So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. Nehemiah 13:11
Living life gives a person many different choices to make. There are a thousand different things that need to be done on a regular basis. Life calls a person in a thousand different ways every day.
Choosing which thing to do is done by making priorities. Which thing is the most important to do and continuing down the list of priorities. Most people do not have a problem making a choice as to what they want to do first, however, what most people see as the highest priority is not always the highest, but on the lower end.
Nehemiah had went back to Jerusalem and found that many of the priests were neglecting their duties as priest. They had chosen to go back home to their own fields and work their fields, rather than do their duties in God’s house. God’s house was being neglected.
People are very quick to find time to work and earn money or to take some free time to play or watch a game. While working a job and providing an income for the family is important, it is not the most important thing to do. Relaxing while playing or watching a game can be a good thing, but, again, it is not the highest priority in life.
The first and highest priority has to deal with eternal matters, not just a temporary thing. While work and relaxing is good, they are temporary. God’s house is eternal.
There are two parts of God’s house, one’s own life and all believers together. Neither need to be neglected. One must make sure his own life is in line with God’s will. One must also strive to build others up in Christ in order to build God’s house larger.
Each and every day you must stop and take time to spend some time with God. Spend it in prayer, praise, worship, reading His word and listening to Him. This builds you up and allows God to guide you in what to do for the day, what your priorities should be.
Then spend time building others up, starting with family, then those closest to you, then every one else. There is always someone who needs to be built up in Jesus. Don’t neglect God’s house for a temporary fix. Go for the eternal.
I pray today that you will have a hunger to know God more; that you will allow God to guide your priorities in life; that you will never neglect God’s house for the temporary; and that God will use you to build His house larger.
The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeeper and the musicians are also kept. “We will not neglect the house of our God.” Nehemiah 10:39
Buildings are often neglected, especially when they get older. Little things start to go wrong and they are ignored. Large problems occur and people move out. They don’t want to deal with the problems and so they abandon the place and neglect its needed care.
This can happen because one believes it is someone else’s responsibility or they don’t want to take the time or resources to maintain the building. They ignore the problems, until it is too late and the building is condemned.
As the Israelites were rebuilding the temple and Jerusalem, they took an oath to not neglect the house of God, the temple. They took an oath to bring in all the required tithes and offerings throughout the year.
While there is a physical church building today, there is still a house of God that is even greater than the building. Each and every believer is a temple of God and all believers together make up the house of God. While people often take care of the physical church building, many will neglect the house of God in themselves or in others.
They don’t take time to study His word, or pray, or be filled with His Holy Spirit and presence. They reject what God has to tell them in search for personal pleasure. They choose to not take time to have a relationship with God.
The people had to bring in: the grain, this is God’s word to feed a believer; the wine, this is the new covenant of salvation brought about by Jesus; and the olive oil, this is the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
As a believer, you must have these things in your life. Your body is now a temple of God and must be cared for. Having these things in your life, will ensure that all is taken care of in your spiritual body, the temple of God.
Don’t neglect your spiritual body, or it will fall into ruin and bring about a spiritual death. God wants you to have life to the fullest. Accept what He has for you and don’t neglect it.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will have a hunger to be fed with God’s word; and that you will not neglect God’s temple in your life or in others.
He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17
Gates are doorways into a new place. There is always a purpose for a gate to be put into place. They are always placed somewhere along a wall or fence. The fence is to keep certain people or things out, to keep the enemy out. The gate is a pathway or doorway to allow someone in through the fence.
In most yards, there is a fence to block people with a gate to allow them in. They usually have only one main entrance. This funnels everyone that comes in through a very specific location.
Jacob had been traveling along and he stopped for the night in one location. During the night he had a vision of heaven being opened up with a staircase leading into heaven, with angels going up and down the staircase. During the vision, God spoke to him and told him that He would be with him. When Jacob awoke, he was amazed and stated that place must be the gate of heaven.
Most people want to be able to find the gate to heaven, the perfect place to be. Each one’s definition of what that perfect place is may be different, but they are searching for it. Many will say that there are many different ways into heaven, however, several thousand years after Jacob had this vision, Jesus came along and stated that He was the only door (gate) to God the Father.
In order to get into heaven, every person must enter through the right gate. That gate is Jesus. Those who follow Jesus, have the right to enter that gate. Unlike Jacob, God is with the believer everywhere he goes, so that he always has access to that gate into heaven. It is not one specific location, but wherever the believer is.
As a believer, you also have access to heaven. You can enter through the gate at any time you desire to meet with God. God is always there for you and will never leave or forsake you. He wants to spend time with you.
Take time each day to enter through the gate God has given you access to, and spend time with God. Invite others to enter into that gate with you.
Have you found the Gate to heaven?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will make God a part of your life; that you will enter the gate of Heaven to be with God; and that you will invite others to enter God’s gate to heaven.