June 14

1 Kings 8:10-11 (NIV) 10When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

When Solomon had finished building the temple that David had planned, the priests stepped out of the Holy Place (an inner room of the temple). Then a cloud filled the temple of the LORD. The Hebrews associated clouds with the glory of God. Their ancestors had seen the cloud on Sinai when Moses met with God. The glory of the LORD so filled the temple that the priests could not come in and do their assigned duties.

Our bodies are the temples of the LORD. Jesus said, "Destroy this temple (meaning his body) and in three days I will raise it up." His body was so full of the glory of God that He did nothing except what the Father showed Him. Jesus didn't really have His own ministry isolated and of itself. He was a yielded instrument to the glory of His Father. He got out of the way and let God work, and so "we have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (NIV) The glory of the Father was the operating source in Him.

We are often carried away with our ministry, and wrapped up in what must be done. If we are not careful and focused we will end up ministering from the wrong source. The glory needs to fill our temple, our earthly body. Then there is no room for us to get in the way and make a mess of things. The glory needs to fill us so that He is the source of our activity and we are merely submitted vessels for that glory.

Consider: What is the source of your activity? Is your temple filled with the glory of God?

June 14

John 7:16-18 (NIV) 16Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

The Jewish leaders were amazed that Jesus could speak with such depth and yet he did not study with any of the great rabbis of that day. Man puts so much emphasis on his own educational system with each generation thinking theirs is the correct and complete one. Jesus doesn't point to His miraculous birth, or His hours of study, or even His eternal existence. He says what we need to hear. Our teaching should not be our own. It should come from the One who sent us. Are we hearing His voice? Is the Word alive to us by the power of the Holy Spirit?

How do you change from the perspective of men and their pride in their brain cells to a person whose ear is opened to the Spirit of God? Choose to do God's will. Choose to glorify God and not self. If you choose to do God's will, you must first lay aside your own goals of self-importance, the right to autonomy. That is taking up your cross. When the will is then submitted to your Creator, His voice can come through. You are no longer seeking your glory, but the glory of the One who sends you. In doing His will, you realize that His ways are the fruitful and productive ones even though the world may not understand. Your eyes become opened to a design that goes deeper than the visible.

This is the difference between a speaker and a preacher. The speaker may stir your emotions, but a genuine preacher of the Gospel will bring glory to God and not self. You will leave thinking the speaker is a wonderful person, but you leave the preacher's message thinking about the glory of God.

Remember: Born again souls will find that the Holy Spirit will put His finger over their lips when they slip into expressions that exalt self.