1 Kings 6:1-4, 21-22 (NRSV)
Solomon builds the temple
In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits wide, across the width of the house. Its depth was ten cubits in front of the house. For the house he made windows with recessed frames. ...
Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, then he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. Next he overlaid the whole house with gold, in order that the whole house might be perfect; even the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.
Do you know what I notice about King Solomon’s work in today’s scripture reading? It appears that Solomon spared no expense to ensure “that the whole [temple] might be perfect.”
Today, we understand that as Christians, we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, he promised that he would send his disciples the Holy Spirit. John 14:15-18 says, “If you love me, you will keep* my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,* to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in* you.”
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 makes this GOOD NEWS even plainer. It says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple* of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
Isn’t this amazing?! Just as Solomon went to great pains and great expense to insure that God’s Spirit would have an appropriate dwelling place; we are also invited to make sure that we do all that we know how to do to keep our bodies, minds, and spirits readied to be God’s home.
How can this be accomplished? Well some of the ways that we can prepare God’s temple (our bodies) for God’s Holy Presence are by eating well, drinking water, taking our vitamins and prescribed medications, and exercising daily!
We can also engage in the following spiritual disciplines: prayer, fasting, charitable good works, Bible study, participation in Holy Communion, fellowship with other Christians, giving of our time, talent, and treasure, sharing the GOOD NEWS, and worshipping God publicly and privately!
Now, be advised that the above list is not exhaustive! You may be able to think of other ways that we can prepare our temples for Jesus!
But, let us remember one very important thing--salvation is a free gift from God and we cannot do anything to “pay Jesus back” for his sacrifice upon the cross. We keep our bodies, minds, and spirits readied for Spirit as a grateful response to God’s great love and amazing grace and because it pleases us to make God proud!
I am so thrilled that God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us! Spirit equips, prepares, and empowers us to be God’s hands, feet and mouth in the world as we love God and neighbor as ourselves!
Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!
Today I challenge you to choose one new spiritual discipline and to try to engage in it every single day until Easter (24 days)! Which new discipline will you try? (NOTE: If you try a new discipline and fail to do it every day, do not dismay! Dust yourself off and try, try again! Remember, God loves you NO MATTER WHAT! Doesn't that just make your heart smile?)
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The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. You can purchase the book by clicking the link to the right. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.
From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/