Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-5:5
(The following post is a newly revised excerpt from our book True Intimacy which is available through Amazon’s Kindle Publishing for $0.99! It was too perfect for today’s scriptures; I just had to share it again. Enjoy!)
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
In the bible the books are divided into 2 sections: The Old Testament, (books written before Christ was born) and the New Testament (books written after Christ was born). The Old Testament is filled with stories of miraculous events, most of which are very large scale and grand. Showing us how BIG God is and what He is capable of. Then Jesus comes along and the miracles of the New Testament are more personal, they are intimate. The majority of the miracles described in the New Testament are miracles of people set free from bondage of one form or another. Miracles of debilitating illnesses healed, evil spirits cast out, and sins forgiven. The life of the afflicted individual changed FOREVER. God’s involvement in His people’s lives gets much more intimate as you segue from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
This intimate involvement is proved very precisely by what happened to a curtain in the temple on the day Jesus died. Up until that moment God’s presence filled a room in the temple known as the Holy of Holies. As a shield to that room there was a curtain. No one was allowed behind that curtain. Only after many many ceremonies and ritual cleansings was the high priest even allowed behind it and that was only once a year! Since the presence of the LORD God filled that room behind the curtain, for anyone to enter His presence unprepared would have killed them.
According to Mark’s gospel, at the moment of Jesus’ death the curtain that separated God from the rest of the world was torn in two. God had made a way for EVERYONE to come to Him and NOT die instantly. Up to that point in history very few people knew what God’s voice actually sounded like. Only a handful of them had ever talked to Him in person. When Jesus died He made a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies without fear of death. Because of Jesus and His willing sacrifice we can go to God on a PERSONAL level. He is no longer this BIG unapproachable God, He is intimate and loving and wonderful and caring. He always was before but He couldn’t fully show us Himself in such an intimate way. If someone needed to ask for forgiveness they had to go to the priests in the temple and offer an animal sacrifice. They performed the rituals required of them and they left. The priests would accept the sacrifices on behalf of the Lord. The individual that had sinned would never be able to enter into the Lord’s presence to ask for forgiveness personally.
When you choose to accept Jesus’ sacrifice of love, the gift of salvation and radical forgiveness, you get to cut out the middle man! God goes from being an unapproachable God living in a box in a temple to taking up residence in your heart; YOU become the Holy of Holies, your body! Yes, really! He lives in you and through you every day.
Persevere, life is hard. But fear not my friends for Jesus has conquered this life, and so can we, through Him. Love. Love everyone like He loves us, yes it’s hard, but it’s worth it. We don’t deserve the love that He’s given us, so let’s pass some of that underserved love on to someone else today. Maybe even your husband.
Your body is the new temple. So husbands, build a nice temple. I’m not talking about the outside. It doesn’t matter what kind of shape you’re in (like the old saying goes, “Round is a shape”), it matters what kind of shape the inside is in. However, you should take care of yourself so your wife can enjoy you longer.
It doesn’t matter how nice a church, temple, or tabernacle is they are just buildings. They could be an old house, an office building, a shed, or even just a tent. What makes them holy places is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, He isn’t always going to be a fog or a wind, but He is there.
I’ve been in churches where you can feel the Holy Spirit as a slight tickle on your body. I’ve been in churches where the Holy Spirit makes the hair on your body stand on end. I’ve been in churches where you could feel the Holy Spirit flowing out of the building when you open the door, as if the building can’t contain Him. Your temple (body) should be like my last example. The Holy Spirit should fill you so much that you can’t hold Him in and you just have to share Him with those around you.
Now, with that said, you need to lead by example. You can’t spread the Holy Spirit effectively if you don’t follow Jesus’ lead. You must live your life with as little sin as possible. Notice I didn’t say “with no sin.” It is impossible to live a completely sinless life. All we can do is make the choices needed to avoid as much sin as we can. That might mean avoiding web sites that might contain questionable photos. It might also mean not hanging around people that don’t lead a good example, tempting you to not lead by a good example. It might also mean changing your vocabulary if you “swear like a sailor”.
Will it be hard to change some of these things? Yes it will. But you know what, life’s hard, get a helmet.