July 25 - You Are God's Temple

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25 - You Are God's Temple
1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16b

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Cor. 3:16-17).

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people,’ (2 Cor. 6:16b)

For the last 24 days, we have read about the power of the temple in the lives of the Israelites.  This was the one place where they felt they could meet with God.  They offered sacrifices and took great care to ensure that the temple was elaborately furnished.  For the most part, it was because they wanted the temple that glorified the name of their Lord to be better than anything else in their lives.  When it came time to bring offerings, they brought the very best.

It was never about receiving honor and glory for themselves, it was all about ensuring that the world knew of the glory of their Creator God.

When Jesus’ death ripped the curtain that had separated God from humanity for centuries, we were free to invite God to live within each of us at a personal level.  No longer did we have to fear that His justice would consume us, Jesus’ atoning blood allowed God’s mercy to prevail in our lives.

I’ve never been one to demand that we create perfection in our bodies so that we can act as the temple of God.  I think that’s nuts.  At some point, we are spending more time worshiping our bodies than we do the Lord who created them.  This temple isn’t about a physical representation, it’s about who we are in the world.

When the temple of Israel no longer was a holy place, God deserted the people.  He sent them into exile.  He didn’t care about their offerings, because none of that was done with true love for him.  The temple no longer represented the Lord, no matter how perfect it was, how much gold and silver lined the walls or how clean it looked on the outside.

If the world is to see God in us and recognize Him in our temple, it has to be consistent and Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22 what the fruit of having God reside in our hearts looks like.  The world will see in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  These are the foundational pillars of our temple.