Beautiful Entry to Worship

“Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. . .” Acts 3:2 NIV

Certain words or phrases from the Word of God can really resonate with our spirits, can’t they? That’s how I feel when I read the phrase “the temple gate called Beautiful.” As I read it, my spirit says yes.

This scripture, of course, refers to the entry to the temple in Jerusalem not long after Jesus’s resurrection and ascension. My NIV text note tells me that this gate was, in fact, the favorite entrance to the temple court. How fitting that it should be known as Beautiful. What better name could there be for a gate that gave entry to the house of God, that people passed through on their way to worship?

Today our entry—our privilege of entering the Lord’s presence—is still Beautiful. What’s more, we don’t have to go to the temple (or our local church) to do it. With a simple turning of our thoughts . . . or lifting of our eyes . . . or falling to our knees . . . or bowing of our heads . . . or whisper of his name, we can enter into worship wherever we are. All we need to do is turn to him.

Turning to him—a beautiful entry indeed.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;” Psalm 95:6 NIV

*If you had the chance to name an entry into the Lord’s presence, what would you call it?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by mkreynessCreative Commons License

A Lovely Reminder

5821767319_5d902eb286_z“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!” Psalm 84:1

One morning when a full, out-of-town day stretched before me, I wanted a taste of God’s Word to begin my day. I decided to open my Bible to a random Psalm and read wherever my eyes landed. I don’t do this often but am so glad I did that day.

I opened to Psalm 84, and as I read the first verse, the taste I desired exploded into a feast. They were familiar words, but in that instant, I saw them in a new light, with a deeper understanding. My drive-through, random reading suddenly felt like a full course meal.

This psalm, this verse, was written in Old Testament times, of course, and the words “dwelling place” referred to the temple of God. But where is His dwelling place—His temple—now? In us! In the hearts of believers. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

So if you’re a believer like me, what does this truth mean for us in the context of this verse? Because He lives in us, friends, we are lovely. And not just an off-hand use of the word lovely, but lovely emphasized—how lovely. In other words, you and I are very lovely. Extremely lovely. Amazing, huh?!

I’ve got to be honest. I don’t usually think of myself as lovely—in the physical or the spiritual sense. Too often I concentrate on the imperfections in both realms. I dwell on the warts of my shortcomings.

I think it’s about time I start seeing myself as God sees me. Redeemed and dearly loved as one of His children. As very lovely because He lives in me. Anyone else need that reminder today?

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

*Flickr photo by Shandi-lee, Creative Commons License

*Deadline for the Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is Nov 13. Details are in my Oct. 16 post and sign-up is to the right. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

A Beautiful Entry

“Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. . .” Acts 3:2a

Certain words or phrases from the Word of God can really resonate with our spirits, can’t they? That’s how I feel when I read the phrase “the temple gate called Beautiful.” As I read it, my spirit says yes.

This scripture, of course, refers to the temple in Jerusalem not long after Jesus’s resurrection and ascension. My NIV text note tells me that this gate was, in fact, the favorite entrance to the temple court. How fitting that it should be known as Beautiful. What better name could there be for a gate that gave entry to the house of God, that people passed through on their way to worship?

And today? Our entry—our privilege of entering the Lord’s presence—is still Beautiful. What’s more, we don’t have to go to the temple (or our local church) to do it. With a simple turning of our thoughts . . . or lifting of our eyes . . . or falling to our knees . . . or bowing of our heads . . . or whisper of His name, we can enter into worship wherever we are. All we need to do is turn to Him.

Turning to Him—a beautiful entry indeed . . .

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;” Psalm 95:6

*Flickr photo by mkreyness, Creative Commons License