“Mirror, mirror …” How many times a day do you look in the mirror? What do you think about more often: how you look to others or how you look to God? Do you spend more time looking at yourself, your life, your world or are you looking intently at God and His Word?
Exodus 37 & Exodus 38
Exodus 37 & 38:
Where Is My Gaze Fixed?
The tabernacle is now under construction according to God’s detailed instructions. Bezelel and the others God had blessed with the talent and ability to craft the furniture and implements continue their work. One purpose was to give His people a glimpse of His magnificence, creativity, and glory.
But one little verse jumped out at me as I read this passage.
“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (v. 38.8).
He made them from the mirrors of the serving women. Think about it. These were nomadic people living in a desert environment. But they were also women … women who experienced love and marriage and jealousy and a desire to look attractive to their husbands, or perhaps potential husbands.
We walk into our homes and there is a mirror in the entryway, a mirror in the bedroom, a mirror in the bathroom. We go to work or church and … more mirrors. Even in our cars, we flip down the mirror for a last-minute look. But in the desert, if a woman had a brass hand mirror, I imagine that was really something … possibly a luxury … but they gave them up!
I have to ask myself, what would I be willing to give up for the glory of God? What is really more important to me, people seeing the beauty of Christ or how I look to others?
And I wonder, on what is my own gaze fixed? Is it more on myself or God and His Word? Am I focused on my life and wants or is my desire to use whatever I have to point others to Christ?
How about you?
Today’s Other Readings:
Our God from the Womb
Verse 9, “But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on my mother’s breasts.”
This doesn’t mean that David was saved as a baby, but it is a beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty, His complete control, and how He is wooing us and blessing us with His goodness, even from birth.
James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights …” (Jas. 1.17).
Obedience Leads to Wisdom and Growth
As I have said over and over in the last couple of commentaries, God is not withholding His wisdom. It is here in His Word, but we must look for it. It’s not about being smart … or memorizing half the Bible … or sitting in Bible studies week after week and filling our heads with knowledge. It’s about faithfully seeking to know Him better through His Word and time spent with Him. And it’s about having a heart to please Him by choosing to obey what we know to do.
Hebrew 5.14 says, “… solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
It is by knowing and obeying that we grow in wisdom and maturity. On the other hand, James 1.22 says if we are hearers, readers, or sitters in Bible study without applying it, we deceive ourselves. We may think we’re mature. We may even be able to quote a lot of Scripture, even stand up and teach a Bible study ourselves, but we are spiritual lightweights!
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5.25).
No Greater Love … and Obedience
God’s Word is so much more than just commands to obey … so much more than a book filled with principles with which to guide our lives. Its characters are so much more than just examples to avoid or follow. It’s God’s story of redemption, beginning from Genesis 1.1 and continuing through the end of Revelation.
But it does contain those commands and principles and great examples. None is greater than the picture we see of Christ and His willingness to lay down His life for us! He was willing to suffer and die that horrible death so that we could be partakers of His grace and forgiveness and so that we could become progressively more and more like Him.
So what are you willing to lay down out of love and gratitude to Him? It’s not just about the big things; it’s also the little mundane things. It’s cheerfully giving up that parking place at the mall without anger or malice or grumbling and complaining. It’s choosing our husband’s favorite restaurant. It’s playing with the kids when we’d rather do something else.
What are you willing to sacrifice so God’s work can be completed in the earth? Are you willing to give up your bronze mirrors to focus on serving Him and loving others!
In the coming days, we’ll talk about how to rate yourself on biblical love, the importance of defending your faith, the need to get the logs out of our eyes, and how Islam intends to conquer the West largely through cultural invasion. We’ll also pose the question, “Could you be raising little hypocrites?” and talk about what it means to preach the gospel to yourself and why it’s so important.
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Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Do you feel discouraged, even defeated, in your battle against habitual sin? Are you dismayed or surprised by the situations that bring out your fear, anger, or distress? Elyse Fitzpatrick delves into the heart of the problem: deep down, we’re all idol-worshippers who put our loves, desires, and expectations in God’s placeand then suffer the consequences of our misplaced affections. Yet God loves his people and can use even our messy lives and struggles for his glory. Fitzpatrick shows us how to better search and know our hearts, long for our gracious Savior, and resist and crush our false gods. Includes questions for further thought. Revised edition.
How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur
The Bible is the Word of life. As such, studying the Bible is crucial to the life and growth of every believer. In this revised work, John MacArthur examines various Scripture passages in the Old and New Testament to answer both the “why” and the “how” questions of Bible study.
How to Study the Bible can be used alongside or apart from the audio series available from Grace to You in either a personal or group study.
- Corresponds with the audio message series available from Grace to You
- Features revised content and study questions
- For personal or group study use