Come let us go up

Isaiah 2 vs 3. “Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths”.

I have already looked at Haggai, and bringing timber to build the house of the Lord. This verse is for when our house is built, our home for our Lord.

The House of the Lord was on a mountain, Mount Zion, and will be there in the Millennial  Kingdom of Christ. As in Israel today and the Old Testament, the Temple of God is high up. To get there, you travel up the mountain. The Temple was a beacon, a light of God’s glory. All could see it and could worship God with sacrifices and drink offerings. The City where God dwelt was sacred. It was where the King of Kings was, where the King of Israel of God lived and worshipped. This city was the most important city in the Old Testament life and worship of those who loved and lived for God. They travelled regularly there to worship and offer gifts to the Lord.

We are the Church of God. We are the beacons now, the Temple. We are to live God-centred lives as a community of believers and lovers of the Most High God. It is through us that the Church grows, through us bringing the Gospel of Christ to others and seeing salvation happen around our local communities.

True Christianity, living for Christ, loving others, having faith, is not religion. We have a relationship with God and He relates to us as His Children. It is this that makes us different. Our God wants to relate to us, to know us fully, to adopt us as His children and give us an inheritance with His true Son Jesus. No other religion in the world has this beautiful relationship to offer. That is the difference that we need to show those who are desperate. Those who have no one. Those who need love. Those who have no purpose. A life of love and acceptance is there ready waiting for them, but what are we doing to show it to them?

If we are the light on the hill, a city shining, what are we showing? Are we showing discord, unforgiveness, dislike, disdain? Or are we showing others love, joy, acceptance, hospitality? Do we love everyone who happens to step through the door of our churches?

I want to go up to the mountain of the Lord. I want to sit at His feet and just be. With Him. He is my groom, I am His Bride. The Church is the beautiful bride. She is the most beautiful bride the universe has ever seen. I dont want to go with stained gowns, with an unloving attitude to others. I want to see my Church family be the very best they can be for their Groom as well.

We are building a Church of people. Millions of us all worshipping and praising God together. Lets keep bringing our timber to the House and keep building a House for God that grows and gets more beautiful every day. This is how we make ourselves ready for Him.

Bring Timber

Haggai 1 vs 8 “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured.”

God was talking to His people about getting on with building a house for Him to dwell in, with His people around Him. They had got distracted by their own affairs and had neglected the work that had been started on the house for God to dwell in. They were acting selfishly and were disobedient to what God had told them to do. To make it even worse, they tried to tell God that He was wrong and made up their own prophesies to compensate!

Haggai 1 vs 2 “The people are saying,’The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.'”

God wanted the people to see that the house of God was needed. To see that the place to worship God was necessary. It had to be part of their lives and they needed somewhere to honour the God of Israel.

Haggai came back from captivity in Babylon with those who were rebuilding the Temple. He was there and could see how difficult and almost impossible it was for the people of Israel to rebuild the beautiful Temple Of Solomon. Even when they all decided to build a much smaller Temple, it seemed an impossible task to them. They managed to get the foundations and low walls built but then stopped all building for 14 years! This is when God spoke to Haggai with 26 words over 5 days. He told them that they were suffering loss of crops, money and food because they had stopped working on the House of God.

God is not worried about the size of the house. He is worried about your heart in the house that is built for Him. God fills His house with His glory, and He dwells in the house with His people worshipping Him. We are not more “godly” because we build a house for God. We put our lives right in the sight of God as we build His house, and then we become more and more Christlike, more”godly”. We try to make ourselves look better by how big our churches are, or how much they do on a Sunday. We have to put God first, get our hearts in the right place first with God, and then we will see blessing upon blessing in what we do for Him.

Haggai’s message comes through all these years later. If we are trying to make our lives more comfortable, and forget building the church of Christ, we will hit problems and difficulties. If we put God first and make sure our hearts and minds are fixed on Him, He can use us in amazing ways. Life is not about what is in it for us, it is about living for God, and living right.

Building the Church of Christ is not easy. Reaching the lost is hard work sometimes, and can feel we are not really getting anywhere. God never said it would be easy, but that we don’t give up. The finished product is a house He loves and takes pleasure in. A house that He can call His own, and that He dwells in. Since Christ, we are the church. We are the building. God dwells in us and through us. We honour God by our lives, and keep going up the mountain and working on the timber of peoples lives to bring more and more into a right relationship with Him. This is how we now “build church.”

WE Remember September 11th 2001….

The Minstrel's Wife:

we cannot ever forget.

Originally posted on Praise 1300:

911-memorial

Here is some background on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Facts:
On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijack four fuel-loaded commercial airlines bound for west coast destinations. This terrorist attack on the United States is orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.A total of 2,977 people are killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

The Victims:
At the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, 2,753 people are killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 are intentionally crashed in the north and south towers.

Of those who perish during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 are New York City firefighters, another 23 are New York City police officers and 37 others are officers at the Port Authority.

Timeline:
September 11, 2001
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Let him go?

So my youngest son started his Secondary school this week. He looked so smart and grown up in his uniform, and I thought about how this was the uniform that he may wear for the rest of his life. Jacket and tie is the uniform for many millions of office and professional workers just in this country alone. So was it right that I was so emotional and felt such a big wrench in my body that I could actually feel going through me as my child/growing boy/young man walked into the school gates for the first day of the next 5 years of teaching and GCSE work? Am I holding my child back by not wanting him to grow up so fast? Should I be this emotional? Am I able to let him go enough to explore the new world of big school and not let him feel the fear I have? Do I trust God enough to keep him safe emotionally, physically and mentally for the pressures and pleasures he will face?
I truly believe that my God has both of my children in His amazingly gentle protective hands. I know there are a lot of people praying for them, who love them, and who look out for them. They do have a support network and not just from their physical family, but from their spiritual family. I know that its not just me placing my son before God in prayer and making sure he is kept there safely. I cannot express how reassuring it is to know how many people love my little boy that much, that they spend time with him, they give time and energy to him to make sure he knows how he is loved. It is priceless and I cannot tell them enough how much we appreciate it.
So with all that knowledge, can I let my son give me back the apron string I have made him keep hold of? Can I unravel it so that he can go become the person he is made to be? The feeling of being lost is mine to deal with, not his. He won’t see tears, but only support for the big weeks he is having. I have to let him go and be a guide when he needs one, to be here at all times. He is still a child and will always be mine, but he has wings to stretch out, feeling his surroundings as he goes. I am very proud of him, and that will never change because I know God has him close to Him, in His hands, in His heart.
I can let go.

Let them go?

So my youngest son started his Secondary school this week. He looked so smart and grown up in his uniform, and I thought about how this was the uniform that he may wear for the rest of his life. Jacket and tie is the uniform for many millions of office and professional workers just in this country alone. So was it right that I was so emotional and felt such a big wrench in my body that I could actually feel going through me as my child/growing boy/young man walked into the school gates for the first day of the next 5 years of teaching and GCSE work? Am I holding my child back by not wanting him to grow up so fast? Should I be this emotional? Am I able to let him go enough to explore the new world of big school and not let him feel the fear I have? Do I trust God enough to keep him safe emotionally, physically and mentally for the pressures and pleasures he will face?
I truly believe that my God has both of my children in His amazingly gentle protective hands. I know there are a lot of people praying for them, who love them, and who look out for them. They do have a support network and not just from their physical family, but from their spiritual family. I know that its not just me placing my son before God in prayer and making sure he is kept there safely. I cannot express how reassuring it is to know how many people love my little boy that much, that they spend time with him, they give time and energy to him to make sure he knows how he is loved. It is priceless and I cannot tell them enough how much we appreciate it.
So with all that knowledge, can I let my son give me back the apron string I have made him keep hold of? Can I unravel it so that he can go become the person he is made to be? The feeling of being lost is mine to deal with, not his. He won’t see tears, but only support for the big weeks he is having. I have to let him go and be a guide when he needs one, to be here at all times. He is still a child and will always be mine, but he has wings to stretch out, feeling his surroundings as he goes. I am very proud of him, and that will never change because I know God has him close to Him, in His hands, in His heart.
I can let go.

The Perfect Body

Originally posted on preacherontheweb:

The Perfect Body

“…for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:52

In our culture today, we get hit with a lot of information about how to have the perfect body. If you watch cable TV, you’ll see that for a mere $19.95 and fifteen minutes a day, some fitness machine will give you the perfect body. But I have bad news for you. Even though some of you may come closer to the perfect body than others, no one in this life will ever permanently achieve it. For all of us, our bodies will eventually wear out.

One day when Jesus returns, the Christian will be given the perfect body. Jesus Christ promised we will receive a new body that never wears out. It comes with a new mind that never struggles with envy, hatred or any…

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Reasons for living

There are many reasons why God made us who we are and gave us the characters we have. We are all different and the experiences we go through change us and mould us into even more intricate and unique people. We all have a soul and a spirit which need to be filled by God, otherwise we are left feeling that there is a gap in ourselves which we try so hard to fill with anything we think will help.
God wants us to be shaped more like Him. To see us becoming more like Him as we grow and continue our walk with Him over our life. We do change and we do become more Christlike even if we can’t see the change. Others will see the difference in us, and the changes in behaviours. This is a big influence on those round us. If we act more like Christ, they will be pulled into better behaviours and actions as we take more of a stand with how we act. It has more of a impact than we may realise. We need to be constantly checking our actions and words to make sure we do not lead others astray. We are accountable for our actions towards each other and how we influence those who are not believers. We might be the only thing about Christianity they see, the only part of the Gospel they witness.
The very best part of us lives on well after our death, but also the very worst in us. What we do now will be carried on to the next generation and possibly the generation after them also. It is so important that only the very best of our actions and behaviours are left after we have gone. How sad is it that so many are only remembered for the bad things they did, the mistakes they made and then didn’t correct. I don’t want my kids or grandkids to only know when I did something stupid. I want them to remember that I followed my Lord with all my heart and to know that I did my best, I took my stand on what I believe, and for them to be proud of what God did through me.

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