June 10 - The Sanctity of the Temple of God

By Charles Harris

Today's Scripture: Acts 7:30-50

Central Thought: Since the body is the temple of God for the believer, determining not to defile or to abuse it, but to use it in service to God and man, is a part of true worship to Him.

    In a small town of a bygone day, the church stood sorely in need of repair. However, the congregation's treasury contained little money. Imagine the surprise of the members when craftsmen began restoring the edifice to its former beauty. When asked who hired them and where the funds came from to purchase the materials, they identified the miller of the community as their source. At that, with equal vigor they questioned the miller as to where he obtained the money. He explained that since the church people obviously had not been paying their tithes, in good conscience he had been taking ten percent of their ground grain, selling it, and using the proceeds to support the project of refurbishing the house of God!

    Solomon showed a similar concern in building the temple. He spared no expense during its construction to make it one of the finest buildings in the world. After the Babylonians destroyed it, Zerubbabel erected another on its foundation. By New Testament times Herod expanded that one. A Jewish mob thought itself to be the guardian of that temple. Its members accused Stephen of blaspheming the building, simply because he had reflected a prophecy of his Teacher about its destruction. However, Jesus spoke of His body's 'destruction” at the crucifixion and of its being 'rebuilt” at the resurrection. Accordingly, in his defense on the false charge against him in court, Stephen implied that the focus of today's believers should be more on their bodies as the temples of the Spirit than on physical church buildings.

    Since the believer's body is the 'house” where the Holy Spirit lives, he or she should treat it with the greatest of care. Respect for such a dwelling should impel him or her to see that the body get its needed exercise, be provided with a good balanced diet, and enjoy ample sleep daily to restore its resources. Further, the body should not be defiled with sin or injured by alcohol or drugs. Think of what care one would take of this house if the believer knew that Jesus would soon arrive to live with him or her! To desire a well-kept, healthy body is commendable for many reasons. The greatest among them is the fact that the believer's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to maintain my body so as not to abuse it but instead to use it for Your glory today and every day.

Today's Bible Reading: 1 Kings 7:1-51; Acts 7:30-50; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 16:31-33