Message by Rev William Ofori-Nyantakyi
Church: Calvary Gospel Church International
Message Title: THE HOUSE GOD BLESSES
Bible Text: 1Chr. 7:1-3
1 Chronicles 6:12-7:3
Intro: This is a very special scene from the history of Israel. These people, after having worshiped God at the Tabernacle, are now standing before a magnificent Temple. They have gathered before the Lord to seek His blessing and to entreat Him to pour our of His Spirit upon that House. What we have recorded here is the record of Solomon’s prayer to the Lord at this great dedication service. As he prays, he calls on the Lord to hear the prayers made at the Temple and to bless the people who honor the Temple. When he finishes praying, the Lord answered by sending fire from Heaven to consume the burnt offering and by filling the Temple with His glory. In fact, so much God got on that place that the priests weren’t even able to go in and minister there.
We have gathered here today to do essentially the same thing Israel did way back then. We have gathered together to seek the Lord’s face and to ask Him to pour out His Spirit upon this House. Now, I do not believe that the Lord will bless just any house, but I believe that He is looking for a house to bless! What I would like to do this afternoon is to show you, from these verses, and from chapter 6, the kind of House that God will bless. In the prayer of Solomon, there are four great characteristics mentioned about the Temple. I believe it is these characteristics which the Lord God will still bless in our day. Let’s spend a few minutes looking into these verses and discover together The House God Blesses.
I. 6:12-31 IT IS A HOUSE OF PRAYER
A. V. 12-19 A Place That Is Consecrated – In Isa. 56:7, the Lord says that His House is a “House of Prayer.” Jesus reaffirmed this truth in the New Testament, Matt. 21:13. Of all the businesses conducted at the church house, none touches even the hem of the garment of prayer. God’s House must ever be known as a place of prayer and His people as a people of prayer. God honors a praying people, because a praying people honors God! Keep prayer at he center of all you do!
B. V. 20-21 A Place For Cares – As Solomon prays, he asks the Lord to here the supplications of God’s people. He wants the Lord’s House to be a place where one can bring their cares and leave them before the Lord. May I remind you that the church is still the best place to bring your burdens? Why? There is a God in Heaven who cares for you, 1 Pet. 5:7, and there are the people of God who will get under the load with you, Gal. 6:2, when you bring that need to the House of Prayer. Friend, you do not have to fret and worry, you do not have to fear life’s hills and valleys, just learn that God has a place of prayer and that He invites you to come to Him, Phil. 4:6-7.
C. V. 22-23 A Place For Conflicts – Here Solomon says that when there is trouble between 2 parties, that the place to settle that is before the presence of the Lord in prayer. My friends, that will still work today! It is virtually impossible for you to hate someone and pray for them at the same time! I am convinced that there would be far less trouble and confusion in the church body if the Lord’s people would learn to pray for one another and work out their differences on their knees praying together. It is the Lord’s will that you forgive and forget every time, Eph. 4:32! After all, it is not possible to worship the Lord with bitterness in your heart toward a brother in Christ – Matt. 5:23.
D. V. 24-25 A Place For Casualties – Solomon calls upon the Lord to hear the cry of the battle weary believer. Whether we understand it all or not, we are all engaged in a brutal conflict this afternoon, Eph. 6:12. Often, we find ourselves engaged in intense spiritual warfare. Sometimes, while in these battles, there are those who get wounded by the enemy. The place to bring those wounds is to the House of Prayer. Here, the weary soldier will find refreshment and help. Here, there will be a word from the Lord and a place to lay our burdens down. Here is where we will find strength to fight the battles that we will face tomorrow, Isa. 40:31.
E. V. 26-30 A Place For Confession – Solomon now deals with the sins of the people. Although this has been an undercurrent all the way through these verses, now he teaches us that prayer is the remedy for our sin problems. The Lord’s House is the place to take our sins! When there is evil in our lives, our church is hindered, Psa. 66:18; Josh. 7. However, when we deal with our sins the Lord’s way, He will bless and will bless abundantly, Pro 28:13. In fact, the Lord is looking for people who will confess their sins so that He might abundantly forgive them, 1 John 1:9. (Ill. Do not allow you sins to stand between you and the Lord’s blessings on this church!)
F. V. 31 A Place For Consecration – Than, when we pray we ought to seek the Lord’s face, seek His will and seek His glory in our lives. There is no better place for us to make our vows unto the Lord than in His House at His altar. What a blessing it is to se the people of the Lord bowing before Him in an altar of pray calling out on His Name and consecrating and surrendering their lives to His will.
G. The point here is that no matter what kind of help you need, you will find it in prayer before the Lord. While we can pray anywhere and at anytime, there is something special about getting together with the Lord’s people at His House and calling on His Name for the things we need! God will bless His House if it is a House of prayer!
I. It Is A House Of Prayer
II. 6:32-42 IT IS A PLACE OF PEOPLE
A. V. 32-33 A Place For The Wandering Stranger – here we see that even the people who weren’t part God’s covenant with Israel were welcomed to come to the Temple and to call on the Lord. What a lesson to the modern church. While we are here to worship our redeemer, we must never lose site of the truth that Jesus came to redeem all those who were lost under sin. Our door must ever be open to the stranger who is seeking God. We may not agree with their lives, but we need to receive them, love them and pray for them. God will bless the church who opens her doors to the stranger!
B. V. 34-35 A Place For The Warring Saint – In ancient times, the Temple was the rallying point for the army of Israel. It was to the God of the Temple that the soldiers looked when they went into battle. Solomon’s pray is that the Lord will help His people when they go to battle in His name! In our day, we have those in the church who are engaged in battle for the Lord! These Christian soldiers need the help and power of God to do battle for Him. The church should be a place where the battle-scarred and weary can come in and find refreshment for their souls, equipment for the next battle, and where they can hear a word from their Commander-in-chief. When the Lord’s House is a place of R & R for the soldiers of the Lord, then they will be able to walk out of the church doors and into the battle and fight valiantly for the glory of the Lord Jesus. God will bless the church that provides a haven for the battle weary soldier!
C. V. 36-39 A Place For The Wayward Saint – Solomon also asked the Lord to incline His ear to the prayer of the repentant soul. It is impossible but that there will come times of waywardness and rebellion in your life and mine. When those times come, we can expect the hand of the Lord to be upon us in chastisement, Rev. 3:19. However, the church needs to be the kind of place where the Prodigal Christian can come and unburden his soul before the Lord in humble repentance. God help us that our churches will ever be places where the battered and wayward sheep can come and find help and a place of repentance before the Lord. We must beware that we never allow the church to become a place where those who have strayed away are not welcomed. God will bless the church that receives the wayward back into the fold!
D. V. 40-42 a Place for the Worshiping Saint – before Solomon concludes his prayer, he takes a moment to lift his voice in exaltation and praise. He worships the Lord! Our churches need to be places where the saints of God can come in and find sanctuary from the battles, storms, trial and burdens of life. The church needs to be a place where men can lose themselves in the presence and power of the Lord and be drawn away from the cares of daily living and find themselves left at the feet of Jesus. Our churches ought to be places where the presence of God is felt, enjoyed and cherished. Our door should ever be open for that saint of God who has a heart filled with praise and worship for our glorious God, Psa. 22:3.
I. It Is A House Of Prayer
II. It Is A House Of People
III. 7:1-2 IT IS A PLACE OF POWER
A. V. 1a Of Miraculous Power – The Bible says that when Solomon finished praying, the fire of God fell from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice. That was a demonstration of Divine power in the presence of His people. Things haven’t changed! When a church is found pleasing to the Lord, He will manifest Himself in a display of supernatural power among His people. He may do this through the saving of souls, the testimony and praises of His people, the power of the preached word, or any number of ways, but when His church is where He can bless it, there will a show of God’s power in the midst of His people. That is something God’s people should never take for granted!
B. V. 1b Of Manifest Power – The Bible tells us that the glory of the Lord filled the House! When the Lord moved into His House, He filled the place with His presence and glory. This wasn’t something which the people had only heard of, it was something they experienced first hand. They could see what God was doing! My friends, when the Lord moves into His church, there will be no question about Who has shown up! God will manifest His presence and power among a people who are approved by Him! There are times when the atmosphere gets right around the House of the Lord! When God works, He doesn’t do it in a corner! He works where others can see and where He can get the glory! When God shows up, you will know it! He will manifest His power and even the sinner will know who is doing the work!
C. V. 2 Of Matchless Power – This verse tells us that when the Lord showed up, even the priests in their holy vestments were unable to enter the Temple in the presence of the Lord. When God begins to move in a church, He will move in a matchless way. He will demonstrate His power through His people and to the lost. God has a way of doing things that leaves men shaking their heads in amazement at His power and glory. He will move and when He does, He will be the One who gets the glory and not any man or movement. God does what He does and He deserves all the praise, honor and glory!
D. Ill. When a church is moving under the power and approval of the Lord, there is no force under Heaven that can stand in her way, Matt. 16:18. Hell trembles before a church that is filled with the power and glory of God. Sinners get uncomfortable in the presence of the Lord power. May we ever strive to be the kind of church that God can fill with His power and His glory!
I. It Is A Place Of Prayer
II. It Is A Place Of People
III. It Is A Place Of Power
IV. 7:3 IT IS A PLACE OF PRAISE
A. The Praise Of Wonder – When the Lord came by and demonstrated His power before the people, they responded by bowing before Him in wonder of His greatness. They praised and worshiped Him by bowing humbly before Him. They were merely praising the Lord for Who He is! There is a lesson here for the modern church! While God’s House is to be a place of prayer, people, and power, it is also to be a place of praise! Sadly, praise has fallen out of favor with the church in our present day. However, when we once again see the Lord just as he is, and when we become lost in the wonder fo God, there will arise out of the soul a praise that cannot be stifled, but which must be expressed! Praise is pleasing to the Lord, Psa. 22:3; Psa. 50:23. Never be negligent by failing to offer the sacrifice of praise unto the Lord – Heb. 13:15.
B. The Praise Of Worship – As they praise the Lord, they also worshiped Him. That is, they fell before Him in humble adoration and exaltation. They gave Him the glory that was due His name. Our churches ought to be places of worship! Too often, when we come to the House of the Lord, our minds are on a million other things besides honoring the Lord. We then find it hard to focus on His glory and just fall before Him is worship. Our churches ought to be known as places of worship! As places where people can lose themselves in the wonder of God and get so caught up in who He is that we find ourselves with nothing else on our minds but the praise and worship of the Lord.
(Ill. What is worship? Genuine worship is all I am responding in adoration for all that He is. Worship is rendering to God the glory He is due. It is ascribing “worth” to the Lord. There isn’t much real worship in our modern churches! But, there can be! God hasn’t changed and He is still seeking people to worship Him, John 4:23-24. Thank God, we have a God who is worthy of our worship!)
C. The Praise Of Words – These people lift up their voices, open their mouths and render praises to the Lord for all that He is and is doing! They actually praised the Lord vocally! Man, what a necessary, but absent element in the modern church! We need to learn that it is still alright to praise the Name of the Lord! (Ill. Psa. 47:1; Psa. 113:1-3; Psa. 135:1-3, etc!) Just as the Lord will bless a praying church, and He will bless a church open to the needs of people and just as He will pour out His power on a people yielded to Him, He will bless a church that is not ashamed to praise the Name of the Lord!
Conclusion: We all want the Lord to be able to bless our churches, right? Well, now we know what we need. We need to pray. We need to be sensitive to the needs of people. We need to be found worthy to receive His power in our midst, and we need to be filled with His praises.
Does that describe your church this afternoon? God help us to be everything that He would have us to be so that we might enjoy the great blessings of the Lord.
Most of the modern church is struggling today, but I am glad that it doesn’t have to be that way. Many see church as a burden, as something to be endured before something better can take place, but I am glad that it can be more than that this afternoon. Many see church as being dead, dull and boring, but when a heart is filled with Jesus and His glory, church is anything but that!
Let’s determine in our hearts that we will strive to be a House that God can Bless!