“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about growing in grace in a few specific areas of our lives: guarding our hearts, renewing our minds, and taming our tongues. Today, we’ll add presenting our bodies to the Lord as living sacrifices.
To be honest, this is a sensitive subject for me. Ever since I took my first desk job, I’ve struggled with my weight, but since my twins were born, it’s been a much bigger battle.
I want you to know that because as we begin this week’s discussion about presenting our bodies to God, we have to start with the fact that God’s Spirit dwells within them. That’s what a temple is, a dwelling place for diety, and just so you know, God is pretty particular about the places in which he dwells.
Look at the Old Testament tabernacle and temple. God gave specific instructions about how they were to be built, what was to be included, and what materials were to be used.
Nothing but the best and the beautiful.
In Ezekial 8, we see how God feels about finding detestable things in His temple. His people were worshipping other idols in His very own home, and He was not happy about it. Can you blame Him?
What about Jesus? How did he feel about what went on in the temple? In Mark 11, we see Jesus drive people from the temple for doing business there, overturning tables and refusing to let people with merchandise enter the temple courts. He said, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Mark 11:17)
He was serious about the Lord’s temple serving its proper purpose.
So, don’t you think He’s serious about you, too?
Here’s the thing: God chose to dwell in you. And, remember, he’s pretty picky.
But, He chose you.
By accepting His grace, you’ve invited Him in: you’ve said, “Make your home here.” And He has. That’s what this week is about: honoring God with our bodies, letting Him make Himself at home in them.
But how do we do that?
Purity. Plain & Simple.
Ephesians 5:3 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
As a teenager, I heard a lot about abstinence. We were told again and again to “save sex for marriage.” In fact, we were pretty much taught if you managed to save sex for marriage, you won the purity prize.
We didn’t really talk about the fact that God expected more of us than that.
Oh, how I wish we had! Because as believers, we have to take it purity further because that’s what God’s word does.
God’s word tells us there should not even be a “hint” of impurity among us.
A “hint”? Really?
Think about that. Not our words, not our deeds, not even our thoughts.
God’s word doesn’t leave much wiggle room, does it?
When it comes to purity, we don’t even have to “do” anything to sin.
In Matthew 5:28, Jesus said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Obviously, our standards need to be much higher. Instead of measuring ourselves against the world, which is full of every kind of impurity, we must measure ourselves against Christ, who is perfectly pure.
Today, look at your life. What kind of impurity do you find in it? Remember, this isn’t just about sex.
Ephesians 5:9 says, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, but rather thanksgiving.”
Maybe your words reflect impurity in your life, maybe your thoughts need to be made clean, or maybe now is the time to draw some lines in your relationships.
Remember, none of us is perfect, but we can all be forgiven. Let’s start fresh with God today. Let’s choose to live by the standards of the One who said, “Be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
Set Apart for Service to…Something
One night, our pastor preached about holiness. His message couldn’t have been more appropriate for our discussion today.
Preaching from the first chapter of 1 Peter, he taught us that God has commanded us to be holy because he is holy and that holiness is the appropriate response to the sacrifice Christ made for us.
So, what does it meant to be “holy”?
Our pastor’s simple definition was “set apart.”
That’s what Romans 6:12-13 is all about. It says, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”
It’s time to face a simple fact: we will use our bodies for something. We can either use them to serve ourselves and sin, or we can use them to serve the Lord.
So, today, how can you offer your body to him?
When you exercise, will you work hard to bring glory to yourself or to God?
In your relationships, will you make purity a priority?
Will you take care of his temple so you can serve him better?
That’s what I’ve been working on around here lately. I won’t lie. It’s not easy, but God is able. Through him, so am I.
Join me in asking him to help us “to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
He will help you
He will. After all, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…”( 2 Peter 1:3)
Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about how to live, how to grow in grace.
We’ve learned that God desires holiness in every area of our lives. Because of that, we find that there is almost always some area that can be improved.
After all, we’re being conformed to the image of Christ, which is perfection…and we’re all still a long way off from that!
It can kind of be overwhelming, can’t it? There have been times in my life when I have been truly discouraged that I’m not further along on the road to righteousness…what about you?
Good news! Because of Christ, the work is already done “because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 12:14)
Remember: if you are in Christ, you ARE a new creation! It’s done….we just have to live like it. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, hear this:
“It is God who works in you both to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Not even the desire to do what’s right comes from within us…God gives it! He truly “has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”
Grab hold of it by taking hold of Him, by spending time with Him, by loving Him…with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Offer everything you have to Him today…and always.
What about you? Is there an area in your life that is challenging when it comes to offering your body as a way to worship? How has God helped you in areas of purity and/or health? What’s a verse that encourages you to view your body as a temple and treat it likewise?
Please take a moment and leave a link or two for Encouraging Word Wednesday! I’d love to read your posts!