Friday, April 20, 2007

Towers & Temples

Every person is building something significant out of their life. It is an edifice that, when it is constructed, will represent the core purpose of a person’s existence. The drawings and plans for the structure come from the motivation of their heart. What is desired above all else will be revealed in the final outcome.

In the book of Genesis we read about how and why God created diverse language groups. Humanity had gathered after the flood and decided to honor themselves instead of God. They had clearly forgotten the Almighty and began to focus on how important they felt they were. They were self-consumed and wanted the world to recognize them and praise them.

They were not concerned about giving God the praise. They wanted their names in the paper. They wanted people talking and singing about how great they were. They wanted to write the best selling book and be recognized for their power and accomplishments.

So we read what they decided to do and why they decided to do it in Genesis 11:4 “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’" The tower would be their legacy and it reveals the motivation of their hearts. They wanted to be popular and powerful. By building a tower they could rise to the heavens to gain fame and remain united rather than spread out all over the world. Their unity would make them strong.

In 2 Chronicles 6 there is another edifice constructed by the hands of humanity, but this was no tower to take away the praise that belongs to God. It was a temple dedicated to bringing God glory where His people could unite under His power and make His name known.

Solomon prays to God in v.1-2 and says "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; {2} I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever." God was the delight and the temple was to be a destination for those who wanted to honor God.

One building honored the people who built it and the other honored the God they loved.

What are you building with your life: a tower or a temple? What are you working for: your glory of the glory of God? Whose power are you hoping to manifest with your week this week: yours or Gods?

We’re all building something with our life. It’s either a tower for us or a temple for God.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? {17} If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

What God Has Made Let Not Man Eclipse

Psalm 8:3-5 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

This weekend I heard a man in his 80s talk about how amazing and mesmerizing it was for him to sit outside at night and look at the starts and the moon 70 years ago. As a child, he lived out west before the smog became so bad and the skies were clear. He talked about how he couldn’t count the stars and the moon looked like he could reach out and grab it.

Today, he says that he can only see the big stars and the moon just isn’t as white as it used to be. What God created has become eclipsed by what man has done.

Fear, hurt, anger, and a host of other emotions that are created by life’s trials and sin are like smog to our spiritual eyes. We cannot see God and His majesty because our lives have become contaminated. Some of it is our fault. Some of it is someone else’s fault. And some of it is nobody’s fault. It’s just life in a fallen world.

Thanks be to God that Christ has come to give us an up close and personal view of God. Jesus said in John 14:9 “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

As our thoughts like time slowly move away from the miracle of Easter, let’s not lose sight of what it means. Christ has come to reveal God to us and remove the smog in our souls that keeps us from seeing God.

What’s blocking your view of God? Put your eyes on Jesus and see God anew.

Hebrews 12:2-3 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Who’s My Epaphras?

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

There is something different about me today. I have a strange clarity and a sense of transcendence concerning the challenges I face as a leader and a man living in a fallen world.

I began to sense this difference yesterday. I began walking with someone who has been wrestling with God (Genesis 32) and I sensed God’s presence in a new fresh way. When I got back to the office and began my regular time of prayer, I sensed that my prayers were aligned with God’s will.

This morning as I began to run in the brisk morning air, I felt a confidence I’ve been lacking. There was an excitement I could not explain. I see what can be with vivid starkness. It’s as if a cloud has been lifted.

What is different you might ask? Some would say it is just spring time. Others might muse that the joy of the resurrection we celebrate on Sunday is being felt in my soul.

Both might be true, but I have hunch it is something else. I believe someone is praying for me. As Epaphras prayed for the people gathering at the church at Colossi, someone is praying for me.

Are you my Epaphras? If not, why not?

Please pray for me. For those who have been, don’t stop.

Praise God who answers the prayers of His people – the righteous in Christ!

James 5:16-18 The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.