So I saw this video of a guy preaching the other day…
He was preaching out of John 8, which says… “Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.”
This scripture was rendered to mean that Jesus “more than likely” went to the Mount of Olives to pray, because he was faithful to pray before he was planning to preach, and his faithfulness to God was again demonstrated by his going to the temple early in the morning or “at dawn” to preach because the temple is where the people were. Even though this is very pour exegesis (Interpreting the text) it isn’t that bad right? But as usual, where there’s smoke, there’s fire… he went on to say that preachers need to be faithful to preach the gospel and go to where the people are… and people must be faithful to come to the temple/church… and I quote, “Preachers need to be faithful to preach, and listeners need to be faithful to… listen”! I’m afraid this is the view coming from a lot of churches and a lot of pulpits in our country! After all the church is where God’s presence is right?
Don’t get me wrong, I love to experience God and his tangible presence in a worship service as much as the next guy… But we put so much emphasis on the “presence of God” in our churches, I’m afraid we forget to instill in our people that according to scripture, followers of Jesus are carriers of the presence of God and they don’t have to wait until Sunday to “feel it”. Jesus makes it very clear that God is everywhere and not just at the temple! The church has become the new temple/holy of holies, the place where God dwells and only a select few are allowed to experience his presence. But I hear a different story in the scriptures that detail a people who are surrounded by God and represent God… “A royal priesthood, a holy nation”(1 Pet) What is a priest? Someone who represents God and tells the world what God is like! And this is the word used to describe all believers, the church… not just the pastors and staff members at the various churches you attend. If you’re a believer then you are a priest and a carrier of the presence of God 24/7, not just on the weekends, or Wednesday nights, or whatever day you perceive as sacred. I challenge you all to become aware of the presence of God WHEREVER you are… do it right now, think about where God intersected with your life last week? I trust that if your truly honest with yourself you will see that God was present in more ways that the worship service you attended… maybe He was present in your home, in your work place, in your car, in your neighborhood, in your kitchen, your pantry, etc… He’s everywhere waiting for everyone to make His name known in all areas of our lives! May we all recognize that God is present in our everyday life as well as our churches, and may this bring more glory to His name!