“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.
“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.
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph 5:18,19)
It may be odd that the apostle Paul contrasts being drunk with wine to being filled with the Spirit. Perhaps one of the similarities between them is for seeking joy and comfort. In days of stress or gloom, people may have a drink to soothe or forget about their problems. However, it can be harmful when we are dependent on alcohol for our inner peace. Drunkenness leads to ruin. As believers in the living God, we can find joy, peace, and comfort by being filled with the Spirit.
“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Col 3:13)
Because of our human nature, there’s probably someone out there that we just can’t get along with. Forgiveness can be difficult when intense pain has been caused by wrongdoings. It is so hard for us to forgive and forget. Even though we try to forgive, those hurtful thoughts may keep creeping up in our minds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to stop our fights or arguments, ask God for healing, and learn to forgive and forget. If not, we won’t have inner peace. Worst of all, if we do not forgive, just as God in Christ also has forgiven us, God will not forgive us (Mt 6:15).
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
That was the word that I chose to summarize this year’s Africa Ministry Training Course (AMTC) when each participant was asked to do so at the end of the seminar. This was a record-breaking year for AMTC, bringing over 70 participants from across the globe to London for a weeklong study of biblical doctrines, spiritual cultivation, and RE training.