1 Kings 8:1-66
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
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Focus Verses: 1 Kings 8:27-29
"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest
heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28
Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O
LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying
in your presence this day. 29
May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of
which you said, 'My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the
prayer your servant prays toward this place.
the Temple was to be a place of worship, and a place where God's
presence would dwell in a special way, Solomon and the people of Israel
understood that no building could contain God. They knew that not even
the whole of creation or the highest heavens could contain the one
true God, much less a building built by human hands. The Temple served
merely as a place of connection between God and man--a place where
heaven and earth would overlap.
Jesus used temple
language about himself. He referred to himself as the temple of God
(Mt. 12:5-7; John 2:19). God's presence entered the world in a special
way through Jesus. The word became flesh and lived among us full of
grace and truth (John 1:14).
Today, those who have
been saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:8-10) serve
as a sort of temple as they live in the world filled with the Holy
Spirit. Through God's people, heaven and earth overlap. Because God's
Spirit lives in us, we are to live as children of light (Eph. 5:8).
Response and Action:
faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I am part of
God's temple. My heart and life should be a place where God's presence
is powerful, fruitful, and visible. By God's grace my life can be a
place where heaven and earth overlap. My life can be a witness for
Christ and a connecting point with the love and grace of God.
God, who fills the heavens, you are Holy. I long to see your kingdom
come -- your will lived out on earth as in heaven. Fill me with your
Holy Spirit and transform my heart by your power and grace. Help me to
live to the praise of your glorious grace as the Spirit of Jesus
indwells my mortal body. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Ephesians 2:19-22
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow
citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself
as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined
together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him
you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives
by his Spirit.
Surprised by Hope
by N. T. Wright