Friday, February 11, 2011
I CORINTHIANS 3:16
"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you?" (NIV)
I remember hearing this verse quoted when I was a teenager.\; it was often used in reference to not smoking, not doing drugs, not drinking alcohol; and, rightly so. Later in life I remember that it became a popular reference for Christian-based weight loss programs. Also appropriate. This scripture is also used in prayers of confession for twelve-step programs for various substance abuse problems. We humans have a lot of problems putting bad stuff (or too much good stuff) in our bodies... Remember Grandma saying, "You are what you eat."? Scientists have proven that if your diet consists of lots of fatty meats, deep-fried foods, and high-sugar treats, then you are probably going to be overweight. Our bodies belong to God. We are caretakers of these wonderfully-made vessels which contain our souls. God wants us to take care of our physical selves so as to give our souls the chance to survive and thrive and grow in knowledge and grace. We are not a physical beings trying to live in a spiritual world; we are spiritual beings trying to live in a physical world.
But, have you ever thought about your MIND being the temple of God? Since we are what we eat, it stands to reason that our minds also become what we feed them. What do you feed your mind? If your personal entertainment consists of movies, music, TV, or magazines filled with violence or sexual immorality or vulgar language, your thoughts and actions will reflect that input. If the doctor could draw our blood and test it for human degradation, many of us would have some very bad lab results! Of course, deep down, you already knew that, didn't you? Ask God to help you find your way back to Him. He is there. So gentle. So kind.
The Apostle Paul wrote I Corinthians. In fact, he wrote a lot of the New Testament/Renewed Covenant. In the book of Philippians, Paul wrote: "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or receiver or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4: 8 & 9 NIV)
There is yet another way in which the body is the temple of God. We, who have accepted Christ Jesus as our personal Savior are the Body of Christ. We ARE the temple! We, then, are instructed to take care of the temple... take care of each other. Jesus tried to explain this when He said, "Love your neighbor as yourself". (Matthew 22:39). It is our responsibility and privilege to appreciate each others' differences within the church. We don't have to agree on everything to love each other. The world is watching, waiting to see us react in an ungodly way. Sadly, we often do so... No wonder non-believers are not impressed with "Christianity"! As Gandhi said, " I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians."
So, let us take the challenge to be God's Temple. To react to situations in a Christ-like manner. With love, patience, and humility. God's Temple. Where His Spirit dwells. The Temple is sacred. And, we are that Temple.