My Precious Temple!

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

As Paul used his letter to address the rivalries and divisions among My followers in Corinth, he pointed to four truths that I want you to remember. You find these truths in the verses for today. The fourth one is most sobering and important. Please take it — and take all of them — to heart. Here are the four truths for today.

First, division and rivalries in a group of My disciples show My people are living by their worldly instincts rather than being led by the Holy Spirit. No matter how mature My followers claim to be, division shows that they are seeking their importance from the same things as worldly people who “live by the standards of this rebellious and broken world.”

Second, claiming to be part of an important group in My movement doesn’t make a person any more important than other believers. Those groups whose leaders are well known are not more important than groups whose leaders are unknown. The greatest in My Kingdom will always be a servant. Don’t ever judge people’s value as My followers by their leaders, their founders, or their group’s reputation.

Third, the Father will judge everyone’s work when I return. My disciples must refrain from trying to do the Father’s job. If someone bases his or her ministry on Me and the truth about Me, then you can know that person is truly seeking to be My servant. Furthermore, you shouldn’t try to put a value on one of My servants by comparing that servant to another one of My servants.

Fourth, when people gather together into a church family, they are precious for at least two reasons: They are not only My bodily presence in the world, but they are also a holy temple where We — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — live. Everyone who is a part of a congregation was bought at the price of My life. Each has a special relationship with Us. Together, even with each one’s flaws, each is a sacred place where We dwell. So anyone who destroys the unity of Our precious people and our spiritual family will face destruction for what he or she has done. My church, My bodily presence in the world, and My people are that precious to Me.

Verses to Live

Paul’s words below are his plea for the Corinthians not to allow any division to continue and destroy the temple of God. These are strong, but needed words both in his day and in your day as well.

My brothers and sisters, I cannot address you as people who walk by the Spirit; I have to speak to you as people who tend to think in merely human terms, as spiritual infants in the Anointed One. I nursed you with milk, as a mother would feed her baby, because you were not, and still are not, developed enough to digest complex spiritual food. And here’s why: you are still living in the flesh, not in the Spirit. How do I know? Are you fighting with one another? Are you comparing yourselves to others and becoming consumed with jealousy? Then it sounds like you are living in the flesh, no different from the rest who live by the standards of this rebellious and broken world. If one of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” and the other says, “I am with Apollos,” aren’t you like everybody else? So who is Apollos really? Or Paul for that matter? We are only servants, agents who led you to faith, and the Lord commissioned each of us to do a particular job.

My job was to plant the seed, and Apollos was called to water it. Any growth comes from God, so the ones who water and plant have nothing to brag about. God, Who causes the growth, is the only One Who matters. The one who plants is no greater than the one who waters; both will be rewarded based on their work. We are gardeners and field workers laboring with God. You are the vineyard, the garden, the house where God dwells. Like a skilled architect and master builder, I laid a foundation based upon God’s grace given to me. Now others will come along to build on the foundation. Each serves in a different way and is to build upon it with great care. There is, in fact, only one foundation, and no one can lay any foundation other than Jesus the Anointed. As others build on the foundation (whether with gold, silver, gemstones, wood, hay, or straw), the quality of each person’s work will be revealed in time as it is tested by fire. If a man’s work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded. If a man’s work is consumed by the fire, his reward will be lost but he will be spared, rescued from the fire. Don’t you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you? If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.

(1 Corinthians 3:1-17)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I remember Jesus’ prayers on the night He was betrayed. He prayed, “Abba Father, … I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” He also prayed this prayer for us: “I pray that they will all be one … so that the world will believe You sent Me.” What His prayers tell me, dear Father, is that I must seek Your will above my own will. I must seek to maintain unity in Your spiritual family so we can demonstrate Your love in sending Jesus. So I ask, dear Father, for strength to do both. I want to do Your will no matter the cost. I long to help our church become a place where You delight to dwell. In Jesus’ name, I ask for Your grace and help. Amen.

Note: The scripture quotations in the prayer are from Mark 14:36 NLT and John 17:21 NLT.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.