She was the heartbeat of our family for years, that sweet glue that held us all together, and nothing delighted my little ones more than knowing that they were going to spend a day at Grandma’s house. Although she wasn’t particularly well-to-do and her apartment was small and modest, my children looked forward to visiting her with unrestrained anticipation, not because of what was in that house, but because of WHO was in that house. What made Grandma’s apartment homey and inviting was Grandma, with her uncanny ability to connect with those kiddos, to lavish her love upon them, and to make each of them feel special and cherished. Everyone came home from Grandma’s house a little happier. Now that she is gone, I still find that my car is drawn down her street from time to time, just to take a loving glance and to feed upon some wonderful memories, but it’s not the same. The building is the still there, looks the same, but it is shallow and empty, void of her presence; I can no longer meet with Mom there.
Jacob was a man on the run, fleeing an angry brother he had deceived, a brother who wanted to kill him. He was alone, away from his beloved parents, worn down, weary. He came to a place that he would later rename Bethel, literally the house of God. The time spent at that that special parcel of land would be a vital experience for Jacob. There he would “lay down his head to sleep,” and Bethel would provide him with the REST he needed for the journey ahead. It was at Bethel that Jacob would receive a REVELATION from God Himself and the promises given to his forefathers would be confirmed onto him. After Jacob experienced God face-to-face, “he was afraid…how dreadful is this place?” and an atmosphere of REKINDLED WORSHIP, a sense of wonder in the presence of an awesome God, was cultivated in Jacob’s heart. An outflow of that worship was a RENDERING to God one of Jacob’s most valuable commodities, as Jacob set up a stone for a pillar and “poured oil upon the top of it.” Jacob continued his journey with a renewed sense of REVIVAL, assured that he would someday return to his father’s house “in peace.” He had been REFRESHED at Bethel.
As we approach another Sunday morning, ask yourself this question: Why is the house of God important to you? Why do we bother with that Sunday morning ritual of getting up early, stuffing kids into the car, and battling the roadblocks that Satan always seems to reserve for Sunday mornings? Is it just a building, or are we anticipating the Who we can meet there? The Lord’s day provides an awesome opportunity to experience God’s presence together, to make a connection with Him, to find rest from the labors and trials of the week, to allow Him to reveal Himself to us through the preaching of His Word, to rekindle our sense of worship, and to render unto Him our offering of praise. What a glorious preview of an eternity of worship that is to come, and that thought revives and refreshes our weary spirits. Don’t go to the Bethel just out of duty, that would be as dry and shallow as traveling back to that empty apartment. Clear your mind of the week’s cares, prepare your heart for worship, and focus all your thoughts on the God of wonders, your Father. Be blessed at Bethel!
Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Prepare my heart, O Lord, for Your day tomorrow. Help me as I sing Your praises and meet with You, that distractions will fade and I will focus all my heart and mind on You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1754-62b9432bb03c8' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1754&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1754-62b9432bb03c8' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1754-62b9432bb03c8' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>