1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 - Keeping the Tabernacle Clean
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 "God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." (NLT)
I often have to catch myself. I sometimes take my eyes off the heavenly goal and, instead, get caught up in something of this world that catches my eye momentarily. Most of the time it isn't long before I'm back on the beam, but I have to be diligent about it.
Paul reminds us that as part of our heritage as children of the King, we are called to a standard of holiness in our lives that is befitting to that station. In Ephesians Paul cautions, "All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else. (Ephesians 2:3 (NLT))
But with our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, not only were we called to a higher standard for ourselves, but we also accepted a new set of rules by which we need to live our lives..........for if we ignore this new standard, we are not turning our backs on rules created by humans, but, Paul says, we are "rejecting God." That's pretty strong stuff.
We also are not keeping the tabernacle of flesh which houses His Spirit clean but are allowing it to become cluttered..........unkempt....dirty.....not befitting for the Spirit of the Lord.
That's where Paul really gets my attention.............if I don't respect the "temple" which houses the Lord's Spirit, I am actually turning my back, in a sense, on the sacrifice at Calvary............where God, Himself, offered His Son as a Holy Sacrifice to restore the original relationship He intended for mankind......where His Spirit was again offered in communion with man as it was in the Garden.
I've learned a great deal about my Lord...............I'm on the road to building a strong relationship with Him through His Word and through communication with Him in prayer................I've learned to respect Him............I've learned to love Him.......I've learned that the importance of the relationship with Him is to be preserved from anything that may infringe upon it.
And rather than looking at it as giving up things...........I, instead, choose to look at the gifts that I'm given because of my relationship with Him.
Once I do that, to choose anything but His ways is absurd...........for "It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and possess much. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly. (Psalms 37:16-17 (NLT))
That pretty much says it.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on December 23, 2003 in post #436. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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