“Our Father's House”
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My Father’s House      Is our Church Building sacred?

We as believers know very well that “we are the Temple” and our building is merely the brick & mortar meeting place where we worship the Lord. Yet most believers would feel out of balance if we eliminate the Godly significance of the property in which we worship, and rightfully so. Everyone has some degree of built in respect for the place that represents Faith. But what scriptures give us that instinctive balance on what is right or wrong for what goes on inside the place we call “God’s House”?

First note the prayer of King Solomon when dedicating the newly built Temple. It’s is one of the most beautiful prayers in the entire Bible. Everything he says is totally New Testament. When he was finished, the power of God came down and filled the building, the Glory of the Lord was above it, the people worshiped from the pavement with faces to the ground and God said, “I have consecrated this Temple you have built, my eyes and heart will always be there”. Yes, this was a very holy place but the statement of balance was also mentioned in the same prayer, “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” Note how God’s Word always contains the balance and the counter balance for things on earth which should be dedicated to Him, while His Spirit confirms it.

Another good example is the heart touching prayer of King David many years prior when he wanted to build a Temple out of his love for the Lord. He was commended for harboring in his heart a structure to honor the Lord. The divine reply given him was that one of his own son’s would build it, and his kingdom would be established forever. Years later, note what David did after being confronted about his sin with Bathsheba and after the child died. He went first into the House of the LORD and worshiped, then to his own house and ate. The Temple had not even been built yet, but he went to a place considered as the “House of the Lord” first.

Here’s an interesting episode of Naaman the army commander of neighboring Syria. After he was cleansed of leprosy by the word of Elisha and the power of God, he then brought back to his godless nation sacks loaded with Israel's soil. His miraculous healing compelled him not to memorialize the prophet, nor the water of the river where he was cleansed, but something of tangible significance for him to kneel on and pray. His vow from that day forward was to serve the Lord of Israel and no other, even while among those kneeling inside Baal’s temple. Many years later our Lord Jesus used his example to endorse the same pattern of faith in the prophet’s words while speaking to those having no faith in His prophetic ministry at all.

A look back to the days of Genesis; Young Jacob when fleeing revenge from his brother had a dream in the wilderness. Sleeping on a rock he dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a staircase that reached Heaven. Then he says, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of God; this is the Gate of Heaven." Here Jacob is impacted by the Word of God and this very special place. Although it was not a building, he changed its name and forever noted it as a Holy Place. This spiritual encounter anointed this as a place of Faith from the natural to the spiritual, and back to the natural again – showing the Holy continuum of the earthy and Heavenly which is considered as “God’s House”. Many years later God led Jacob back there a second time and blessed him again. And then the Lord repeated the same promises as He did the first time.

In the account of the Burning Bush, God introduced himself to Moses in a truly spectacular way. At that place mighty Salvation began with the Lord’s Everlasting Name – “I Am”. Prior to this is God’s command, “do not come any closer”. “Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground”. The WORD of God kept Moses still; then it pushed him forward to change everything from that point until today. After the Lord parted the sea, Moses was given instructions for creating the Tabernacle, including the “Holy Place” and “the Holy of Holies”. These became the sacred Holy Ground which now travels with you. In God’s great foreknowledge these are exclusively reserved for the Messiah and every one of us alone with Him. Scripture considers every place of meeting with God as holy. Where God’s Word is, it’s a Holy Place!

Forward to the New Testament, the young boy Jesus when noticed missing on the road home had returned back to the Temple. He sat with the teachers and exchanged questions and conversation there. They marveled at his understanding and noted that Jesus did not accept correction from his own Mother when mentioning His Father’s House. Later in the same book it says, “He taught daily in the Temple”. This shows God’s Word must continually be taught for those returning there. And consider the Lord’s upset when over-turning those tables. He called them thieves for profitizing and added greater blame for what was substituted for prayer and mercy. What troubled the Lord was routine Temple business which had the appearance of sacrifice but wasn’t, and it had no love for one another. In modernizing Moses Law they stole these from God! These disconnected practices were endorsed by disconnected men for the exalted position among common men. With great authority combined with the Word of Isaiah Jesus pronounced the Eternal Law for His eternal family saying, “My Father’s House shall be called a House of Prayer”.

And in Matthew 23 Jesus rebukes the leaders by saying “which is greater: the gold of the Temple, or the Temple which makes the gold sacred”? Is it possible the Temple building actually makes our tithes and offerings sacred? His question posed to them provides His balanced viewpoint on the sacredness in both. And note the parable Jesus spoke of when two men were praying in the Temple. One expressed his own righteous deeds and the other speaks with guilty sorrow and repentance. Here’s our example of prayer leading to Salvation, and Jesus explained it as happening in the Temple. Note the two different motives of those which attend, and what motive our Lord valued most – repentance with him!

Remember our Lord Jesus had reserved a certain place saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover." And today, we reserve the House of the Lord to share Him in the same way while being, “Living Stones, being built into a Spiritual House”. Our faith tells us to keep in scale with the original blue-prints found in the whole of scripture. Our Father’s House is where we leave a portion of ourselves outside in order to edify all those inside. The true reward is realized with the significance we give it, or it will lack the significance we give it not. May our candle always be placed on the Lampstand - giving Light to all those inside the House - by Prayer and the Word.

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