Tuesday, March 10, 2015

HOLY GROUND

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?                                                            I Corinthians 3:16

Jewish men in the age of Law were required to go to the Temple three times a year on the highest holy days. Those who lived too far away to bring what they would sacrifice were allowed to buy animals and grains on site.

But first they had to exchange their common coins, which bore the images of pagan rulers, for the untainted sanctuary shekel. For this reason, a market and “bank” grew up in the outer court of the Temple.

An acceptable purpose—but the priests couldn’t miss this amazing business opportunity. Coins were exchanged—for a fee, of course. Lambs brought from home were judged unacceptable. “Better” ones were sold to their owners, then those “unacceptable” lambs were put in with the temple flock and sold to the next sucker.

God’s house of prayer for all nations—the Court of the Gentiles—had become a den of robbers, and the whole Temple was defiled. No wonder Jesus was angry enough to blow up at them.

Today, in the age of grace, God’s Spirit lives not in a Temple of stone, but in His children. We are His Temple, corporately and individually. We are holy ground, set apart for His exclusive use.

How do we treat His home? Have we made it a den of thieves?

“Be holy, for I am holy,” He said. “Be in the world, but not of it.”

But we cannot—unless He does it through us.

That Monday morning was the second recorded time He cleansed the Temple. Men of flesh, living here in a broken world, will fall, again and again. And He will cleanse us, again and again. He’s the God of second chances, and third, and fourth, and… 

All we have to do is tell Him we messed up, ask for His forgiveness, and mean it.

Avi, so many things in this attractive world compete for Your place in my heart. Live in me, and help me to remember who You are and what You are to me: my Father, my Redeemer, my Lord and my God. Clean me up again as many times as it takes—and don’t forget the front porch rocking chairs and the welcome mat. In Your holy name, Amen.   

2 comments:

  1. Thank God for His grace who saves and cleanses us now and for all time.

    ReplyDelete