The Love of God Poured Out

I’ve started a new study this week, Max Lucado’s Experiencing the Heart of Jesus.  The sub-title is “Knowing His heart, feeling His love.”  I purchased this study quite some time ago, but am just now at a point to pick it up.  I’m looking forward to getting to know Jesus with fresh eyes and heart.  God spoke to my heart at seven years old and I accepted His offer of salvation.  I’ve been in church my entire life.  I’ve never had any extreme amounts of time “wandering from the faith” although I’ve had plenty of moments of rebellion and sin.  What I don’t want is for my Christian life to become stale and rote, just going through the motions.  At 50 years old, that’s an easy trap to fall into.  I want to experience Christ every day, and I never want to get over the fact that the God of the universe loves me personally.

Today, this verse came up in my study.
Romans 5:5 – …and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
What?
God shows how much He loves us by pouring His Spirit into our hearts!??
God gave Himself firstto us by creating us in His image.  He gave us His image, stamped on our soul.
When sin marred that image, God didn’t throw us away.  He gave Himself to us again, as Christ came in human form, to pay our debt for sin on a cruel cross.
When the payment had been made, and Christ took His own blood into heaven as evidence, God gave Himself to us again, in the risen Savior, accepting Christ’s payment and raising Him from the dead so that we could have a new life.
And knowing us so well, that we would never be able to live that new life on our own, He gave Himself to us again to live within us, through His Spirit.
God giving Himself to us.  That is love.
God wants us so much that He continuallygives Himself to us!
Do we really understand that?  I don’t think I do.  What do I do with that knowledge?  How does the fact that God Himself dwells within me affect my life, my thoughts, my every decision?  Does it have an impact on what I eat, what I drink?  Does it matter as to how I spend my time?
Yes!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Temple [naos] – From a primary naio (to dwell); used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of the god was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure); metaphorically, the spiritual temple consisting of the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ.
Glorify (1392) [doxazō] – to think, suppose, be of opinion; to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate; to honour, do honour to, hold in honour; to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendor; to impart glory to something, render it excellent; to make renowned, render illustrious; to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged
God puts His Spirit in us, not for our glory, but for His.  It is where HIS IMAGE becomes manifest and acknowledged.  Our bodies are not to be used to bring glory to us, or attention to us, or for our own purposes and desires.  Our bodies are to bring attention, honor, and praise to the Most High God.
And did you catch that last line of the definition of temple?  Metaphorically, the spiritual temple consisting of all the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ.
I love that!
You and I, and all the saints of all the ages (all the way back to Adam), are creating this beautiful temple for God to indwell. We are connected to one another and part of this great, growing entity called the body of Christ.  What you do affects me.  What I do affects you.  Your passion and heart for God is a reflection on me.  My failures or sinful choices are a reflection on you.  And ultimately, we all are a reflection of God to a lost and dying world.
Food for thought today.  How are you doing in your temple-building?  How will I be a part today of the body of Christ that God is building?  And personally, how is my life a sanctuary, a dwelling, for God’s precious Spirit?
We are loved by God, so much that He lives inside of us.

 

How am I loving Him back?

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