Read Exodus 39 and Matthew 25
Then Moses blessed them. Exodus 39:43 Well done good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:21
If you have been reading through the book of Exodus with me, you will have noticed the instructions on how everything should be made to facilitate worship in chapters 25-30 are repeated in chapters 35-39. The difference is that in the latter chapters, prefacing the instructions are, “he made,” like in, “He made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen.” Exodus 39:2 So God gave the instructions, and the Israelite craftsmen followed the instructions exactly; almost like the directions God gave in the creation of the world: “And God said let there be light and there was light.” Genesis 1:3.
So though the Israelites did have trouble following the commandments of God, their craftsmen perfectly followed His instructions.
In the New Testament three things are of preeminent importance: faith, hope and love. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without hope we die. Without love we are nothing. All of these we practice imperfectly. Our faith is small. Our hope gets misplaced. And our love waxes and wanes.
But, like the Israelite craftsmen, we have been given certain instructions that we can follow, perfectly. Here are a few examples:
At the Last Supper, the Lord Jesus broke bread with His disciples and said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Paul writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” I Corinthians 11:24-26. We can do this, really often, like once every week. No problem. But then Paul tells us, “Let a man examine himself, then, so eat of the bread and the cup.” I Corinthians 11:28. Too often I forget to examine myself. But it is easy enough to do. I simply need to pay attention and do it.
Several times we are told to respect and honor those in authority, but the Lord Jesus tells us, “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher and you are all brothers. Call no one your father on earth for you have one Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 23:8&9 Using today’s setting, what Jesus said applies not only to the title father, but also to pastor or reverend. We are all brothers. Do we cavalierly disregard what Jesus said and exalt certain religious professionals with titles? It is an easy enough thing not to do.
Just one more: “In everything give thanks.” I Thessalonians 5:18 Can we give thanks for everything with full sincerity and complete trust? Not even close. But in our limited way, we can give thanks, in everything.
Thankfulness is the great exercise of faith, hope and love: It responds to the question of faith—that whatever is happening is from the hand of the Lord. It responds to our need for hope, for when we are thankful during difficult times, we are able to understand, a little bit, that all things the Lord is working for our good. And thankfulness is the ultimate love language. Nothing pleases the Lord more than a grateful heart.
Question: What did the Lord give you to do that you are capable of doing?