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And remember how he promised God, made a vow to the Strong God of Jacob, “I’m not going home, and I’m not going to bed, I’m not going to sleep, not even take time to rest, Until I find a home for God.”

Psalm 132:2-5 The Message

A long time ago a man called Stephen is on trial for his life. Stephen has been charged with speaking against the temple in Jerusalem where people worshipped God. 

He replies by going back to the days when Israel had their tabernacle (tent) of witness in the wilderness. 

Philip begins by recounting the earlier days. He reminds the people how they lived in different times not so long ago. For forty years they were desert people and therefore they naturally lived in tents. Their church too was called a tent or sometimes referred to as a tabernacle, the place where God’s people met. 

In order for this tent (tabernacle to be built it was going to require expense).

We are told the following:

• The vision was clear as it came from God to Moses to the people.

• The people had a heart and gave generously, 

• The work was anointed.

Now says Stephen after 40 years in the desert they came into the Promised Land and forgot all about their God and worshipped anything at all. They completely lost their focus until David arrives and has a desire to build again a temple for the presence of God. The desire for David is passionate. It is described “I’m not going home, and I’m not going to bed, I’m not going to sleep, not even take time to rest until I find a home for God”.

Today, as a church, have we lost your focus or are we being sidetracked? Are the days of sense and purpose still around? Are unity and diversity still so clearly seen? Is the vision still alive?

We have moved from one scenario to a completely different one, our landscape has changed and we must not do as the Israelites do and lose our purpose. We have to adapt and change in these different time but the vision remains the same.

Yesterday we did our first live service while the majority watched from home. This time last year we would never ever dreamed this would happen, but it has and we must not allow it to deflect from the church’s purpose to which it has been called. We all have a part to play. 

Remember when they were in the desert they gave generously. If this seems like a desert place to you then let me encourage you to give generously by your time, talent and tithing.

Let us stay positive and be encouraged- different times same vision.

Stay safe and blessed 

Author Edward Lawrence

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