Category Archives: Exhortation

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Cultivation Is Worth Dying For

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)

What was the first thing that Daniel did when heard the decree of King Darius ordering the death of any who petitions any god or man other than the king himself? He went home and prayed to God, thus disobeying the king’s decree. The Bible notes that he did this “as was his custom since early days”, indicating that this was not something new for Daniel to do. In fact, these thrice-daily prayers were his usual spiritual cultivation. And these prayers were so important to Daniel that he deemed them worth defying the king for, so important that they were worth dying for.

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The Lord Makes a Difference

But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. (Exodus 11:7)

During the last of the ten plagues, Moses spoke boldly against Pharoah: the Lord will go into the midst of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. This plague was the climax to the story of God’s deliverance of His people, after the Egyptians had undergone lengthy suffering and before Pharoah finally cast the Israelites out of his land in devastation from the loss of his firstborn. At the end, the Lord had gained victory and displayed His majestic powers. The Lord had shown that He does make a difference between the Egyptians and those who He calls His own.

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A Sign between Me and You

“So do you have any plans this weekend?” This is a common question we all hear as we get closer to the end of each week. When I was young, after hearing about all the fun and exciting things my friends had planned for the weekend, I would usually answer in a sheepish way, “Uh… no, not really,” and the conversation would move on without me. In reality, I always had something planned for the weekend – every week, my family and I go to church to keep the Sabbath day. But back then, I was afraid of telling my friends about it because I was afraid of being different, of standing out from the crowd. Nowadays though, if you ask me what I’m doing for the weekend, I’ll probably still say, “Nothing much.” But, I’ll also say, “I am going to church though!” What changed my mind?

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His Way

Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Heb 8:5)

The tabernacle was a sacred place where God met the Israelites during the forty years they wandered in the wilderness. God commanded Moses, “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it” (Exodus 25:8-9). To this end, God gave very specific instructions. There was such precision as to the sizes, the colors, and the materials of various parts to be used in the construction of the tabernacle. This was to show God’s authority and holiness, and people could only come to God on God’s terms, not on their own. The Israelites had to follow God’s blueprint not only in the construction of the tabernacle, but also in the way they worshiped.

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Meaningful Prayers

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. (Phil 1:9-10)

We can talk to God about everything. However, meaningful prayers are more pleasing to God. Apostle Paul gave wonderful examples of how he prayed for the Philippians who were dear in his heart (Phil 1:9-11) and for the Colossians whom he hadn’t met (Col 1:9-12). We can model his prayers to pray for ourselves, our loved ones, and fellow believers.

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