|In our Pause Bible reading this week, we’re finishing up the Book of Exodus and starting the Book of Romans. There’s so much to be read in both of these books. These Pause devotionals are from a section of Scripture we’ve read during the week. It’s an opportunity to tell you what God is speaking to us as we read the Bible, hopefully, to encourage you, to spur you on in your everyday life with Jesus and your Bible reading.
And that’s exactly what I hope to do today — to encourage you! We’re walking together toward a common goal. The goal of loving and serving Jesus, following Him step by step, and sharing the truth of His Gospel with a world around us that desperately needs Him.
Sometimes, life can be hard. For Paul, the author of Romans, who faced persecution, beatings and imprisonment as he preached Jesus and the Gospel. For the Israelites, who escaped from the slavery of Egypt and wandered around in the desert for years, before making it to the Promised Land (we get to read about that in the Book of Joshua sometime in April). We see them stray away from God’s ways over and over, with their complaining and gold calf worship.
But we also see the Israelites growing in their faith and obedience during this time. In Exodus 31, the Lord tells Moses that He has chosen Bezalel, filled him with the Spirit, and given him the knowledge and wisdom to make artistic designs and crafts for the ark and the tabernacle. We see some of the people being filled with the Spirit and using their gifts, as God had purposed.
As they are building the tabernacle and making the priestly garments, it tells us over and over that they carried out these instructions, “as the Lord commanded Moses.” In Exodus 39:43, it says, “Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.”
They didn’t always get it right (and I can say with great confidence that as His people, neither do we), but they do make an attempt to hear and obey the Lord. And, in these chapters, we see they had done as the Lord commanded.
As we’re reading through the end of Exodus this week, I want to encourage us that while we don’t always get it right, we can be growing in our faith and obedience. And, if we want to do it just as the Lord has commanded (and I believe we do!), what better way than to read His Word, listen to His voice, and be filled and led by the Spirit?
As we start a new month, maybe your Bible reading doesn’t look like you wanted it to this year — you’re behind on your plan and don’t have all the boxes checked off. May I encourage you to make a fresh start today? Don’t let the failures of yesterday keep you from doing what will build you up today. If it’s just too much to read both columns of the Pause plan, then pick one. Read the New Testament and the Psalms, just one chapter a day. It WILL be worth it!
Pastor Deborah Clark