Keeper of the Temple

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, ABC television network recently plowed through a mountain of video clips. Among those unearthed from their vaults were some scenes from the old ?Laverne and Shirley? show. In one of these the character of Shirley contrasted herself with her roommate Laverne. While Laverne was content to embrace a lifestyle of feasting upon junk food, Shirley proudly proclaimed that her body was a temple and no junk food was ever permitted to enter the temple! Viewing her body as a temple controlled her eating habits.
Although her comments were embedded within a situation comedy, nevertheless Shirley?s words capture purpose and direction. Instead of living life with the directionless boundaries of doing whatever might feel right at the moment, imagine the purpose and the responsibility of caring for the sacred.
If you were entrusted with caring for a portable temple for God, where would you take it? What TV programs, internet sites or movies would you expose the sacred to? What would you say in its presence? Would you ever want to hide it under some cloth so that your words or actions might be hidden from it? What would you do as a custodian and manager of God?s temple?
I know that you are already ahead of me. But hang with me a moment longer as we turn to scripture. In writing about the seriousness of sexual immorality, Paul argued, ?Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own? For you have been purchased with a price; glorify God in your body.? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Having been made to become a temple of the Holy Spirit should influence and control what we do!
Similarly, when writing about the awesome responsibility involved in teaching God?s people, Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth that, ?Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you? Whoever might destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy and that is what you are.? 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Since God’s people have been made to become the temple of God, this holds strong repercussions for anyone who would teach falsely thus leading to the destruction of God?s people.
Each child of God is a keeper of God?s temple. He or she is never alone but always in the presence of the sacred. These are sobering as well as humbling thoughts. God has entrusted us to care for His temple! Of course God is everywhere, but as a steward of His temple where would you take it? How might this empower you to live for God and achieve His purposes through your life? How would God?s people live if these thoughts soaked deeply into their awareness?

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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