Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Out of the temple & into the lives of man"

Today's reading: Acts 7:44-50 (NIV) 44"Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46who enjoyed God's favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47But it was Solomon who built the house for him.

48"However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: 49" 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? 50Has not my hand made all these things?
Worship is important to God. We see in the last half of verse 44 that God directed Moses how to make the tabernacle.

The tabernacle was important to the Israelites as the stone tablets given to Moses by God remained there and in their company; it had not been destroyed or forgotten over the years. Yet Stephen knows that there is more to worshipping God than protecting the stone tablets in a safe container in a temple. Stephen points out that God does not live in houses made by man, he resides in the heavens and his footprints touch the earth.

God’s footprints are part of creation and remain with us now as we live in the Kingdom of God. God is timeless and unlimited in His love. He desires to be known by us. God has no boundaries either. You and I can not keep him in a box or in our church buildings, nor should we attempt to keep him to ourselves.

Being a witness of the mighty acts of God is what our lives must become. As a witness, we are obligated to God to give testimony of our faith. That is what Stephen is doing here, sharing his testimony through the words of the Old Testament to his people, for it is what they would recognize. Stephen longed for his new faith in Christ to become the faith his people. He was offering them a gift and some rejected that gift and some accepted. God has designed worship to be what He needs it to be in order to bring people to experience his saving grace.

Man must not change what God desires, as we make feeble attempts to do that, we fail. The best is yet to come in this kingdom and we must be part of the people of God, standing with God, telling of God so that He will dwell in the hearts of many more people each and every day.

"Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God
One day every tongue will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,Who gladly choose you now,

Dorothy Brucks
Aldersgate UMC
Nixa, MO.

Come, now is the time to worship lyrics by Brian Doerksen

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