Scripture: Exodus 25:1-9 | John 1:14-17
I. You experience God living in you by stirring up your heart.
A. How could Israel know God was living among them as they made their journey toward Canaan? A tent that was called the tabernacle. Before God would live in this tent, His people would need to provide the materials for the tent. Who would give toward God’s home? Only those whose hearts were moved (vs. 2). If you want to experience God living in you today then, you need a heart that is regularly stirred up with love for Him.
B. Sometimes our hearts get cold, don’t they? When you have a cold heart, you are more likely to act yourself into a feeling than you are to feel yourself into an action. If you do the actions of love, the feelings will come back again. If you have no sense in your heart that God loves you, you will conclude God is not living in you. So, stir up your hearts to do the loving actions toward God which will remind you again of how much God loves you and you love God.
II. You experience God living in you by costly giving.
A. God wanted the people to give some costly gifts for his tent (vs. 3-7). In Genesis 2:12 we read a description of what was found in the Garden of Eden: “And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.” When the people saw the tent where God lived, He wanted them to look back. He wanted them to look back to the paradise of Eden when God first lived with His people on earth.
B. The tabernacle tent then pointed back to Eden, but it also pointed forward to our true home which would come through Jesus who would tabernacle among us (John 1:14). While we wait for heaven, where is God living now? He lives in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
III. You experience God living in you by detailed obedience.
A. The whole point behind this tent is found in Ex. 25:8: “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” God wanted to live with His people on earth. The tent needed to be made according to God’s exact specifications (vs. 9) so that we might learn how we can live in relationship with our good and holy God. But we don’t follow God’s commands and rules just because we love rules. The rules are a means to an end. And the end is a relationship with God. We maintain that relationship through Christ’s blood shed on the cross for us.
Continue to experience God living within you by trusting that Christ paid for your sin.
Commentaries by D.A. Carson, Tim Chester and J.A. Motyer & “The Lamb of God” by Nancy Guthrie.
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) What can you do to stir up your heart for God in times when your heart is cold? What are some actions of love for God that you might do this week?
2) What costly gifts has God given you? When you give a costly gift to someone, how does that make you feel about that person?
3) Why is obedience so important to God? How can we stay close to God even when we fail to obey His commands?