Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians 3:16

Keeping a distance or getting close?


I’ve often reflected on our nature as Christians to run with excitement to the Palm Sunday scene. We love the pageantry of waving palms with a popular crowd, and singing, “Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! But we are reluctant to come close to the cross at Calvary. It’s discomforting to participate with Jesus in his suffering.


Franklin Graham makes a similar comparison, noting that as Jesus was led to his crucifixion, “Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end” (Matthew 26:58). Graham continues: “Many Christians in America today want to follow Jesus at a distance. They want to give themselves a little room—they want to watch which way the wind will blow before they are publicly seen too close to the Lord. When Jesus is portrayed in a good light or when it’s comfortable, they will stand next to Him. But if Jesus is going to be mocked or cursed or insulted, they want to stay back until they know how things will go.”


Perhaps it’s time for each of us to ask God to search our hearts and reveal the ways in which we are maintaining space between us and him. We ask God to come close when we sing praise, study scripture, seek him in prayer, and in times of our own trials. But is that enough? What about those conversations with nonbelievers who are uncomfortable with talk of God and Jesus? Do we become uncomfortable too? Do we turn away from God when we go to work or get busy with our chores and hobbies, believing God still lives in a temple building – forgetting that we ourselves are God’s temple? (1 Corinthians 3:16. 1 Corinthians 6:19) God inhabits his temple, so if we are his temple, he goes with us in every area of our lives! Let us not only meet him at church but celebrate him everywhere we go.


What better time than the beginning of a new year to decide to draw close to God, and not leave him at a distance?! Let’s singlemindedly decide to honor him in everything we do.


“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4-8

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance(A) from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24


God IS the temple


The kingdom of God is within me. –  Luke 17:20-21


The Israelites worshiped in the temples of their making. We worship in churches of our making, but in reality we are the temples of God if His Spirit lives in us. (1 Corinthians 3:16)  But in heaven, God IS the temple. There will be no darkness because HIS light is all we need. No need to worry or fear because there will be no thieves in the night – in fact, no night at all.  No more shame. No more deceit. Only the glory of God’s presence and the revelation of His goodness. Consider the words of John:


“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27)


The gate to the kingdom of God is within you. It is open to those who seek His presence – and His light – in their life. Enjoy it now and enjoy it forever.



Nutrition for your soul


The bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.


The prophet Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to find that the house of God, the holy place of worship, had not been properly cared for. With great zeal he asked the people, “Why is the house of God neglected?” (Nehemiah 13:11)


In old testament times, the people regarded their place of worship as the residence of God and were to treat it with great reverence. But Jesus changed things when He gave us His Spirit to live in us. I no longer live but Christ lives in me; Christ in me the hope of glory (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). Now we are the temples of God, not the brick and mortar buildings, if His Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). Doesn’t it follow that we should take care of that temple? The physical body, yes, but as important, our soul and spirit?


I like cake, especially our traditional family chocolate birthday cake. It is as rich as it is tasty, so we save it for special occasions. But bread (regular or gluten-free) is more of a staple for the every day diet. Just as food is nutrition to the body, so is the Word of God nutrition to our soul.


Is the Word a mainstay of your daily diet? A sure way to stave off spiritual weakness is to make sure it is! And as for me, I like to eat at least three times each day. Don’t you think our spiritual beings need as much nutrition?


“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8



God’s glory gives light

Have you ever noticed how suffering has a way of stripping away the layers of who you think you are, to reveal who you really are inside?  Who I am as a man, as a leader, as a provider for my family – a father, husband, grandfather – a contributor to my church, an influencer of others for the kingdom of Christ… All these have changed, some in small ways, others more significantly, through the journey of Leukemia. This is good when it involved surrender to God and being molded in His image. But there is also a certain grieving of the journey from Gal 2:20 and 2 Cor 5:17. It seems we carry so many labels and hold some of these dearly close to us. Some aspects of these need to be stripped away. The remainder all need to be submissive to the one label of God’s child, devoted follower of Jesus.


Lately, I am reflecting on the glory of God filling his temple (2 Chron. 5:14 and many other verses). I think on 1 Cor 3:16 (and others) where we are reminded that we ourselves are the temple of God. It follows of course, that His glory should fill us, that others should see his glory when they observe our lives, filled with his presence.


It is like the story of the little girl who asked her mother, “Is it true that when we ask Jesus into our life that He lives in our heart?” The mother replied, “Well yes dear, that is right.” “And isn’t He the light of the world?” the girl continued. “Yes, that is true,” replied the mom. “Then shouldn’t others see Him shine through us?” the girl asked. Out of the mouth of babes comes a truth for us. Some extent of the glory of God should be revealed through us if His Son lives in us.


This label of glory-filled-holiness is a worthy (and daunting) one to consider.  It is our true identity that no one and no circumstance can strip away unless we let it.  It is a banner we can only carry by continual surrender to Christ in us, the hope of glory. When He carries this banner others can see Him…in us.


What other identity rivals this one? Let God’s glory shine in and through your day. For the glory of God gives light!