Monday, April 25, 2016

Holy Temple in the Lord


So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

Christianity is not like a parking meter, as if so long as we put a few coins in we can stay in that spot. Our "spot" was paid for permanently by Jesus. Going "to church" now and then or even every day does not make anyone a Christian. Christianity is not something we DO, it's who we ARE. We gather to worship because love our Lord. Why did I put "to church" in quotations? Because the Church is not an institution or a building. We believers ARE the Church. Our bodies are temples of the Lord. So when we leave the building we worship in, we are leaving the local Church, which is the people we worshiped with. The letters to the Churches in Revelation were sent to congregations, not man-made buildings. The Body of Christ is made up of believers throughout the world, assembled and set apart by God Himself. (1 Peter 2:4-5) We are scattered like salt to prevent decay in this fallen, sinful world. (Matt. 5:13) Our lives need to reflect our knowledge of this fact. Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46) and we are illuminated by His light. (Eph. 5:13) We are supposed to reflect His light on this dark, deceived, decaying planet. (Matt. 5:14-16, Phil. 4:8, Gal. 6:7-10)

This reality needs to sink deeply into our hearts. We carry around the death of Jesus with us (Rom. 6, 2 Cor. 4:8-10, Gal. 2:20, 5:16-26, 6:14). We realize what our salvation cost Him--that we were bought with the price of His suffering and blood, and are no longer our own. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) When He said to count the cost of following Him (Luke 14:26-34), He didn't mean "feeding the meter" just enough to get by. He made it VERY clear that He expects us to give ALL, not a bit of our lives and ourselves here and there. If we really understand that He sees everything we do and even knows our thoughts, would that change anything about the way we live "our" lives? There are those quotation marks again! That's because He IS our life. (Col. 3) He is our Redeemer (Titus 2), which means He paid the price to ransom us from eternal punishment in hell (1 Tim. 2:5-6) and give us eternal LIFE instead. (John 3:16-18, John 5:24, ) We belong to Him. (1 Cor. 7:23) Our purpose is to glorify and honor Him. (1 Thes. 4:3-8) We were adopted into God's family when His Spirit came to dwell within us. (Galatians 4:4-7) Jesus is going to come back for us to take us to be with Him. (John 14:1-3, 1 Thes. 4:16-17) Throughout eternity, we will be loving, serving, honoring, obeying, worshiping, praising and thanking Him and exalting His holy name. I can't wait, can you? What a privilege to be called His! Wow. It makes me want to start NOW to do what I'll be doing forever. How about you?

papers by 2am Designs, photo extracted from web