Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Morning Hour

“Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables … he told them, ‘Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!’ ” (John 2:13-16)

“You are not your own, you are bought with a price. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Just as those selling animals and birds for sacrifices, and others who were exchanging foreign money for local currency should never have presumed to set up shop in the Temple, neither should we allow anything or anyone to occupy the holy place within us where the Holy Spirit dwells. It sounds as if having cattle, sheep, and doves available for purchase by the worshipers was necessary and good. That wasn’t the problem; Jesus became incensed when they were allowed to encroach on the holy ground reserved for a Mighty God.

Our bodies are to be reserved as temples for God’s Presence, the Spirit. Satan enjoys trying to slip things under the door, so to speak, that don’t belong in that space! And too often we cooperate beautifully.

Certain activities are also necessary in this age. We have to engage in buying and selling, maintaining, and many other earth-bound doings. God desires that we rest and recreate our physical, emotional and mental selves. Investing in and caring for our families is a noble desire. It’s only if and when we transfer these endeavors from “outside” our temples to within the Holy Spirit’s domain that Jesus objects. They become man-made idols, crowding the temple with trouble and seriously polluting the holy place.

Put a sign on the door of your temple – read it every day – “Reserved exclusively for the Holy Spirit of God.”

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