Saturday, November 19, 2016


Person, Place, or Thing

The Place

"For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His habitation.
This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell,
for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her needy with bread.
Her priests also I will clothe with salvation,
And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.
There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth;
I have prepared a lamp for Mine anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon himself his crown shall shine."
(verses 13-18)

The Lord gets to choose., i.e. Zion.  We choose to complain or we choose to let go and chalk it up to "Father Knows Best."  We can even choose to be thankful!  He chose it because He desired to make it His home. It was His delight. Now, from our perspective, this isn't just about the Temple Mount where the struggle between Arabs and Christians still exists. Of course that's not where God's wants to set up His housekeeping.  He's more patient than that.  God says, in I Chronicles 17:3ff...

"It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 'Go and tell David My servant, 'Thus says the Lord, 'You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another.  In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, 'Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?' ...I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; ...Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build  a house for you.  When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom .  He shall build for Me a house; and  I will establish his throne forever." 

I went Friday to my grandchildren's Grandparents Day gathering and a question was asked to the crowd of silver and white, "Who has lived the longest in one house."  One bent over very senior grandmother said, "67 years."  Wow!  Let's see, I lived in the Kansas City grey house, the brick house, the Lawrence, Kansas parsonage, the Pasadena, California house, the Los Osos, California house, the Los Osos newlywed bungalow, the Point Loma College married student housing apartment one, apartment two, the Linda Vista, San Diego, duplex, the Kansas City Presidential Apartments, the Kansas City house--the first house we ever bought--the Weaverville parsonage, the Yreka parsonage, the Roseburg parsonage, the Hallwood parsonage, and three houses on River Run Drive in Edgewater in Linda, California: 19 residences.  How about you?  How many places have you lived? 

Kind of makes you sympathize with God moving tent to tent with those Hebrew children. You see, even in their disobedienct wandering in the desert for forty years, God was still there moving along in the Tent of the Tabernacle," from place to place with them.  Then they kept losing the Ark of the Covenant until David finally rounded it back up to take it to Jerusalem.  But God said, "Wait."  Don't worry about building me a house.  Who are you anyway?  Did I ask you to do that?  Couldn't I have built my own house if I wanted?  I'm God, aren't I?  Instead, let me build you a house.  And what a house it is!  Zion is the Church of the Living God upon which rock the gates of hell shall not prevail! 

"It is His rest for ever, and shall be blessed with His presence always, even to the end of the world."(Matthew Henry)  "After this there will not be another dispensation: Christianity closes and completes all communications from heaven to earth.  God has nothing greater to give to mankind on this side of heaven."  (Adam Clarke) 

Jesus is God's last word, this holy thing begotten, whose first home was a barn, whose family fled to Egypt, who came back to Nazareth (throw in a few trips to Cornwall, England with His great-uncle Joseph of Arimathea), until finally He said of Himself, "Birds have nests and foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head."  Our homeless Saviour wants only to live in our hearts.   Now that's the kind of Zion I'm talking about.  The resting place of God is in the hearts and in the lives of believers called the Church.  But not only that, He has been preparing a place for us that where He is, there we may be also in heaven someday. 

That's what I'm talking about, a Place where her saints will shout aloud for joy!

But finally there is "the Thing."

"Upon himself shall his crown shall shine."

Oh, you know, that ding that sounds when the glint and glimmer shines off  of the royal crown, like the toothpaste commercial, only better, much better. 
The crown is the Thing,
the pretty, shiney thing.

So, if your house is on fire,
and you can only grab one thing,
what would it be?
Go for the gold.
Grab the crown,
and the one who wears it,
King Jesus Himself.
Truly, it's not about
a place or a thing,
but a person,
the One who loves you
to the moon and back,
and to heaven and back.


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