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 invites us to let Him exchange our corruptible flesh for His incorruptible Word made flesh. He invites us to think upon and sow to the Spirit and life, rather than thinking upon and sowing to the flesh and death.
Jesus invites us to let Him transform our thinking by the power of His living Word, so that we might desire what He desires and do what He desires. For, our God desires to grow the fruit of His Holy Spirit in us, so that no matter our earthly circumstances, we will find ourselves going about the work of our Father, just as Jesus did on earth: in great humility, laying His life down for us all. For, His desire is that we might bear each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
As I reflect on the life and love of Jesus as He walked this earth, I am sorely convicted of my own corrupted thinking and actions. And yet I am also filled with the longings of Christ’s incorruptible and perfect heart for me: that I might be made One with Him.
I long to desire what He desires and to delight in what He delights in. I long for His undivided heart to become my own, fully and wholly. 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 have nothing to offer you except these shards and pieces that are the bones and bodies holding our vulnerable hearts. But we thank You that Your Word declares these very bodies Your holy Temples.
We come before You now, amazed at Your power and life that You have poured into Your own Son. We marvel that He was willing to dwell among us here, in this place of finite and limited time. 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 believe You, Father, but help our unbelief. Give us an undivided heart that we might fear Your Name above all else. Help us to shed the lies of this world and clothe ourselves in the light of Your love and grace. Help us to confess our weakness and sins before You and others, that You might perfect Your power in us, as we proclaim the finished work of the Cross.
We thank You that even as our own 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 our frail selves up to You in the Name of Jesus, again and again, knowing that You will perfect Your power in 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.
Help 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.
Show us 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. Set our hearts on You, as we walk through the fire and are met by storms, that we may find 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. Open our eyes 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. Root us deeper in that love that we might live and move and have our being in You alone.
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. Help us to bear each others' burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Thank You for Your great and wonderful promises. Help us to cleanse ourselves in the light of these Promises from everything that contaminates body and spirit. Help us to live our lives set apart for Your purpose in holy awe of You alone. Fulfill the prayer of Your Son in us and make us One in You.
Empower 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. Help us not to turn to the left or to the right, but to keep our eyes on You.
As we come to Jesus, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by You and precious to You— build 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: