"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.

Inspirational All The Way

Posted by Emma on January 17, 2013 | Filed under: Books

Rudy_my_Story.cover“The moral of the Rudy story is that anyone with a dream can make that dream a reality–as long as they’re willing to put in the hard work and heart it takes to get there.” Daniel Rudy Ruettiger

That is the truth about the Rudy story. In his autobiography, Rudy My Story, Daniel Ruettiger shares the story behind the film Rudy, he discusses the making of the movie and his life after the movie. From beginning to end, the book is full of inspiration. It inspires you to go live your dream, do whatever it takes, overcome every obstacle, and succeed. That is just what Rudy did. He is an ordinary guy, all of us can relate to him. But he had perseverance and drive. In this book, He shares how any of us can do what he did if we have some perseverance and look to God. He also shares about the mistakes he made along they way. Rudy is a real guy with real struggles just like us.

The story of Rudy is captivating, I could hardly put the book down. It fires you up and makes you want to go out there and accomplish your dreams. Many times while reading it, I found myself thinking about my own dreams and ways that I could accomplish them. I have made mistakes regarding them in the past but as he says, “The difference between those who reach their dreams and those who don’t may just be a willingness to look at those mistakes and at all life’s obstacles from a new perspective.” Perseverance and a new perspective will carry me to my dream and I am going to keep Rudy My Story next to me for inspiration along the way.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Shocking State of Art

Posted by Emma on January 3, 2013 | Filed under: Analogies,Christianity,Daily Thought

Today I went to the MIlwaukee Art Museum. It was inspiring and beautiful to walk through the displays of art from centuries ago. Here are my two  favorites.
View of Dordrecht

Landscape with Mountains and River

Then we came to the modern art section. To my brother and I, it was repulsing. Seeing the beautiful paintings, can you really call this art?

144 Pieces of Zinc
Yes, this is considered art. It is 144 zinc plates on the floor. This so called piece of art is laughable. Seriously, that is art? (I hope I am not offending someone by laughing at their master piece but considering the other images it holds nothing to them.) I show this image because it is laughable and not repulsing like some of the other ones are. I do not wish to taint you with exposure to them.

Modern art leaves you shaking your head asking what has come over us that we can call this art. After a head shake, we walk on and never give it any more serious thought. It does not inspire us to greatness, it does not awe us with beauty, it does not fill us with wonder. It leaves us empty, confused, and appalled (well, it leaves some of us appalled).

As I pondered this, it struck me how similar art is to the American church. Our culture has degenerated in the past several decades and so has our church. I wonder if the degeneration of art is a result of the decaying of our culture. I suspect it is. I know that a lot of the degeneration of the church is a result of a decayed culture. We have let the culture into our church, making excuses about how we have to reach the culture. Nothing in the Bible says you have to let the culture in to the church, in fact it tells us to be separate from the cultures around us, to be holy to God. (1 Peter 1:16). The church use to be a place of love and godliness. It left people with a sense of awe at the beauty of God, wonder because of how much He had done for us, and inspiration to live for Him and show His greatness to the world. It was a beautiful body of believers tied together by love. That love spread to those around them, showing the glory of God and His greatness.

Today, the church is a disconnected gathering of people, some of whom are there because they love the Lord but the majority are there because it is the “right” thing to do. The church leaves you feeling empty, they have nothing so they can offer you nothing. It leaves you confused. You hear one thing from the Bible and see a very different thing lived out. It leaves you appalled. At least it leaves me appalled. Appalled because of the hypocrisy, the lack of love, the eagerness to be as the world, and the effort spent to NOT obey God’s word. You may think I am being harsh or that I do not know what I am saying. Yes, it is harsh but it is true. I have been to many churches, dozens of them. I have yet to find one church that did not leave me empty, confused and appalled. I have yet to find one church that was a true body of believers bringing glory to God. I have yet to find one church that genuinely loved with God’s love.

Art needs a revolution so that it does not slide into childish scribbles any more than it has. The American church needs a revolution so that it does not slide into the world any more than it already has. It is time that the American stood up, threw out the world, reopened the Bible. It is time that the American church loved as Christ loved. It is time that the American church inspires people with the awe and glory of God by showing His greatness to the world.

Tonal Importance

Posted by Emma on January 2, 2013 | Filed under: Attitude,Daily Thought,Leadership,Love,Words

I was reminded today that your tone is reflecting in other people as you speak with them. If you are harsh, they will be as well. If you are gentle, they may follow suit. If you are laid back, likely they will seem laid back. It is important that we are careful about the words we choice and thoughtful about the tone in which we say them. Perhaps that is what it means in Colossians 4:6 when we are instructed to “let your speech be always with grace”. Our tone needs to be one of grace. We also in Ephesians 4:15 are instructed to speak the truth in love. Our speech should have the tone of love.

Take thought to what you say and also take thought to how you say it. 

Truly Awesome Power

Posted by Emma on May 7, 2012 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought

A moment ago, I stepped outside and witnessed one of the most amazing lightening displays I’ve seen in a long time. The lightening was flashing all around me. It was coming from behind the trees surrounding my house, silhouetting them with every flash. Some was flashing high up, lighting up the entire sky, showing the clouds and the magnificence up there. Others were flashing lower down, between the tree trunks and branches. It was unbelievably awesome!

As I stood out there, I was just overcome with the realization that my God has the power that controls this lightening. It is incredible power. Power that can destroy, that slashes through the air. And that is just a small glimpse of the greatness of God’s power. He is a consuming fire; a God to be feared. Yet, He used His power to come to earth, die on a cross, and rise again. The power of God that shatters the sky with lightening is the power of Jesus that burst the cords of death. That was a display hundreds of times more awesome than the lightening display I just witness.

That God, who flashes his lightening on the sky and burst the cords of death as He rises from the dead, is our God! That is an awesome thought. He loves us, and that is incomprehensible. Our God is an awesome God! Our Jesus is amazing! That power is available to us! I have just begun to see that power in my life.

Standing out there, watching the lightening. I was truly in awe at my Jesus. The only thing I could do was worship. Our God is powerful! Our Jesus is awesome! Our Lord has no limits! Worship Him!

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