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Your Worth Comes From God

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XToday’s Bible reading: Exodus 28; Matthew 25:31-46, 26:1-13; Psalms 31:9-18; Proverbs 8:12-13

After giving Moses very specific instructions on how to build the Tabernacle yesterday, God gives Moses specific instructions today on how to create garments for the priests who will be ministering in the Tabernacle. Again, just like yesterday, notice how many types of craftspeople will be needed. God involves His people in His work. It is surely an enriching experience knowing that you are working for God. Some may say there is a lot of pressure in doing so, and I can understand how we would feel that way. But the reality is that pressure comes from within ourselves, not from God. God knows we are limited. He knows we aren’t perfect. He knows we do the best we can. God never puts pressure on us to do more than we can. I think our expectations of ourselves is much higher than the expectations God has for us.

For me personally the past few days have been filled with reminders from God that I am working for Him and not to let my job get to me. The job I have now is not a good fit for me in terms of where I want to be in my career nor does it use my skill set effectively. My job is also a challenge when it comes to dealing with some of the people I work with. But being in a tough situation is a chance to grow. It strengthens my character if I let it. The alternative is I can quit and not grow where it counts – in my character – and get a job doing something more fun using a skill that won’t matter in eternity. I know that the “world” would simply quit and get another job. But they aren’t looking at this from God’s perspective which is the only perspective that matters.

Today, in fact, was a tough day at work for me. It definitely got to me toward the end of the day and on the drive home. But when I got home and sat down to pray about it God was already there ready to talk it over with me. During that prayer time He lifted me up and told me I am doing a great job and that He is proud of me. He reminded me that I am not doing this for me but I am doing it for Him and that He has great things in store for me. Maybe not in this life, which is fine because anything of this world will pass away anyway. I’d rather have eternal rewards any day of the week.

One thing I noticed in Exodus today was that the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were engraved on stones attached to the ephod and the chestpiece. It had been over 400 years since these twelve men had died yet the people still knew their names. That is impressive. How many ancestors of yours can you name from 1613? I can name zero of mine.

Jesus predicts some pretty amazing things in Matthew 25 today. In verses 31 alone He claims that He will come back to earth (remember, He foretold that He would be crucified yesterday, so He is basically saying He will die and rise to life), with angels and sit on a throne (i.e. rule). He goes on to say in verse 32 that he will rule over all the nations. Finally (verses 33 – 46) He claims that He will judge all the people. Now, either Jesus is the most ego-maniacal person who ever lived… or He truly is God.

The judgment described here is not the “final” judgment of all people, living and dead as to where they will spend eternity. That is reserved for later and will take place in heaven as we will read about later this year. This judgment is describing Christ’s second coming back to earth right after the Great Tribulation. Jesus seems to be saying that those people who helped the Jews during this terrible time will be rewarded and those who did not help will suffer terrible consequences. Notice that the second group did not go out of their way to harm the Jews. They just didn’t help them. We see that a terrible price is to be paid for indifference. With Jesus there is no middle ground. You can’t chose to not have an opinion. Having no opinion is synonymous with being against Him.

After this judgment Jesus will set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth. So it appears that only those who survive the Great Tribulation and who believed in Jesus and helped His “brothers and sisters” will be on earth at the time this Kingdom begins. Isn’t this cool stuff? This is the kind of stuff no one knows is in the Bible. These are very specific prophecies that are being laid down here. God knows exactly what the future holds for earth and is sharing it with us.

Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 26:2 that He will be crucified in just a matter of days. Matthew doesn’t give us the disciples reaction. I wonder what they were thinking. Jesus had just essentially declared that He was God and now is saying that He will die the death of a criminal. They had to be confused.

Notice that the religious leaders ere “plotting” to kill Jesus. They did not want to kill Him during the Passover but that is exactly what happened. Why? Because God was in total control of these events. The crucifixion of Jesus was planned long before Jesus ever was born or before crucifixion was even invented, for that matter. It was going to happen God’s way, not man’s way. Caiaphas (verse 3) was the high priest from about 18 AD to 36 AD which gives us a time frame as to when these events are happening.

Did you ever stop to think that grief and sadness shorten our life span? Or than sin drains our strength? Its true. That is what Psalm 31 tells us today (verse 10). Sin wastes us away from the inside.

The author of this Psalm is truly alone. He has not only been scorned by his enemies (verse 11) but his neighbors and friends have deserted him as well. To other people it is as if he were dead (verse 12). But notice that the author is not putting his trust in those people. He is not looking to them to improve his outlook on life. He is looking to the Lord (verse 14). The author puts his life in God’s hands, not in the quantity or quality of people in his life. If you are alone in life you can look to God for your worth. He is always there ready to shine on you and declare His love for you.

Wisdom, good judgment, knowledge, and discretion go hand-in-hand, according to Proverbs 12. The very next verse tells us something we should be “wise” about: we should hate sin. So wisdom is not only a head-thing, it is a heart-thing too. We need to hate the sinful behaviors listed in this verse. But we should never hate the people who commit them. We should love everyone just as God loves us despite the sin that is in us.

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