Honor His House
It is important, for our sake, that when we go into His house, we know that it is His house.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing all right today? Bless your heart. I hope everything’s all right with you. I’m so grateful for the privilege of sharing with you from the Word of God, day after day.
And once again, we’re looking at 1 Timothy 3. Using the office of a deacon means meeting the need, winning them to Jesus. Now, he says, “These things I read unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly.” Paul made plans and so indeed may you and I. I touched on this a day or so ago, but I’ll just come back to it long enough to remind you. God is on the side of planning. “The diligent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself, the simple pass on and are punished. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first,” and said, “To see if he have sufficient to finish the work. Or if he goes out to war with the army, he sends out an ambassage to see whether he have sufficient soldiers to win the battle.” This from the lips of our Savior.
The Bible is in favor of planning. There’s no doubt about that. But the Bible is also in favor of flexible planning that God can influence. Make room in your plans for God to get into. Henrietta Mears used to quote someone saying, “Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” She believed in big plans and so indeed, I suppose, does every effective servant of God. You could go right, straight, up and down the line of those whom God is using greatly even in our day, and find out that they planned effectively and in large dimensions. They didn’t plan in little dimensions, they planned in large dimensions.
Planning with God does not mean to be so mystical that you’re not practical. Brother Frost, who wrote about Hudson Taylor, remarked that at one time the great missionary was about to construct a schedule, and Frost said that he expected they would have an extended time of prayer and wait for some guidance along on the matter. Instead, he said that the missionary leader prayed a brief prayer, asked for guidance and said, “Now, have you got some railroad timetables and some maps?” And they went to work on a sensible business with the map, finding out what the places are that they needed to touch and then the railroad schedules which would enable them to reach those places.
Sensibleness, good sense is not inimical with spirituality. You don’t have to be impractical to be spiritual. Aren’t you glad that’s so? See, if you don’t have good sense and you’re impractical, don’t blame God or your spiritual life. Paul prayed for the people at Colossae. He said, “I’m praying for you, that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” He said, “I want you to know what the will of God is, I want you to have wisdom enough to know how to get at it, and I want you to have spiritual understanding, which will help you know when you’ve done it.” [chuckle]
Somebody was asking a friend of mine what his goals were. He said, “Broadly, it’s to find out, to know what I want, to know how to get it, and to know when I’ve got it.” All right. Make your plans, but make them flexible enough so God can change them for His glory. All right?
Of course, business has learned that. Business doesn’t pray, big business doesn’t have any religious connotation, unless indeed it’s run by a born again person. But big corporations are known for being heartless. And yet they’ll ask you to make a five-year plan, and then a four, and a three, and a two-year plan and then a six-month contingent plan. You make one budget and you’re apt to be sent back to make an alternate budget that takes into account changes that we may not be able to foresee or guarantee. Now, you business people, you know all about that. You don’t set anything in cement and say, “This is how it has to be for the next five years.” You make room for the changes. Well, do the same thing in walking with your Lord. Make your plans, but make them flexible enough so God can get into them.
So he said, “I hope to come unto thee shortly.” Verse 14. “But if I tarry long.” See the difference? I wanna get there in a hurry, but if I can’t, I’m writing to you so you’ll have something on which to go, something on which to build your ministry. “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Let’s talk about this verse for a moment. He says, “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God.”
Small thought here. I’ve heard very few sermons on how to behave in church. Can you remember hearing anything like that? Churches anymore are getting to be the social center of the redeemed, which indeed they may very well be. “Daily in the temple and in every house they cease not to teach and preach Jesus Christ and they ate their bread with gladness and singleness of heart.” So there was breaking of bread and there was teaching and there was preaching and there was praying and their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and their fellowship with other believers became the very center of all of their life, that New Testament church, right after Pentecost.
That being so, does it bother you at all that people are entirely too casual in church? That there’s too much talking and joking and disorder? Well, I’m not one to make churchgoing an unpleasant experience. I’ve met people who’ve rebelled against the Gospel because they were forced to go to church and then they were forced to sit still and be quiet and they just rebelled against the whole thing. I’m not after that and you know it. What I’m talking about is there should be a real reverence, shouldn’t there? On our part as we go into the House of Worship. In church, you go to meet not the minister or each other, but God.
To meet with God. “The church is the house of God,” said he. “The church of the living God.” Now, see, there’s a distinction, there’s the place and then there’s the entity. The church of the living God. “And He in turn is the pillar and ground of the truth that we hold and upon which we build.” He said, “You ought to know how to behave.” Why? Because this place has been dedicated to God, it’s the house of God.
Second, this place is particularly the place where we experience the Presence of the living God and this place is the place where we have reference to the one who is the basis for everything we believe. He is the pillar and the ground of the truth.
So what is your attitude toward the church? You wanna rethink that at all? Do you wanna think about it? No, you don’t have to. If you’re perfectly content with the way things are, go ahead, it’s alright. But, if what I’ve just said in these last few moments has any meaning for you, as you rear your family, as you train your children, as you teach them why we go to church. Are you saved by going to church? Of course not. Is God impressed? Does He think more kindly of you because you are regular in your churchgoing? No, you don’t buy any favor from God by doing anything. “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
God said to Gideon, “You got too many people. If we give them the victory, with this many people they’ll say my own hand hath saved me, my own arm hath saved me. We don’t want them to boast about themselves,” God says. So we’re gonna narrow it down to 300 people, and give them a pitcher, an Ever-Ready flashlight, and a secondhand coronet, and we’ll go to war with that and God. So that God isn’t impressed, particularly, by what we say or do. At the same time, it is important for our sake that when we go into His house we know it is His house.
Second, we know that we’re worshipping Him, the living God. And third, that we know that this is the very basis, this worship I mean to say, of a living God, is the very basis of all that we hold dear. You wanna train your children that way, that in church we’re not there to laugh and giggle and meet our friends and pass notes and chew gum. We’re there to worship God.
Now where do you learn to worship? You learn to worship in the home. If a child hasn’t learned worship in the home, it’s gonna be more difficult when he or she gets into the church setting and comes to what we call the age of accountability where one is responsible for his own decisions vis-Ã -vis the Deity.
Where do you learn to worship? The child can learn to worship early on at family altar, when once a day you bow and have prayer together. I’ve seen that happen with little children, my own and others. At a very tender age, when the child is barely able to sit in the high chair, they’ll learn to fold their little hands and bow their head- now we pray.
And you don’t have to pray an eternal prayer, so that the child comes to the end of its attention span and starts to fidget and then gets scolded. Don’t do it that way; you can pray a short prayer and be perfectly sincere. But you can teach children to worship early on in their life and having had that beginning experience in a Christian home, then when they come to church, you can teach them that this a place where we specially gather to seek God’s face and His favor, to worship Him, “Just as we do, dear,” you can say, “Just as we do when we have family altar at home, we talk to our Heavenly Father and we listen to what He may have to say to us from His Word.” “Worship, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God.” The place is dedicated to Him, our focus is on Him, the living God. And we recognize in Him, the basis of all that we hold dear.
I used to go to sleep, now and again, during the evenings when my father would have family worship at night before we retired. And I would always pick the big leather chair over in the corner of that basement flat in Cleveland, Ohio. And I would kneel there and then as he prayed, because he always prayed long, I don’t know why that was, but he did, I would fall asleep and then I would be gently wakened and go off to bed. I don’t suppose that impressed God any, but I formed a habit, in those days, of waiting for the time when we all prayed together at family worship. You ought to start that in your own home. It would have such good results with your children.
Dear Father today, oh may we behave ourselves in a manner that will honor and glorify our blessed Lord. I ask in Jesus’s name, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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