Denny Hollowell - Pastor Appreciation Day 2014
A House and Home for God: In Isaiah 66:1-2 God makes a big statement of “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool”. He then asks the questions, “Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?” Those are big questions, seemingly impossible to answer. Then He emphasizes the thought behind His questions with another question asking, “’Has not my hand made all things, and so they came into being?’ declares the LORD.” Are we really supposed to answer such questions from The Almighty God? How can we? Is there anything that mortal man could say to these questions? He gives us a lead-in/clue when He tells us in verse 2b, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word”. In answering the questions God asked, we can remember the man-made houses of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting where Moses met with God; the first temple, Solomon’s Temple; the Second Temple, built under the leadership of Nehemiah; and Herod’s Temple, in which Jesus walked. They were made by men but with directions from God. His presence dwelt there to meet with the people. But then we come to the New Covenant, with Messiah Jesus as the mediator of this New Covenant in His blood. In this covenant Almighty God actually comes to dwell in the believer who has by faith sincerely received Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior. We are His temple. Jesus is the “Cornerstone”; we are the “living stones.” As we submit ourselves to God in Messiah Jesus, Christians, as both individuals and a group, are being molded and shaped. We are being built in Him as a dwelling place for Him (John 14:16-17, 20, 23; Ephesians 2:19-22; First Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; Second Corinthians 6:16; First Peter 2:4-5). We cannot really make anything to offer the Creator God that He cannot make Himself. What He wants is for us to receive Him on His terms by accepting the Lord Jesus as our Messiah, Savior and Lord. Then we are to be an obedient child of God. He wants the pleasure of living with us, working with us and revealing Himself to us. As we submit ourselves to Him we grow in knowledge of Him. We grow in spiritual maturity. We grow in our relationship with Him. As this happens we are being built personally and being built together with other believers all over the world as a house, a Temple in which Almighty God can live and call His home. Amazingly enough, the born-again believer is a house and home for God. Collectively, all the believers are God’s House, God’s Temple. In His Temple dwells righteousness. All of those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior are the righteousness of God in Messiah Jesus (Second Corinthians 5:21). So God’s question for us here in Isaiah 66:1-2 is answered. If you have received the Lord Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior recognizing Him, who is the mediator of the New Covenant, as the Messiah/Christ and you are before Him “humble and contrite in spirit” with awesome respect for His Word, the Holy Bible, then He says “This is the one I esteem.” You are the Temple of God being built, along with other Christians, as His house. He makes His home with you, with us, in us. Think of it, God made and has the beauty of Heaven and the entire universe. In fact, scientists know that the Universe is expanding. God, in His creative and artistic unfathomable genius is still creating the Universe. He has a throne surrounded by a multitude of obedient angels. But still He had no home, no resting place. But God made mankind and He had a plan. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you, we, are His home, His resting place! This makes you either want to shout “WOW, thank you Jesus!” or say it in a hushed voice because you feel weak with awe and amazement. This should make you happy and enthused to tell others about Jesus and the forgiveness of sins and eternal life Jesus brings to those who by faith receive Him.