February 5, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on June 20, 2015.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the UC site pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia. 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Upon Closer Examination”

1 Kings 7:1; 13-14

Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house. And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work.

Once King Solomon was finished with the construction of the Temple, he began working on his own house and ended up spending more time building his house than building the Temple.  However, “upon closer examination,” something is way off!  Solomon may have finished building the temple, but he had not yet furnished it! That means the Temple sat idle for thirteen years, unused and unfurnished, until Solomon had completed construction of his personal house. 

We do not know the exact reasons Solomon had for delaying the furnishing of the Temple, but perhaps he just got distracted by the prospect of building a grand house for himself.

This story seems to show a lack of spiritual concentration and endurance on the part of Solomon. How true is this in my life! I have spiritual highs, from activities like retreats or mission trips, but then as time goes on, these highs wear off and I fall back into normal, self-centered living. I have made convictions but continue to be someone whose action centers on feeling and circumstance, rather than firm, unwavering beliefs, and commitments. We often characterize our spiritual life as sine waves, going up and down, but is that how God wants us to live, tossed by circumstance or feeling?

I believe that our Christian life was meant to be one of constant striving, of constant endurance.  As the author of Hebrews says, “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Our culture is one of fads and short-lived excitement, while endurance and focus seem a thing of the past. Let’s reflect together on the life of Jesus; He knew His purpose, and He lived His whole life focused on that purpose.  He endured to the end. Let’s think through our own lives. How enduring is our faith? How focused are we on seeking the Kingdom of God? Or are we easily distracted by things around us?

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You persevered to the end for me. You took the cross, bore all the shame, and rose again so that I could have a relationship with You. You gave it all, yet somehow I so easily lose focus on You. Help me to okeep my eyes fixed on You knowing that You are the highest treasure. Give me endurance to run this race with true conviction and focus until I see You face to face. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 38-39

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