"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

“That I May Dwell Among Them…”

Posted by Emma on February 10, 2013 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Studying the Word

Today I was reading in Exodus 25 and it set me to thinking, particularly verses 8-9. “They shall make a sanctuary for Me–so that I may dwell among them–like everything that I show you, the form of the Tabernacle and the form of all its vessels; and so shall you do.”

God wanted Israel to build Him a sanctuary for the soul purpose that he might dwell among them. This could not just be any sanctuary, it had to be perfect. God is perfect and holy, he can only dwell where it is perfect and holy. His sanctuary had to be made exactly as He said, exactly like the pattern of the heavenly one that He showed Moses on Mount Sinai.

Often times we easily dismiss these chapters as well and good but not applying to us. Be honest the last fifteen chapters or so of Exodus are boring, excepting the golden calf incident, right? However, the more I read the rest of the Bible, particularly the New Testament, it becomes impossible to just dismiss these chapters.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

Wow. You are God’s temple and you’d better keep it holy, if you do not want to be destroyed.

That natural question is how do we keep the temple of God holy? We live according to the pattern shown us on the mountain. Which mountain? Well, two actually. The first is Mount Sinai, where God gave us his instructions, showing us the pattern we should live by. They can be summed up in the ten words (as the original Hebrew says) or ten commandments as the English scriptures translate it, which in turn can be summed up in two commands, love God and love your neighbor. (See Matthew 22:37-40) The second mountain is Calvary. On that mountain our Savior died willingly for our sins. On that mountain He proved that He was Lord of all. On that mountain He started the process that would make us the temple of God. We must live according to the pattern that He set for us.

As I read on through the New Testament, I come to 1 Cor 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

The Spirit of God rested on the Tabernacle and the first Temple, in Hebrew it is called the Shechinah, Today, God’s Shechinah does not rest on a building, one place in the world, instead it rest on every believe who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price and now the Shechinah, the dwelling presences of God’s glory, the Holy Spirit, dwells in you. That is why we must glorify God in our bodies. If you are not comfortable being owned by another, you have no business calling yourself a Christian. You cannot be a Christian without being the temple of the Holy Spirit and owned by God. When you accept Christ, you give control to Him and you are not your own.

The next passage that stood out to me was 2 Cor 6:16-18. “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.’”

Again we see that we are the temple of the living God and He will dwell among us. Sounds familiar? It is very similar to Exodus 25:8.

These passages make it clear that the current dwelling of God’s Shechinah is not in a temple made with hands but in the midst of His people and as such we are to be holy, we must be separate from the world and stay way from unclean things. (This unclean is not unclean as in covered with mud. Essentially, it means unholy, a full definition would require another article.) In the American church we often miss the reason for why we must be holy and not destroy our bodies, God’s temple. As we look back to the Old Testament and study how God’s Shechinah dwelt in the Tabernacle it becomes clear. When God’s Shechinah dwelt in the Tabernacle not even Moses was able to enter because of the glory. (See Exodus 40:35) What makes us think that we can be flippant about God dwelling in us?

Scripture is clear we are the temple of God, but do you really understand what that means? Can we really understand without studying the chapters in Exodus about the Tabernacle? I do not think we can. I think we must study Exodus, and the rest of Scripture to know how to live so God can dwell in us. The books of Exodus and Leviticus make it really clear that God will not dwell just anywhere. We should be honored that He will make us His temple but we also should be scared stiff because the living God, who is so holy that not one tiny speck of unholiness can abide in his presences and whose Shechinah glory was so much that not even Moses could enter the same dwelling with it, dwells in us and has bought us with a price. We are not our own. We are the holy temple of the living God. God dwells in us and in our midst. Live like it or be destroyed.

Where Do You Want To Dwell?

Posted by Emma on August 15, 2011 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Daily Thought

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”

Do we not all want to abide in God’s tabernacle, to dwell in His holy hill. Would it not be wonderful to always live with the Lord? Are you one who could? Do you meet these requirements?

“He who walks blamelessly” 

To walk blamelessly is to walk like Christ walked, to walk in the Law of the Lord.

“and does what is right” 

Do you make an effort to always do what is right in God’s eyes?

“and speaks the truth in his heart;”

Even to yourself you must speak truth. Satan tries to lie to us often. We must not believe or repeat those lies, but speak the truth about all things, to ourselves and to others.

“who does not slander with his tongue” 

Do your words reflect well on others or do they tear them down and damage their reputation? We should be know for speaking the positive and the good.

“and does no evil to his neighbor,”

Christ would have us love our neighbors as ourselves. We should be looking out for their good. Who is your neighbor? Check out Luke 10:27-37. 

“nor takes up a reproach against his friend;”

Have peace with all people. Do  not take up anything against a friend. Work it out. 

“in whose eyes a vile person is despised,”

Sin should never be approved. Despise what is wrong. 

“but who honors those who fear the Lord;”

Those who fear God deserve honor. Be a person who deserves honor and give honor to those who live for God. 

“who swears to his own hurt and does not change;”

Keep your word, even when it is not convenient. What you have said do, even if the cost are high.  

“who does not put out his money at interest” 

Give and loan without expecting more back, or even anything back.

“and does not take a bribe against the innocent.”

Do not hurt the innocent even if it seems best for you. Be innocent before God. 

“He who does these things shall never be moved.”

Psalm 15 (KJV & ESV)

Because God Made Me

Posted by Emma on May 11, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” Psalm 119:73

This verse begins the tenth section of this Psalm. The verse in this section begin with the letter י (yod). This verse lays out a fundamental reason why we should seek and obey God. It is also one of the most basic truths that the secular world fights against the hardest. This verse tells us of creation.

The first word in this verse is ידיך (yadecha) which means thy hand. This is God’s hand. עשוני (asuni) is a verb meaning make. It is talking here of God’s creating. ויכוננוני (vayeconenuni) is another verb. There is a ו (vav) at the beginning of this word that means and. The main part of the word means establish. God makes us and He establishes us. Without Him we would die. He holds the world together. We must recognize this as truth, if we are going to say that any of the Bible is truth.

The word הבינני (havineni) means give understanding, make to understand. The Psalmist is asking God to give him understanding. ואלמדה (ve’elemedah) begins with a ו (vav) meaning and. The main part of the word is a verb meaning learn something. The final word in this verse is מצותיך (mitzvotecha) which means thy commandments. The Psalmist wants God to give him understanding so that he can learn God’s commandments.

We must believe that God made us and has established us. If we do not believe that, why live for God? Why believe in Jesus? If God has not made us, the Bible lied, and thus we can not believe any of it. But God did make us. He fashioned each of us and knows how many hairs are on our heads. We can rest secure that the rest of the Bible is true and believing in Jesus will result in our salvation. Since God has made us and can save us, it is only right that we should do what He has told us to do. We should asking Him to give us understanding for the purpose of learning His commandments. They teach us about the character of God and what He wants us to be doing. Learn of God. Know that He made you. Live as He would have you live.

It Is Better Than Gold and Silver

Posted by Emma on May 10, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” Psalm 119:72

Thousands of gold and silver is a lot. Most people dream of being rich and would love to have lots of gold and silver. The Psalmist would rather have God’s word. God is first in his life and he desires the things of God more than the things of this earth. We also should put God first in our lives and riches second.

The first word in this verse is טוב (tov) which means good or better.  לי (li) means me. תורת (torat) means direction or instruction. This word is often translated into English as law. It is connect by a Makkeph with the word פיך  (phicha) which means thy mouth. The instructions that come from God’s mouth are better to the Psalmist.

The next three words tell us what the instructions of God are better than. The word מאלפי (me’aliphee) means thousands.  זהב (zahav) means gold. The final word in this verse is  וכסף (vacaseph). The ו (vav) at the beginning of this word means and the main part of the word means silver.

Silver and gold are often linked together when talking about wealth. These are the most expensive metals. Yet better than all the wealth of the world are the instructions that come from God’s mouth. If we do what God commands, we will have treasure for all eternity. That is far better than enjoying pleasures on earth for a season. We should work to know God’s words more than we work to gain money or things. We should obey God before the culture or our bosses. We should store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIs righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. Seek God, His kingdom, and His words and the needs of life will be taken care of. Make God’s instructions better to you than thousands of gold and silver.

Affliction is Good?

Posted by Emma on May 8, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

How many of us can honestly say it was good for me that I was afflicted? Sometimes when we have come through the affliction and things are better we can say that, but do we say it when we are in the midst of affliction? It would all depend on our perspective. We must make sure we have the right perspective regarding life so that we see the good in affliction and it results in good. This verse is very similar to verse 67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” When sometime is repeated in the Bible we should take notice of it. We must make sure affliction has the proper results in our lives, we should draw closer to the Lord because of it.

The first word in this verse is טוב (tov) which means good. It is followed by the word לי (li) which means me. כי (ci) is a conjunction meaning that or for.  עניתי (uneeti) is a verb meaning afflicted. So the Psalmist is saying that it is good for him that he was afflicted.

The next word is למען (lema’an) means on account of, in order that. אלמד (elemad) is a verb meaning exercise in, learn something. The final word in this verse is חקיך (chukecha) which means thy statutes. These are the things God has prescribed for us to do.

Just being afflicted in and of itself is not a good thing. Affliction is not comfortable nor is it something we would want. But if that affliction results in our drawing closer to the Lord and learning more of Him and how to better obey Him, it is a good thing. When affliction comes our way, we should seek the Lord to learn what He is wanting to teach us, then we should apply what we have learned to our lives and make sure we are obeying Him. Often affliction is a way of discipline us if we stray from his path, but it sometimes just comes to test us or draw us closer to the Master. We should not automatically assume that affliction means we are being disciplined, but we should always start seeking God more and use it as  a time to draw closer to Him. Next time you are afflicted, turn to God and draw closer to Him. Make sure you are obeying His commands so that you can say, it was good that I was affliction that I might learn thy statutes.

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