Meditation

09/23/2020

“Praise the Lord, all you servantgs of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the santuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and eaerth bless you from Zion.” (Psalm 134:1-3)

Originally God was to be worshiped wherever He was know to appear.  In the wilderness God led Israel to construct a tabernacle as the central worship place.  In the Promised Land the people worshiped at a multiplicity of local sanctuaries.  Eventually God chose Jerusalem as the proper place for worship and sacrifice.  It was Here David brought the ark and Solomon built the Temple.  It then became common to worship in synagogues's, especially during the Exile.  The Jews felt that the passionate belief that the Tempel in Jerusalem was God's only earthly habitation.  

In the New Testament, it became unimportant where the Christians worshiped, as they knew the Lord Jesus was with them always and everywhere they gathered.  All structures and buildings are not inherently sacred, but all belong to God.  Corporate worship was shared in homes, in open country, or wherever Christians gathered to worship.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, the Old Testament was a time of teaching and maturing in faith for Your people, whereas in the New Testament, we learned that Jesus is with us, no matter where we gather; inside or outside; in homes or sanctuaries; in caves or forests. During our quarantine time in our homes, we have found we could worship You as we could anywhere else. What we miss, Abba, is the “body of Christ,” our fellow Christians where we gather together to worship and praise You. We do love You and seek to serve You at all times and our worship; whether it is in church or not, is the important aspect of our time, that we are still worshiping You. This, we ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

“Not all roads lead to heaven, but all roads lead to the THRONE.”

KNOWING GOD:

“Samuel continue as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mitzpah, judging Israel in all those places. But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the Lord.” (1st Samuel 7:15-17)

Beloved, there are churches of all kinds and shapes; all kinds of building materials to wood to rock, to grass; great big churches and small intimate churches and everything in between.  Some churches were built as monuments to the faith, mostly empty nowadays, to churches that are bright and shiny as a new penny, to wooden and/or grass huts that are more open sided to nature.

People go to church in big shiny cars, complaining about driving ten blocks to get there, while others walk in hot dirt/sand for miles to worship for hours.  What is common about all churches are the people that come to worship.  "Where two or three are gatherred....I will be with you."  Samuel was a man of God every day, all day long, and he did the work God called him to do every single day.  Even at his home, he built an altar for God.  It's not how big or pretty our churches are, it's the people who come to the church to worship.  Can I get an amen?!

I AM:

“On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.  We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there."  (Acts 16:13)

Here we have a beautiful setting, outside of the city gate and down to the river.  I love the statement, "We expected to find a place of prayer."  The synagogues were a "place of prayer."  The Temple was a "house of prayer."

Paul and all that went with him went down to the river, expecting to find a place of prayer, they saw some women there and began to speak to them.  I have been to some powerful "prayer meetings" on the banks of rivers and I even baptized both of my sons in a river fed by spring water.  Of course, we later had our sons baptized in the church, as they needed to be welcomed into the body of the Christ, where they would worship and study the Bible.  I bet most of you have similar stories, if not, try it sometime, commune with God and others on the bank of a stream or river, have a picnic and enjoy worshiping with others in God's creation.

Second Thought of the Day:

“Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And tey stayed continually at the temple, praise God."  (Luke 24:52-53)

This was the last time after the crucifixioin, that the disciples were with Jesus and right up to the end, he reaffirmed to them that the Christ had to undergo the terrible acts, that had been predicted.  Then, He was taken up into heaven.  He had told them again, to wait until they had been "clothed from on high.  (They received the Holy Spirit)"

As I said previously, New Testament worship included assembling in buildings constucted to honor God, and joyful praise was a major component of their worship.  Praise was the inevitable result of all they had seen.  Losing the physical presence of Jesus was not cause for mourning but for joy because the early church knew the resurrected Lord would fulfill His promises.  

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