Here are some probing questions.

What if there was no particular place to go on those particular days of the week to sing those particular songs and practice that particular brand of worship?

How would anyone know you are a follower of Christ?

What would be your witness to the world that you have been redeemed and that there is a Redeemer, if you could not invite them to a particular place to sing particular songs to worship a particular way or to hear that particular Message?

How would anyone know you are a follower of Christ who has been redeemed and reconciled with the Father heart of God?

How would anyone know they too can be redeemed and reconciled? Why would they want to be…without all those particulars?

…Consider this…

Have you not heard that “the most High dwells not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48)? Or that “the God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24)? Or that “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and you are not your own…but…you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)?

As a follower of Christ, I have been redeemed by and infused with The LIGHT of God’s Spirit. His Spirit now dwells within me as I have become His temple. In other words, I am that particular place and every day is that particular day to worship and illuminate the world in which I live with His love and light. My every day life is the most High’s place of habitation.  As such, I have a responsibility to live my every day life in a way that bears witness to its Creator and Sustainer.

Original Art by Joe Martinez

Original Art by Joe Martinez

In Matthew 5:16, Jesus encouraged his disciples and other followers to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  The greatest evidence to an unbelieving world for the Father heart of God is a life that has been changed by His unconditional love; a life made possible by never ending mercy, activated by mustard seed faith, and sustained by relentless grace.

How could such love and such benevolence be contained by a house built with hands governed by man made particulars? Why should they be?

…I offer this illustration…a parable…

My wife and I are happily married.  We have a strong relationship fueled and sustained by sincere love for each other.  We are one another’s best friend, most intimate confidant, and most enthusiastic supporter. We love spending time together. We talk about anything and everything. We laugh about anything and everything. We solve the problems we can and complain…I mean pray…about the ones we can’t. And, not only do we absolutely love each other but we have actually learned to like each other, too.  You married folks understand, right?   (c:]   I thank God that our relationship has been an example to our children and to many others of the unbelievable rewards and fulfillment that make the hard work of marriage worth it all. Truly, I am not worthy.

Here is my point.  Our love for each other and the beauty and magnificence that is becoming our marriage are far too great to be contained and possessed solely by a particular house located at a particular address.  And, why should they be?  The truth is, when we leave our house, it becomes void of our marriage.  Oh, there may be evidence of our marriage but the true reality of our love…the warmth…the liveliness…the essence… is simply not there. Furthermore, that particular address is certainly not the only place I wish to enjoy and celebrate our wonderful love and marriage. The fact is, everyone I know for any length of time eventually knows about us and how wonderful she is.  I want my life to testify and be a witness of our marriage and of the life changing love we share. And, because it is not moored to a particular place only to be practiced on particular days in a particular way but, rather, it dwells within me and her, we both can testify to it anywhere and everywhere we go. And, we do.

To this end, I make it my habit to conduct myself as though my wife is always with me. Even when she’s not. Especially when she’s not.  Every day. Every where. I am the dwelling place of our marriage, as is she.  We are the particular place of our love and therefore, our marriage. And it is witnessed by the world around us whenever we go anywhere and anywhere we go; even when we are not together. Sometimes people ask us why we do it. Sometimes they ask how?  In either case, I am equally thankful for and overwhelmed by the fact that some people have taken notice and some want to emulate our example in their own relationships.  And all this without our preaching about marriage or relationships at some particular place on some particular day in any particular way.

…And so it is with God and particulars.

Now, go. Testify of God’s great love for you and yours for Him.

“Treat others as you would have them treat you.”

“Let your light so shine before men…”

And do it all…in no particular place.

…Peace and blessings…

~ joe

  1. Allen Hernbrode says:

    Great word Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

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