God’s Dwelling Place

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Ephesians 2:19-22

The Apostle Paul writes:

“And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit”

(Ephesians 2:22)

His theme is the unity of the Body of Christ. Everyone in that Body has been saved by grace. We are equal, one in Christ.

Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ, even when we

were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (:4-5)!

His mercy has raised us from the dead! We are now spiritually alive! Life is full of meaning and purpose! From my earliest memory I have gone to church. But I was in impish child and remember being taught to ask Jesus for forgiveness many times…..subliminally I got the message that I was accountable to God for the way I lived. My conversion experience was not a great moment of revelation but rather a drawing closer to Him because He loved me. I know I am His child because He forgives me every time I ask, purifying the place where He dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16).

I heard someone say that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a car. But we have been blessed to hold the sacred Word of God in our hands and as we read it – like Ephesians chapter 2, we gain clarity of understanding. God intends us to know Him personally. One of the helps on that journey comes as we learn from one another. Therefore Paul says – do not neglect the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25 KJV). Why?

Believers form the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12). There should be no division in that body. Therefore coming together unifies us in our praise and purpose; our united vision precludes division! Paul links that body to the church in his letter to the Corinthian church (12:27, 28). God is enthroned in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord…the universal church. It is not a building but it is the spirit dwelling within hearts of believers around the world who are unified by the love of Christ, and by the mandate to make disciples.

Speaking to the Gentiles who comprised much of the Ephesian Church, Paul reminds them that once they were very far away from God, but through the blood of Christ were brought near to Him again (Ephesians 2:13), because He is our peace. His ministry of peace unites – what a message for a divided world! Consequently, Paul says, we are joined together, rising to become a holy temple, built together to be God’s dwelling place! (2:21-22).

Based on Psalm 84 – Dr. David Preston wrote a lovely hymn of praise.

O LORD of hosts, how lovely is your dwelling place!
I cry aloud, I long for your abode;
The joys of earth have left my soul unsatisfied:
My heart and flesh desire the living God.


What has always been your understanding of where God dwells? In heaven? This amazing omnipresent God is not only in heaven but is present in the hearts of people around this globe. Yet for all that, contemplate that He also lives within your heart. Everyone knows that when His exquisite love for others overflows through you!!

by Marilyn Daniels (


Mother’s Day

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Ephesians 6:2 Proverbs 23:22

Moses was given the 10 commandments as the basic rule of life, for God’s people. They dealt with worship and spiritual issues, as well as those of social justice and interaction. God’s intention is clear; He is to be the focal point of all we do and say. As a faithful Pharisee, Paul understood the importance of the law, reminding Corinthian believers “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:21).

God revealed Himself as the One who would punish those who rejected His law, but balanced that with the wonderful promise to “show love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:5-6). What does this have to do with Mothers Day?

God went on to detail what He meant in the 5th commandment which reads: “Honour your father and your mother”. The promise for doing so was that they would bring glory to God by honouring His word, and therefore would live long in the land that He was giving to them (Exodus 20:12). This is the positive side of obedience.

However, Moses received further instruction. “Anyone who attacks his father or mother must be put to death” (Exodus 21:15). Furthermore, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death” (Exodus 21:17). Another reality is made clear by the Apostle Paul. “If anyone does not provide for ….his immediate family [father and mother], he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). These are serious allegations, made by Sovereign God.

We need to note that they address our attitude, as much as our deeds. The law is not a suggestion – we are commanded, in this case to honour our parents. Commands are non-negotiable as Solomon knew. “Do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22). Jesus confirmed this as He rebuked the Pharisees. Apparently they had been giving funds to projects at church [the temple] as a gift to God, “nullifying the Word of God”. They sought to impress people with their generosity while depriving their parents of basic needs. Jesus then called them hypocrites for not abiding by the law to honour both father and mother. God knew they honoured Him with lip-service only. Sadly their hearts were far from Him (Matthew 15:3-8).

“Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5 KJV). From the cross He looked down at the woman who had given Him birth, who believed in His ability to perform miracles before ever He did, and so Jesus provided for His mother Mary, as He called upon John to take care of her (John 19:26-27).


What are our inmost thoughts as we celebrate Mothers Day? Are we be compassionate as we give our mothers the benefit of the doubt for obvious mistakes? Do we bless them for giving us life? Will we reflect on the positives rather than judging the negatives? Motherhood is an awesome responsibility, entered into, usually, with very little training or orientation. What comfort can we derive from their sacrifice, and moments of generosity, playfulness and love? Will we honour God for those special Moms who adopted us into their hearts and families? Today, some of us need to demonstrate the love of Christ, who reached down to the unlovely to redeem them [us] from every sin and failure, by the way in which we honour mothers who have struggled. Happy Mothers Day!


Standing on Holy Ground

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Exodus 19:10-25

Moses was instructed by the Lord to prepare the people to meet with Him. God was in the business of restoration. “Now if you obey Me fully, and keep My covenant, then, out of all the nations you will be My treasured possession” (19:5). First He called them to remember the recent events which had brought them safely out of Egypt. God describes it: “I carried you on eagles wings, and brought you to Myself” (19:4). He had revealed His power by rescuing them from slavery, and now He becomes very personal. His plan is for a relationship. “Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom or priests and a holy nation” (19:6).

Many years before, God had made a covenant with their forefathers, beginning with Abraham and passing down the generations through Isaac and Jacob. Now He is about to renew His covenant. The offer is conditional -“If”. The people responded together: “We will do everything the Lord has said” (19:8). The stage was set. Moses, acting as the go-between, conveyed the Lord’s instructions to the people. In order to meet with this powerful Holy God they must purify themselves. Consecration involved rituals of physical cleanliness, including sexual abstinence, as well as being clothed in clean garments (19:10,15). This procedure is intended to “honour the Lord your God….who makes you holy” (Leviticus 20:7-8). As clean as we might try to be, it is God alone who can make us holy.

There were limits put upon the people – a boundary was established around Mount Sinai. “Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death” (19:12, 23). If God told us today that certain limits were to be observed, or else we would die, how seriously would we take His words? Yet His word clearly states “The soul who sins is the one who will die”. Our response to God must be personal…”The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Habakkuk understood the holiness of God. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong” (1:13). This is why His Holy Son, under the burden of the sins of the world cried from the cross “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

As the people gathered around Sinai, after three days of preparation, they were greeted by lightening and thunder! While a thick cloud covered the mountain, everyone trembled at loud blasts from a trumpet. Then the Lord descended in fire, while smoke billowed like smoke from a furnace. At last God had the attention of His people.

The Apostle Paul knew folks in his day needed to pay attention to God. He asked “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing, the blood of the Covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” He warned “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:29-31).

The Hebrews, waiting before God at Mount Sinai were ready, consecrated, and committed to serving God in a Covenant relationship. They stood on Holy ground to receive their orders. Ten commandments became their rule of life. After Jesus’ death and resurrection we can reread these commandments as words of promise. There are no other gods. “I am the way, the truth and the life” Jesus declared. (John 14:6). Through Him God has shown the love He promised on that eventful day to His people at Sinai, promised to a thousand generations of those “who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:6).


If we want to see God and to hear His voice in the intimacy of a holy relationship, we need to remove our sandals. They are dirty from walking through a sinful world. Jesus washed His disciples feet, as a symbol of service to Holy God. If we hope to witness to others about the gospel, we need to do so from a position of strength gained only from standing on Holy ground, having our feet “fitted with the readiness [commitment] that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Are you willing and ready to stand on Holy ground?

by Marilyn Daniels (

Devotional · Uncategorized

Grandma’s Prayer

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Ephesians 1:9-11

Dear God: Thank you for my dear family! You have blessed us, and my cup of joy overflows! Thank you Father for the family history that has grounded us in the Word of God! The fact that prayer was essential as far back as the third and fourth generation truly makes us blessed! Now there are little ones with whom you have blessed our family – babes in the flesh as well as spiritual babies! May we be given the grace, courage and patience needed daily to shape them into maturity according to the Divine will of the Holy Spirit.

Father, you know we need discernment so that we might be pleasing to You – pure and blameless in Your sight, until Jesus returns. We bless You for giving us your Holy Word, a love letter as well as a guide for holy living. Thank you too, for giving us the Holy Spirit who indwells our hearts as our comforter, instructor and corrections officer. We have the confidence that the Holy Spirit will fill us with the fruit of righteousness when we submit to His leading. We know that when the water gets too deep and we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit takes our hearts’ desires to Your heavenly throne where You discuss the situation and answer with the best of all possible solutions.

May our language, our attitudes and our character speak consistently to everyone of Jesus. May we be sensitive to when they are in pain. May we be encouragers, always instilling hope. May we model forgiveness, because You have forgiven us!

Within this family may His love form close bonds that tie us together as we hold hands through pain, sorrow and loss. May that love become evermore precious as we celebrate memories of laughter and growth, and our history as well as our dreams for the future. May that love be inclusive as You add to our family – babies born, lovely in-law relationships so much treasured, as well as through the adoption of friends. May Your love make us gentle, accepting and forgiving.

Thank you for special scriptures that light the way through darkness: “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “I am the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). Thank You that You protect us from evil!

Thank you Father for listening. Thank you for the privilege of prayer, talking with You our Sovereign Lord. Thank you for giving us only those answers that are for our ultimate good, born out of Your omniscience and perfect love. Thank You that Your answers are not limited by time and space, but as we pray for our grandchildren You will answer those prayers throughout their lifetime, when we are no longer here to pray. May the love of my children and grandchildren for Jesus, grow more and more as the years go by. We pray in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus who taught us to pray to our Father!


What might you like to pray for your children and grandchildren?

Were you blessed by family who believed in prayer, or how did God catch your attention?

Do you find comfort in talking with God? Why or why not?