A Building Made without Human Hands

David wanted to build God a proper house on this earth in which He could visit His people. David’s heart continually focused on God, and he realized that he lived in a palace and God still dwelt in a tent from Israel’s days in the wilderness (Acts 13:22).

As a man of war, David was disqualified from building this holy place (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). Yet, God allowed David to gather the materials and for his son Solomon to build this grand palace for the Lord.

When they completed the temple, God’s glory filled the Holiest Place and He spoke to His chosen people (2 Chronicles 5-7). His main request was that Israel repent of all sin and to live holy before Him.

Characteristically, Israel sinned before the Lord, and God did as He warned them that He would do. He anointed a warring country to destroy the temple and to take the people captive.

Yet, God allowed a faithful remnant of His people to eventually return to the chosen land. They were able to rebuild Jerusalem and a smaller temple. This actually grieved those who experienced the former glory, which they lost because of their sin (Ezra 3:12).

God’s plan all along was to build a house for Himself using living stones, acceptable to Him through our relationship with Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-12). We are His temple, and His Spirit dwells in our midst (1 Corinthians 3:16).

The building where the church meets is not holy nor is it God’s house. It is simply a place for Believers to actively worship God who dwells within us. God’s Spirit builds Believers together into a holy dwelling place for Him (Ephesians 2:22; Hebrew 3:6).

Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool. There is no temple grand enough for us to build for Him, which is more awesome than the myriad of galaxies, which He created (Isaiah 66:1; Genesis 1:1).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our behavior is a reflection on You (Psalm 23:3, 1 Timothy 3:14-15). You are holy and You call us to be holy as well (1 Peter 1:16). You want us to have clean hands before we lift them up in worship to You (Psalm 24:1-6, 134:2).

Search the hidden recesses of our inner being and see if there is any wicked way in us, and lead us in Your everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24). Heal us from the deep wounds inflicted on us by other people (Proverbs 18:8). Fill us instead by Your deep, spiritual riches (Proverbs 24:4).

Thought for the Day:
God never wanted to dwell in buildings made with human hands; but in the hearts of His People. – Acts 17:24

The Soul’s Rest

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. Today, God dwells in us, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9). In the New Testament, we have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us, along with God’s Spirit within us.

 

Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which all of us, as “living stones” in His Temple, are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). We have a deepening understanding of the reality of Christ who dwells in us (Colossians 1:27). This reality changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

 

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God through compulsion. Instead, we serve Him from a place of love. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory both now and in eternity (Colossians 1:27).

 

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us. We decrease so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

Until then we dwell in Christ, as Christ abides in us. We die with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). We seek His will and He directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us not to strive in our life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim to them Your truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29

Following in Jesus’ Footsteps

As humans, we devote hours to gaining proficiency in our career, hobby, talent or sport. We sacrifice everything else in our life to acheive greatness in this one field. Yet, in our walk with God, our most important relationship, we barely give Him one hour a week. We decide that since our eternal destination is secure, we do not need to put any more time or effort into a relationship with Him.

 

Is our eternal desitination really secure? Praying a prayer, getting baptized, attending church on Easter and Christmas, reading our Bible and believing in God do not insure our salvation. True, authentic Born Again salvation will give us the desire to sacrifice all for God. Jesus is the pearl of great price; and we willingly give up everything to attain a deeper relationship with Him (Matthew 13:45-46).

 

God desires an intimate relationship with us; that is why He created us. When we finally come to the point of total surrender to God, He leads us into His perfect, everlasting rest (Hebrews 4:10). We are living stones with which He is building His holy temple (1 Peter 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:19). He is faithful, and we can trust Him with our current and future life as we seek Him only and always.

 

Jesus is our very life (Colossians 3:4). Almighty God is ever ready to shine forth His light and life into our hearts each moment of our day. The Holy Spirit abides in us, leading and directing each step, which we surrender to Him. We can trust the Trinity to work out every aspect of our life for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus lives His divine life in and through us (2 Peter 1:3-4).

 

Jesus gave 33 years of His life to show us an example of how to live a Spirit-filled life. He walked, talked and demonstrated the power of God in human form. We have this same Christ in us and we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps. He lived in complete dependence upon our Father God, absolute surrender to His will and total trust in His guidance and power (John 5:17-30). We have His same character within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus knew that without You He could do nothing (John 5:17-30). He communed with You throughout His life and looked to You to fill Him with everything He needed in power and majesty. Remind us that You are in control of our life and You did not give us our life to squander in seeking earthly riches and relationships. We are the branches of the Vine of Christ and Your Holy Spirit is the sap which empowers each branch to bear fruit for Your Kingdom.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are dead to sin and alive to God, a living sacrifice for our Father’s use. – Romans 6:11; 12:1

A Place of Rest for Our Soul

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. It is different today. We have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us. God dwells within us in a personal, intimate relationship, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9).

We are God’s “living stones”, and Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which we are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). As God’s Temple, we have a deepening understanding of the reality of what it means for Christ to abide in us (Colossians 1:27). This truth changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God from compulsion and serve Him from a place of love instead. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory now and in eternity.

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). We decrease daily, so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). However, our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the presence of God in glory (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Until then, we dwell in Christ as Christ abides in us. We die to sin with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Living by the faith of the Son of God, we enjoy His love and redemption (Ephesians 5:2). He directs our paths, as we seek Him in everything we think, say and do (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts, dispelling all of our doubt and fears (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us not to strive in life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim Your truth to them.

Thought for the Day:
Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29

Sent Forth by the Spirit

God set the earth in motion and created it for human beings to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13). He has a plan and purpose for all of this. It is not some random explosion of gas, quirk of fate or a trick by the ethereal cosmos. God is gathering to Himself all those who love Him. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us (John 14:26, 16:13). As we await Christ’s return, His Spirit leads us to the areas of life where we are needed most (Acts 13:4).

God is the Master Architect and He uses us as living stones to build His earthly Temple (1 Peter 2:4-6). He shows us His will for each moment of our day. He may call you to work in a secular job in order to share the Gospel of Christ with those you come in contact with every day; or He may call you to pastor, evangelize, teach, preach or to start churches (1 Corinthians 12:28). He empowers us all to accomplish His purpose for each of our days (Philippians 2:12-13).

Some teach that a parked car cannot be steered; so, we need to be moving for the Spirit to direct us. This is false theology. Christ lives in us by His Spirit (Romans 8:9-11). We wait on God’s direction each morning and walk only by His Spirit throughout the day. We live in the moment without regret over the past or fear of the future. This prevents us from functioning by human effort and producing carnal works for God.

It is easy to hear God each moment of the day, if we are in constant communication with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Only the heart that is empty of ambition, pride and rebellion can accomplish the works of God. Large, famous and wealthy are not necessarily signs of God’s blessings (Revelation 3:17). God is love; and those who walk in His love by the direction of His Spirit, live in His will and receive His true and eternal blessings (1 John 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to live according to the ways of the world, but by the direction of Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12). You save us by the power of the cross, sanctify us by the power of Christ’s blood, and then conform us to the image of Christ by Your Spirit (Romans 8:29). Create a clean heart in us and help us to abide in Christ and to follow Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day in which we live on this earth. We look forward to living with You in glory.

Thought for the Day:
If God reveals to you that your self-will, self-centeredness, self-exaltation and self-life are controlling you, do not be afraid to completely surrender to God’s Spirit, because He will conform you to the image of Christ.