This morning I was reading out 1 Kings 6 and 7 and saw a couple things that really grabbed my heart and mind. I thought I would simply share what God is saying to me today and maybe it will speak to you too.
The first was as the temple was being built by Solomon God gave him a promise with an expectation. It is found in 1 Kings 6:11-13. Basically God tells Solomon that if he and the Israelites will do everything he has said and obey all his commands they will be blessed by his presence in that temple. I realized how many people still see a relationship with Christ like that. We must realize that God’s grace in Jesus Christ has changed the requirement of the Law in our life. It has not changed the Law, the Law has simply been fulfilled completely in Jesus Christ. Our righteousness is not our own. It is the righteousness of Christ. I am so grateful for such grace.
Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting with a new believer at our church. Their questions were awesome. We talked about all kinds of stuff. Their denominational background is very different than ours. They had been taught that God’s grace is administered through the Church. They were told they could not go to Christ on their own but only through the church. This person shared with me that at the age of 17, while going through the religious training of their old denomination, they had questioned that. They knew it was not quite right but did not know why. Now they do. Do not turn your faith in Christ into the Old Temple experience of works. The death and resurrection of Christ changed everything, let it change you too.
It was great for me to hear this morning, too. I need to realize that all my “getting it right” is not what God honors. God’s “getting me right” is what he honors. That thought really came alive with my next realization.
The first verse in 1 Kings 7 says that it took Solomon 13 years to build his palace. Well chapter 6 told us it took 7 to build the temple. The palace was almost twice as big as the temple, too. How much are our lives like Solomon’s? Here is a man that was given the ability to ask for anything from God and he asked for wisdom. God gave it to him. The odd thing is when you examine his life, he knew the wisdom, but was not devoted to it.
Solomon’s life is not one purely built on wisdom, it was a life that was able to speak wisdom. There is a difference. I think the difference is devotion. What are you devoted to? Was Solomon more devoted to God or to self? I mean he gave 7 years to the work of the Temple and did not even weigh the metals being used to make it beautiful. He gave much to that work. Yet, at the same time, he spent twice as long on his own dwelling place and built it twice as big.
It seems Solomon was really devoted to Solomon. This thought hit me. I can do all kinds of good things but that does not mean I am correctly devoted. I read an interesting blog yesterday from Steven Furtick about devotion that came to my mind as I pondered this. (It is short. You can read it here. http://www.stevenfurtick.com/uncategorized/they-devoted-themselves/.) The new believers in Acts were devoted to the right things. They did not expect others to be devoted to them as much as they devoted themselves.
Are you devoted? Are you surrendered over? Is you kingdom bigger or smaller than God’s in your life? Is your house bigger than God’s in your world? We can be devoted to too many things and basically not really be devoted to anything. Do you look at the things that are a part of devoted to the apostles’ teachings as more important or less important than the other things you do in life?
Many would say, “but look at the majesty of the temple Solomon built, how can you question his devotion?” We can give God a lot of stuff and never give him ourselves. We can have a lot of things in life, but does God have more from our life?
So basically God encouraged me with the truth of his grace and then challenged me with the truth about my devotion. That is a great morning with God. A word of encouragement and a word of correction. God used the His Word, His Spirit, other believers, and the activities of my everyday life to speak into my life. I thought sharing how God works and speak is my life in the regular day to day interaction might help you have some insight in how he intends to do that in your life too.