Jesus, Our Showbread

The Bread of the Presence, or showbread, was placed daily in the Holy Place in both the Tabernacle and the Temple (Exodus 25:30). Once a week, new bread replaced the week-old loaves and the priests ate the old loaves (1Chronicles 23: 29). Jesus is our showbread in the Heavenly Tabernacle.

 

Bread is a continual theme throughout the Bible. The term “bread” in the Bible refers to food in general or is used symbolically as well. To break bread with someone was an act of fellowship and communion (Genesis 14:18).

 

Unleavened bread reminds us of the Israelites exodus from Egypt to a new life in Canaan (Exodus 12:39). Even when Israel rebelled and refused to enter the Promised Land, God sustained them. He gave them bread from heaven – manna – that preserved their lives (Exodus 16:2-4).

 

For Christians, this trek is symbolic of our walk with the Lord in the Kingdom of God. Christians know that in Jesus, who is our True Bread of Life, our lives are lifted up above the mundane, earthly level, and we abide in the heavenly realm with Him (Ephesians 2:6).

 

God’s Word is also our daily bread. As we read, study and share His word, we find that we lose our desire for the matters of this life and this world. Jesus said that His food was to do the will of His Father (John 4:34). As we mature spiritually, this is true in our life as well.

 

God provides for all of our needs. Our bread of heaven, Jesus Christ, nourishes our lives and keeps us safe as we sojourn on this earth toward eternity with Him in heaven. Bread is a powerful symbol of God’s provision. Manna gave temporary life, but Jesus gives us eternal life John 6:35, 51).

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You are our bread of life and our living water (Deuteronomy 8:3; John 1: 4). Your Word allows us to live spiritually (Luke 4:4; Hebrews 5:12). Your Word is more necessary to us than food and it is as sweet as honey (Jeremiah 15:16; Job 23:12; Psalm 119:103).

 

Yet, You abundantly provide for our physical needs as well (John 6:1-15). We give thanks to You, for You are good. Your loving kindness endures forever. I give thanks to You, Lord, for Your unfailing love and Your wonderful acts to the children of men, for You satisfy the thirsty soul and You fill the hungry soul with good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

Each day, God gives us our daily bread as we read His Word, fellowship with Christ in us, and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit each moment of the day.  – Matthew 6:11

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Faith, Hope and Love – Part 2 – Hope

Life hurts – there is no doubt about that. It knocks us for a loop, and we fall flat on our humiliated face, or into a deep well of despair. If all we have is human dependence, we are truly miserable.

 

Our only recourse is to muster our inner strength and to pull our self up yet again with our waning human resources. Each time this occurs, we get weaker and more despondent. Many people eventually run out of steam (Luke 21:26-28).

 

Our only and best hope in this life and the next is to trust in God’s love through the saving grace of Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross. He is all we need (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

When we focus on Christ instead of our circumstance, He stands with us and in us in the midst of our trials. With Christ in us we shall never, ever be shaken from His solid Rock of sufficiency as our everlasting hope (Psalm 16:8, 62:6, 112:6).

 

His love is better than life and our lips praise Him for His goodness, love and provision of all of our needs for every moment of our life (Psalm 63). His peace and joy embrace us through every negative aspect of life.

 

Jesus walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23), comforting us with His direction and divine presence in our life. The peace He gives transcends anything this world has to offer and replaces all of our fears (Philippians 4:7).

 

His eternal hope shrouds our despair and we can do anything He calls us to do through His strength within us (1 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 3:16). He sustains us each moment of our day with victory in Jesus.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we hope only in You and thank You for Your divine presence in Christ in us (Galatians 2:20). We eventually lose our way without You to keep us safely tucked beneath the shelter of Your wings. We cry out to You and You hear us and deliver us from all of our troubles (Psalm 34:17).

 

We hunger after Your holiness and desire to walk only in Your ways (Matthew 5:6). We trust in no one other than You. You are continually with us and fight for us (Mark 4:37-40). You joy over us with singing, delight in the day we leave this world and join You in Heaven, and You bring us Your joy and provision as we walk in Your Spirit each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

The God of Hope will fill us with His joy and peace as we trust in, hope in and believe only in Him; we constantly overflow with His hope by the power of His Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

 

Improving our Quality of Life

We clutter our life by collecting more than we need and things we rarely use. This lack of order effects our soul and spirit as well. We feel confusion within and are troubled by negative emotions because of the chaos.

 

A good rule to follow to prevent this malady is to make sure everything you purchase has a place and to keep everything in its place. Material possessions do not make us any happier and often contribute to our depression when they irritate us with clutter.

 

Keep each room sparsely furnished and make sure you have enough drawers, cabinets, closets and shelves to keep everything organized. If not, give it away to a friend or a charity thrift store.

 

This makes cleaning easier and more attractive to our soul, because we do not have to push the clutter around in order to dust or clean the floors. Seeking material possessions never really makes us happy.

 

We also feel more out of control if we reap too much debt in response to our spending. We tend to feel like a victim and ignore our personal responsibility in our problems.

 

Investing our life and finances in people, ministry and furthering God’s Kingdom is much more rewarding then spending it on more possessions. Mingling with our church family keeps us aware of their circumstances and burdens that we can help to relieve.

 

Prayer:

Father God, giving is a tradition during more than the Christmas season. Your generosity and love are ours all year around; and as we share them with others, we put a smile on every face, including our own.

 

Revive our Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10) with Your wisdom, love, peace and joy all through the year. Make us an instrument of Your love and a channel for Your peace on earth and in the hearts of others throughout our lifetime.

 

Thought for the Day:

Surrendering our budget, activities, thoughts and feelings to the Lord will keep us in a positive mood, which attracts more friends and improves our influence over our own life and the ministries in which we participate with our church family and in our community.

 

 

End Time Events

In 1948, God orchestrated three major signs of the times of His soon return to the earth: Israel was given land and made a nation again, the World Council of Churches was formed, and the European Union organized and started to grow into the Revised Roman Empire.

 

Most people are not even aware of these three major fulfillments of Biblical prophecy, nor would they even care if they knew about them. They are just too preoccupied with building their own little kingdom in the earth.

 

The famine of the Word of God being preached, the apathy in people in these later years, and the great falling away of whole generations of children and young adults are three more signs of the close proximity of Christ’s return.

 

We often wonder why our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce back, why God is silent when we seek Him or what is causing our lack of desire to read God’s Word.

 

It could be because we are taking God for granted. We are dull of hearing and lack fervency in our prayers. We stopped seeking Him a long time ago, except when we need a favor or for Him to rescue us from a tight spot in our life.

 

We find every excuse to stay home from worshipping with the church, and we use the money we earn that belongs to God to pay for our numerous “toys” and vacations every year.

 

God calls us to make Him a priority in our life and to serve Him with our whole body, soul and spirit as the temple of His Holy Spirit, directed by the Spirit to make a difference in our world for Christ.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our focus in this life is preoccupied with this world and the affairs of our own personal life. We forget that we are no longer citizens of this world, but we are now strangers and pilgrims here (1 Peter 2:11). We get so wrapped up in our own goals and desires that we fail to see Your will for our individual life.

 

The urgency we used to feel for the return of Christ to claim His Bride waned. Issues in this world take precedence over our maturity in the spiritual realm. Therefore, we need You to strike a spark in our heart that will catch our soul on fire. Drive us to return to our first love with You; and out of this love, to share the Gospel with anyone willing to listen.

 

Thought for the Day:

It is important for us to stop taking God for granted and to start sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet. They may reject us; but we lead them to a crossroad in their life, and they must then make a decision to believe in Jesus as their Savior or to reject Him and condemn their own life to eternity in hell. – John 3:18

 

A Good Marriage – The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine

Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.

 

We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.

 

We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about – do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?

 

Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another’s love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate’s needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.

 

This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony – the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?

 

Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.

 

Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?

 

No one like to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the “fight” and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.

 

Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.

 

Thought for the Day:

Looking into each other’s eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other’s soul; speaking honestly about how our partner’s words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. – Matthew 6:22-23

 

God’s Transforming and Conforming Power

God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies us throughout our lifetime, until we are perfected according to His standard of the fullness of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). He makes us holy, even as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).

 

We are fully human, but Christ in us is fully divine. God’s Spirit faithfully transitions us from one stage of God’s glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). He conforms us with the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2).

 

God’s Spirit slowly matures us until we completely share in the divine nature of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). We have the same chance, which Jesus did, to live a spirit-filled life.

 

Our identity is no longer dependent on our accomplishments or our human standing in this world. We are a King’s kid (Galatians 3), a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5) and heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (Romans 8).

 

God is a shield for us and gives us His glory to replace our humanity. He hears our cries for help, and He lifts up our head when we are discouraged and alone. He hears us even from His holy hill (Psalm 3:3-4).

 

We are different people from what we were before we trusted Jesus for salvation; and therefore, we make a huge difference in this world. People recognize that our attitude and demeanor are unique; they sense an aura of peace and kindness that is unlike their other acquaintances.

 

We mature in Christ as we relinquish total control of our life to Him. We trust God completely to direct our life according to His will and way, even if it is contrary to our human reasoning and understanding (Revelation 3:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are constantly calling, guiding and encouraging us to trust You with more and more of our life. Thank You for opening and closing doors which would divert us from Your chosen path for our life. Help us to wait patiently on You and not to jump ahead or lag behind Your divine timing.

 

Arrange divine appointments for us to impact lives in the sphere of our influence and to help them to come to a saving knowledge of Your Son, Jesus. Remind us to put our mind on heavenly things and to reject the carnal concerns with which the devil attempts to side track and discourage us. Help us to realize that Christ in us is greater than Satan and all of his ruses, lies and demons.

 

Thought for the Day:

When our soul is discouraged, anxious and overwhelmed, we can put our trust in God, and praise Him for what He has already done in our life (Psalms 42:11), and He will change our attitude, thoughts, feelings to line up to His Word and the fruit of His Spirit.

 

Life-Changing Verses – Part 2 – Verse to Live By

God gives us a very simple plan for life. He created us for a special purpose before we were even born, starting with our salvation through Christ. We do not earn salvation by our works of righteousness. According to His mercy He saved us by cleansing us with regeneration.

 

God renews us by giving us His Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-10). Our Father God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:7-9). He sees our whole life without the parameters of time or the constraints of mortality. God is eternal and views all of our years on earth from an eternal perspective.

 

We are crucified with Christ, but we still live on this earth; yet it is not us, but Christ who is living in and through us. And the life we now live in this human body, we live by the faith of God’s Son who loves us – enough to die for us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We receive God’s Spirit, which has nothing to do with our human effort, talents or hard work; and neither can we sanctify or perfect our soul through any work of our own (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

Our walk with God is a life-long process of growing in intimacy with Him, and enjoying the daily fellowship of almighty God. There is nothing that we cannot do as long as we are following His perfect will for us (Philippians 4:13).

 

If we submit to God and resist the devil, Satan is obligated to flee from us (James 4:7). He may gain permission from God to throw some type of trial in our path, but Christ in us is greater and more powerful than Satan could ever hope to be (1 John 4:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, there are so many verses that stand out to us as we read Your Word, highlighted by Your Spirit in order to enlighten us and improve our brief life (James 4:14) on this earth. Thank You for giving us Your fullness as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 6:23; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). We give You all of the praise and honor due to Your name.

 

Because of Your mercy, we live our life free from the twisted duplicity of Satan’s lies, and we relish the fact of our freedom in Christ. You make us whole and heal our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual diseases. You strengthen us from the inside out and You pour Your love and grace over us like a fountain of mercy. We love You with our whole spirit, soul and body, even into eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we earnestly seek the Lord and thirst after Him to the point of fainting in this dry and weary land in which we live, He is our sanctuary – full of power and glory, the lover of our soul, which is better than life itself, and He satisfies our soul with His constant love; therefore, we continually praise Him with joyful lips and a mouth full of praises. – Psalm 63:1-11