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.

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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.”

Jesus is a worshipper

Jesus worships the Lord and is seen as a worshipper throughout the 4 Gospels. He is our model and pattern of how we are to live on our walk. He was Jewish as well, and as a Jewish man, was taught to worship at a very young age. We can read in the Gospels that Jesus went to the synagogue from a young age on Sabbaths and for some of Gods feast times. (Luke 2:41-42, John 6:59)

Jesus talks about the Temple as being His Fathers house and was concerned for the purity of the Temple. He lived in submission and obedience to His Father and taught us all how to pray to Him. All this is worship and adoration to his Lord God.

This is not religion, but learning from Jesus how to love and live in obedience and worship. Jesus is the way to worship God and as part of the sacrifice Jesus made, we are able to come before our Father God cleansed and as the Bride. We can come and worship before God, in the very throne room, clean and pure and as children of the Living God.

Remember who God is, who we are worshipping. Do not take it lightly or something to do out of duty. We worship because we love God and are thankful children. We are also His Children. He made the biggest sacrifice that could ever be made to have us near Him again. He gave His only Son to make us His children. Praise your Father and worship the Saviour.