Psalm 29

Vs. 1, “Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.” King David was calling God’s people to worship a God who is mighty in strength and splendor (vs. 1-2). Question: How does God reveal His glory? Through His voice; the voice of the LORD thunders and strike with flashes of lightening (vs. 3-9). Question: Have you ever been in an intense storm? It’s quite jarring! Growing up in the Midwest, I experienced many storms that would knock out the power. They are so intense; it’s dangerous to be outside! King David understood that this was not “mother nature”, but it is the voice of the LORD. Such display of awesome power causes David and the people to cry out, “Glory!” Question: What is glory? In essence it signifies giving honor to God.

Regarding application…King over the Flood. Vs. 10, “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.” King David looks back to Genesis and remembers that the LORD’s display of power and grace was found in the mighty flood. The flood reminds us of His wrath, yet also His great promise (Genesis 8:21-22). Question: What reminded David of giving props to God? Being in awe of the display of God’s power! Living in southern California, thunderstorms come once in a blue moon. However, we do have rattling earthquakes! When the last one transpired, it humbled many of us who live in this area. It reminded me how fragile I am and how powerful God is. Our God is king over the storms, king over the earthquakes, and king over all the metaphorical floods that seem to engulf our lives. Give glory to Him!

Exodus 40

Vs. 2, “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.”  It took only about six months to build and construct the tabernacle.  The LORDS’s detail in the tabernacle structure should not surprise us; this is the God of all creation (vs. 1-33)!  Moses wisely obeys each of God’s commands in the placements of tabernacle items.  But, there was one last very important thing.  This tabernacle was not just a man-made structure, it was designed by God for a very important purpose.  Exodus climaxes with God dwelling with His people (vs. 34-38)

Regarding application…Constant Reminder.  Vs. 38, “So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.”  This indwelling of God’s spirit upon the tabernacle would serve as a constant reminder of His glory.  What a privilege the Israelites had to have such a tangible sign!  Yet, Jesus would remind us that we would have His presence is not confined to a mountain or temple (John 4).  We too have a constant reminder of His glory in our lives.  I have a golden necklace that was given to me by mom for my high school graduation gift.  I wear it 24/7.  Everyday, it reminds me of my mom and her love for me.  Likewise, God has given us His word, His church, and others to be a blessing in our lives and serve as constant reminders of His presence.

Exodus 34

Vs. 6, “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”  The LORD instructs Moses to come back up the mountain.  By His grace, we see the covenant renewed (vs. 10).  Even though the LORD is compassionate and loving, He is also gives out consequences (vs. 7).  Like the punishment of the second commandment (Exodus 20:5), the generation up to the fourth are affected because of sin.  After Moses pleads with God to ensure His renewal of His promise, the LORD goes on to repeat for Moses’ sake some of the highlights of what we’ve been reading over the past couple of weeks (vs. 10-28).  Moses stays up on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights and fasts (vs. 28).  Then a peculiar things transpires, as Moses descends the mountain, his face his glowing the glory of God (vs. 29-35)

Regarding application…God’s Forgiveness.  God gave the Israelites a second chance here at Mount Sinai.  I would suspect that we would be simply shocked by the countless  times God has given us “second” chances.  There will be times when we mess up.  There will be times when we doubt.  There will be times when we are ignorant.  God knows something we don’t…He knows everyone’s heart and mind.  To the Israelites credit, after they sinned, the vast majority did in fact repent.  Our interceder is not Moses today, but Jesus.  Question: Are there a golden calf in your life today?  Anything that you are idolizing?  Take time to ask the Spirit of God to convict your heart and turn to Him in repentance.  God is forgiving and faithful (I John 1:9).

Exodus 33

Vs. 5,  For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.”  While the LORD would spare the people, His presence to be with them was not guaranteed.  This is quite a revelation and it shocked the people into mourning (vs. 4-6).  Basically, they were totally taking God for granted.  Meanwhile, Moses sets up a temporary tent of meeting with the LORD (for the tabernacle had not yet been built) (vs. 7-11).  Once again, we see Moses’ personal relationship with the Lord and his plea to intercede on behalf of the sinful Israelites (vs. 12-17).  When Moses boldly asks God to show him His glory (vs. 18), part of the reasoning might have been because He wanted to solidify the new promise that God had just given him.  God lovingly obliged, but Moses could not see God and live, so he only was able to see the goodness of God from His back (vs. 19-23).

Regarding application…Pleasing God.  Vs. 17, “And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”  Because God was pleased with Moses, He now promises His presence will go with the Israelites.  Isn’t that amazing?  When we live a life that pleases God, others are blessed because of it!  When we fly in an airplane, the flight attendant always reminds us to put on our oxygen mask first before we can help another nearby.  If we are going to make an impact on this world, the first thing we should do is ensure a healthy and vibrant relationship with the Lord!  Notice how Moses nurtured his relationship with the Lord by meeting with Him (vs. 7-11).  We do the very same thing when we setup our own meeting place with the Lord.  Let us live a life that is pleasing to God!

I Corinthians 10

Vs. 11, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”  Paul spends the first half our chapter reviewing to the Corinthians the past sins of the Israelites in the wilderness (vs. 1-13).  Though many of the Christians were Gentile, it’s easy to assume they would have been quite aware of the Exodus story.  He is building upon this whole issue of the Corinthians not living in a way that pleases God, just as those who lived in during the Exodus.  Paul then addresses the whole issue of the Corinthians participating in idolatry.  Using an example of the Lord’s Supper, Paul wants to convey to them the danger of aligning themselves with the power of this evil world (vs. 14-22).  I really like Paul’s summarization in the end of this chapter as he concludes his point he started in chapter 8.  Looking closer at vs. 31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do…” Paul goes beyond just the issue of eating meat that was sacrificed to idols.  We can apply Paul’s exhortation to a much wider perspective.

Regarding application…Flee from Temptation.  Vs. 13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  Many years ago, Nancy Hook (who shared the Gospel to me) pointed me towards a Bible memorization toolkit done by the Navigators.  This particular verse was one of passages that have been etched in my memory for years!  And I can say by the grace of the Lord that this promise has helped me through the years in understanding and knowing that God can deliver me from tough situations.  I recall the summer after graduating from high school, I moved up to the big city, Indianapolis, IN (Go Pacers!).  There was coworker of mine who had invited a few of us over to her house.  We were all hanging out and having fun and then people started leaving, before I knew it, I was the only one left with this female coworker.  That night, temptation came.  At that time, I wasn’t faithful in my walk with the Lord, but this verse that I had memorized year earlier at 16 came flooding through my mind.  To make a long story short, God delivered me that night without giving into temptation!  Let us be wise in the things we participate in so that we don’t have to put ourselves in situations that can bring us down.

Acts 6

Vs. 1, “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.”  Earlier in Acts, we saw a vibrant and loving church sharing to all in need.  As a bit of time progressed we run into some issues (vs 1-7).  However, don’t be discouraged when such things happen.  Where God is working the enemy is also at work.  There was a specific way to take care of the needy; in this case it was the widows.  The Grecian Jews and the Hebraic Jews indicate that while they were both Jews, they were of different culture.  I work in Korean-American ministry and it would sort of a similar situation.  The first generation adults grew up in Korea and now live in America.  They still speak Korean.  The second generation Koreans are Korean, but they grew up in America and speak English.  So, instead of ignoring this issue, the apostles wisely raise up seven leaders (possibly among the Grecian Jews) and this begins to show us the model of the “deacon” in the church today.  As the church grows, we need to have people who are Godly continue to pick up the increased work and attention to all.  Among the seven deacons chose, we zero in on Stephen (vs. 8-15).  This reminds me of the lies of the Persian Leaders (Satraps) that were presented to Darius in Daniel 6.  Satan is the father of lies and the extent of brining witnesses to bear false testimony is sadly something that hasn’t changed for how the enemy works.  We must be very discerning!  In our next chapter, we will further investigate more about Stephen.

Regarding application…Reflecting God’s Glory.  Vs. 15, “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”  We know Stephen was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit (vs. 5).  Question: Is this how people would describe us?  This reminds me of the glory of God shone through Moses’ face coming down from the mountain (Exodus 34).  One of the most Godly people I ever met was Bertha Holt.  She and her husband Harry Holt founded Holt International.  Holt International is world-wide adoption agency that has placed so many orphans into homes.  I had the opportunity to meet Bertha on several occasions and I will tell you that I understand Luke’s descrpiption of Stephen in our passage today.  Bertha radiated the glow of God’s glory.  It was amazing.  It was as if it was a minor miracle that God would manifest himself so evidently into someone.  Brothers & sisters, this is something we should humbly seek.  That when people see us, they see God’s glory!

Revelation 21

.”  God will make that which is imperfect…perfect.  Consider it an “extreme makeover” for the earth!  God is redecorating and renovating the earth as we know it.  No matter how much “Green” we go…only God can make it perfect.  And what wonderful changes there will be when we see it for the first time!  This city will unite people from both Old Tesatment times and New Testament times…there will be no need for Temple, for God will dwell personally with us…there will be no need for natural light (for God’s glory will be light enough)…and there will be no need for night (for night symbolizes death, sin, sorrow).  It is an enourmous city…a city that measures 1500 miles on every side (that’s 2/3 the size of the United States).earthVs. 1, ”

Regarding application…God’s Glory.  Vs. 6, “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  The most important aspect of this new Heaven’s and Earth…is God’s eternal glory!  Question: Why would Jesus give the apostle John this preview?  To give all of us the reminder that Jesus is going to prepare a wonderful place for us (John 14:1-6).  But another aspect about God’s glory is that it is not something God is holding back until we reach Heaven….God’s glory is something that was promised to us when Jesus asceneded to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:8).  We sell ourselves far too short in this life.  We give the excuse that we can’t be perfect so why try in the first place.  When you come into the presence of God and see the Glory of the Risen Lord by faith…something changes in our lives!  God’s glory gives us the ability to not just wait for the new Heaven’s and Earth…God’s glory gives us the ability to bring God’s presence in the lives of people today!!!  The preview and glimpse of the New Heaven is only to motivate us that when we have done His will…He has such a wondeful place in store for us!