Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Today's Daily Soap {Scripture | Observation | Application | Prayer}
  • S: "Clean up your act—the way you live, the things you do—so I can make my home with you in this place. Don't for a minute believe the lies being spoken here—"This is God's Temple, God's Temple, God's Temple!" Total nonsense! Only if you clean up your act (the way you live, the things you do), only if you do a total spring cleaning on the way you live and treat your neighbors, only if you quit exploiting the street people and orphans and widows, no longer taking advantage of innocent people on this very site and no longer destroying your souls by using this Temple as a front for other gods—only then will I move into your neighborhood. Only then will this country I gave your ancestors be my permanent home, my Temple. Jeremiah 7:3-7 [MSG]
  • O: God's house is more than just a church building where we go to worship. In fact, the church building is nothing but a building. God's house resides within us.
  • A: "I go to church every Sunday." I don't know how many times I've heard people say that. They go to work Monday through Friday, relax, or work around the house, or party on Saturday, and go to church on Sunday. Like that's supposed to be enough to earn them a golden ticket, do not pass go, do not collect two-hundred dollars special pass to Heaven. But what is a church? Is it that big brand new building down on the corner with the multi-million dollar mortgage that seats thousands of people who don't know each other's names even though they worship together every Sunday? Or maybe it's a house church, where ten or twenty people gather together for a small worship service one or two nights a week. Is either of those a church? Is it someplace you can go to stay current on your Heaven membership and make sure that Saint Peter will let you through the pearly gates when your number comes due? A church is just a building. Well, the word "church" as most of us use it today is just a building. We seem to use it almost exclusively in reference to the building that we worship in. But a church is so much more than that. Sadly, the first definition of the word church is a building for public Christian worship. The primary reference is to the building. It's not until we get to definition three in the list that we learn what a church really is (or should be): the whole body of Christian believers. It's as if we think that we can get away with doing anything we want throughout the week as long as we gather together in some special building once a week to renew our membership. But the church is God's people. We are the church, no matter where we meet. In a building, in a field, in the street -- the church consists of the people, not the building. And as God's church, we should be living in a way that embodies His values. We should be living the example. If we aren't living the example, then no matter where we go or what we do on Sunday, we are not living up to the name we wear as Christians.
  • P: Father, help me to live up to Your name, to your Son's name. To the example that others expect to see from a Christian. Help me to become a part of the church body, not just go to church every Sunday.
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