“But also look ahead: I’m sending Elijah the prophet to clear the way for the Big Day of God—the decisive Judgment Day! He will convince parents to look after their children and children to look up to their parents. If they refuse, I’ll come and put the land under a curse.” – Malachi 4:5-6
One thing I have learned over the years of mentoring children is that there are problems in families. I’m sure this is not a surprise to anyone since we are born into a sinful nature, but I always hope that relationships can get better in families. I can’t control this; I can only encourage.
It is evident that we are living the curse of the sinful nature. We see children suffering through drugs, sex, crime, and more. There is always hope because of Jesus. The children see Jesus as we who are his temple walk into the schools to spend time with them. This gives them hope. It may be the only Jesus they see.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to show who you are to the children. I pray that I always put you in front of me for all to see.
Faith Tip: Is there an opportunity you know of to show Jesus to a child? Let the Lord lead you in the call.
When family or friends come to visit, we want to make preparations before their arrival. We want to make sure the house is clean and orderly, that special food is prepared, and that other people will know of their coming. The focus is on the guest and their needs.
When the prophet Isaiah wrote the words in the scripture above, he was foretelling of the role John the Baptist would have—preparing the way of the Lord. Jesus is coming again. Who is called to prepare the way? We are. It begins with our own individual cleaning and putting things in order in our heart. We are also called to help others know about the “Guest” that is coming so that they also can be prepared. This will be his last visit to the world we know. The ones prepared will see the new world that will be theirs for eternity.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for Jesus and pray that I can prepare my heart for his next visit as well as help others be prepared. I look forward to that wonderful day. Amem
Faith Tip: Are you ready for when Jesus comes again? If not, prepare the way for the Lord in your heart.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20).
I’m learning to knit socks. For those of you who don’t know, there are four double-pointed needles used in the process. I first had to practice the knit and purl stitches and then attempt to go on to making the socks. This was quite the process as the stitches were first very loose, and then I would sometimes make them too tight. Repeatedly, I would need to undo the stitches for I would see a mistake I made, and then start again. It didn’t help when Charlie, my yellow lab, “captured” the yarn ball and took off running with it getting tangled in the yarn. I could give up and go out to buy socks and completely forget about knitting. Yet, as I recast the stitches on and begin again, I can see that my stitches are looking much better. I feel good about that.
The Law of God was made for us to know how to live our lives. It was in the Old Testament a requirement to be fulfilled, and if it wasn’t, then a sacrifice needed to be made. Try as they might, the people of God could not live by the Law totally without sinning. This fact hasn’t changed even today. Jesus was the sacrifice made for our sins. Because of Jesus, the Law of God was fulfilled. Does that mean we don’t need the Law, that we should turn our back on it and forget it? We need to continue practicing living the way the Law has shown us for God has a purpose for it—to grow us into the image of Christ. We can feel good about the growing we have done and will do knowing God wants us to be the best we can be.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the ultimate sacrifice needed to fulfill the Law and save me. In response, I want to be the best I can be for you. I pray that I can practice living your Law daily and see new growth as I am being transformed by your Spirit. Amen
Faith Tip: Ask God to reveal to you an area of the Law that he wants you to practice today.
Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. (Hebrews 9:1-4)
God always provides, doesn’t he? In the Old Testament, there was a need to worship God as the Isrealites traveled in the desert for 40 years. God provided the Tabernacle. It was a location for God’s presence to be felt and worshiped. It had meaning in every detail. God also had restrictions on who could enter because of his holiness. The people would gather outside of the tent to worship God. The priests would do their ministry in the first room, but the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place once a year to offer sacrifices for himself and the people. This met their need at that time, but it wasn’t enough.
Then Jesus came. In being the one true sacrifice for all sin, as he died on the cross the curtain was ripped in two in the Tabernacle showing access to all to come into the Most Holy Place, because the need to be cleansed from sin for all was fulfilled once and for all. We are now Tabernacles that walk and talk because the Holy Spirit was put in us for the purpose of God to reside in each one of us. God wants to be with us. He wants us to have full access to him.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that I can come to you with confidence knowing your great love for me and that you are a God that listens and acts. I pray that I never take that wonderful gift for granted. Amen.
Faith tip: Take a look of all that had to be done for the creation of and ministering in the Tabernacle, and compare it to our access of God today. Give God thanks!