Saturday, February 16, 2019

Will God Really Dwell on Earth?

Today's Reading:
1 Kings 8:1-66
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
Psalm 90:11-17
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Focus Verses: 1 Kings 8:27-29
27 "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.

Though 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:
Through 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.

O 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
19 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

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