How can God live among us?

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Let them make for me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them. According to all that I am showing you – the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings – you must make it exactly so. Exodus 25.8-9

God wanted to live among the Israelites. He allowed them to make him a sanctuary where they would know that he would be present. God told Moses how to make the sanctuary and the people were to bring offerings to the Lord. The offerings that were acceptable were on a list that God gave to Moses. The people were to be motivated by a giving heart to make the offering. Their attitude and motivation were both important to God. Not only did he tell them what to offer, but he showed Moses the exact floor plans of the sanctuary that he was to build and the model for everything in it. Nothing was left to man’s whim about how to make it or furnish it. They were given full instructions. The Lord tells Moses that he must make it exactly to the specifications. God has left instructions today for us to follow. He has told us how we can enter his kingdom. He has specified how we are to worship him. However, man sometimes thinks that he knows better than God what he should do or what God should want. That is the message that we relay when we do it our way instead of how he has instructed. Read the word. Make sure that you are following the instructions that he has left for us exactly as they are written. Then he will live among us.

#risingjoy #Exodus #pattern

The Lord directed me: 1 Chronicles 28.19

“David said, ‘All of this I put in writing as the Lord directed me and gave me insight regarding the details of the blueprints.’”

1 Chronicles 28.19

David passed on to his son Solomon the instructions for the building of the temple, just as he received them from the Lord.

“David always operated under the direction of the Lord and His Scriptures, which is the way we should operate. What guides your daily affairs? Do you read the Scriptures daily to find out what they teach on how to live?” —Don Ruhl

#votd #Bible #pattern

They had done it exactly: Exodus 39.42-23

“The Israelites did all the work according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected all the work – and they had done it just as the Lord had commanded – they had done it exactly – and Moses blessed them.”

Exodus 39.42-43

God gave Israel a pattern for worship. He did not allow them to approach him according to their own ideas. When they built the tabernacle and did the work as he directed, they were blessed.

God has a pattern for the church as well. What aspects of the church’s pattern bring a blessing?

#pattern #worship #VOTD

Man in his 30s lives 1940s lifestyle. I know some saints like that.

Ben Sansum is 35 years old, but he lives in 1946. Ben’s clothing, his home, the music he listens to – all come from an era before he was even born. BBC News recently paid Ben a visit at his home in Cambridgeshire, England to learn more about his decision to live in the past.

via Meet The 35-Year-Old Man Who Lives In 1946

I’ve not been able to watch this video yet. But the text reminds me that I know of a few saints who are living in the 40s or 50s, as far as their faith goes. It seems like they’ve not learned to apply the primitive truth of the gospel to a 21st-century world.

It’s not a sign of faithfulness to live and speak like people of 70 or 80 years ago. Or even to live like first-century folk, in tunics and sandals and riding donkeys. (We once met some people like that, too.)

Is it a challenge? Sure. But it’s worse to remain stuck in the past that doesn’t represent, necessarily, the original pattern of the Way.

You take it from here.

#faith #pattern #past

Pick and choose your rituals

It’s ironic to see Protestants having fallen in to the Catholic tradition of annual observances like Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, and other religious dates. Before long, they’ll be adopting the veneration of saints, too.

Most of them didn’t used to do this. But when you don’t really have a basis in the Bible, you pick and choose your rituals.

Like righteous Lot of long ago, the holy ones of God feel distress at this and other religious customs that have nothing to do with the original faith given to humankind by the Lord Jesus Christ.

#pattern, #protestantism, #ritual

1 Corinthians 4.17

“For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church” (NET).

What perspectives, lessons, and applications do you see for this verse? One important truth in this verse is that the teaching done in Christ applies to everyone: “everywhere in every church.”

#model, #pattern, #teaching, #votd

Hugh’s News & Views (Reading Gleanings)


“The major division in biblical material is between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The law of Moses is addressed to all people that came out of Egypt (Exod 20:2). Neither I nor my ancestors came out of Egypt. The law was a controlling force until Christ came (Gal 3:19). Paul is explicit that we are no longer under the custodian (Gal 3:25). The bond was nailed to the cross (Col2:14). Hence, I do not determine in specifics what I should do by the law of Moses. At the same time, I recognize that there is much admonition of value in the Old Testament. It should not be thrown out. It should be studied and its admonitions heeded (1 Cor 10:11; Rom 15:14; 2 Tim 3:15-16)” (Dr. Jack P. Lewis, in the chapter on “Biblical Interpretation” from his book Basic Beliefs, p. 47). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #pattern, #restoration

June 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The New Testament’s “Pattern of Worship” (Dave Rogers)
  • Social Drinking (Sam Willcut)
  • Do Not Quit Writing (Tommy Kelton)
  • The Doctrine of Christ (William Woodson)
  • Tradition or Truth? (Michael Light)
  • Much Wine? (Tracy Dugger)
  • Can Worship Be Vibrant and Meaningful without Becoming Faddish and Unscriptural? (Tom Holland)
  • What Does It Mean to Preach Christ? (Billy Bland)
  • The Drag of Discouragement (Bill Burk)
  • Involvement (Bobby Liddell)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-worker, #doctrine, #drinking, #involvement, #jesus-christ, #pattern, #pdf, #preaching-christ, #tradition, #truth, #wine, #worship


(#169) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:19-20-Imitation of Life

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:19-20: “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the wicked; For there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

This proverb echoes what David had said in a Psalm: “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:1-5).

Since “envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30), and ends at death (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6), and was the motivation for the Jews’ condemnation of Jesus (Matthew 27:17-18), and contradictions of the Gospel of Christ (Acts 13:45), then it is clearly coming from a carnal mindset and condemned as sin (1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:19-21). The person who envies has allowed someone else to become a standard to be reached, while ignoring the standards God has given. The Jews felt Jesus had become more popular and influential than they were, and were willing to ignore God’s Law given through Moses and have Jesus unjustly condemned and killed!

According to James 3:13-17, envy is “earthly, sensual, demonic,” and is accompanied by “confusion and every evil thing.” To become “envious” of someone else’s language, beauty, skills, situation, or possessions, kills the Christian’s ability to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). The person who is envied becomes an idol to be imitated, but those who follow Jesus Christ should be our model: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1); and never let evil be our goal: “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11). If we pattern ourselves like the wicked, we will receive their reward!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #carnal, #envious, #envy, #example, #model, #pattern, #proverbs

Divine Pattern

The church in the New Testament, though, does not allow us to accept or reject issues and doctrines as we like. In fact, it calls upon us to accept the Lord and His way since He is the Author of eternal salvation. “Think of it – a DIVINE church. To many people, especially those who have been disappointed by a church member, the church is anything but a divine institution. However, let us pause for reflection. When we talk about the church in the Bible we are talking about a pattern or an ideal – yea, a pattern or an ideal for our reproduction. This is almost axiomatic for since the Bible is a DIVINE book anything within would be of divine origin. But, wait just a minute! IF THERE IS A DIVINE PATTERN FOR ME TO FOLLOW, AM I NOT MORE THAN PRESUMPTUOUS TO FOLLOW ANYTHING ELSE? What would it mean for me to fabricate my own pattern and call men to follow it when all the while there is a divine pattern awaiting my use?” (Don Dewelt, The Church in the Bible, p. 18).

#bible, #church, #pattern

An Example Of Bible Weather

In Acts 14:17, Luke records that God “did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (cf. Leviticus 26:4; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 28:12; Job 5:10; Psalm 65:10; Psalm 68:9; Psalm 147:8; Jeremiah 14:22).

God “did good” by providing the weather needed to produce (1) rain; (2) fruitful seasons; (3) food. Without the changing weather patterns which produce the “fruitful seasons” (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) none of this would be possible.

#food, #fruitful, #gladness, #good, #heart, #heaven, #leave, #pattern, #produce, #rain, #record, #season, #weather, #without, #witness

Philosophy in Life

I have no simple “mission statement” like we used to live by in the USA, but there is a philosophy that I live by. First, the only real pattern in my life is the Lord. Second, whatever knowledge of any substantive value I can gain will come from God’s word. Third, I am not as smart as some might think; neither am I as uninformed as others might think. Fourth, the fewer words spoken the better. Fifth, other people don’t think like me and it is quite unfair for me to attribute to them my way of thinking. Sixth, the grass in never greener than the place I plant my roots.

There are other thoughts that come to mind, but the ones above are adequate to express a philosophy in life.

#lord, #pattern, #philosophy

The Best Thing About God In 1 Corinthians

In my view, the best thing about God, is found in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1, where Paul emphasizes the fact that “the power of God” is closely associated with the “preaching of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18; cf. Romans 1:16).

To those who have no desire to know, understand, or continue to pattern their lives after the instructions found in the saving gospel of Christ, the preaching of the cross is to them “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18; cf. Romans 1:21-22).

#associated, #best, #continue, #cross, #desire, #god, #gospel, #instructions, #know, #pattern, #power, #preaching, #thing, #understand


What is it that we mean by pattern? When Moses was told by the Lord to build the tabernacle in accordance with the pattern he saw on the mount (Exodus 25:40), did he have questions in his mind about the meaning of the word pattern? Evidently, some think that he should have; he should have critically reflected and asked the question, “What do we (you, Lord) mean by pattern?”

If a question needs to be asked about what is in mind when the word pattern is used by a person, then that question (or questions) needs to be asked. If clarity is desired, there is warrant in seeking clarification. However, since the word has a common definition (“a form or model proposed for imitation”), generally the problem won’t be in the meaning of the word, but in the mind of the one asking the question or contemplating on the word. If you make a garment from a “pattern” your intentions are to make that garment after the form or model of that pattern, is it not? Surely it is. Perhaps, within the garment pattern there are “built-in” options that allow for alternative products. The pattern, however, is purchased and used in order to get a desired result, for there is no other reason to use a pattern, is there?

When the Lord gave direction to Moses on the mountain, He wanted a “cookie cutter” pattern to be followed. To Moses, He gave no option concerning what he was to make. If, to Moses, He gave options, it was the prerogative of the “pattern maker” to give that option; that fact that He did not, however, is important to note.

How should we use the “pattern” concept with respect to churches today? To begin, we must have a starting point, and that starting point is the New Testament. In the New Testament we can see that churches were established in various communities and those churches were made up in a certain way. Is that a pattern for us to follow? It is if the apostles set the churches up, and they did so by the authority of the Holy Spirit. If there were incidental related to the setting up of the church they are….well, incidentals. I suggest to you that spiritually discerning people can make a distinction.

A pattern, then, is a form or a model of a desired product. In today’s environment, those who desire to pattern themselves after the New Testament will not only pattern their individual lives after the model of Jesus, but they will desire to be part of a church patterned after the model of the church in the New Testament, the Lord’s pattern.

#churches, #moses, #pattern

Where is our confidence in the day of ju…

Where is our confidence in the day of judgment? (1 John 4:17). If we pattern our lives after Christ (1 John 2:3-6), we should have confidence in the day of judgment. The previous verse (1 John 4:16), tells us that we must continually “dwell” in God’s love in order to maintain that confidence.

That successful “dwelling” is also contingent upon our confessing Christ as God’s Son (1 John 4:15), and the keeping of God’s commands (1 John 3:24). Another criteria for our having confidence in the day of judgment is for us to maintain God’s standard of moral purity in ourselves and in our everyday living (1 John 3:2-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:13-16).

All of the above can only be achieved “through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

#command, #confidence, #continually, #day, #dwell, #judgment, #living, #love, #moral, #pattern, #purity