November 20, 2011
Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17;
Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5
The lesson to us is that God will fulfill His promise to occupy the earth as its ruler in the future. Worship of God will be part of this perfect reign on earth. God's Temple will once again be a central focus for humanity.
James challenges Christians to examine the motives behind their actions. Do you find yourself in many quarrels and fights? What is behind this behavior? Perhaps you are jealous of what others have. Where is God in this equation? Have you asked Him to meet your needs or are you just greedy for more than you need?
James gets down to brass tacks and concludes that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God. Harsh words from a meek man. What is he saying? We must all be wary of loving material things. It is incidious and easy to fall into this. God is jealous for your devotion. He sets Himself against the proud, but shows favor to the humble. We must humble ourselves and forgo our own materialism and self-centeredness.
James gives us the wonderful verse, "Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you." This is practical and wise advice on how to deal with worldliness. We have a promise that as we draw close to God, He will draw close to us. God is relational. This is His whole point of creation.
Our sins before such a wonderful Creator should produce sadness in us. We should avoid speaking evil of others who are part of the body of Christ. God is the judge and we should refrain from judging other people's hearts. Leave that to God.
Keep perspective by remembering that our lives are like a morning fog-here for a little while, and then gone.
It is also sinful to know what you should do and then to omit doing it. Ouch, again!
This psalm mentions Christ, the stone that the builders (Israel) rejected, has become the cornerstone of the building. Do you see why God wants the Temple rebuilt? He loves this illustration of Himself as a place to dwell in worship. Christ is the cornerstone in our hearts to worship the Creator.
Obeying God's laws is a means of fighting the wicked. Interesting. Justice is understood by those who follow God. It is hard for the ungodly to understand justice. This makes sense.
What did you notice today?