“We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.”
Nehemiah 10:39b, NLT*
The returned Israelite exiles have vowed to keep themselves pure, to live God’s way, and to provide all that’s needed for the upkeep of the Temple and its ongoing offerings.
The Temple is where they worship God, where they’re forgiven and restored. Where they go for wisdom.
It’s the symbol of their relationship with God.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19a, NLT*)
We’re responsible to keep our bodies pure and healthy, and to maintain our spirits. “The church” is the people of Christ, not the buildings in which we meet, but we do need to care for our corporate worship sites, since they’re visible signs of our worship. More than that, we need to care for one another.
Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35, NLT*)
We need to guard our relationships with God, to put Him first in worship and to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Him. (Romans 12:1, NLT*)
God who longs to reconcile all people to Himself, You are holy. We are not. Yet You designed us for relationship with You and we’re not complete without it. Rekindle our first love intensity for You. Draw us nearer, remind us how vital it is to stay close to You. Help us to live for You and to love one another and to keep our “temples” in good order.
May this be our prayer this week, from Mark Schultz: “Give us clean hands“.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Janet, I’m a lover of the Book of Ezekiel and its all encompassing moments. I had just got through reading about God’s declaration to be with us forever (a recurrent Biblical theme, of course), but in Ezek. 43:7-9 he demands our holiness. When I read your blog, I was struck at the similarity of our thoughts today. God bless, Bev
Thanks for adding this, Bev. I love how God brings bits of the picture together. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how far we’ve drifted (corporately) from what He’s called us to be. May He revive, restore, and forgive us, and reveal His character to the world.
Ezekiel wasn’t next on my reading list. Maybe it is, now.