Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turning Our Backs to God

They turned their backs to me and not their faces. (Jer 32:33a)

Ouch! How often am I guilty of this? I realized from this verse there are only two stances toward God. If I am not turning my face toward him I am turning my back to him. I want to think there is a middle ground. I want to think that sometimes, even though I am not turning my face to him, I’m still not exactly turning my back to him. But it is not so. Am I distracted? That's turning my back. Am I forgetful of him? That's turning my back. Do I ignore him? That's turning my back. Do I say I'm too tired? That's turning my back. God has commanded me to seek him, to pray without ceasing, to meditate on his Word day and night, and to walk humbly before him. I must forever be turning toward him continually. Lord, forgive my foolish excuses. I turn my face to you. I will fix my eyes on Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Building for God

And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, “Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple? (1 Kings 9:8)

After the dedication of the temple, the Lord appears to Solomon to remind him of the blessings and curses of the covenant. If Solomon and the people of Israel will walk in God’s ways, God will dwell with them forever and the house of David will never fail to rule over Israel. But if they turn away from God and his commandments then Israel will be cut off from the land and the temple destroyed. Of course we know that they did indeed disobey, and the beautiful temple that was dedicated that day was utterly destroyed by the Babylonians four hundred years later.

How often in human history have the greatest works of man fallen into decay and disrepair? In fact, don’t they always seem to fall? And not just the physical monuments, but all human institutions? How many schools, churches and governments have been build for God but later turned away from walking in his ways? The fallen nature of mankind affects everything we do. It would be easy to despair, but thanks be to God –
that is not the end of the story! Jesus came to bring new life. He is the antidote to the poison of sin. He is the light of the world, John says. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:5 ESV) And his promise to us is, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:5 ESV)

Lord, I want to learn obedience at your feet. I pray that my sin would not undermine what you are doing today in this world. Shine your light into my life. Create in me a clean heart. Use me to accomplish something for your eternal Kingdom. Amen.