…for which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary… the gift or the altar? Matthew 23:13-26 Throughout life we are constantly faced with making decisions from the mundane to the critical. For me without a doubt the most difficult ones surround life and death. In terms of a temple or a church, the sanctuary and the altar are physical places of refuge, redemption and reconciliation. It is a gathering place for believers in the one God, who ideally created the Holy in each of us, from the inside out. To have such a place is indeed a blessing. Yet for various reasons so many don’t have or know such a place or can’t get to it. Admittedly, there have been times when I couldn’t get there myself. There were times when Christ could not be found at the temple, but instead alone in a place where God met the sanctuary and altar of the Holy created within him. He was what God wanted other people to see. We are called to build the body of Christ and the Holy created by God within us must become what God wants other people to see for those who have no place or can’t get to it. For which is greater, the gold or the refuge; the gift or the redemption and reconciliation?
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…in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. Psalm 57 I know for myself, sometimes 40 days can feel like 40 years. I believe the body can not be sustained without first sustaining the spirit. This is achieved most effectively when first and foremost our graciousness for the opportunities of each day is presented before God. Each day given is an opportunity to choose God’s will and accept the wisdom of his grace. Then on the days when every possible storm passes by our first response will be to take refuge in the strength of God’s word as we wait it out. For God’s wisdom will surely be the reward.
‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-11
Tuesday-July 26, 2011
Sometimes we put our faith in the wrong people, not realizing that beyond an earthly standpoint they have no power. Furthermore, when we put our faith in someone who’s motive for helping us is inconsistent with God’s purpose for us, I believe eventually that motive does not prevail. It reads in 2 Samuel 3, Abner a servant in the House of Saul (who has died) is becoming quite strong. In other words politically, he is rising very quickly. The problem is that Abner’s loyalty is in the wrong place and is soon accused by Saul’s son of violating his father’s household. We know that God has already anointed David to be King, here we see that God’s protection of his anointed extends well beyond immediate threats. Abner subsequently defects to David but his character is questioned and it’s too late. First and foremost our faith, hope, and trust has to be in God and he who is faithful will guide other faithful people into our lives who also put God first. Let us remember even Christ who desired the daunting task of feeding the five thousand, first looked up to heaven. Will we encounter other people and events intending to do us harm? Yes. But trusting in God first is our assurance that he has already prepared for that. God has already foreseen the collisions (including the ones we create our selves), and is working it out because through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we too are his anointed, no longer sheep without a shepherd.
Psalm 62:5,7 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
2 Samuel 3:6-21; Psalm 62; Acts 16:6-15