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[thoughts] The Body Is God's Temple (April 31 - March 6, 2008)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 4212 subscribers. Thank you! ... THE BODY IS GOD S
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/


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      This edition goes out today to 4212 subscribers. Thank you!
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      THE BODY IS GOD'S TEMPLE
      (Daniel 1:8-21)


      GOD'S TEMPLE -- HO HUM?

      So God dwelled among the Israelites. They built a tabernacle
      according to His command and specifications, and the day finally
      came when He took residence therein. They knew He was there
      because they could see the physical signs. In the daytime, a
      cloud hovered over the structure; at night, a column of fire.

      I am sure that at first, these physical manifestations were
      impressive and awe inspiring. I imagine that for quite a while it
      was impossible not to glance in the direction of the tabernacle
      every so often. If I had been there, I would have wanted to be
      there to see how the cloud-to-fire transformation took place in
      the evenings. I wonder, though, how soon all this became of no
      great consequence to the people. I have no doubt that it did or
      Moses would never have had any sort of problem governing and
      leading the Israelites.

      Why did the presence of God become a common thing to the
      Israelites? Why did it no longer matter to them that Jehovah was
      in their midst? Furthermore, how or by what process did this
      come to be? Your answers to these questions may well show you
      how to keep a similar attitude from overtaking *you*!

      Surely we are just as human and just as inclined to lose
      consciousness of God's presence *in* us. Unlike the Israelites,
      we have no physical manifestation of God. Perhaps that may
      make us even more likely to lose our awareness of Him. If such
      truly is the case, then we ought to give some calculated effort to
      fight against such a catastrophe.

      In my estimation, a daily (and even repeated) exposure to God's
      Word will help us plenty in this ongoing fight. If we add to that
      the discipline of taking a Bible verse or concept for our
      through-the-day meditation, I believe we will decrease the odds
      of becoming oblivious to God in us. Other strategies include
      learning to live in the spirit of prayer, developing the "habit" of
      reminding ourselves constantly of God in us, and increasing our
      contact with God's people.


      HOLY LIVING AROUND SIN

      As sin becomes more blatant and gross, our tendency will be to
      become more comfortable with the "milder" sins. Without a
      question, holy living in our day is a tough proposition, but no
      more difficult than it has ever been. God has clearly stated that
      sin will never "out populate" His grace: "Where sin abounded,
      grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). When we live by
      His grace, we enjoy life in a new dimension: the Spirit. We can
      look at all the opportunities we have to sin, and then look
      beyond them at our much more abounding resources for success.
      The reality of the grace and power of the Spirit in our hearts will
      fill us with optimism. Holy living is possible because it is God
      who does the work in us, moving us "to will and to do of His
      good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).


      HOW DO I *NOT* LIVE FOR MYSELF ANY LONGER?

      The first step, of course, is to surrender to Jesus as Lord and
      Savior, confessing your sin to Him in full repentance and
      acceptance of His death for you. In doing so, you also believe
      that "they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves"
      (2 Corinthians 5:15). Hence the question -- How do I *not* live
      for myself any longer?

      The short answer really is quite short: Live for Jesus!

      "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
      but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit...to be
      spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:5,6).

      "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost
      which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
      For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body,
      and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).

      "I am crucified with Christ...Christ liveth in me: and the life
      which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
      God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

      "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
      where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

      "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness
      unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive
      from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness
      unto God" (Romans 6:13).

      "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of
      the Lord Jesus..." (Colossians 3:17).

      "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all
      manner of conversation" (1 Peter 1:15).

      "Now the God of peace...Make you perfect in every good work
      to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his
      sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:20,21).

      "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
      ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
      God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).


      HOW DO I PRESENT MY BODY TO GOD?

      Just do it! Address yourself to God, literally giving Him your
      body to use in His program and kingdom. Then renew that
      presentation as often as necessary, which will probably be daily.

      Having presented your body as a sacrifice to God, go about
      using it to glorify Him by pursuing His interests and
      accomplishing His purposes on earth. When you discover that
      you have become fleshly and self-centered in the use of your
      body, present it again to God.

      In one of His most memorable visits to the temple in Jerusalem,
      Jesus declared very forcefully, "My house shall be...but ye have
      made it" (Mark 11:17). They violated God's purposes for that
      temple. What are you doing with the temple which is your body?


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      Mark Roth


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