I Chronicles 22: 7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.
We’re comparing the house of God today to the house of God back then. There is a difference in how the tabernacle and temple were set up and how churches are today. They were made to house the sacrificial system God set up. It was a living lesson to the children of Israel. The animal sacrifices showed ways and reasons that gave meaning to the sacrifice God would give to all mankind through Jesus Christ. When Jesus died the temple came to a close; the church was established forever.
David spoke to his son Solomon about the details of the house of the Lord. The design was laid out. The type of materials was stipulated. We have to use the right materials today. Our building was not built with special stones as was the temple. The Lord blesses his house—this structure—but he blesses what’s inside. God is interested in the temple of our heart and soul. If we will do the right thing, God will bless. If we shape ourselves in the right manner, God will be pleased. Ephesians 2:21-22 states in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Paul is saying that through the Holy Spirit we will build the church. The shape the church is in depends on the shape we’re in. If we build a strong personal life, we’ll have a strong church. The work of God’s house involves our molding and shaping and conforming to the Word of God. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind.
It takes stones. We have what it takes if we’re saved. The potential is there. We can’t wish a job done. We have to work to see it accomplished. We have to go to God’s rock quarry to get the stones to build a strong Christian life. If we do this on a personal level, we’ll have a strong church life.
We need the stone of surrendering self to the Lord. We must consecrate ourselves. When Israel did this they washed and gave up their animals for the sacrifice. When we surrender to the point God wants, the building begins. It’s not according to the standard of man but God. He directs how we’re to yield before him. With that surrender comes a burden for his will personally and then as a church. Be burdened about how to help the church succeed and grow. Be concerned about the lost in your family and your neighbors. We ought to have that burden. It’s not something we should have to pray for; it should be there. The church at Sardis went by the name of Christ but was dead inside. Being concerned brings life. The concern centers on each other and the Lord.
We need a vision. Everyone has a part in making this a strong church. In verse 5 we see that the house to be built was called magnificent before it was started. We need the vision to see that God will bring results and souls will be saved. With no vision we won’t get to the place of completion. We need the insight to see it done. It won’t be completed if we don’t start. When we yield ourselves to the Lord and submit to each other we’ll see the vision become a reality.
We need unfeigned love. This means a love that is not fake; it is not lip service. If we want to serve the Lord we must be right with each other. We serve each in peace. If the people building the temple had not gotten along, it would never have been built. I’m talking about the pure love of God, of righteousness, of genuine respect. I have confidence in you all. We don’t always see eye to eye but we still love each other. You have to take a lot sometimes, but we need to remember what Jesus took on our behalf.
We need a can-do spirit. It can be done. Paul said I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. As long as we say “I can’t” we can’t. Jesus gives us the strength to live for him. I can’t do it myself. If I conform myself to the Word, it will help me do what I need to do. I can do it. I can’t tell you how to swim. You just do it. What we don’t know we’re sometimes afraid of, but Jesus said he’d be with us. We can accomplish it. It takes the involvement of all.
It took lots of stones to build the temple. It takes all of us and all of you and all of me. With the vision in mind, be encouraged to work. There is plenty to discourage. When the people of Israel went back the city was about gone. The people saw it rebuilt. Nehemiah said they were doing a good work. When some tried to talk them out of it and discourage them, Nehemiah said he didn’t have time for that. There was a work to do. We have to make progress personally to make progress together.
It was said to be a good work to rebuild the walls and the temple. He was glad to be part of it. It’s good to come to prayer meeting. It’s good to come to church on Sunday. Don’t be ashamed. This is our church. It’s God’s house. It was a good work and it was good to work. It’s good to be busy for the Lord. There is no part in God’s house more important than the other. It takes us all. Let’s get to work. Bring those stones and build for the Lord!