There is a house which I pass regularly on my way into town. I’ve always admired it - it’s part of an old terraced building and has two beautiful stained glass windows downstairs. The windows have very attractive curtains and on one deep window ledge there is a large, stunning china ornament which I’m certain would be very expensive to buy. Just recently a ‘For Sale’ sign appeared in the garden.
Now I have no intention in this world of moving house but I wanted to see the inside of this little gem which had come on the market and by the wonders of modern technology this was very easy to do.
What a disappointment!
When I googled it, the first tell tale sign was the price tag. The selling price was very modest. Then, when I looked at the interior, it was very poorly furnished and was described as ‘in need of some upgrading’. It was clean and tidy but had little else to recommend it. The owner had obviously made a huge effort to keep up appearances to the outside world but inside things were so different.
I keep thinking about it.
It is a perfect description of many lives. Looking good on the outside, but so poor on the inside. I did admire the efforts of the owner to keep up appearances to the outside world and, I don’t know the background, but maybe this was all that could be achieved. But when we think of the spiritual - and the eternal - side of things surely we don’t want to live this way? I’m not speaking of the material things that can be bought with cash, but of the quality of the life inside us - life that cannot be bought with money but comes from our walk with God. Richness, peace, security, joy and contentment - these are the things that should ‘furnish’ the inside of our beings.
Are they ‘in need of some upgrading’ in our lives? Thank God, that can be provided - without money and without price. Let’s upgrade the place where we are living - by walking closely with the Saviour.
The Israelites had various feast days throughout the year and the purpose of some of these gatherings was ..... to look back. Two notable examples are the Passover Feast and the Feast of Tabernacles. The first of these reminded them of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The second, of God’s faithfulness and provision for them on their long journey through the wilderness. What was the purpose of these feast days? It was first of all, to gather the people together - because there was strength and encouragement in being together - and then to remind them that in very difficult circumstances, God had brought them through. And to increase their faith that it would be so again.
They also had times when they were told to look up. Abraham was told to look up to the high places and God said He would give them to him for his inheritance. The people looked up at Mount Sinai and felt the awe and power of a holy God. At the dedication of the temple as they looked, not at the the temple but up to the God for whom they had built the temple, the glory fell upon them. The purpose of looking up was to remind them of the God in whom they trusted and of His love for them, of His greatness and His power to help them.
And at times they looked forward. Joshua looked forward to conquering Canaan, David looked forward to overcoming Goliath, and the disciples looked forward with anticipation to taking the gospel of Jesus Christ out into the world after He had died, risen again and poured out His Spirit upon them.
The secret that Joshua, David and the disciples had learned was this —they each looked back and took encouragement from what they had seen and known of the action of God; they also had learned to look up and see something of Who God is and feel the power that is in Him. And because of that, they could look forward with confidence into a future where there were many uncertainties and many unexpected twists in the road - God would surely be with them.
Child of God - Where are you looking ?
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