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 (


Eternal Hope

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Psalm 62

Recent research on nurses in the workplace has found that the need for resilience is critical, linking resilience, hope and optimism together. Other psychological studies demonstrate this linkage in the development of emerging positive organizational behaviour, which simply means happiness in the workplace.

What is your greatest hope today? Health? Happiness? Strength? Wisdom? Love? There is a multitude of things we as Christians pray for, but do we recognize the depth of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ?

Let’s look at David’s hope. In Psalm 62 he describes its source. “My hope come from Him”….from God alone in whom his soul finds rest (:5). What is it about David’s God that differs from other gods of his era? Twice he refers to God as his rock and his salvation (:2, 6). In the challenges of change we all need to know our souls are resting on the solid rock, don’t we?

This God is a “mighty rock” which forms a fortress or a refuge for the King of Israel. David’s job is not an easy one. His people are wayward, his sons rebellious (:3,4). Facing all of this, plus international warfare, we must not be surprised to learn that he became disheartened. At such a low point in his life, David seeks strength and security in God, knowing he can trust His faithful love (:12). Where do we go when needing consolation and direction?

David’s testimony declares God to be One who listens, and he encourages others, including you and me today to “pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge”! (:8). As I examined my own hopes for today I wondered if I could affirm what David says: “My salvation and my honour depend on God” (:7)?

Billy Graham spent his long life teaching and preaching hope to a world writhing in pain. “For the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection”, he reminded his listeners. We often celebrate this hope at Easter, but do we consider the cost that put a baby in a manger? Facing a life of distrust and even persecution and death, Jesus came to give us eternal hope.


Do we ever look at hope from God’s perspective? It actually is a gift to us voiced through the prophet Jeremiah who, on God’s behalf declared “I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11). Eternal hope! God doesn’t intend for mankind to feel hopeless. He created an eternal home for all those who love Him and follow Jesus (John 14:1-3). Eternity is a long time – much too long for our finite minds to comprehend. God, the author of hope, looks forward to our fellowship with Him throughout eternity. He sent His Holy Son to make a way for this dream of eternal life to come true. At Christmas time our thoughts turn to gifts. What an exquisite gift we have in Jesus Christ. Eternal Hope!

by Marilyn Daniels (


Creator God

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Isaiah 6:1-3

Outside my window is the most beautiful tree. Its graceful shape and glorious fall colours stimulate my very soul to worship the Creator! In every season this tree represents the genius of God’s design and reminds me of the glory of His Sovereignty over all creation. Our minds, so limited by time and space, find it hard to understand anything outside those limits; mankind is just beginning to grasp the expanse of our universe yet the reality of other universes is also beginning to dawn in recent times. This raises a question: Where was Jesus before the world began?

In His high priestly prayer Jesus asks the Father to glorify Him “in His presence with the glory I had with You before the world began” (John 17:5). How often do we limit the person of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to the figure who walked our earth for 33 short years? Have you ever tried to imagine what His pre-incarnate glory was really like?

Isaiah had a glimpse of this glory. In fact, the whole earth, in his vision, was “full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). If we allow God to be God, we might just see Him outside of the part of creation we experience day to day. His presence not only fills the earth, a concept pretty hard for mere humans to understand, but also fills the universe, beyond what we can see.

Paul clarifies this picture. “He who descended”…this Jesus who came to us as a baby in a manger, “is the very one who ascended higher than the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe” (Ephesians 4:10). This Jesus, God’s “Son, whom He appointed heir of all things,” is the One “through whom He made the universe” (Hebrews 1:2). According to the Bible God’s “Son is the radiance of God’s glory” and He sustains all things by His powerful Word” (Hebrews 1:3). This is the Creator God whom John identifies as the “Word” (John 1:1).

When we worship the Holy Baby in Mary’s arms, do we give ourselves time to contemplate the Majesty that prevailed on the day when God declared His creation “good”? (Genesis 1:31). According to the Biblical record that declaration covered everything – the separation of light and darkness, the sky, the seas and dry land producing vegetation like my tree, the universe with sun, moon and stars, the bewildering variety of birds and fish, all living creatures, the crowning glory of which was man, made in God’s own image! What a quotable quote: “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26)!

I like to imagine that the majesty of Creator God appeals to every one of mans’ senses, as well as to the delight of knowing that He calls us into fellowship with Himself. What an honour it is to be called the child of Almighty God! The whole purpose of Creation was to mingle with His creation…and so we read that God walked with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). He brought the woman He created, to the man (Genesis 2:22). He also brought the animals to the man to see what he would name them (Genesis 2:19). He was and is personally engaged!


Creator, sustainer – our Creator God is an awesome God! Will we allow Him to be greater than our comprehension can see? It was Satan’s desire to be like God which caused his expulsion from heaven. We have been given the privilege of serving God, but even in heaven we will not be like the One who is eternal, since we are created beings. Neither we will ever know all things, or have all power. Even Satan has to operate through his demon host, since he, as a created being, can only be in one place at a time. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, children of God can celebrate Creator God as He takes us on a voyage of discovery day by day! Hallelujah!

by Marilyn Daniels (


Praise the King of Heaven!

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Psalm 24:7-10

The majestic strains of the organ thrilled one’s very soul! Walking down the aisle was a young woman on the arm of her father, glowing under her white veil. Why at such a time is she thinking about the King of Heaven? Ah! Her Prince is waiting at the altar and she knows he is a gift from heaven! Sometimes at these epic moments in our lives we remember to include praise to the source of all our joy. What joy!

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; 2.Praise Him for His grace and favour
To his feet your tribute bring. To his people in distress.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Praise him, still the same as ever,
Evermore his praises sing. Slow to chide and swift to bless.
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King! Glorious in his faithfulness!

3 Father-like he tends and spares us; Angels, help us to adore him;
Well our feeble frame he knows. You behold him face to face.
In his hand he gently bears us, Sun and moon, bow down before him,
Rescues us from all our foes. Dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia!
Widely yet his mercy flows! Praise with us the God of grace!

Lyte’s text speaks to the love of God and our dependence on Him in a clear and imaginative way. Think of what might happen if we woke up every day with these words on our lips: “Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, evermore His praises sing.” How would our lives change if we walked through our days singing “Alleluia!” or through our times of sorrow declaring that we rest in the gentle hand of God? This is a text with beautiful imagery and thoughtful prose that, like Psalm 103, gives us words to praise our God with heart, mind, and soul.

Lyte understood the necessity of leaning on God throughout a life-time of suffering. He spent a lot of time on the European continent in the early 1800’s for treatment of chronic asthma and bronchitis, and died there before he was old. A poet at heart, as a clergyman he also wrote many beloved hymns, the most famous of which is perhaps “Abide With Me”. What inspired such a life of dedication to God?

The Psalmist, also a poet, challenges us to lift up our heads that the King of Glory may come in. He asks “Who is this King of Glory?” and goes on to answer his own question. Clearly David has had a vision! The Lord is strong and mighty!

In his day the glory of the Lord was represented by a procession as the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the sanctuary. No coffee cups or water bottles in that service! Total focus was on this great and glorious King! There is passion in true worship! Only those with clean hands and pure hearts would participate. He or she will receive blessings from the Lord, and vindication from God his/her Saviour (Psalm 24:4-5). There is a reward awaiting for those who truly seek the face of God. That exquisite yearning of the heart will be fulfilled! (:6).


What is it that brings us to our knees in an attitude of worship? Is it, as David wrote, because “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it”? (24:1) Is it a clear vision of God’s glory? It requires some meditation to actually “see” Him in all His glory. Then of course we desperately want to go back for more; when we are compelled by the Holy Spirit, we cannot get enough. That is what heaven will be like. That is what heaven on earth might be like!

by Marilyn Daniels

Devotional · Uncategorized


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Revelation 22
There seem to be many more questions than answers, on the subject of heaven. Where is it? What will it be like? What will we do there? There are 3 levels of heaven described in scripture – the firmament where the birds fly – what we now refer to as sky. The second is the heavenlies where galaxies go on, into infinitude. And then there is the dwelling place of God where He sits on His throne, a visible presence of the One who until now is the invisible God.
Martyrs and saints who have passed from this life, are with the Father, as is the Son who is seated on a throne at the Father’s right hand. Surrounded by angels, singing praise to the holiness of our triune God, we might envision heaven as just a bright and happy place to be. We are not told a lot in scripture about heaven – just enough to make us curious. We are given some idea of things that will be missing – no more death or crying or pain; no longer will one have to fear evil, nothing impure, no restrictions in a physical, visible temple, no longer any curse, no more night, (21:4, 8, 25, 27, 22; 22:3, 5).
However, the New Jerusalem is described in detail as a city of brilliance and beauty! Coming out of heaven this holy city will be as breath-taking as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2). It will be the abode of the saints according to Hebrews 12:22-24 “the church of the first-born whose names are written in heaven.”
There will be work to be done in heaven. “His servants will serve Him” (Revelation 22:3). Where did we ever get the idea that we would be completely idle, sitting on a cloud, strumming a harp? Jokes have been made about this, but the truth is, we will be busy. Having experienced a life-time of challenges as God stretches and teaches us in His service here on earth, one might wonder what sort of service will there be in heaven? Will there be lessons to learn?
Perhaps the greatest joy will be the Father dwelling visibly with men. “They will be His people and God, Himself, will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). Just imagine! God in visible form – majestic, loving, accessible! What greater prospect could any human being have than to live in the visible presence of Almighty God?
But…. There is often a “but” in life and here it is. Day by day, those of us who know God personally here on earth will continue in His presence, in heaven. However, many have chosen to live in a world of their own making here without God as part of their daily experience. For many this seems to be a hell on earth. Just so – it will continue in the after-life, living in the absence of the glory of our Father. The choice is ours to make now.
When our thoughts accuse us, when circumstances aren’t to our liking, when we are angry and afraid, when we are vulnerable and hurt, or disappointed by others, life can feel very bleak. Even black! Darkness enters the soul. This is certainly not God’s will. Jesus came to bring light (John 1:4). Sometimes our responses to situations make life anything but heavenly. Yet that was God’s intention when He sent Jesus to show us the way to eternal life. “In Him was life and that life was the light of men!”
Why would anyone choose to live in darkness?
Is it really possible to experience “heaven on earth”?
What might that look like?
What do you look forward to most when you get to heaven?
Devotional · Uncategorized


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Psalm 93

The Lord Reigns! He is robed in majesty….and is armed with strength……Your throne is from long ago; You are from all eternity!” (:1-2)

Where and what is eternity? Those who read the New Testament are probably more familiar with the word eternal….God is eternal and longs to give us eternal life. To be completely accurate, we can never be eternal, though we may someday enjoy eternal life, because we are created beings. God alone is eternal, but scripture gives us hope that we will spend eternity with Him.

From cover to cover the Bible speaks about our Eternal God. Abraham called upon the name of the Eternal God (Genesis 21:33). The original form of the Hebrew word means “the God of Eternity”. We cannot look at eternity without understanding the nature of God. “The eternal God is your refuge” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Here is perfect security! “Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel He made you King” [Solomon] 1 Kings 10:9. Imagine a love that is eternal! “Your Word Oh Lord is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” Psalm 119:89. Imagine being able to trust someone’s unchanging promises! Through all that God has created He made known His “eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20). God is the source of eternal blessings and pleasures according to the Psalmist (Psalms 16:11, 21:6), in His eternal kingdom (Daniel 4:3)

Coming from the Eternal God, the self-existent One, an angel proclaimed the Eternal Gospel to every nation, tribe, language and people (Revelation 14:6). Paul clarifies this for us. God’s intention was that the church would make known the wisdom of God, would testify or verify His eternal purposes accomplished through Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:11). The gospels are full of promises about eternal life, but at the same time include warnings from Jesus, Himself, about eternal fire (i.e. Matthew 18:8, 25:46). Our hope lies in Christ Jesus who became the “source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9).

So – where will we be spending eternity? The word encompasses more understanding than is humanly possibly, limited as we are by experiences in time and space. So God gives us clues. Jesus tells us we may be with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:43). Obviously this is a specific place; or is it the state of peace and joy that makes living anywhere, a paradise? He also said He was going to prepare a place – actually mansions, for His disciples who were grieving the news that He was going to leave them. That does create a vision of what our heavenly home might be like, doesn’t it? The crucial point of His promise is “I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

What is eternity?…. is a harder question. Within the framework of our language it is difficult to describe something as nebulous as eternity. It is a concept of time which exists outside of our known time frames. Think of the heavens – stars stretching beyond the reach of our strongest telescopes. How far do they go and what is beyond them? That is a forward look at what eternity is like. However, looking back – God existed before the world was formed. How far back can we go to find the origins of an eternal God? That is impossible, because He always existed.

For me this makes God absolutely glorious! Unfathomable! I must worship this Divine Creator Being, who for human understanding must be described in 3 unique persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! The Eternal living throughout Eternity! What an awesome God!


How sad it is that man seems to have lost some of the awe owing to God. His glory coloured the creation of the world and still lights up the heavens! Curiosity about the heavens causes man to delve into technology, yet by Him, by Almighty God Himself we may be given understanding, not only into the methods of creation but also the purpose of His eternal design. What a privilege it is to have fellowship with Eternal God with the assurance that those who follow His ways will spend Eternity with Him. Forever and ever! Hallelujah! As we begin a New Year, may our reflections centre on God who is unlimited by time and space.