“Then the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep. He asked me, "What do you see?"
I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."
I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
He answered, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I replied.
So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: `Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
"What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of `God bless it! God bless it!'"
Then the word of the LORD came to me: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
"Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
"(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)," Zechariah 4:1-10
About 21 years ago I and a group of friends crossed the line. We had bought hamburgers at a drive-though only restaurant and had gone across the street to another well-known fast food chain and had bought drinks there, intending to stay a while, enjoying free refills while eating another restaurant’s hamburgers (teenagers don’t always think things through completely). As soon as we sat down, an angry manager appeared and asked us to leave. She apparently had no patience for such behavior and I quickly learned that this was a big no-no. There was no sentiment of “please don’t eat those here” or “order some of our food”; it was an immediate “GET OUT!” She didn’t even allow us to take a vote with the other people present. So, what had seemed like a sensible situation to a teenager (the hamburgers were a lot less expensive from the other place, and this place had refillable drinks) didn’t fit with the mangers’ rules. Of course, I was the one who was wrong. I should have exercised common sense and respect but, at the time, wondered why it was such a “big deal.” I still remember how the manager was not particularly impressed by our response, “But we bought drinks here.” I simply could not impose my own rules on a place that had its own rules.
Jesus established His own “house rules” for the temple of which He is the chief corner stone and foundation. He is Savior and His Message is the only one that saves. But some think they can carry into His temple their own blueprints of how the temple should look. They even try to redefine what constitutes “real” building material. But there is only one Builder of the ultimate city and temple –and it’s not Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, Herod, or any of us. God is not searching for people who impose their own will upon His Church; He is searching for those who are full committed to Him. And commitment to God always entails transformation (because one cannot espouse full commitment without conforming his or her will to God’s).
With the beginning of a new academic year, I’m going to begin a new series of newsletters that challenge us to strive for full commitment. God is searching. One of Jesus’ “house rules” of commitment involves your commitment to the Church. Have you ever pledged your membership to this church if you claim to be a member? Have you been immersed in water baptism as an adult, pledging a clear conscience to God because you believe in and wish to be united to the resurrection of Jesus? Have you surrendered your life completely to God?
The Church of God can do amazing things for its members and the surrounding community when we commit ourselves to God (Who is searching for sincere and dedicated hearts). But if we try to smuggle a different kind of sustenance into the Church rather than feast on the Hidden Manna from Heaven, we starve and certainly don’t show much respect to the Manager of the House. So, what is really real to you? What is really important? And when all is said and done, what will we be? Jesus paid a very high price and invested everything He has in us. What will you do with that investment? How do you want Jesus to regard you?: Uncommitted, semi-committed, or fully committed? Let’s pray as David prayed,
“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name,” (Psalm 86:11).
Love in Jesus,