Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit—Eph. 2: 20-22.
Let us, as day after day rolls by, remember our threefold relationship to this Temple: (1) We are still in process of preparation as living stones. (2) As members of the Royal Priesthood carrying the Ark, we are marching from the Tabernacle into the Temple condition; some of our number have already entered in and some are still on the way. (3) As the Lord's people, the time has come for us to know, to sing with the spirit and understanding, the new song of Divine mercy, justice, love and truth. Let us be faithful in each of these respects, fulfilling our parts, and soon our course will be ended and the glory of the Lord will fill the Temple.
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The Christ is the Temple of the Living God. In it the Apostles and the Gospel-Age prophets are the foundation stones—Jesus, the chief cornerstone, and the rest of the faithful, the other stones. During the Gospel Age the stones are undergoing preparation at the hands of God and Christ. They must submit to the necessary sawing, breaking, chiseling, cutting, grinding, rubbing and polishing, each individually and in harmony with one another. Unity, harmony and diversity mark their preparation. When placed in the building harmoniously, cohesively and beautifully, they will be filled with the Lord's glory and become God's resting place, His meeting place with mankind and His blessing place for the world.
Parallel passages: Matt. 16: 16-18; 1Pet. 2: 4, 5; Isa. 28: 16; Matt. 21: 42; Psa. 118: 22, 23; Eph. 4: 14-16; 1Cor. 6: 19; 2Cor. 6: 16; John 14: 16-18, 23; Rom. 8: 9.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What proved helpful or hindersome therein? Under what circumstances did they occur? In what did they result?
THE VOICE IN THE TWILIGHT
I WAS sitting alone in the twilight,
With spirit troubled and vexed,
With thoughts that were morbid and gloomy,
And faith that was sadly perplexed.
Some homely work I was doing
For the child of my love and care,
Some stitches half wearily setting,
In the endless need of repair.
But my thoughts were about the "building,"
The work some day to be tried;
And that only gold and the silver,
And the precious stones, should abide.
And remembering mine own poor efforts,
The wretched work I had done,
And, even when trying most truly,
The meager success I had won:
"It is nothing but 'wood, hay and stubble,'"
I said; "it will all be burned—
This useless fruit of the talents
One day to be returned.
"And I have so longed to serve Him,
and sometimes I know I have tried;
but I'm sure when He sees such building,
he never will let it abide."
Just then, as I turned the garment,
That no rent should be left behind,
Mine eye caught an odd little bungle
Of mending and patchwork combined.
My heart grew suddenly tender,
And something blinded mine eyes,
With one of those sweet intuitions
That sometimes make us so wise.
Dear child! She wanted to help me.
I knew 'twas the best she could do;
But oh! what a botch she had made it—
The gray mismatching the blue!
And yet—can you understand it?—
With a tender smile and a tear,
And a half compassionate yearning,
I felt she had grown more dear.
Then a sweet voice broke the silence;
And the dear Lord said to me,
"Art thou tenderer for the little child
than I am tender for thee?"
Then straightway I knew His meaning,
So full of compassion and love,
And my faith came back to its Refuge
Like the glad, returning dove.
For I thought, when the Master-builder
Comes down His temple to view,
To see what rents must be mended,
And what must be builded anew,
Perhaps as He looks o'er the building
He will bring my work to the light,
And seeing the marring and bungling,
And how far it all is from right,
He will feel as I felt for my darling,
And will say, as I said for her,
"Dear child! She wanted to help me,
And love for Me was the spur.
"And for the true love that is in it,
the work shall seem perfect as Mine,
And because it was willing service,
I will crown it with plaudit Divine."
And there in the deepening twilight
I seemed to be clasping a hand,
And to feel a great love constrain me,
Stronger than any command.
Then I knew, by the thrill of sweetness,
'Twas the hand of the Blessed One,
That will tenderly guide and hold me
Till all my labor is done.
So my thoughts are nevermore gloomy,
My faith no longer is dim,
But my heart is strong and restful,
And mine eyes are looking to Him.
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