Ecclesiastes Part V
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to approach in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong. Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Just as dreams accompany much labor, so also a fool’s voice comes with many words. When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because he does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you, and do not say in the presence of the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands? For many dreams bring futility, so do many words. Therefore, fear God. :-17
1. Church isn’t Full of Good People, It’s Full of Forgiven People
2. Our City Needs the Church
He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The landowner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he told them.
“ ‘So, do you want us to go and pull them up?’ the servants asked him.
“ ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you pull up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but collect the wheat in my barn.’ ”
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, and yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These things should have been done without neglecting the others... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness...Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?” , ,
"Better to approach in obedience (shema) than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong."
“To draw near and listen (shema) is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools.” ESV
Shema- To listen to another and respond accordingly
The tabernacle, the temple, and God-centered churches today- especially Mere Church- are all reminders to us that God didn’t quit when Eden died.
"That God has kept a house in our neighborhood makes it a compelling case for our attendance amid the vandalisms on an under-the-sun graffiti.” Zack Eswine
60% of Rancho is unchurched.
When…..May you hear in your dwelling place in heaven. May you hear and forgive.
Even for the foreigner who is not of your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of your name—
for they will hear of your great name,
strong hand, and outstretched arm,
and will come and pray toward this temple—
may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and do according to all the foreigner asks.
Then all peoples of earth will know your name,
to fear you as your people Israel do
and to know that this temple I have built
bears your name.
“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
The purpose of the house of God: Prayers of mercy for us and our neighbors on the basis of God’s sacrifice.
King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel, who had gathered around him and were with him in front of the ark, were sacrificing sheep, goats, and cattle that could not be counted or numbered, because there were so many.
The Immanuel Mantra
I’m a complete idiot.
My future is incredibly bright.
Anyone can get in on this.