Old Testament In a Year: February 19 – Exodus 29, 30

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Exodus 29, 30
Focus Verse: You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. – Genesis 30:30

Consecration is no longer a special ritual that is reserved for pastors and priests. It is God’s desire that you not only believe in Him, but also consecrate yourself to Him. You cannot completely live the life of Christ without giving or consecrating yourself fully to God.

Present your body as a living sacrifice to God. This is holy to Him. This is well pleasing to Him.

When Moses consecrated Aaron, his sons, the altar of burnt offering, and the altar’s utensils, they became holy to the Lord. Whoever touched them also became holy.

When you consecrate yourself to God, you become holy to Him. And you become holy to others. When your life touches others’ lives, their lives should become holy too. You are set apart by God to be used for God. You no longer belong to yourself. Your life is no longer for your satisfaction and your glory, but for His. You say, God, I’m for you like You became for me. I do not live for myself. I am living for You. I’m all yours. Do with me what You will.

Chandani Doshi, Jialin Shi, Bonnie Wang, Charlene Xia, Tania Yu and Grace Li: ‘Tactile’ Device Creators

Team Tactile (L-R): Chandani Doshi, Jialin Shi, Bonnie Wang, Charlene Xia, Tania Yu and Grace Li. (IMAGE: COURTESY OF TEAM TACTILE)

Team Tactile (L-R): Chandani Doshi, Jialin Shi, Bonnie Wang, Charlene Xia, Tania Yu and Grace Li. (IMAGE: COURTESY OF TEAM TACTILE)

Visit Team Tactile online at: www.teamtactile.com
Twitter: @tactilemit

With just a few hours left to build a groundbreaking gadget, things weren’t going as smoothly as planned. Continue reading

Old Testament In a Year: February 18 – Exodus 27, 28

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Exodus 27, 28
Focus Verse: You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood. – Exodus 28:3

By His wisdom and generosity, God has given you ability and filled you with skill to do something special for Him. By His divine inspiration, He has given you a creative and unique gift. It may be in art or architecture or athletics, but whatever it is in, you have everything you need to succeed.

God did not create you to do something without also giving you the skills to do it.

When God created you, He created you for something specific and for something special. Don’t rely on your own strength to do what God created you to do. Rely on Him. Rely on what He has given you, the skills that He has filled you with.

Old Testament In a Year: February 17 – Exodus 25, 26

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Exodus 25, 26
Focus Verse: “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. – Exodus 25:2

What is your contribution to God. You may think that you have nothing to give Him, but nothing could be further from the truth. You have much to give to God and you have much to contribute to His work.

God did not need the contributions of the people of Israel to build His sanctuary. Just as He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, God could have said, “Let there be a sanctuary.” And at His spoken word, there would have been a sanctuary just as He wanted it to be with gold and silver and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet, fragrant incense and onyx stones and acacia wood. God didn’t need humans to build His sanctuary, but He wanted them too. He wanted them to be a part of His work. He wanted them to participate in making a place for Him to dwell among them.

God doesn’t need your contributions either, but He wants them. He wants you to be a part of what He is doing. He wants you to help in accomplishing His will on earth as it is done in Heaven.

What do I have to contribute? you may ask.

Everything. You can contribute yourself by dedicating your heart and life to Jesus the Christ. You can contribute your talent. You can contribute your time.

All that you offer with a willing heart, God will accept with a grateful, Thank you. Thank you for thinking of Me. 

Old Testament In a Year: February 16 – Exodus 23, 24

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Exodus 23, 24
Focus Verse: Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” – Exodus 24:7

What is your response to the Word of God? May it be like that of the people of Israel. God is pleased when you hear His Word or read His Word and say, All that You have said, I will do. I will be obedient to You, God.

However, God will not force you to obey His Word. He wants your obedience to Him to come of your own free will.

Hearing alone will not bring you closer to God, but heart obedience will draw you closer to God and will draw God closer to you.

God gave His Word for your good. The more you consider His commands, the more you will see how they will benefit you and bless your life. In the Word, you will find direction and guidance, peace and forgiveness, love and joy, freedom from death and the way to eternal spiritual life.

Women of the Word: Rufus’ Mother

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In Romans 16:13, Paul gives a shout-out to Rufus and his mother. He calls Rufus “chosen in the Lord” and identifies Rufus’ mother as a woman “who has been a mother to me, too.” The Bible gives scarce specifics about Paul’s family. We know that his father was a Pharisee. In Acts 23:6, Paul says, “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.” We also know that he had a sister who raised her son to be brave. No mention is made of Paul’s mother, so we can only speculate about who she was. Perhaps she died while Paul was young and he grew up without knowing his mother. Or perhaps she was a devout Jew who was proud of the Saul version of her son as he persecuted Christians, but was displeased when he became a Christian and changed his name to Paul.

This latter speculation is quite possible. Jesus often warned His twelve disciples (of which Paul was not one), that they risked losing everything – their lives, their friends, and even the affection of their families – by choosing to follow Him. When Paul gave his heart to Jesus the Christ, Paul’s mother may have disowned him, and Rufus’ mother may have taken him in and loved him as she did her own son.

Whether Paul grew up without a mother or whether he and his mother just weren’t on good terms, it is clear that he found a maternal figure in Rufus’ mother, from whom we can learn to care for others. Continue reading

Old Testament In a Year: February 15 – Exodus 21, 22

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Exodus 21, 22
Focus Verse: “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. – Exodus 22:21

Before you judge a poor person, mistreat a refugee, or look down on an immigrant, remember how you once were. And if you were never once like that poor person or refugee or immigrant, place yourself in their shoes and think how you would want to be treated.

You would want to be treated with kindness, not hate; love, not hostility, equality, not a double standard; compassion, not oppression.

Remember how you felt on your first day in a new environment, around unknown people. You wanted to be welcomed, not shunned; accepted, not ostracized.

As you want to be treated, so you should treat others. Reject malice and show mercy to sojourners and strangers alike, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

Old Testament In a Year: February 14 – Exodus 19, 20

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Exodus 19, 20
Focus Verse: Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. – Genesis 19:17

What will you do when you meet God?

When glory meets dust, when Heaven touches earth, when God and humankind stand face to face. Will you tremble? Will you be too afraid to speak?

Thick clouds. Thunders and lightnings. Smoke and fire. Glory and grace. Peace and power.

You can only dream of what your experience will be like when you meet God and hear His voice, feel His majesty, and bask in His presence. You can only dream of how your tears will flow, not for sadness, but for joy. Or how your heart will pound, not because of anxiety, but because of anticipation.

You and God. Creator and creation. Father and child. Together.

Old Testament In a Year: February 13 – Exodus 16, 17, 18

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Exodus 16, 17, 18
Focus Verse: And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. – Exodus 18:9

Don’t keep God’s goodness to yourself. Share it with ours.

Tell your story. Tell what great things God has done for you. Tell how He made a way out of no way. Tell how He delivered you out of hardship. When others hear, they too will rejoice. They will bless the Lord because He has blessed you.

Introduce others to God’s goodness, so that they will testify like Jethro, Now I know that the Lord is greater.