Reverence for the House of God

Reverence for the House of God

It pleases the Lord when we honor the place where He resides.  Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the “house of God” is any building or gathering place where two or more people assemble to study the Word of God, to teach others spiritual truths from the Bible, and to praise and worship the Lord. 

 ‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.’  (Lev 19:30)

Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.  (Eccl 5:1)

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (Mt 21:13)

From these passages of Scripture we can recognize a number of truths.

The Lord tells us to reverence (respect; regard with awe) His sanctuary.  A sanctuary is a refuge, safe haven, or place of safety.  When we meet with fellow Christians to praise and worship God and to partake of His Word, we are in a place of safety and protection.  Our collective attitude of honor and respect contribute to the free flowing of the Holy Spirit to minister in our midst.

It isn’t a building that is the church—it is the people and the gathering of God’s people together that forms “the church.”  The sanctuary, the House of God, and the church are all synonymous terms.  Any place or building where God’s people gather together to give Him honor and praise can be understood to be “the church”; whether it’s an event room at a bowling alley, a rented meeting room in a hotel, or a family room in a private home.

The Word also reminds us to behave wisely as we enter into the meeting of the body of Christ.  How do we do that?  We “draw near to hear” with a heart full of obedience and true worship.

Lastly, the Scriptures remind us that the church is a “house of prayer” and that its main purpose is a spiritual one and not a monetary one.  God forbid that a body of believers would focus upon money instead of honoring God and His Holy Word.

It is very understandable that God would ask us to show honor and respect for any place where He meets with His people—all who call Him Savior and Lord.  Remember that GOD IS PRESENT when His people come together in His Name.  God bless you.

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Today, we’re going to study the importance of the Voice of the Lord.  We posted an article three and a half years ago on this topic, but since it’s of vast importance, it is worthwhile to investigate again.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.  (Ps 29:3)  ~ God controls everything in creation, including every body of water, no matter how large or small!

“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  (Ex 15:26)  ~ Obedience to the voice of the Lord attracts God’s blessings.  God states that He is our healer, and that is addressing physical healing.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”  (Deu 28:1)  ~ As we obey God’s voice, He responds by giving us protection from and power over our enemies; blessings in our children, food, and livestock; prominence over other nations; and abundant prosperity.  (See Deu 28:1-14)

The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  (Joel 3:16)  ~ The Lord shelters and becomes a refuge for ALL who will yield to and obey His mighty voice.

His voice is unique in that ALL of creation recognizes it as the sound of the Creator God, the Supreme Being, the Lord of Lords.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  (Rev 19:6)  ~ The voice of the Lord is the voice of the Lord God Omnipotent!

Pay attention to and choose to obey the voice of the Lord, and you shall surely be blessed.

A Stumbling Stone

A Stumbling Stone

Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.  (Rom 9:32)

Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone, and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.  (Rom 9:33)

. . . and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is distasteful to many unbelievers.  The salvation that God has provided through Jesus Christ becomes a stumbling stone and a rock of offense to them.  The Bible tells us that this will be so.

Unbelievers may stumble or be offended about a number of points.  Let’s look at several of those points.

  • The Bible tells us that Jesus suffered, died, and was resurrected. If someone doesn’t believe in resurrection, this can be a point of stumbling.
  • The simplicity of salvation, because it is a gift to be accepted/received, may be “too good to be true” for many. It’s just not complicated enough and doesn’t include enough works for them.
  • Some people think the church and its people are weak. The church has no political agenda, and we have no military might.  This is not attractive to the carnal mind.
  • Yet other folks believe that they are good people, and have never done anything seriously evil. Therefore, they believe, that they don’t need anything more than that.

Our own attitude towards Jesus and His gospel determines our spiritual welfare.  He is a sanctuary to those who bless Him. He is a place of refuge, peace and security to those who believe in Him. However, to those who reject Him, He becomes a stone to trip over. He becomes a devastating stone of judgment to the proud of heart. Many people crash into Him and trip over Him because they try to live as if He doesn’t exist. Jesus Christ will always be a stumbling stone to those who refuse to trust in Him.

How very blessed are all those who love the Lord Jesus!

A Very Present Help

A Very Present Help

God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1, emphasis added)

God is our refuge. (Ps 9:9; 28:8; 46:7; 62:7)  A refuge is a safe shelter or hiding place.

He is also our strength.  (Ex 15:2; Num 23:22; 1 Chron 29:12; Ps 18:1-2, 32, 39; 19:14)  God wants us to depend upon His strength and not our own.  Our needs, weakness, and lack showcase God’s power.  They reveal to us that we need God.

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  (Isa 40:29)  It’s important to remember that as we proceed through tough times, heartaches, and challenges, God is always with us and He is always working on our behalf. 

What is a “very present help”?  It is an instant, immediate, and on-the-spot manifestation of God’s presence!

Did you know that when the Bible speaks of “helper” or “help,” it is almost always talking about the Lord?  This was a huge revelation to me!  If you check out these Bible verses, you’ll see that God’s idea of “helper/help” is exceedingly different from ours.

  • Exodus 18:4
  • Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29
  • Psalms 33:20; 70:5; 115:9-11; 121:1-2; 124:8; 146:5
  • Hosea 13:9
  • Hebrews 13:6

The Word of God is our authority on the subject that God is our help!  (Ps 46:1)

“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”  (2 Chron 32:8)

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.  (Ps 40:17)  Thank You, Lord, for being my help in all situations, circumstances, and times!

God, Our Refuge & Strength

God, Our Refuge & Strength

 

Whom have I in heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  (Ps 73:25-26 NKJV)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

Sing for joy to God our strength . . . (Ps 81:1)

These Bible passages state that God is our REFUGE [fortress; hiding place; protection; sanctuary].  This is important to know, that in times of trouble or stress, He is a place of safety for us.  He’s a refuge in the storms of life.  When problems or sorrows confront us, and we all have them, He is right next to us, willing to shelter us under His wings. (Ps 91:1)  When we turn our hearts and thoughts to Him, and pour out our hearts to Him, He provides comfort as well as grace. He also gives us inspiration and creative ideas on how to handle our situation.   

These Scriptures also remind us that God, through Jesus, is our STRENGTH [courage; security; stability; power].  He provides strength of heart, mind and body to help us to persevere and press on to the solution to whatever confronts us.  Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.  He is a miracle-working, wonder-working Friend.  Cling to Him and to His Word. 

In the midst of the storm, He is the Rock upon which we stand.  (Ps 40:2)  That’s Good News!