As Solomon prayed and worshiped the Lord, he knelt and lifted his hands as signs of complete adoration and surrender. When he had finished his prayer, “He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:
‘Praise the Lord who has given rest to His people Israel, just as He promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises He gave through His servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors; may He never leave us or abandon us. May He give us the desire to do His will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that He gave our ancestors.
And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before Him constantly, day and night, so that the Lord our God may give justice to me and to His people Israel, according to each day’s needs. Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other. And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey His decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.’
Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. And so the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the Temple of the Lord” (I Kings 8:55-62, 63b).
“Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises He gave…” Solomon and the people of Israel had much to celebrate. God had been faithful to them. In spite of their grumbling and wrongdoing, He had kept His promises, including bringing them out of slavery and into His glorious freedom.
But these Old Testament believers had to continually offer blood “sacrifices to the Lord” in order to receive His forgiveness over and over and over. Whereas we, as New Testament believers, “have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10b, NIV). The One Perfect Blood Sacrifice was able to pay man’s sin-debt for all time, and those who put their trust in Him are forever covered by His one act as the Sacrificial Lamb of God. How much more do we have to celebrate!
In return for Christ’s goodness, “May He give us the desire to do His will in everything.” While there are no perfect Christians, having “the desire to do His will in everything” is assuredly a huge indicator of a life transformed by surrender to Jesus.
“Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.” I’ve quoted this before, but it bears repeating: Gandhi once said, “Were it not for Christians, I might have been one.” Be careful not to give God a bad reputation.
As the old saying goes, you’re the only Jesus some may ever see. That’d be a good sentence to post on your bathroom mirror and your car’s dashboard. Start your day reading it and letting its truth sink into you. Be the example of Jesus that leads others to say, “Because of Christians, I want to be one.”
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates