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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sparkling Gems February 25:  You Are a ShrineFor the Holy Spirit


   Thursday, 25 February
  

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You Are a Shrine For the Holy Spirit
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. — 1 Corinthians 6:19,20
Russia is a nation with more than one thousand years of Russian Orthodox religious history. One of the greatest signs of this religious history is located right in the heart of Moscow — a gigantic white marble cathedral with golden domes that is called “Christ the Savior.” I’ve traveled the world and seen a lot in my life, but when it comes to decorative architecture, this building is by far one of the most splendid I’ve ever seen. Its interior is highly adorned with ornamentations of gold, silver, and precious stones. It is embellished like no other building I’ve ever seen anywhere else.

When we hear the word “shrine,” this is normally the type of image that passes through our minds. We see arched and vaulted ceilings, marble, granite, gold, silver, hand-carved etchings, and lots and lots of smoke from incense being burned as a part of worship. Shrines are not comfortable places where we’d want to live, but their ornamentation is certainly impressive. A shrine is a beautiful place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there!

The Greek word naos is the word for a temple or a highly decorated shrine, like the one illustrated in the story above. This Greek word is the very word the apostle Paul used when he told the Corinthians, “…Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you...?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Because the Corinthians were Greek and had grown up in a classical Greek culture, they had seen temples their entire lives. So when Paul used this word naos, it would have been natural for images like the ones above to flash through their minds. They knew that the word naos always depicted a highly decorated shrine. The temples of their times were beautiful buildings with tall, vaulted ceilings, marble columns, granite floors, hand-carved woodwork overlaid with gold and silver, and burning incense billowing into the air around the front of the altar.

Shrines like the one I described above are imposing and impressive; however, they’re not comfortable. But when the Holy Spirit came into your heart, He made a home that was so comfortable, He was actually happy to come live inside you! He moved in, settled down, and permanently took up residency in your heart — His new home!

You see, when you got saved, the ultimate miracle was performed inside your heart. The Holy Spirit took your spirit, which had been dead in trespasses and sin, and raised it to new life. His work inside you was so glorious that when it was all finished, He declared you to be His own workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). At that moment, your spirit became a marvelous temple of God!

What does all this mean?
  • When we were born again, we were inwardly created to become a dwelling place of God.
  • Our bodies are not mere shacks or mud huts; rather, we are inwardly fashioned to be magnificent dwelling places for the Spirit of God.
  • Because the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and the grace of God are working inside us, we are inwardly embellished with rich spiritual ornamentation.
  • Our inner man is now a temple that is so marvelous, no human eye has ever seen anything like it!
If you’ve been dealing with a poor self-image, grab hold of this truth, because this is the greatest self-image booster that exists! Inwardly you are so beautiful and magnificent that Almighty God wanted to live inside you! What kind of home do you think God would require? A shabby shack made of dirt and sticks? No! He has built for Himself a beautiful temple within your heart — and that is who you are right now! Now live like the magnificently decorated cathedral of God’s Spirit that you are!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am so excited to think that You made my heart Your home. It is so overwhelming to think that You want to live inside me. Help me see myself as Your dwelling place and to honor Your Presence inside me by the kind of life I lead. I want to bless You and honor You, so please help me do the right things that bring You the greatest pleasure and joy.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I gratefully acknowledge that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit lives inside me. My heart is not a hotel where He occasionally visits; rather, my heart has become His home. He has invested His power, His gifts, His fruit, and the life of Jesus Christ in me. Inwardly I am highly adorned with the goodness of God. My spirit is so marvelously created in Christ Jesus that God Himself is comfortable to live inside me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER
1. Are you living like the magnificently decorated cathedral of God’s Spirit that you are?

2. How can you make use of the rich ornamentation you have on the inside of you: the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and the grace of God?

3. How would you behave differently if you truly believed that the Holy Spirit has permanently moved into your life and redecorated the place?

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