Build A Sanctuary Where God Abides

I would imagine that most readers go to a modern sanctuary to worship God, or they are contemplating building one soon. As we meditate on Exodus 25, let your minds wonder on the differences in the instructions given to the Israelites compared to the sanctuaries we build today. What are some of the differences, and might it matter to the God we worship in those sanctuaries?

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-02-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Exodus 25:8-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.

APPLICATION: The Israelites had wandered in the wilderness, and even after seeing God’s mighty hand at work in protecting them, feeding them, and guiding them, yet they just could not accept the fact that He deserved their undivided devotion, honor, worship and praise. So God called Moses and his support leaders to a meeting and He relayed how everything will be, going forward. As I meditated on the instructions given to Moses, I was struck, and went into deep thought about what God might say to our leaders today regarding the Sanctuary of the Lord. Will His instructions today be more applicable to our times, or might He demand similar instructions to those that He gave to Moses? Here are some thoughts:
-o- Gold, Silver and Jewels – God demanded that the people build something extremely unique, expensive and something that required their very best and most precious belongings. Many parts of the Ark, and the sanctuary were to be lavished in gold. Can you imagine the security we would have to provide for a building adorned in gold today? But what are our concept of gold in a church environment today? Is it too much for the God of this universe? I remember visiting a Christian-based park, and the bathroom fixtures were gold (or at least gold plated). My first thoughts went on how much the owners must have ripped off from its visitors and followers. Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t I have given glory to God for these owners who wanted to show the world that God deserves our very best? But don’t we sometimes tend to think that anything will do for our church buildings?
-o- A place for God to live – When leaders evaluate options for their church buildings, I wonder how much consideration is given to the building being the place where God resides, or where we meet with God, versus how lavish the offices should be, or the refreshment area, or the children’s play areas. Let me be quick to say that in ministering to the whole family, all of these things are undoubtably important, but we must always remember that they are secondary to us having a place conducive to meeting with God. Notice that God attributed no value to who else will make use of the sanctuary, for its sole purpose was for the Israelites to meet with God.
Notice that God called the leaders aside and gave the instructions about the sanctuary they should build for His glory. Is that the way it happens today, or do we become over zealous in have the biggest, greatest and most expensive buildings in town. Some leaders are finding the need to add a Bowling Alley to their church facilities. Do you imagine that God gave those instructions? Perhaps instead of gold ornaments and fixtures, they thought to spend that money on something to attract young men and women off the streets, right? I pray that God will not see me in a judgmental way in this blog today. I merely wanted to share my thoughts – perhaps God’s whisperings to me as I read this account today. I believe that God will speak to us individually through His Word, including today’s Scripture, if we welcome Him in. Perhaps He wants each believer to be intimate with Him about every need or concern, even our respective church facilities. There may be some that merely attend church for an hour on Sunday mornings, and they feel content that they have met this ‘religious’ tradition, or commitment for the week. God may be saying to you that He needs you involved in every aspect of His work, even down to His sanctuary – whether existing or in the process of upgrading to meet the needs of His people that want to have a closer walk with Him. God’s Word is one of the primary ways of you hearing His voice as he directs your path. It’s important to listen, and obey, dear friends!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God speaks to us through His Word! May our hearts be open to His direction and His leading today – even if that includes His Sanctuary.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are all-powerful and all-mighty in every way. You created us in Your image so that we might be like You, and that we might have a desire to please You in all walks of life. Thank You for opening our eyes today to the simple, but extravagant building of Your sanctuary. Please continue to remind us of the importance of meeting with You each day, and especially when we visit with You in Your sanctuary. Bless us O Lord as we seek to honor, serve and obey Your commands. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Stop Giving

Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 36:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: … “The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that God has commanded us to do!”
6-7 So Moses sent out orders through the camp: “Men! Women! No more offerings for the building of the Sanctuary!”
The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.

OBSERVATION: Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

APPLICATION: Most growing churches looking to build a new sanctuary to meet their current, and projected future needs, will try to build a much larger building than they currently worship in. With today’s cost of living, and current building material costs, conservative estimates are in the millions of dollars to construct a nice church building with all the comfort and amenities congregations have come to demand. It’s just a fact of life in the 21st century! Many churches struggle to meet normal budget needs, so how should they possibly consider finding funds for a mega building? But let us consider what might be the difference between the Israelites Moses dealt with in his building plan, verses today’s church? The Israelites came from a life of slavery in Egypt, and followed a man led by God – Moses, towards an unknown land simply known as The Promised Land (a land promised by God). They were witness to miracle after miracle as God forced the Egyptian king to let the Israelites (slaves) go. Additionally, the Israelites saw additional miracles as God protected them, fed them, and lovingly cared for them during their journey through the Wilderness. God gave them everything they needed, so wouldn’t you assume that they too would give sacrificially now that they are given the opportunity of giving everything needed for the house of God? After all, He provided for their every need when they had no other choice, so wouldn’t He also now provide for their needs as they give sacrificially to His house of praise and worship? But friends, how is this different to what we face today? Can’t you see that the doubts that arise in our minds about committing to give for the work of God, and the excuses that we quickly come up with about giving even more than our tithe for a building fund, are simply Satan’s way of helping us change our priority in giving? After all, don’t we depend on God every day for our jobs, our health, our protection and our peace of mind about finding food for our families? So with that in mind, if we ask God to direct us in our giving towards the growth of His work in our community through our church, don’t you think that He will continue to be God and lead us through each day with all the provisions we need – even after committing to give more to His work? As a child, I remember working extra small jobs and helping my parents in filling our missionary offering box, for their annual Missionary fundraising. I could only imagine that the Israelites may have found innovative ways of raising extra money, such as growing one extra head of cattle, so the funds could go towards the construction of the sanctuary. Surely God could open our eyes to ways that we could also give more for His work/ministry that will ultimately help to reach more lost people in our communities. If we all do our part, perhaps our pastor might be able to do as Moses did, and let the congregants know that ‘we have enough, no need to continue giving the extra funds’! But friends, please continue giving until you receive that word from your church!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving so much to us! You have blessed us with life itself; with jobs; with food enough, even in excess; with good health; money enough to help others in need; and above all, You have offered us salvation – at the expense of Your One and only Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me. Please help my readers and I to be mindful of all that You bless us with each day, especially when we try to evaluate what we might give to bless others. Help us to remember the church growth You have blessed us with when we see the need for a larger sanctuary, so that we might also give sacrificially, just as You did for us. Be magnified oh God because of our willingness to give, sacrificially if necessary, for Your ongoing work. May our giving be from a thankful heart filled with love for our Master! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!