We will not neglect the house of our God.Nehemiah 10:39b
Throughout the history of Israel, the temple, or the tabernacle before that, was called
the house of God. God signified His presence there by the shekinah glory that was located in the Holy of Holies. Today, under the New Testament, no building is ever to be called
the house of God. This has been ignored by churches throughout the centuries, and temples, cathedrals, tabernacles, and church buildings have all been called
the house of God. If you look at the teaching of the New Testament, however, you will find that it is not a building but the people who are the house of God. At one point, we even changed the sign in front of our building to reflect this truth. Where it says
Peninsula Bible Church, we added the words
Meets Here. Thus, it is not the building that is the church--it is the people who gather here. They are
the house of God.
Notice the commitment of these people to attend faithfully the worship services of the temple. We all need the ministry of the saints. Paul prayed that the Ephesians
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19). You cannot do that without the ministry of other people. Hebrews has a specific admonition to that end:
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). The writer is referring to the return of Jesus. As we see it nearing, we need all the more to gather together because we need each other's support.
Two men of widely different temperaments work together. Normally they would not get along very well, and they might not even like each other. But they work together, and both agree that having to work with someone with whom they do not particularly have an affinity has been a blessing to them. They have learned how to appreciate someone different from themselves. They have learned how to be tolerant and patient with one another. Though it has been a struggle and they have had their moments, they both agree that God has used this to teach them how to grow. So even those in
the house of God who irritate us can be of benefit to us.
Father, thank You for the house of God--for those men and women You have placed around me, who in one way or another I desperately need. May I learn to appreciate and love them.
Have we learned patience and received blessing from believers who are different from us? Are we faithfully meeting and ministering with others in the body of Christ?