“I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8)
In the beginning, people worshiped wherever God appeared to, later on where multiple worship buildings sprang up and finally He settled on the Temple in Jerusalem, but finally, following Jesus’ resurrection, churches began to be built for believers. This is partly because the phrase, “the place where your glory dwells.” The ‘house’ where God lives is the place from which He reveals Himself to the worshiper. At the Temple, God ‘meets’ His people and communicates His nature and will. Such experiences lead people to deep affect for God’s house. The ‘glory’ can describe God’s magnificent presence with His people. For those who believe in God through Christ Jesus, know that He can live within us and the church are those who come to various buildings, to worship Him corporately and anywhere else, because He is available to us always.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we pray today for the honor to worship You as our God, in physical structures and also outside of churches, for we live in relationship with You. You meet us wherever we are, because our relationship is important to You and also to us as well. Today also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Those who anger you, control you.”
“Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, 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)
Synagogue developed primarily during the Exile and later from the people’s desire to worship even though the destruction of the Temple and/or geographical isolation from Jerusalem made traditional Temple worship impossible. In synagogues prayers were offered as a substitute for sacrifice, as their primary mission was for instruction and not for worship. The Jews felt only the Temple was for worship, which put the synagogues in a subordinate role. In the New Testament it was not considered important where the Christians worshiped, for they knew that the Lord Jesus was with them always and everywhere. Buildings are not inherently sacred or secular. All structures and places belong equally to God. Corporate worship was shared in homes, in the open country wherever they met to worship. Thus, the importance was placed upon study of structure, worship, and service in the communities.
“He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then h went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:8)
Jesus had ascended into heaven, yet healings continued with His power and His disciples in the churches. The beggar that Peter and John encountered sought money, as this was his only way of obtaining it. Peter’s response to him was, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” He then picked the man who had been crippled since birth, and helped him stand up, his legs strengthen, and he was able to walk and jump. They went to the Temple courts, for all to see the miracle, as this man was filled with the Holy Spirit and he praised God for his healing. Can you just imagine what others who had seen this man begging all his life must have thought?! Peter had the gift of healing and he used the name of Jesus Christ to invoke the healing and it was granted.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” (Luke 24:52-53)
Jesus had just ascended to the Father, but before He was to leave, He opened their minds to understand Scripture, that all that was going to take place was in the Old Testament, that they were to continue the ministry that He had begun and to go to Jerusalem and wait for God had promised to give them something wonderful, the Holy Spirit. They did go back and they did wait, but they spent most of their time in the Temple and its courts and praising the Lord and witnessing to people about salvation and forgiveness. They did exactly what Jesus told them to do and they continued to do so until they arrived into the kingdom of heaven.
Two things I want to touch on are important. Every time I read God’s Word, I pray for the Scriptures to be opened to my eyes and understood in my heart and mind. The second concerns the Holy Spirit. I can remember the moment I received the Holy Spirit, can you? Some receive it and then put in in a box and place it on a shelf. We are to allow the Holy Spirit to give power to our witness to others, not sitting on a shelf collecting dust. The Holy Spirit is meant to be used in our ministry, whatever that may be, and in do so, we honor the gift of the Spirit and to the power of the Trinitarian Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Before you witness to anyone of your blessings on the salvation message, say a prayer to invoke God’s power through His Spirit, to touch the hearts and minds of those in hearing of the message.