Inside Out

Yesterday we learned about Ezra.  Ezra took leadership of having the Temple of the Lord rebuilt.  Although the temple that Ezra rebuilt has been destroyed, 1 Corinthians 6:19 says "do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"  You are the temple.  

Not let me skip ahead 2 Sundays.  In two weeks we will learn about Nehemiah.  Nehemiah took on the job of rebuilding the city's wall.  The wall had a lot to do with commerce and the functions of the people.  

Let me now go back to Ezra to make an important connection.
Ezra worked on Temple = What happens on the inside.
Nehemiah worked on the Wall = What happens on the outside. 

Notice what God set in motion first.  The Temple.  God has a plan for both areas of your life.  But the order is very important.  Don't skip the "Temple" to get busy building your "Wall."

Let me offer this thought to you.  It's a thought about forgiveness.  Look what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew.

"So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift."  Matthew 5:23-24 (NET)

- There is an expectation that the follower of God offers gifts.
- There is a specific place the gift was to be offered (at the altar...remember, the church is not the altar but we can look for transferable principals).
- You can't give something vertically (to God) when there is tension horizontally (family).
- Jesus expect his followers to make things right with the people within their life.  How do we know this?  Because, Jesus says, "then come and present your gift."
- There is something about a person presenting, or making effort to give the gift.

That's what I gained from this scripture...What about you?
Have a blessed Monday,
Pastor Matt