Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Kings 8-9
“So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.” (8:11) What an atmosphere it must have been that day in the temple as the ark of the covenant was brought to the Holy of Holies. The ark was a picture of God’s presence, power, and purity. Oh how I desire that Faith Baptist Church would be a place where God delights to dwell. Where His presence is noticeable. On this special day the priest could not even stand to minister because of the intensity of the glory of the Lord. It gives new meaning to “whether therefore, ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do; do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Can you imagine a service where people are walking the isle during the prelude because of the presence of God was so convicting that people are getting right with God because of His presence, a fear of His power, and the reality of His purity? Secular humanism has destroyed the atmosphere of worship in many of our churches today. People attend church for selfish reasons. People want the church to do something for them, to entertain them, to satisfy them, to fix their families, finances, or their flesh. However, church should be about meeting face to face with God. Worship is about God being pictured, praised, and pleased. As Solomon lifted his voice in prayer to God, he asked God to hear their prayer of dedication. Every Sunday we give people a chance to silently prepare their heart in prayer before the Lord. It is an opportunity for us to ask God to work in our lives, to acknowledge that God is present, to submit to His position, and to seek to emulate His purity in life. The silent prayer is an opportunity for each person to make that service about God and not about himself or herself. Each person should ask the question at the end of each service: (1) Was God pleased with the preparation of my heart for worship today? (2) Was God pleased with the way I sang praises to Him from my heart? (3) Was God pleased with the way I listened to the preaching, acknowledged the principles taught, and responded personally? Unfortunately most people in church today only have one thought following a service… “where are we going for lunch?” As Solomon continued his prayer he asked God to forgive their sin, and to provide grace for the circumstances of life. He asked God to help Israel be a good witness and testimony of God’s purposes and program for life. It is interesting to note that he did not ask God to keep them from battles, but to protect them during the battles. We are going to have battles as we navigate this life: battles with our flesh, the world, and the Devil. Oh how we need the protection of God during those times of temptation and trial. Solomon closes his prayer with asking God to keep Israel distinct from those around them. God had chosen Israel for a special purpose and Solomon wanted people to see that in the way Israel worshipped, worked, and witnessed. May Christians have the same prayer today as we seek to show the world Christ!
• Lord, please help me to be sensitive to your constant presence in my life. May I remember that my body is the temple where you have chosen to dwell, and I am commanded to glorify you in my body and in my spirit because I belong to you.
• Lord, please help me to exalt your name in everything I do. May people see Christ in me and seek to know more about you as they see your person, power, and purity.
• Lord, thank you for your patience with me. I want to worship you at all times and to make you the center of my being and life. May I help in corporate worship to create an atmosphere where your glory fills our church like a cloud. Oh how I want to see your power present at every service.