Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
At Home In Heaven (Part 3)
Where Heaven Is Not
The Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 'Stand in the Gate of the Lord’s House, and proclaim there this Word, and say, ‘Hear the Word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!' ' Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these…' '
'Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My Name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations'? Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,' says the Lord.
Jeremiah 7:1-4,8-11 (NKJV)
Heaven is not found in a building or denomination. Heaven is not found in a church we attend once a week. In Jeremiah 7, God denounced His people's use of 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.' One famous theologian put it this way:
'The things in which they trusted, and in which the false prophets taught them to place their confidence, were their coming up to the temple at certain times for religious exercises, and their attendance... when all manner of sin and wickedness were committed by them, which they thought to atone for by coming to the temple and worshipping there' (Gill's Exposition re: Jeremiah 7:4).*
God hates hypocrisy. In John 4, Jesus made Heaven's location clear. He revealed it through an extraordinary conversation with a Samaritan woman: a foreigner and five-time loser living in sin. Even so, she was a truth-seeker and truth-speaker. As such, she was chosen by the Son of God to receive this groundbreaking information.
'Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father... But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth' ' (John 4:21-24).
Heaven is not found in spaces, but in Spirit; not in temples, but in truth; not in walls, but in worship; not in rules, but in relationship; not in laws, but in love; not in judgment, but in joy; not in politics, but in peace; not in pushing, but in patience;
Not in killing words, but in kindness; not in greatness, but in goodness; not in freedom of self, but in faithfulness to God; not in griping, but in gentleness; not in self-expression, but in self-control.
To Be Continued...
* Bible commentaries on Jeremiah 7:4: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/jeremiah/7-4.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the At Home In Heaven series.