Read His Words Before Ours!
“We will not neglect the house of our God!”
(Nehemiah 10:39, emphasis mine)
“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.” And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. (Exodus 36:1-2, emphasis mine)
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ.
You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Because of My House that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. (Haggai 1:9)
The Lord has always carefully guarded, and given clear instruction for,
His dwelling place among His people.
In the Old Testament, chapter after chapter overflow with specificities on not only building the tabernacle, but also regarding its operation and management.
God’s heartbeat is, and always has been,
to be in deep relationship with His people.
Thus, He placed high priority upon
the place where He would meet with them.
Moses’ original site of communion with God, the Tent of Meeting, gave way to the moveable Tabernacle where God dwelt in the Holy of Holies. This was eventually replaced by Solomon’s temple in the holy city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70AD.
Over time, as Jews multiplied and spread, synagogues became the gathering places for worshipping and studying the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament). In fact, the Greek word for “assembly” is “synagogue”!
Finally, after Jesus was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within everyone who trusts in the Lord for their eternal salvation.
The new tabernacle was the very heart of every believer!
Whether it was the Tent of Meeting,
the Tabernacle in the wilderness,
the temple in Jerusalem,
a synagogue in the ancient Roman world,
or your local Bible-teaching church,
each of these represent something precious to the heart of God,
a meeting place with His people.
Just as God protected and cherished those dwelling places in the Old Testament, so does He lavishly love and care for how the Church, local and global, lives out its calling to advance the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians is like the handbook for church life, detailing out our identity, our mission, and our calling. Before you check out because you aren’t on staff at a church, or maybe only attend on occasion, sink into this truth:
Please, as fellow member of this beautiful Body called Church, I plead with you to read every word of Ephesians with us as we study.
Our words are meaningless without His.
Our studies merely point to His truth.
So, if you’ve made it this far without reading His Words Before Ours, please back up and read today’s selection from Ephesians 1:1-14!
As you read, drink it slowly, deliciously; let the message wash over you, bringing renewal.
These are the words of the Lord God for His precious Bride, the Church.
These words are for us as His Beloved, the place where He dwells!
Because, here’s the ravishing secret, we are His inheritance and He is ours!!
I’m giddy with excitement every time I consider this glorious reality!
To the saints…
Grace & peace to you, (Read: washing over you and embracing you on all sides)
from God our FATHER (how wondrous!)
and Christ Jesus our SAVIOR (breathtaking love!).
And just like that, we are ushered into a book of radical love and steadfast truth with a warm embrace.
In the first 14 verses, we, the Church,
every saved-from-sin-rescued-from-death believer, are hereby declared…
With every spiritual blessing available in the infinite heavenly riches of Christ.
Set apart from before the beginning of time to be blameless and holy before the Lord.
With every right and every inheritance given to us, not based on our works, but solely because He lovingly chose to love us.
With His limitless gifts of redemption, forgiveness, and grace.
Unified With God
Having been invited to understand the rich mysteries of how God has planned for our salvation and welcomed us, the Church, into the great gift of unity between ourselves and the godhead.
We are the recipients of this profoundly rich inheritance.
On hearing the freedom offered in Christ, having trusted Him as our only Savior and Lord, God poured His Spirit into our hearts, remaking our DNA to be like His own. Here is the proof of our salvation! The God who safeguards our souls by His Spirit until one, indescribable day, when our inheritance is seen with naked eyes and we behold the glory that is
God dwelling with us FACE TO FACE!
How wondrous is the love the Father has lavished upon us!
May our tongues never cease to praise Him for calling us into this inheritance!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!