Thursday, May 29, 2008

Words of Encouragement

While this is a building, it is also the place that God's people come to worship, the local church. Do you think it matters to God how we treat the church? Yes, because it is a reflection of what we feel about him.

The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. - Ezra 6:15-17

Happiness in Jesus. Joy in the House of God. The people have been in exile for 70 years because of their disobedience to God. Now they are here with the priest, the Levites to celebrate the rebuilding of the House of God. They are glad to be able to rejoice in the house of God.

This house they took little concern about and dismissed it's importance, is now the house they are happy about. They remember what it was like not to have a place of worship. Can you image that? What if the house where you go to worship God was taken away? What you take for granted would suddenly seem so important.

That is what has happened to the people. What they took for granted had been taken away and they remembered they had lost the place where they could go and meet God. We too must not become neglectful to the privilege we have to come to the house of God and find joy in his presence. We want to be thankful when we have the opportunity to worship God. When we can go to the house of God and rejoice in him, we can find his joy meeting us there in that place.

I pray for us today that we would be thankful for the opportunity to praise God in the places we go for worship. Yes, we can worship him anywhere, but we still must not take for granted the opportunity to worship him together as a family or a body.