You are the Temple of God
God did not make a mistake when He picked you. He knew everything about you. He understood your failings and your weakness. He saw your doubts and your struggles now and in the future. He still chose you for His team. He called you to shine like a star in the middle of a crooked and wicked generation. How is this possible? What does it mean to shine for God?
The Temple in Jerusalem was a magnificent sight. Pilgrims were overcome with its sheer beauty. Travelers were literally blinded by its glory when they approached in the morning. The sun reflected off its gold facade and shone so brightly you could not look directly upon it. It reflected the sun to the world. This made sense given the purpose of the Temple. It was the symbolic dwelling place of God on the earth. The majesty pointed to God. It was meant to call the whole world to God. It reflected God’s glory to the entire world.
The Temple was like a lighthouse shining on a very dark night. It was a beacon of safety to guide those at sea in a world of darkness.
There is no longer a Temple in Jerusalem. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. This was tragic in many ways but it was no accident. God was not surprised when the Romans tore down it down brick by brick. The destruction of the physical Temple of God was part of His plan. He had a new Temple in mind. It was not limited to one place or one people. God’s new Temple was so much better.
Do you know who the new Temple is? You!
You are the Temple of God.
God switched out a beautiful building made with human hands and replaced it with you – a miracle built by God Himself.
Did you know you are the Temple of God?
You are a wonder of the modern world. You shine with the reflected glory of the Son. You are a beacon calling the world to God. You are God’s dwelling place.
It is amazing to think about!
You Are the Temple of God
Christians are the new house of God’s presence in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of you. You testify to the goodness and beauty of God in your daily life. You testify like a city on a hill to God’s salvation and glory.
Yes, little old you are God’s lighthouse calling those who are lost in today’s sea of sin and death.
The church also has the same title. This is not referring to a particular denomination or building. Every Christian is called to be a living stone that forms part of the larger Temple. We each are the place where the Living God resides on this earth. We also are collectively the Temple through which God works. You may be part of a church that meets in a house, cathedral or community center. You may worship the Lord in English, Spanish, or American Sign Language. You are the place where pilgrims now come to interact with God’s Spirit in the world. The picture follows the pattern of the physical Temple of the Old Testament.
It is a wonderful privilege that also comes with responsibility.
Zeal for His House Consumes Him
Your life must be holy if you are to properly replace the Jerusalem Temple. Zeal for your Temples consumes Jesus just as much as it did when He turned over the tables in the 1st Century.
Jesus makes a point to clear the Temple in the Bible on two occasions. You will recall Jesus entering the Temple courts, fashioning a whip and driving out the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals. They were taking advantage of people who came to worship at the Temple.
Jesus does nothing by mistake or without a point. His driving out these people is not just to protect the people from being defrauded. It is to show the purpose of His ministry. Jesus came to draw people close to the Living God.
Jesus clears out all barriers that prevent you from coming close to your Heavenly Father.
The religious leaders were making money off the people who came to the Temple to worship God in Jesus’ day. They were sinning against the very people they were supposed to lead. They were robbing people in the name of God. This is bad.
But it is not what Jesus comments on when He fashions the whip and sets upon them. He turns over the tables for a very specific reason:
He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13
Jesus’ point is they have transformed the purpose of the Temple. It was meant to be a pure place where people come to speak with God. The Temple was where they would commune with God. They turned it into a den of robbers. They have brought the evil, the profane and the ugly into a place that was supposed to be completely holy. They stand in the way of people coming to worship God.
Jesus is cleansing His holy place from all evil. He is clearing out His house and making a way to God. In order for people to be drawn to the Father, the Temple of God must be swept clean.
It is one of the most dramatic moments in His earthly ministry. Jesus turns over tables to protect the people and the holiness of His Father’s house. He strongly demands the Temple of God be kept a house of prayer, a place of purity and holiness.
If you replaced the Temple as God’s place of worship, prayer, and holiness, you must conclude Jesus has the same zeal for you. He greatly desires you to be clear of all things that would impede others from getting to God. He wants you to shine to all the world.
Do you have the same zeal for His house, you?
Are you swept clean of the things of the world that prevent you from shining for God?
Are you more interested in taking from people or getting them to Jesus?
What does your personal Temple of God look like?
Holiness Protects People
No one is ready to be a light for Jesus on their own. It is only the Holy Spirit working in you that provides the illumination. He transforms you from a lost sinner to a shining saint. He is like the powerful bulb for the lighthouse light that shoots out for many miles. The glory and power are His alone.
You just have to be willing to do your part – keep the lens clean and get out of the way. If the lighthouse keeper remains planted in front of a dirty lens it will be both painful and diminish the light.
This is where cleansing the Temple of God comes in for you.
Have you allowed sin to set up its table in your courts? Are you permitting sin to rob from you and God’s people in your life?
Sin never stays contained in one place. It always fights for more space to damage your life. Do you need to fashion a spiritual whip and go to town on things you have accepted as normal?
Keeping your Temple clean requires zeal for His house and a willingness to put it into action.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and the rest will be added to you, Jesus said. Are you turning over the tables and kicking out the things in your life that are defiling God’s House?
If not, start today! Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness!