The House of the Lord
Tuesday - May 18th
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 27:1-5
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
It was not unusual in evangelical churches of the 1970s for families to go to Sunday School around 9:30 Sunday morning, attend the 11:00 Sunday morning worship service, and then return to church for another (different than the morning) evening service at 6:00 or 7:00. And then, many churches gathered again for a mid-week service of Bible study and prayer on Wednesday or Thursday night. That was the pattern of the Thornton family as I grew up. We went to Twin Branch Bible Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, at least three times a week.
My parents, my brother (Troy), and I did not simply watch or attend church. We were engaged in the life of the church. Over the years, we served in Sunday School, Awana Clubs, Choir, Visitation, Youth Group, Vacation Bible School, Bus Ministry, and a whole lot more! The church was essential to our life as a family.
I have many fond memories of my home church. The people were ordinary people, but God used many of them in my life in extraordinary ways. At the highest, the church had about 350 in attendance. Usually, we floated somewhere between 150 and 200 on a Sunday morning. There were lots of great memories early in my spiritual formation as a child and then as a teenager.
When I came home for Thanksgiving from my freshman year of college, I spent a little time alone in the sanctuary of the church. For about 20-30 minutes, I reminisced about how I was introduced to God, worshipped Him, took communion, was baptized, and grew up there in that setting. As an eighteen-year-old in his first year of training for pastoral ministry, I knew then the incredible investment God made in my life through the Twin Branch Bible Church family. Great memories. Good times. Wonderful people.
While the building is not the church - the people are, there is something so special about the physical space where God grew you the most. Nothing can ever replace in your heart the setting where you learned to worship, serve, and mature in God. For me, the House of the Lord, known as Twin Branch Bible Church, will forever be the most profound and most significant part of my spiritual journey. Our family found hope and encouragement amidst the body of Christ there. I grew spiritually from my childhood to my early adult years there. My foundations of faith and passion for Christ were both cultivated within that precious local church setting.
Whenever I come across Psalm 27:4, I think of that day on Thanksgiving Break that I spent time alone with the Lord in the familiar sanctuary of my home church. As I consider God and begin to lift praise to Him in any church setting today, I think of David's words in that verse. "One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."
How about you? Do you enjoy being with God's people in the "House of the Lord?" God meets us in our moments of worship and humility before Him! The Psalmist ultimately has eternity in mind. He envisions the heavenly House of the Lord! How beautiful!
Maybe this is why I have enjoyed the new song by Phil Wickham we have been singing in worship at Calvary recently. Enjoy Phil’s song “The House of the Lord” by CLICKING HERE!
God meets us in settings where we worship, grow, and serve Him. We should long to know and lift Him up more!