Let it all go…

Ezekiel 41:1-4

Then he brought me into the sanctuary [fn1] and measured the doorposts, six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side—the width of the tabernacle. 2 The width of the entryway was ten cubits, and the side walls of the entrance were five cubits on this side and five cubits on the other side; and he measured its length, forty cubits, and its width, twenty cubits.

3 Also he went inside and measured the doorposts, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits high; and the width of the entrance, seven cubits. 4 He measured the length, twenty cubits; and the width, twenty cubits, beyond the sanctuary; and he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=41&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Definitions given for sanctuary are as follows taken from Merriam Webster:

: a consecrated place: as

a: the ancient Hebrew temple at Jerusalem or its holy of holies

b (1): the most sacred part of a religious building (as the part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed) (2): the room in which general worship services are held (3): a place (as a church or a temple) for worship

2

a (1): a place of refuge and protection (2): a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal

b: the immunity from law attached to a sanctuary

Pasted from <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctuary>

A consecrated place would be a place set aside for a specified use.  It is defined also as a safe place, a place to rest in safety.  What is noted about this description is the difference in entrances.  The closer we get to the inner place, the place called Most Holy, the narrower the entrance.  We cannot enter carrying a lot of ‘stuff’ but must leave all but ourselves outside.  In this place we meet with the Holy One and there is no room for any other or anything else.  What a picture!  We cannot hold on to anything we feel ‘we can’t live without’ because it gets in the way of our relationship with the Lord.  We can live without it because He is our life.  He is all we need.

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One world, one God, one rule…

Ezekiel 37:24-28

“David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” ’

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=37&t=nkjvp>

What can we learn of God?  He loves His people.  He will give them one king and one shepherd.  The shadow of unity is apparent.  He desires that they follow His laws and His decrees.  We can differentiate between God’s laws and man’s laws.  He wants His people to be in the place He gave them, forever.  He desires to live among them, loving them and being loved by them.  He would have a sanctuary among them, a place of peace, rest, and safety.  He wants them to know Him.  He wants to be their God and them to be His people.  He wants all to know that He is God.

When God speaks it is so.  We can so count on him and his word!  Jesus came from David’s lineage, son of God, to rule over his people in unity, love, and bringing peace and a new covenant.

“…David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd;…”

God’s word fulfilled.  Jesus quotes scripture and tells us that He is the good Shepherd, He knows His sheep and they know His voice.  Can we see the parallel?

“…John 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine….”

The Spirit overrules the physical.  The Spirit has no limits. The physical is limited by time and space.  We exist in Christ, in spirit and so can soar over the confines of the physical.

“…John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him….”

He has brought us to a place he gives.  He has provided a sanctuary within each of us and lives among us.  We have him in common providing a unity the world cannot sustain.  O how He loves you and me…

May this song minister to us this day:

click and listen or sing!

O How He Loves You and Me!

Song title: Oh How He Loves You and Me lyrics
by Kurt Kaiser

Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave His life, what more could He give;
Oh, how He loves you, Oh, how He loves me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.

Jesus to Calv’ry did go,
His love for mankind to show.
What He did there brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you, Oh, how He loves me,
Oh how He loves you and me.

Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave His life, what more could He give;
Oh, how He loves you, Oh, how He loves me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.

Song title: Oh How He Loves You and Me Chords
by Kurt Kaiser

Coals of fire….purify

Ezekiel 10:1-8

And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne. Then He spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, “Go in among the wheels, under the cherub, fill your hands with coals of fire from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.” And he went in as I watched.

Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s glory. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.

Then it happened, when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,” that he went in and stood beside the wheels. And the cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed with linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=10&v=1&t=NKJVP>

The vision contains the same creatures found in Ezekiel’s first vision.  The difference is that they are now in the temple – a place the Lord calls his sanctuary.  This place that the elders of the people, the leaders who should be leading in the worship of Almighty God, have placed idols that are images worshipped in place or instead of God.  God has called these images and the worship of them abominations in one translation and desecration in another.  The people have left worshipping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and turned to the gods of their neighbors and Egypt.  We are given a clear understanding that this is definitely displeasing to God, so much so that he is willing to bring destruction upon them, a curse rather than a blessing.  Again the repeated theme is noted.  For sin there is a consequence, death.  To avoid that consequence we have one option.  God sent his son to provide that option and give us a covering for the sin we are born into.  Receiving the atonement of Christ for our sins covers us and gives us the mark mentioned in yesterday’s reading.  It protects from the spoken curse of sin.

This passage gives pause to consider today’s sanctuary.  Is it still a place where God’s presence can be found?  Or has it been littered with ‘idols’ from our own time and space?  Do we enter to worship Almighty God or are we distracted by other forms?  What about our inner selves?  The word tells us our bodies are his sanctuary.  1 Corinthians 3:16 states:

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Consider the coals.  Fire purifies, burns off the dross and leaves the pure element behind.  The Holy Spirit is often referred to as fire.  This is the fire that enters us and purifies our inner selves leaving us pure, a place where the Lord himself can reside.

picture taken from: http://smartsayingsfortoday.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/stirring-up-strife/

Let’s spend some time searching our lives and our beings for signs of anything that is being placed ahead of God.  Is there

anything “we can’t live without”?  Let our ‘sanctuary’ be free of any ‘idols’ that would grieve the heart of God.