Hello, Crossroads Family!
If you, like me, have tried to read through the Bible starting in Genesis, it may be that it’s in Exodus that you first get bogged down. About two-thirds of the way through Exodus, after all the exciting and miraculous stories about the burning bush, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments, Exodus becomes suddenly very tedious. Instead of watching God act in ways that thrill us, we listen to Him give Moses detailed instructions about the construction of the Tabernacle, the Israelites’ mobile worship center and dwelling place for God. Details are given concerning the pieces of the Tabernacle, their measurements, the materials required for construction, the clothing to be worn, and more!
The New Testament tells us that, as believers in Jesus, our lives are now the dwelling place of God. We are the Tabernacle (or Temple) where God dwells. The long, detailed description of building the Tabernacle in Exodus pictures, in a way, the long, detailed, careful, and expensive way God is transforming your life and mine, building them into a fit dwelling place for Him.
So don’t be discouraged that the reading of the Bible slows way down in the latter parts of Exodus; and don’t be discouraged if the transformation God is working in your life seems slow. It’s a detailed work He is doing! It’s a hard work (humanly speaking)! It’s a work no human counselor, friend, or parent could do in us. It’s a work we can’t do ourselves. He’s building a tabernacle!
The exciting, then suddenly tedious, book of Exodus ends, somewhat surprisingly, in simple worship! The tabernacle is raised up, and the glory of God fills it (Exodus 40:34-38). “Moses finished the work,” is a simple and happy sentence that draws the book to a close. God finished the work; and Moses finished his participation in it.
What work of God is ongoing in your life? What work do you and I need to keep at until all is finished? Discipleship? Learning to be spiritual leaders? Doing the hard, and sometimes tedious, work of being a church? Parenting? Worship? We shouldn’t be afraid of the sometimes slow nature of the work. God has a perfect plan in mind whose goal is life with Him, and simple, happy worship.
Happening at Crossroads
We’ll gather this Sunday morning for fellowship and worship at 10:00 at the Community Center. We’ll be blessed by a visit from Lawson and Shay Albey. Lawson is Family Pastor at The Springs church, our sister Evangelical Free Church in Springfield. Lawson and Shay and their children have been called to serve God as missionaries in Turkey. This will be an exciting time to hear more about God’s work in this nation that’s currently reeling from the earthquakes we’ve heard about in the news.
Baby Bottle Boomerang
Baby bottles are due back to Kim Reedy by Sunday, February 19. Thanks to everyone participating in this effort to support mothers and the unborn in our area! If you didn’t get a baby bottle, you are certainly welcome to make a contribution without a baby bottle!
Our Crossroads elders will meet next Sunday, February 19, following the worship service. If you have a need to bring to the attention of the elders, please let Shane, Dave, Forrest, or myself know before the 19th. Thank you for praying for our church elders!
Several in our congregation need prayer for physical needs and family members:
- Andrew LaNear’s grandmother, Brenda, whose surgery has been postponed two weeks.
- Julie Kemper’s son-in-law, Ben.
- Liz Hunt.
- Shane’s mom and dad, Barb and Chuck.
- Judi Edwards’ brother, Dwight, and his wife, Angie.
- Let’s pray for people needing help and hope in Turkey.
- Let’s continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, including Misha and his family.
- Let’s pray for Jesse and Erica McCallister, serving in Berlin: for follow-up conversations with friends and neighbors they interacted with during the Christmas season; for Jesse’s role in coaching and pastoring new missionaries in Berlin.
The End of an Epic Home Group
Congratulations to those who made it through our recent Home Group ! We had some good times looking into a big, difficult topic: Church History. In a way, it was a look at our spiritual family tree. Here are four big ideas I took away from our study:
- The ongoing effort of sincere Christians throughout the history of the Church has been to get back to the Word as the foundation for our beliefs and practices. What has God said in the Bible? That’s also one of the hallmarks of the history of the Evangelical Free Church of America; so we fit right into what earnest Christ-followers have been doing since the beginning.
- There has been tension from the beginning between the Church and the State. Sometimes the State has tried to keep the Church and Christians in a box, feeling threatened by a body of people who possess true, spiritual power. Sometimes the Church has tried to accomplish its mission through an exercise of influence upon the State and political leaders rather than through prayer, love, and good works done in Christ’s name.
- The men and women God has used in powerful ways throughout the history of the Church were imperfect, flawed people. We should not revere them more highly than we ought; at the same time, we should be amazed at the work God did through them, … and be hopeful that God can use such imperfect people as ourselves. We should also be patient with Church leaders and with each other! Christians are imperfect people!
- We are making Church history now! Who knows how one act of faithfulness on your part or mine may impact a life and may reverberate for many years of history to come! What seems unimportant to us today may turn out, in God’s plan, to be very important. Let’s not lose heart! “Therefore, remain steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
I hope you have a good end of the week! I’ll be gone Friday and Saturday with the Nevada show choirs to a competition in Troy, Missouri. If you missed last Sunday’s sermon on Revelation 1, you can access it on the Crossroads Facebook page.