Chosen to Be a House of Sacrifice

2 Chronicles 7:12-15 ESV

“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.’”

A House of Sacrifice

The house of the Lord that Solomon built was a physical temple. Today the temple of God is within the hearts and lives of all who are believing in Jesus Christ, our Messiah, with God given faith, who have died and are dying daily with him to sin, and who are walking in obedience to his commands. And all of this was made possible for us by Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins on that cross that we might be set free from slavery to sin and become slaves of God.

And we are now to give our lives to the Lord Jesus as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our acceptable worship of God. And no longer are we to be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from living in sin to now living to God and to his righteousness. For Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.

We are no longer to conduct our lives in practice like the ungodly who have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way that we should have learned Christ if we were taught the truth in Christ to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

We are, therefore, to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For sin shall no longer have dominion over us. So we are not to present ourselves as instruments for unrighteousness but for righteousness, and no longer present ourselves to sin, but to God as those who have been brought from death to life – all because of God’s grace which trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return.

[1 Co 3:9,16-17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:1,15,21; 2 Co 6:14-16; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:11-16; Rom 12:4-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Col 1:24; Jude 1:20-21; Eph 2:8-10; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Pet 2:24; Eph 4:17-32; Tit 2:11-14]

Divine Discipline

Those who the Lord loves he disciplines, scourges, reproves, rebukes, and chastises. It is for discipline that we endure. God disciplines us for our good so that we may share his holiness. When we are being disciplined of God, it is painful, yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in our lives. So, we are to rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, character, and hope.

So, we are not to be surprised when a fiery trial comes upon us to test us, which I believe is the object of God shutting off the rain and sending locusts and pestilence among his people. But we are to rejoice that we share in Christ’s sufferings. For we are destined for afflictions. But we are to count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds, for the testing of our faith produces steadfastness with the goal of us reaching spiritual maturity.

[Heb 12:3-12; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Jn 15:1-11]

If My People

So, first we were told that God’s house is to be a house of sacrifice. And then the conversation went right into God sending trials and difficulties upon his people, and then it went right into a call for repentance. So, I believe we can fill in the blanks here and we can assume that the message being conveyed is that God’s house, his temple, his body, is to be a house given over to God, dedicated to him and to his service, according to his will and purpose.

Today this would be the body of Christ, his church, and individual believers in Jesus Christ. Our lives are to be given over to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. And the purpose of the discipline, in this case, would be because his people were not treating God and his temple as a place of sacrifice to God, but they were engaged in some kind of wickedness, perhaps to a large degree and involving many people, which is the situation with much of the Lord’s church today, at least in America.

And the purpose of God sending the divine discipline is to strongly encourage his people to turn from their sins and to turn back to God and to be those living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. And I believe that is why we are going through much of the difficulties our nations are going through right now, because God is judging his wayward people in order to encourage them to humble themselves, to seek his face, and to turn from wickedness.

Yet, I believe he is using these difficulties in all of our lives to get all of us to examine our lives and our relationships with the Lord, and to grow us in our walks of faith to maturity in Christ before our Lord returns for his bride. He is pruning and purifying us to make us ready for his return and for our marriage to him and our salvation yet to be completed when he returns. And the healing that will take place will be that our hearts are right with him.

And all of this is possible because of God’s glorious grace to us. Even the divine discipline and correction is his grace to us because we all still live in flesh bodies, and we all still have a propensity to sin against him, and so it is possible that some might wander from their purity of devotion to the Lord and fall back into sin and will need to be brought back into pure fellowship with the Lord. And only there do we find true healing and perfect peace!

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Glorious Grace

An Original Work / August 8, 2012
Based off Ephesians 1:3-10 NIV

Praise be to God, the Father of Jesus,
Who has blessed us in heavenly realms.
For He chose us in Him from beginning
To be His holy children of God;
All in accord with His will and pleasure;
To the praise of His glorious grace.

In Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness.
We have redemption through His shed blood.
Glorious grace God freely has given us
In the One He loves and adores;
All in accord with the riches of His grace
Which He pours out on those He loves.

With all His wisdom and understanding,
God has made known His will unto us,
According to His will and good pleasure,
Purposed in Christ till all be fulfilled;
To bring all things on earth and in heaven
Under our Lord Christ; be unified.

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