Blog Archive

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

His Holy Temple

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. . . For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. (Psalms 11:4-7 ESV)

The original, enduring temple is in Heaven. The Old Testament temple was built by Solomon. The New Testament temple of Earth is the body of each person transfused with Christ’s blood, in whom His Holy Spirit dwells. I am to be all Jerusalem’s temple was to be: holy and set apart to God, with no room for worldly transactions that fail to honor Him; a place of daily sacrifice; radiant with God’s glory. The presence of God is manifest in such a place.

Almighty God, Your glory is in the heavens and all creation — how is it that You dwell in mortal flesh? Thank You for cleansing me with blood, water, and fire to make me a pure vessel for Your glory.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Visible God

The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. . . He has said in his heart, "God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see." . . . But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You. (Psalm 10:4,11,14 NKJV)

Invisible people are all around us. We can walk through the midst of a crowd and never see a single face. No one is invisible to God, and I need to be more aware of the people He loves. How often is the Lord invisible? Faith is the evidence — the confidence — of the unseen. If I should more readily notice people, how much more so should I walk through life with awareness of God’s presence? Failing to think about God and feel His eyes upon me is a characteristic of the wicked.

My Lord, Your abiding presence is my peace, my joy, my strength, my confidence. May I never lose sight of being lovingly held in Your sight. I am utterly helpless and utterly hopeless without You.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Victim of Oppression

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9-10 NKJV)

Oppression is a dark spirit with many faces. It seizes any opportunity to exalt one person at the expense of another. We are its victims when we are put down, and when we are Oppression’s puppet used to put down another. Oppression and Pride are close companions who constantly prey upon us. The Lord is my constant Companion and Refuge in all times of trouble. I am easily inclined to see trouble in oppression. I am in greater danger when my pride rises up.

Lord, please keep me humble. Let me be Your instrument to build up others and not drag them down. Remind me often that You alone are worthy of esteem, Almighty God, YHWH of Hosts.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Heaven on Earth

O [Yahweh], our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! . . . What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:1,4 NKJV)

Sunday morning is my favorite time of the week. The closest I get to heaven is shutting out the rest of the world, surrounding myself with the Lord’s people, and exalting God with my voice. Psalm 22:3 says God is enthroned [sits down, abides] in the praises of His people. When I express with the strength of my voice the love for my God in my heart, soul, and mind, His presence is a touch that makes me tremble. Isn’t all this eternity’s pleasure? Can any other pleasure of Earth compare?

Oh Lord, thank You that I will see the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Your eminence. Thank You for a taste of it now.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spiritual 911

O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me, Lest they tear me like a lion, Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver. . . Arise, O LORD, in Your anger; Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies; Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded! (Psalm 7:1-2,6 NKJV)

We defend against attack with home security and 911. The most dangerous enemies are unseen. Peter warned of the devil who prowls about as a roaring lion, and Paul gave detailed instructions of how to stand against him. David sets the example of never thinking oneself safe from relentless pursuit, and the need to depend on God for defense. I face grave consequences if I see myself as safe from attack or strong enough to stand alone.

Lord, in You I am safe from enemies who seek to devour my life. In You alone is my defense: truth, righteousness, daily preparation, faith, a mind submitted to Christ, the sword of Your Word, and unceasing prayer.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Full Grace

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. (Psalm 6:1-3 NKJV)

There is great comfort in a loving Father’s discipline. Chastening does not feel good in the moment I am pained. Confronting the sin that clings to my flesh shames me. Realizing how weakened I am by pride is necessary. Yet the love with which I am rebuked convicts and cleanses rather than condemns. It humbles without humiliating. It fills me with loving gratitude for the grace of blood that has already covered my guilt — grace which made me a child of the King.

Father, how merciful You are to love Your child too much to spoil me. How precious is Your will for me to receive what is truly best. Thank You for not leaving me as You find me.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not Given to Shouting

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend [cover] them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12 NKJV)

The Lord’s covering is cause to shout for joy. Even emotional, demonstrative people like me are pretty subdued when it comes right down to it. The Lord’s mercies are new each morning. The number of His names in which to be joyful cannot be fully tallied. The blessings shown the righteous are abundant — and the righteousness is from Him in the first place. I suppose that if I did shout about all this, my heart would spend more time dwelling upon such favor.

Lord, the touch of Your covering is more precious than any blessing I could hope for. Make me ever more aware of Your presence. Make my heart ever joyful to be compassed by You.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Time to Speak, a Time to be Silent

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! . . . How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him. (Psalm 4:1-3 NKJV)

Standing for truth and righteousness is right when the matter is academic. Then opportunities to confront politically correct falsehood can quickly turn any esteem another may hold for me to contempt. Some matters do not merit unnecessary, unfruitful contention. But when the Lord brings into my life a matter which compels a stand for truth, I must remember to Whom I’ve been set apart, upon Whom I rely in the hour of conflict.

Lord, You have been faithful to give me strength when I did not wish to speak, and strength to hold my tongue. Please make me discerning of when You’d have me be silent, and when Your words need a gracious mouthpiece.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pesky LITTLE Trials

A PSALM OF DAVID WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM HIS SON ... You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. (Psalm 3:1,3-4 NKJV)

I know that being a Christian does not mean I am exempt from suffering and trials. Which means that I should expect them. Even be waiting for them. Be prepared for them so they don’t catch me off guard. I usually remember to look to God in the big trials, but how many little trials await me today for which my first reaction is not going to be to call upon the Lord? When someone cuts me off in traffic, will I say, "Jerk!" or "Lord, thank You for safety please help me be patient"—?

Lord, please help me remember Your presence with me at ALL times. Remind me to acknowledge You in ALL my ways so You will direct ALL my paths. Keep me close.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Hastening His Coming

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. (Psalm 2:1-4 NKJV)

In my heart I know that God is sovereign over the heavens and the earth, that good defeats evil in the end. Yet as evil prevails in this world, it seems I must either grieve constantly for its victims or become unmindful of it. The latter seems necessary for sanity. But truly, the former is necessary for the fervency I need to fight evil on my knees. What manner of person ought I to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God?

Dear Lord, Your people long for Your face and for Your righteousness on the earth. If it is truly possible to hasten the day of Your coming, please put in our hearts what we need to do so.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prone to Wander

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it ... " I am so easily distracted. I sometimes joke that there’s too much for my brain to hold and it’s starting to leak out. Truth be told, I simply allow too much in, and fail to cling to the important things tightly enough. If I found among my mail a letter from God addressed to me personally, I would re-read it over and over, and marvel that I had received such a treasure. His Word is such a treasure. He does make it personal. It’s there to meditate upon, day and night.

Thank You, Lord for the treasure of Your Word. My mind knows its value, but my heart is inclined to find other distractions. Please help me focus on You.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Treasure Hunt

One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. . . When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." (Psalm 27:4,8 NKJV)

The Bible is a treasure hunt of the highest order. In it the mysteries of the universe are made known. The past, present and future are all laid out by the divine Author Who has ordained every second and every speck of dust. The greatest of all mysteries, the treasure above all riches, the most excellent of all truths is found in the face of the Lord. Sometimes He is right there, staring at me where I cannot miss Him. Sometimes He plays hide-and-seek, delighting me when I stumble upon Him. He is everywhere. He is wonderful.

Lord, Heaven’s surest pleasure is Your presence, and the ability to touch the hands that have touched me, to see the face that has beheld me all this time. Thank You for making Yourself known in Your Word.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More than Enough

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2 NKJV)

1) Strength 2) Rock 3) Fortress 4) Deliverer 5) God [el "Might"] 6) Shield 7) Horn of my Salvation 8) Stronghold. In defense against enemies, I love the Lord for all He is. If He were just one of these it would be enough. In every arena of life, He is far above everything I need and could hope for. Problems loom large and long in my eyes. But when He is so much, problems must fall into perspective. They are not problems for Him, so they cannot be problems for me.

Lord YHWH, You are indeed everything. Since You’ve invited me to come alongside You, let me appreciate Who You are above what everything else appears to be.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Love You

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love... The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14,23-24 NKJV)

There are a few days we know we will remember — a wedding day, a child’s birth. This life is mostly everyday moments which do not reveal their significance until later, when we discover they are engraved upon our memories. There are never too many opportunities to let those I treasure know of my love, but only too many lost opportunities stolen away by something trivial.

Lord let me love others as You do. Let my eyes gloss over all the trivialities that would steal life and love away. Let me understand how to convey my love in such a way that others know they are more important to me than life itself.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

A Live God

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19 NKJV)

However many times it is said that Christianity is a relationship rather than a religion, countless people would reduce it to a set of standards and rules to govern our lives. Because Christ is risen His death is vindicated and my death is already behind me. Because my Lord Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand as mankind’s Mediator I have access to Heaven’s Most Holy Place. Because He is alive He shares His eternal life with me. We have fellowship. I have life, strength, hope. All I am is because He lives.

How I love You, my Lord! How very real Your life is to me! No matter what happens to me, I am not pitiable, for Your blood runs through mine.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Following Close

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. . . My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1,8 NKJV)

In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. At the dawn of each day is my opportunity to again experience the miracle of being a new creation in Christ, and to closely connect with Him so that I indeed follow close behind Him, from my very soul. If Christianity was only about fellowship with God, there’d be no reason to remain on Earth. Christianity is a daily walk upon Earth holding Heaven’s hand.

Oh my Lord, thank You for being my God. Thank You for the privilege of walking in fellowship with You. Let me use the privilege to magnify Your glory before others.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Prince(ss) and a Pauper

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

I am a citizen of Heaven. I am a member of a royal priesthood. I am a daughter of the King. All the riches of the Kingdom are mine in Christ Jesus my Lord. Yet I am to walk with my God not as an exalted member of royalty, but humbly, as if yet a pauper. I trust my Lord fully, rest in His love, rely on His every promise — yet am to presume nothing. The line between faith and presumption is very fine. The way to stay on the right side of it is to keep in perspective who I am and Who God is.

Father, thank You for purchasing me — a spiritual pauper of the lowest order — and making me Your princess. Please keep me mindful of the favor I’ve been shown.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

To Me Not For Me

Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. (1 Corinthians 14:12 NKJV)

Paul takes for granted that his readers are zealous for spiritual gifts. Surely he speaks not only of the church at Corinth, but of all believers. There are many spiritual gifts. Am I zealous for all of them? Or only for the ones that I’m comfortable with? God bestows His gifts to me but not for me. The gift is to be used for others, so that His church may be edified — built up, strengthened. Some days it’s easy to see only my own need, my own schedule, my own agenda.

Lord, thank You for the gifts You’ve given me. Thank You for edifying me when I need it. Please make me willing to edify others even when it’s not convenient.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Am I Sick?

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. . . But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:26,28-30)

How many instances of sickness can be attributed to this one thing: sharing the communion of the body of Christ and sharing the covenant cup of His blood with unrepentant sin? I stand guilty of too quickly taking of the Lord’s table which declares my sins covered by blood without adequately considering which sins stand unresolved by repentance. I should not expect to be relieved of sickness before I’ve come clean before my Savior.

Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the precious blood which purchased me and cleanses my sin. Please forgive me for ever taking Your blood for granted and failing to examine a heart that still needs cleansing.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Just One Thing

I show you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:2 NKJV)

All God asks of me comes down to love. Love God with all I am and love my neighbor as I love myself. Everything else I can do or be that might show my worth is meaningless if I do not love. To love is to see another as being of high value. I demonstrate love in my actions, words, feelings, thoughts. The opposite of love is not seeing someone as valuable enough to show my patience, kindness, esteem, courtesy, humility. The ultimate expression of love I give someone I highly value is Self.

Thank You, my Lord, for seeing me as one of high value. Thank You for giving me Your Self at Calvary, in my day of Pentecost, every moment You are known to me.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


When you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you . . . There must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. (1 Cor. 11:18-19 NKJV)

There should be no schism in the body, but . . . the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. . . I show you a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:25-27,31 NKJV)

When division comes, do I see myself as the only one approved? Or do I esteem and show care for the person with an opposing viewpoint? Do I quiet my opinion and suffer long enough to thoroughly hear what the Spirit’s soft voice might teach me when I am still? Am I ready to honor another and rejoice in a truth that might lay outside my present wealth of wisdom? If division reveals that another is still under condemnation, am I ready to be used by the Spirit to share with them saving truth?

Lord, please let me discern the heart of a matter and speak truth graciously. When I face conflict, please guide me with the most excellent way — of love.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Standing Brings Falls

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NKJV)

One of the many ironies of belonging to Christ is that my strength is not measured by personal growth, but by my ability to see my weakness. The greater my awareness of my inadequacy, the more I understand my need to be dependent on God’s strength. Yet the longer I walk with Jesus, the more inclined I am to see myself as strong. I can see no choice for God but for Him to allow me to falter, stumble, even fall so that I will remain freshly mindful of my need to hold tightly to His hand as I walk.

Father, thank You for being so merciful and gentle with me as You teach me discipline. Lord Jesus, thank You for the promise to never leave my side.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two Masters

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24 NKJV)

God asks me to do the impossible. I am to live in a world that functions by money but I myself am not to be sustained by money. I am to dwell on a terrestrial planet as a citizen of Heaven. I am to live out my days twenty-four hours at a time with eternity written upon my heart. I am to serve one Master while an old master shadows me. None of it is possible to do — alone. With God, all things are possible.

Lord, please draw me close to Your side where the voice of Your Spirit becomes audible, the invisible becomes visible, the impossible becomes not just possible but victorious.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

True Fulfillment

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. (Psalm 20:4-5 NKJV)

The American flag — the banner we fly as the emblem of our identity and victories — is hallowed. How much more should we hallow the God named Yahweh Nissi, "Yahweh is my banner." Whatever identity I have as a patriotic American should pale next to my identity in Christ, Who grants me all victories. The fulfillment of my purpose and my petitions — the granting to me according to my heart’s desire — will be His blessing to me because my will and identity so closely match His.

Lord, let all my delight be in You, that You will grant me the desires of my heart. Show me how to pray so that all Your answers are "Yes!"

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Friday, April 4, 2008

The Master’s Own Servant

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. . . After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them." (Matthew 25:14-15,19 NKJV)

I am a child of the king. I am also a servant who will be called to account for how I’ve used the talents entrusted to me. Talent can lie in waste. I can use it for my temporal profit. I can pursue ventures more inviting to me than profitable to my Master. Or I can be a faithful steward who learns what my Lord considers worthy investment and diligently use my talent accordingly. My reward will be to hear from His lips, "Well done, good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of your lord."

Beloved Master, please show me what You would have me do this day with what You’ve entrusted to me. Please enable me to magnify Your glory in the process.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Known by God

Now concerning things offered to idols [eidolothuton]: We know [eido] that we all have knowledge [gnosis]. Knowledge [gnosis] puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows [eido] anything, he knows [ginosko] nothing yet as he ought to know [ginosko]. But if anyone loves God, this one is known [ginosko] by Him. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NKJV)

Paul uses two words for "know." To know by perceiving is eido (idol sacrifices are for eidolon — images known by perception). To know by experience (verb) is ginosko (experiential knowledge, related noun is gnosis; gnosis can be as intimate as is expressed by the idiom for physically intimacy, a man "knew his wife"). One might expect Paul to say "if anyone loves God this one knows Him." Instead, Paul says here by our love for God — who we do not perceive by our senses — God experientially knows us.

Lord, please enable me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, strength. Please let me ginosko You as You ginosko me, but let me never be puffed up in such knowledge.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Grace is Not Reasonable

Let the husband render to his wife the affection [eunoian] due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:3 NKJV)

Greek eunoian is "favor" or "well-mindedness" with the mind of the heart more than the mind of conscious reason. If the mind of reason is used, I cannot justify myself worthy of affection, as obnoxious as I can be. Nor will I justify my husband worthy, imperfect as I might see him. Rather, the mutual affection is with the favor of spirit that chooses not to reason, for grace is not reasonable. Grace is the product of love that loves the unreasonable sinner. God’s Word does not call it an option, but asks me to see it as my debt.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your grace, given to me without reason. Help me return it to You as I show it to the one close to me.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

God’s Residence

Now the body is . . . for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? . . . he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. . . Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:13,15,17,19-20)

God once became flesh and walked with us, set us an example, laid down His life for us. He still walks the earth to touch others, bring healing to their souls, love them. Instead of doing it in just one place at a time, He wants to do it everywhere one of His people walks. He purchased us so He would continue to have a residence on Earth, to replace the temple at Jerusalem where His glory once rested. How many of the things I think, feel, say and do today will look like Jesus Christ?

Lord, please conform my personality to Yours. Please make my every inclination Your Own. Please make me aware of Your presence in me and display it to others.

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