Monday, April 25, 2016

SHINE 10th Edition Release: A Jewel in His Crown

Hi Everyone! The latest edition of SHINE Magazine was released last night, and your's truly has an article in it. I hope you are blessed!

You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God (Isaiah 62:3 NASB).

You are treasured. You are valuable. You are beloved of God. You are a jewel! These are simple biblical truths, yet you don’t readily accept them. For far too long the enemy has whispered his lies to you, and they have drowned out the truth. The truth is that God loves you so much, and the enemy’s lies blind you to His love. The truth is that Christ’s Spirit dwells in your heart so that you may comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, and can be filled up to all the fullness of God (see Ephesians 3:18).

The love of God for His people is illustrated in the garments of the high priest in the Old Testament. God instructed Moses to decorate Aaron’s garments with precious jewels—jewels that embody you and me.

The Lord commanded a breastplate of cunning work for Aaron to wear when he ministered in Yahweh’s presence (see Exodus 28). It was not an ordinary garment; it was the breastplate of judgment. The judgment of God is rendered—you are a jewel, and the high priest will carry you upon his breast into God’s presence. The breast in Scripture represents a place of affection and love, and it speaks to the love of Christ toward all who call upon His Name. The breastplate displayed twelve stones to represent each tribe; each was assigned their own exquisite jewel. The priest also carried two onyx stones on his shoulders, with six tribes engraved on each sparkling gem. The high priest carried the people on his shoulders and his breast.

This distinction is not for Israel alone—these jewels represent us as well: “We are spiritual Israel, born from above—so that, just as Aaron bore the names of Israel upon his breast when he went into the presence of God, even so Jesus, our Great High Priest, bears our names on His heart as He stands in the presence of God to make intercession for us.”[1]

Every one of us is a precious jewel engraved upon His breast, and He carries us before the Father: “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25 NASB).

The jewels were placed in four rows of three: ruby, topaz, and emerald; turquoise, sapphire, and diamond; jacinth, agate, and amethyst; beryl, onyx, and jasper. These precious jewels were to be set in gold filigree, which represents Christ’s deity. Just as each stone has its own unique color, beauty, and glory, you too are unique, though framed in the same body; each reflecting Christ’s glory.

This imagery is beautiful! The people were lifted up in prayer to God each time the high priest ministered before Him: “Aaron could not enter the holy place without reminding Jehovah of the love and perfection in which Israel stood before Him. The sevenfold light of the candlestick in the holy place, and the light of God’s glory from between the cherubim, over the mercy seat, in the holy of holies, caused the precious stones to send for their brilliancy, and various beautiful tints, so as to attract the eyes of the Lord of Hosts.”[2]

You are a jewel, and you shine brightly with Christ’s glory. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have been through, you are precious, and He bears you on His breast. He sees your tears; He is touched by your infirmities. He bore it all and intercedes on your behalf. Ezekiel illustrates His mercy toward you: “When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, Live! Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, Live!’” (Ezekiel 16:6 NASB).

Life is hard, and circumstances seek to usurp the power that God has filled you with. You shine because He has strengthened you with His righteousness. The jewels on the high priest’s breastplate reveal just how treasured you are: “Jesus is our High Priest, who presents us, in the fullness of His love and power, bright with His own glory; spotless in His own holiness; righteous because He is our righteousness; and strong; for He is our strength; emblazoned on the heart of love, and on the shoulders of power, shine forth with His own glory and beauty, as jewels adorning Him, from who alone all our lustre and perfection spring.”[3]

The enemy also whispers to you that God can’t use you because of your circumstances, or because your life is not perfect. He tries to tell you that you are not worthy, and that God doesn’t love you; but God’s love story continues in Ezekiel: “‘I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine, declares the Lord GodThen I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil…I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth’” (Ezekiel 16:8b-9, 11-13a NASB).

You are a jewel. Christ has adorned you with the jewels of His love, Spirit, and righteousness. You adorn Christ as He intercedes for you before the Father. He has washed you clean and anointed you with the oil of the Holy Spirit. This is God’s Truth. You can drown out the devil’s lies by feeding on God’s Word. He will speak beautiful truth to you, and His Word will melt the devil’s lies like dross in the fire. 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14 ESV).

This Article was originally published in SHINE Magazine 10th ed. 

Click over to the SHINE BLOG and read more great authors!  Check out SHINE Ministries too and purchase previous issues!

[1] C.W. Slemming, These Are the Garments (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1974), 65-66.
[2] Henry W. Soltau, The Tabernacle, the Priesthood, and the Offerings (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1972), 249.
[3] Ibid., 249-250. 

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