Welcome to Part 4’s Chapter 1 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is introducing us to the free will offering of acacia wood and she invites you to join her and Bettie in prayer. As the LORD leads, Anna and Bettie will also be adding daily free will offerings of acacia wood to the bottom of this post.
In Exodus 35:5 and 7, we read:
Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:
We are then told how this wood was put to use in Exodus 36:20,31 (NIV):
They made upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. They also made crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle
And in Exodus 38:1,6 (NIV):
The site Bible History helps us better understand why acacia wood was chosen for the frames of the tabernacle, the altar and the tent poles:
The Shittah tree grew in the deserts of Sinai, and the deserts around the Dead Sea. The wood is hard, very heavy, indestructible by insects, and has a fine, beautiful grain, brownish-orange in color. It was remarkably luxuriant in dry places, sometimes attaining a height of twenty feet. It had lovely yellow flowers and its insect-resisting Acacia wood was used in making mummy cases. This Acacia wood undoubtedly speaks of the incorruptible humanity of Christ, for we are told that His humanity would never see corruption. Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.Source: https://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/tab4untitled00000065.htm (as of: 2 August 2021)
In 1 Peter 1:23, we read of how that gift of incorruptible humanity becomes ours through Christ Jesus – the living Word of God at work in us:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
We also read of how Christ, in His great humility, took upon Him our humanity, dying for us, so that He could meet us in our weakness today.
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone….For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:9,17
Through the Holy Spirit speaking in, to and through us, Jesus is exchanging our corruptible fleshly desires for the true and pure desires of His heart in us, born of His incorruptible Word made flesh that now lives and breathes in us. He continually prompts us to think upon and sow to the Spirit and life, rather than thinking upon and sowing to the flesh and death.
Jesus is transforming our thinking by the power of His living Word, to show us that we in fact deep down desire, what He desires. He is continually leading us to do good deeds, born of His incorruptible nature in us, as He moves us to love and bless those around us, as we delight in Him.
For, our God is growing the fruit of His Holy Spirit in us, so that no matter our earthly circumstances, we find ourselves going about the work of our Father, just as Jesus did on earth. Our Jesus did so in gentleness and humility, laying His life down for us all, as He abided in His Father’s love for Him, by continually seeking His face and waiting upon His will, even where He knew that waiting would hurt those He so loved (and still loves), because they couldn’t yet see or understand what He was up to.
Yes, He is leading us into bearing each other’s burdens by laying these burdens at the foot of the Cross and listening for His desires, plans and purposes for us that we might walk in them, to so fulfill the law of Christ. He is lifting off the heavy yoke of responsibility, as He leads us to lay before Him every anxiety and fear for others and ourselves, piece by piece, that He might lift us up to see what He sees. So that we might live by faith in His sovereign completion, healing and wholeness, as we walk into His thoughts, design and purpose for us.
As I reflect on the life and love of Jesus as He walked this earth, I am sorely convicted of my need for continued transformation, while also seeing the amazing work Christ has already done in me. And I am also filled with the longings of Christ’s incorruptible and perfect heart for me, to grow in truth and grace.
I long for His undivided heart, which even now lives and breathes in me, to be fully and wholly uncovered and made visible in and through me by the power of His Spirit at work in me. If you too are filled with this hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, would you join Bettie and I in prayer?
Dear Holy Father,
We are amazed that You would choose to come to us, to make Your dwelling here in our heart. We feel like we have nothing to offer you except these shards and pieces that are the bones and bodies holding our vulnerable hearts. But thank You that Your Word in fact declares these very bodies Your holy Temples: healed, whole and complete in Your Son's sacrifice at the Cross.
We come before You now, amazed at Your power and life that You have poured into us through Your own Son. We marvel that He was willing to dwell among us here, in this place of finite and limited time and is now making His home within us, by the power of His Holy Spirit breath.You are beyond time, and yet Your Son chose to become like us--small and lowly for our sake.
Thank You that You bestowed on Him the Name that is above all names, and gave Him Life that could not be triumphed over by death! You are eternal and boundless, and we lift our praises unto You.
We thank You that we are Your chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Your own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of You who called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light.
We thank You that even as our own flesh and hearts fail us, Your Son, in whom all Promises are yes and Amen, remains the strength of our heart. Thank You that You have placed the seal of Your Holy Spirit upon us, securing our eternal inheritance in You, and that nothing can separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus.
Thank You that we can lift ourselves up to You moment by moment, inviting You to reveal more and more of Your beauty and healing and wholeness in and through us. Thank You that we can trust You when You tell us that the light momentary affliction we are walking through here on earth is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
Forgive us for every time we have clung to what we know in the flesh and fought and fled the priceless gift of Your gentle Spirit prompting in us to draw us near to You. Thank You for Your mercy and compassion for us. Thank You that because You delight in us, the work of Your hands, You are continuing to gently unfold the trust of Your Son in us, piece by piece. Help us to embrace Your Son's trust growing in us and to take ahold of His hand to walk into all newness of life, as You renew and refresh us in Your Spirit breath.
Thank You that You are even now empowering us to sow to the Spirit and not to the flesh, to look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For we know that the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Thank You that You are teaching us, even now, how to resist the devil, moment by moment, that we might not lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for ourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Thank You that You are; even now, setting our hearts on You, as we walk through the fire and are met by storms. Thank You that You have given us Your eyes to see hidden treasure in the darkness. Thank You that darkness is as light to You and that in You, there is no darkness.
Thank You that You dwell here within us, in this secret place, created to be Your home: our hearts. Thank You that You have hidden us in Jesus and that hidden in Him, we are protected from every scheme of the enemy. Thank You that You have given us Your eyes of faith to see how You are using every attack for good, to make us more like You and to make us One in You.
Thank You for the love of Jesus that has been shed abroad in our hearts that we might love as You first loved us. Thank You that You are rooting us ever deeper in that love and that we are learning to live and move and have our being in You alone.
We invite You to set us where You would have us be, that we might shine Your light into the darkness and draw others to You, by the power of Your Spirit at work in us. Thank You that in Your Spirit's leading and empowering we shall bear each others' burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Thank You for Your great and wonderful promises. Thank You for moving us to cleanse ourselves in the light of these Promises from everything that contaminates body and spirit, as You wash us in the living water of Your holy Word to us. Thank You that You have set us apart for Your purpose. We recognize and praise You for how You are bowing us in holy awe of You alone. Thank You that You are indeed honoring and answering the prayer of Your Son and making us One in You.
Thank You that You are, even now, empowering us by Your living Word to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and to run with patience the race that is set before us. Thank You that in Your resurrection power we shall not turn to the left or to the right, but keep our eyes on You.
As we come to Jesus, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by You and precious to You— thank You that You are building us like living stones into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You through Jesus Christ, just as You have promised us in Your Word.
Thank You that You are able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. To You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.
In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray,
As the LORD leads us, we will add daily offerings of acacia wood here below: