Tuesday Devotional: 1 Kings 6



bibleRead 1 Kings 6

7In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.”

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

A Christian’s purpose is not for independent growth and prosperity.  We are by nature designed for fellowship and to be incorporated into a design of life that replaces our attention on ourselves with attention on our relationship to others.  It is in the design of God’s body that we see our purpose in the the greater complexity of the design and structure that we are a part of.  A temple is built to evoke awe and admiration from those that look upon it.  Likewise, the strength of the body of Christ correlates with our understanding of the whole as opposed to the self.  If we claim Christ as our savior we will naturally be drawn to fellowship not merely for our personal satisfaction but because we can see the Father’s glory represented by our lives as the Church, just as the temple’s strength reflected Him.

7In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” 

[F]or all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27 )

The blocks of the temple arrived at the site of the temple dressed, carved, measured and ready to fit into the temple’s design.  Once at the temple, nothing was left to be done to the stones in order to make them fit in the structure.  The stones were prepared and so fit perfectly.   While Christians differ in appearance, background, nationality, age, and countless other characteristics, one uniting factor miraculously allows all of the blocks to fit together perfectly.  The unity of the body of Christ comes by the saving works of Jesus Christ.  If the unity of the body of Christ is anything other than Christ, only sections of the temple will fit, leaving the rest with no place or purpose in the overall structure.  In other words, a Christian is clothed in Christ and then is able to fit perfectly into the temple, revealing the strength of the stones in their unity, and the brilliance of the structure in its size and splendor.

7In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)

Living in Christian community is not easy and it never will be.  The process of individuals breaking their addiction to themselves alongside others taking on the same challenge will always reveal pain and obstacles.  However, the hope in Christ is that although the challenge is real, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the process can be smooth and does not have to be violent.  Hammers, chisels and iron tools are powerful and can inflict enormous damage on a stone.  However, being made in the image of Christ, while painful to our sinful nature, is a process of peace, joy and love.  Being made in the image of Jesus Christ is a threat to Satan and the work of sin but in the name of Jesus Christ we can find peace, joy and love amidst and throughout the rebuilding process.

7In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.”

 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

The awareness that we are made to be built into a structure with others, the foundational presence of Christ in us, and the Spirit of Christ guiding us through the building is an ongoing procedure the same way that the building of Solomon’s Temple was ongoing.  The Temple of Solomon was eventually finished, just as we will come to completion.  But our completion is not yet.  The building process is ongoing, and while we know that the end will come, we do not know when.  Until then, we build and we are being built, and the glory of an earthly building such as Solomon’s Temple will pale in comparison to the glory in the Temple of Christ in His Church, revealed in a world that has forgotten its Creator, its Designer, its Architect, its God.


Tuesday Devotional: Acts 2


bibleRead Acts 2:42-47

When we consider the Church as “the body of Christ” we must understand one thing and one thing alone: “of Christ.”  Without these last two words a church is simply a building, little different from any other structure. These words capture something holy, capable of transforming the world we live in. “Of Christ” indicates that a body of believers needs only one focal point, to be a product and a reflection of Christ.

First, a fellowship of believers “of Christ” wholeheartedly devotes itself to the Word of God, and stewards that Word in the world.  This first requirement is not to be taken lightly.  Just as Jesus Christ taught that man does not live on bread alone but on the words of God, this word of God is life.  We must understand that with the word of God is life, just as there is life in nutritional sustenance.  In the same way, lack of God’s Word brings death just as a life without food will cause the body to shut down.

Devotion to the Word of God does result in clarity, purpose, and direction, but more important than these, it is the means by which we enter into a deeper and more complete understanding of God himself.  Without this personal understanding of his character we will never fully trust and faithfully love him.  Devotion to the Word provides a path to follow and the hindsight for where we have already been and God always was.  It reunites us with our first Father, giving us insight into where we came from: we were created to be like him, with him and to be loved by him.

Second, a fellowship of believers must reflect the character of Christ.  This character is always aware of worldly temptations and their effect on the gospel of Christ.  Few worldly temptations throughout Scripture garner more warning than money.  Money has the power to displace the value God created us with and substitutes its own deceptive, illusory perception of value.  The closer we move in partnership with money as our primary end, the further we distance ourselves from God as our ultimate authority.  A fellowship of believers can change the world through money by approaching it as a means to transform this world, but they must be united in the truth that the power of money should only be measured in how fast it is being applied to a need.  Uniting both of these characteristics is love, the essence of Christ himself.  This love is in all and for all, is charitable and supportive.  Furthermore, this love is not a character trait.  It is the character of a believer transformed by the love of Christ. And in a group of believers, this character multiplies, yielding a body of believers overcome by the love of God, resulting in “the body of Christ.”