Topic – Bethel: Heaven’s Gate [Saturday 10, December 2016]
Memorise: And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel. – Genesis 35:15
Read: Genesis 35:1-7 (KJV)
1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
Bible in One Year: Exodus 30:22-33:6, Psalms 119:49-64
Bethel is the house of God, a place where God dwelled with His people. Over time, the Bible redefined the true place of worship to be the heart of man. Today therefore, Bethel could be said to represent the house of God, the true place of worship, or the dwelling place of God. The Samaritan woman by the well asked a million-dollar question from Jesus about the location of the heavenly approved place of worship. Jesus answered by saying that the time has come when the location is not of utmost importance to God anymore. John 4:23 says:
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
The realization that man is the dwelling place of God should be taken seriously by every Christian. Several passages in the Bible confirm this truth. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
The freedom and liberty granted to Christians at conversion does not translate to ownership and absolute authority over ourselves as some erroneously think. Brethren, you are not your own, you belong to God your creator, you owe your allegiance to Him and you will do well to live your life with that consciousness. This will help you to be conscious of what you do with your body. It will help you to avoid anything that could abuse the body such as sexual immorality, indecent exposure, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. it will also help you to watch what you consume or take into your body such as literature, audio and video contents. Realizing that your body is the temple of God will also affect the type of company that you keep and where you go.
More importantly, 1 Corinthians 3:17 says:
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Children of God should avoid doing anything that can defile them. In addition to the things mentioned above, engaging in any form of cosmetic reconstruction of the body in order to change or improve one’s complexion, sexual orientation, or appearance, is a defilement of God’s temple.
Prayer Point: Father, please let Your fire wake me up to my responsibility in Christ.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.