Peter Holloway Posts

There is a house, My father’s house,
Where love eternal reigns
And ruined sinners who believe
Will there with Christ remain

This ruined world can never give
The peace and hope we crave
But those who trust in Jesus Christ
Gain hope beyond the grave

For all have sinned and fallen short
Of the life that God demands
Our sin and shame are plain to see
Defenceless now we stand

But Jesus died to take our sin
And bear it in our place
He rose victorious from the grave
His sacrifice, our grace

Our hope is in our Father’s house
Through Jesus Christ God’s Son
To trust his death and life for us
Forgiveness in him won

I will prepare a place for you
Our Lord and Saviour said
A house of love, forgiveness too
A life beyond the dead

The hopeless find their hope in him
Believers will endure
His love will keep us evermore
Eternally secure

There is a house, My father’s house,
Where love eternal reigns
And ruined sinners who believe
Will there with Christ remain

© Peter Holloway 2023


“And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” –

1 Kings 8:10,11

Once the temple was built the ark was brought to rest in the Most Holy Place. The ark represented not just the covenant between God and his people, but was also the representative location of his abiding presence at the heart of the people of God, centred in the most holy part of the temple. When the ark was placed in the Most Holy Place, God’s presence rested there too. As the priests left the Most Holy Place a cloud spread out through the entire temple – we are told that the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. The cloud represented God’s glory to his people.

And in the face of this glory the priests could no longer stand. Normal service was brought to a halt by the manifest presence of God Almighty. His presence consumed the sanctuary.

Oh that our rigmaroles & rituals would be brought to a halt by the felt presence of the living God among us, among his Church, his dwelling place. Oh that we would be brought to a standstill by his moving among us. Lord, fill our house, fill our lives. Glorify your own glorious self in your Church until we cannot but stop and adore you.


Matthew 10:34-38

Where’s our peace? Where and how do we feel that bedrock of assurance? Every time I watch TV, or look at social media there is an avalanche of messages persuading me that I can have peace, satisfaction, a sense of well being. But it’s all based on ephemera – there’s no substance, no endurance.

In the brief monologue of Matthew 10:34-38 Jesus points out the radical disconnect between living in the world and following Jesus. The disconnect is in fact between Jesus and anything else in this world. Jesus couches it in this way: “Don’t think I’ve come to bring peace on earth, I’ve not come to do that, but to bring a sword.” That’s drawing a line in the sand. Following Jesus will bring peace, peace on the inside; but it will provoke conflict in every other realm: family relationships, work relationships, neighbours, society in general, and society in the specifics of the norms to which it would hold us, and which we must refuse. Living for Jesus means more than just not fitting in, it’s one against the other, to the end of the world.

Jesus draws another line in the sand when he says in effect that anyone who puts anything ahead of him in their lives is not worthy of him. Every creature comfort that we demand for ourselves, every pander to the values and ways of living of this world that we hold to our bosom, every failure to take up our cross, deny ourselves and wholeheartedly follow Jesus is unworthy of him. And it’s to our ultimate harm.

Every little thing that we want to keep for ourselves keeps us from Jesus. It’s only when we actively choose to lose that, to push it all away in favour of Jesus that we actually gain our lives. The world offers to help you find the real you, exceed your personal goals, to become … something. Beware, Jesus assures us that whoever finds his life will lose it. But, if you will throw all that away for the sake of finding Jesus; if you will seek him with all your heart (not just when you’re singing worship songs), practically seeking him in all your life, 24/7, then, and then only, will you find life, life abundant, life fulfilled, life in Jesus who promised that same abundant life, only when we lose ourselves in him.

Too radical for you? Consider the One who says it.


For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV

On a superficial reading these few verses can seem quite enigmatic, but they’re not. Here’s the background: Paul, in both his letters to the Corinthians is pointing out the distinction between the world and the Church. We can’t belong to both. Not only that, but the world doesn’t understand God, or spiritual things. There’s a battle going on between this world along with those running it, and the world to come that began with Jesus’ death and resurrection, but was planned from before this world was made. Significantly John the Apostle says this of the spirit of this world:

therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.

1 John 4:5 ESV

The world listens to those who are ruling it. In this context it’s the same spiritual powers that Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 10. So, how do we battle a world that listens to the spiritual powers controlling it? By listening to God in Christ. The words translated as obey, obedience, and disobedience have at their root the verb to hear. Disobedience is to choose to listen to someone other than God. Isn’t that what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden? We choose to listen to God, and not to the world.

The battle is won, then, when we listen to God. That’s not just reading the Bible, or listening to a sermon or a podcast; it’s taking it in and living it out by the power of the Spirit. This is what destroys arguments and everything that is raised against the knowledge of God. This is what taking every thought captive means. Make no mistake, the enemy is real – unseen, but not unknown. If we choose to do nothing then we allow this world to speak to us. If we choose to listen to God we have the assurance of victory – the divine power to destroy strongholds! As Paul tells the church in Ephesus that God’s plan is:

that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 3:10 ESV


The first thing that we need to do is understand what is actually happening. I don’t mean that we need to understand the science (I’m not convinced that even the scientists are 100% there yet). What we need to understand is where we stand, so that we know how to walk. Despite the deep disappointment about the closure of church buildings for public worship, this is not a Daniel moment. What I mean by that is that we are not being forbidden from practicing our religion on the basis of religion. We’re not being told, as Daniel was, that the very act of worship is banned. What we are being asked to endure is a ban on social interaction on the basis of public gatherings being dangerous. We can debate the scientific basis of that ban, we can even enquire as to the legality of that ban, but what we cannot do is set ourselves up as having our religious freedom curtailed, we’re not. The basis of the decision does make a difference. So, we’re not being mistreated on the basis of faith (if you believe that it is a mistreatment), and we’re not being singled out because of what we believe.

This means that we should not be calling on the government to reinstate our public worship on the basis of freedom of religion. That’s plainly not the basis of our current lockdown restrictions. We can, and should, no matter our disagreement with the government on their understanding and implementation, accept the rules put in place for the common good in the manner in which they have been given – for the common good.

The second, and related thing that we need to do is to understand how we can work for the common good ourselves. We should be devoting our time and energy, our study, our prayers, and our worship towards seeking how to seek God and share God and to honour him in the current difficult days. The time and energy taken disagreeing with the state and discussing that would be better served in building one another up. Romans 14:19 says  “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

As I’ve pointed out above, we’re not, in this case, suffering on the basis of our faith, but 1 Peter 2:20 is helpful:

“For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”

So, let’s stand firm and look to God, trusting in his providence, and seeking to live in him no matter what the rest of the world tells us about our rights. Let’s use every means possible to encourage one another, using walking in pairs, video and voice calls, messaging and sharing what has encouraged you, one with another. But most of all, as Daniel did, let’s continue to take to our knees and pray for this world and for one another. There’s no law against that.

Bible Nine to Five Theses