The Glory of God

Today’s reading is Revelation 15.

When the Babylonians took Solomon’s temple apart, the glory of God was gone. When Zerubbabel and Joshua rebuilt the temple, however, there was no visible manifestation of the Lord’s glory. When Herod refurbished the temple, there was no manifestation of the Lord’s glory in the temple. However, under Jesus Christ, the sanctuary not made with hands in the heavens is full of the glory of the Lord. Here is the picture of victory. In fact, it is the same picture that demonstrated victory in Exodus. We often think the crossing of the Red Sea is the climax of Exodus. Not so. The climax is when the glory of the Lord enters the tabernacle. God had sent the plagues on the enemies, He had delivered Israel through the Red Sea, He had brought them to Mt. Sinai. But the climax is when God shows His abiding presence by entering the tabernacle. That is exactly what is going on here. God has sent plagues of judgment and will continue to do so in the next chapter. But the real glory is that He is in the midst of His people. He takes residence in the sanctuary, which is His church. The promises of restoration are fulfilled not in a temple rebuilt on earth, but in the heavenly temple of God’s house. Praise the Lord! He dwells with His people.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 16.

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Holy Exiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 1.

Peter is writing to exiles, but it wasn’t just the Christians of his day who were exiles. We are exiles. We are not in our home land, in the country of our citizenship. Like the Israelite exiles in Babylonian captivity and those who remained a part of that dispersion for centuries to come, we are a community belonging to Jesus dispersed in exile behind enemy lines. What should we do? How should we live in this exile? Peter’s first key is “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” The world wants us to become more like her. The worldly are excited and compliment us when we become more like them. However, be aware, we will not help the worldly become more like Jesus when we become more like the worldly. We are to be holy, set apart, sacred, distinct. We will fail at that often, but that failure is not cause to give up the goal and pursuit. We are to be holy exiles.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 2.

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A House of Prayer

Today’s reading is Mark 11.

“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations,” Jesus quoted fromĀ Isaiah 56:7. This isn’t actually about the Jerusalem temple. This is about the Lord’s holy house, His church. It’s about us. Today, I’m just asking myself this question. If a Martian traveled to earth and spent time in God’s house, that is among His church, would he think, “Now this, this is a house of prayer”? If a Martian traveled to earth and spent time in my congregation, which is to be a picture of God’s house in microcosm, would he think, “Now this, this is a house of prayer”? If a Martian traveled to earth and spent time in my home, which is to be the place where the practices of God’s house are to be practically applied, would he think, “Now this, this is a house of prayer”? Pardon me, I need to let you get back to whatever it was you were doing, I need to go pray.

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 12.

P.S. No, I don’t believe there are actually Martians.

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The Resurrection Changed Everything

Today’s reading is John 2.

When Jesus gave the destruction of “this temple” as a sign of His authority, nobody understood what He was talking about, not even His disciples. They didn’t understand what He was really saying until the resurrection happened. The resurrection changed everything. The resurrection did exactly the same thing with all Old Testament prophecy. To be perfectly frank, no one was looking for the Messiah to come to earth, die, and then rise again on the third day. It wasn’t until it happened that people understood that is what the Old Testament was saying. The resurrection changed everything. It is the defining moment of all that came before and all that has come after. This is why we make disciples. Because the resurrection changed everything.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 3.

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