imagine the relationship building! Imagine the celebrations watching all God was doing in and through them! Imagine the satisfaction of accomplishing the work that Jesus had sent them out to do!

Let’s not allow anything to get in the way of us having a relationship with God! Let’s make that be our first and highest priority relationship! You would hate to gain the world and lose your soul! It is good to press on with moral courage leaning on God and trusting in Him! Let’s not go it alone! Let’s find someone else to come alongside or to come alongside us! Let’s not go it alone and be beaten down! Let’s not go it alone and grow weary! Let’s not go it alone and struggle! Let’s not go it alone and try to deal with the pressures of working life alone! Let’s join together and be people who blow wind into the sails of others! Let’s join together and be people who help encourage and love on others! Let’s join together and share the joy of the Lord with others so they too can be upbeat and radiant! Don’t go it alone! Pray for someone who can come alongside you! Remember how

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. –from Ecclesiastes 4


3. Ministry: two lambs

Consecration of the Priests

1“This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without defect. 2And from the finest wheat flour make round loaves without yeast, thick loaves without yeast and with olive oil mixed in, and thin loaves without yeast and brushed with olive oil. 3Put them in a basket and present them along with the bull and the two rams. 4Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 5Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. 6Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred emblem to the turban. 7Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. 8Bring his sons and dress them in tunics 9and fasten caps on them. Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance.
“Then you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.
10“Bring the bull to the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 11Slaughter it in the Lord’s presence at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 12Take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. 13Then take all the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14But burn the bull’s flesh and its hide and its intestines outside the camp. It is a sin offering.
15“Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 16Slaughter it and take the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar. 17Cut the ram into pieces and wash the internal organs and the legs, putting them with the head and the other pieces. 18Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.
19“Take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 20Slaughter it, take some of its blood and put it on the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then splash blood against the sides of the altar. 21And take some blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated.
22“Take from this ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh. (This is the ram for the ordination.) 23From the basket of bread made without yeast, which is before the Lord, take one round loaf, one thick loaf with olive oil mixed in, and one thin loaf. 24Put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and have them wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. 25Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar along with the burnt offering for a pleasing aroma to the Lord, a food offering presented to the Lord. 26After you take the breast of the ram for Aaron’s ordination, wave it before the Lord as a wave offering, and it will be your share.
27“Consecrate those parts of the ordination ram that belong to Aaron and his sons: the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. 28This is always to be the perpetual share from the Israelites for Aaron and his sons. It is the contribution the Israelites are to make to the Lord from their fellowship offerings.
29“Aaron’s sacred garments will belong to his descendants so that they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30The son who succeeds him as priest and comes to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place is to wear them seven days.
31“Take the ram for the ordination and cook the meat in a sacred place. 32At the entrance to the tent of meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. 33They are to eat these offerings by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no one else may eat them, because they are sacred. 34And if any of the meat of the ordination ram or any bread is left over till morning, burn it up. It must not be eaten, because it is sacred.
35“Do for Aaron and his sons everything I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them. 36Sacrifice a bull each day as a sin offering to make atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it. 37For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy.
38“This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. 40With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning—a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.
42“For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. There I will meet you and speak to you; 43there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.
44“So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

Exodus 29

The Altar of Incense

1“Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense. 2It is to be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high—its horns of one piece with it. 3Overlay the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it. 4Make two gold rings for the altar below the molding—two on each of the opposite sides—to hold the poles used to carry it. 5Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 6Put the altar in front of the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law—before the atonement cover that is over the tablets of the covenant law—where I will meet with you.
7“Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. 8He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come. 9Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. 10Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord.”

Atonement Money

11Then the Lord said to Moses, 12“When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. 13Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord. 14All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord. 15The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.”

Basin for Washing

17Then the Lord said to Moses, 18“Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. 20Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the Lord, 21they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”

Anointing Oil

22Then the Lord said to Moses, 23“Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.
30“Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. 31Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. 33Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.’ ”

Incense

34Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord. 38Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”

Exodus 30

Today’s devotional reading concludes with the following notes…

The elaborate ceremonies we read about in this passage emphasise the meticulous care with which a holy God was to be approached. It was the outward adorning that gave the priests glory, beauty and holiness. In the New Testament, the garments that lead to inner beauty and holiness come from God’s Spirit in your heart.

In these Old Testament ceremonies, everything had to be multiplied. That is why they needed two rams (29:1,3), two gold rings (30:4) and, most significantly, two lambs (29:38). The multiplication of implements and sacrifices was a sign of God’s greatness. They pointed to the inadequacies of any animal sacrifice or ritual to truly bring us to God. Two is better than one – but it is still not enough.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that all these regulations have been set aside: ‘The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless’ (Hebrews 7:18). Instead of two lambs, one perfect lamb was sacrificed for us – Jesus. ‘He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (v.27). We no longer need a multiplication of sacrifices.

Atonement was necessary (Exodus 29:33,37; 30:10,16) and required ‘the blood of the atoning sin offering’ (30:10).

Jesus shed his own blood for us. Paul describes his death on the cross as a ‘sacrifice of atonement’ (Romans 3:25).

It was only through sacrifice that the priests could approach the altar ‘to minister’ (Exodus 30:20). ‘Ministry’ means service to God. It is the one sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that enables us to be involved in ministry (service of God and of others).

from Day 52: Bible In One Year 2017

 

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