Wednesday, 5 March 2014

"WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD" Thoughts from the Bible Readings for March 6th

“WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD”                                                                                                                                                           
    We often think of the occasion the disciples showed Jesus the grandeur of the Temple (Mark 13 v.1,2). What was in their minds?  They, like their fellow Jews, were proud of it.  Jesus totally shocked them by saying it was all going to be destroyed! 
    Now in today’s reading in 2nd Corinthians (chs.5, 6 & 7) Paul shows how a new kind of Temple had been “erected”.   God seeks to dwell in a new ‘Most Holy Place’ and this development is the most important thing in the life of a believer. 
    Paul writes, “we are the temple of the living God, as God has said …” [Ch. 6 v.16]. He then quotes the words of God we will read later this month in Leviticus (ch.26 see v.11,12) of the blessings to come if they follow his precepts.   We specially notice God’s words to Moses that Paul felt he could ‘powerfully’ quote in his letter?
    “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore go out from their midst and be separate from them … then I will welcome you and I will be a father to you and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” [v.16-18]  
    What are they to go out from?  They had left the fleshpots of Egypt, but sadly many now wanted to return. Paul then paraphrases the words in Leviticus,  “since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit bringing holiness to completion in the fear (awe) of God” [Ch.7 v.1]  How incomplete is my holiness – we must each ask ourselves? 
    In recognising that our minds and hearts are the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live – indeed – is now living - we must each ask ourselves - what occupied my mind yesterday, will there be a change today in the things I think about and meditate upon?  It is vital that we are positive in reacting to this challenge – how utterly wonderful to have God in our very being, watching over us!   We therefore see how important it is that we read God’s word every day, for  isn’t that what should happen in “the temple of the living God.”.