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Temple

10 I laid a foundation like a wise master builder according to God’s grace that was given to me, but someone else is building on top of it. Each person needs to pay attention to the way they build on it. 11 No one can lay any other foundation besides the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 So, whether someone builds on top of the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, or hay, 13 each one’s work will be clearly shown. The day will make it clear, because it will be revealed with fire—the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work survives, they’ll get a reward. 15 But if anyone’s work goes up in flames, they’ll lose it. However, they themselves will be saved as if they had gone through a fire. 16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, because God’s temple is holy, which is what you are. 18 Don’t fool yourself. If some of you think they are worldly-wise, then they should become foolish so that they can become wise. 19 This world’s wisdom is foolishness to God. As it’s written, He catches the wise in their cleverness. 20 And also, The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are silly21 So then, no one should brag about human beings. Everything belongs to you— 22 Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life, death, things in the present, things in the future—everything belongs to you, 23 but you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:10-23, CEB)

Did you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit lives in you? Meaning all of us are God’s temple and the Spirit of God lives in all of us. So when you destroy God’s temple, God will destroy you.

How does one destroy? Physical destruction of that temple would be to kill, but there are ways to to destroy that are not physical.

We need to head our words and actions towards others. When we mock, make fun of, slander, or otherwise insult others, we are destroying them. And this is not looked upon with favor by God.

Protect your temple and the temple of those around you by loving as God does.

Love People, Love God.

 

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Focus on Jesus

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. 15 He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. 16 He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me. 18 Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?” 19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.” 20 The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:13-22, CEB)

The temple was massive and took up probably 1/6 of the town of Jerusalem. Some of the stones were 25 feet in length. It was a wonder of the time and Jesus says destroy it and he will rebuild it in three days! It is an insane statement, when you think he is speaking of the actual stone temple.

But Jesus wasn’t speaking of that temple, because he was referring to his upcoming death and resurrection for the world.

And that is why He wanted to purify the actual place of worship. When we make the places we worship more focused on God we will be more focused on God.

How can we help others focus on Jesus?

Love People, Love God.

 

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another chance…

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white. Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!”Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. (Mark 9:2-8, CEB)

Six days later…

so what happened six days ago?

Well Jesus and the disciples were in Caesarea Philippi and Jesus asked them who the world and they thought He was, and Peter confesses Jesus is the Messiah and then turns around and says the plan Jesus tells them can’t happen and Jesus calls Peter Satan.

Then Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain and they meet with Moses and Elijah and Peter doesn’t know what to say again.

Have you ever been so dumbfounded by what was happening you just started talking and said whatever came to mind. Yeah I know I do that without being dumbfounded. But Peter is really at a loss here and is just fumbling.

But the good news here is that even after Peter got it right and then fell on his face, Jesus gave him another chance, and he fumbled that one, but Jesus will give him another, and another, just like us. Peter is the one who eventually denies Jesus 3 times as he on trial, and Jesus restores Peter.

We will all get a hand back up when we fall, just keep following.

Love People, Love God.

 

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Your story…

30 “Forty years later, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush in the wilderness near Mount Sinai.31 Enthralled by the sight, Moses approached to get a closer look and he heard the Lord’s voice: 32 I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Trembling with fear, Moses didn’t dare to investigate any further. 33 The Lord continued, ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have clearly seen the oppression my people have experienced in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning. I have come down to rescue them. Come! I am sending you to Egypt.’ 35 “This is the same Moses whom they rejected when they asked, ‘Who appointed you as our leader and judge?’ This is the Moses whom God sent as leader and deliverer. God did this with the help of the angel who appeared before him in the bush. 36 This man led them out after he performed wonders and signs in Egypt at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness. 37 This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people. 38 This is the one who was in the assembly in the wilderness with our ancestors and with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai. He is the one who received life-giving words to give to us. 39 He’s also the one whom our ancestors refused to obey. Instead, they pushed him aside and, in their thoughts and desires, returned to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will lead us. As for this Moses who led us out of Egypt, we don’t know what’s happened to him!’ (Acts 7:30-40,CEB)

This story is of Moses and the burning bush that led Moses to lead the people out of Egypt and to the promised land, this is all part of the history lesson Stephen gives to those who are wanting to put him to death for his belief in Jesus as Messiah.

Stephen is the first martyr for the faith and is stoned to death with Saul holding the cloaks of those who do the stoning.

Do we know the history of our faith well enough to tell it to those who do not believe? Stephen was able to retell the stories of the Hebrew Scripture in a way that made them come alive as the story of Jesus. These stories are our story and are our family history. We should know them and be able to tell how they tell of us and the way God loved us from the very beginning.

Learn your story. And love as you go.

Love People, Love God.

 

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Holy Priesthood

Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Thus it is written in scripture, Look! I am laying a cornerstone in Zion, chosen, valuable. The person who believes in him will never be shamedSo God honors you who believe. For those who refuse to believe, though, the stone the builders tossed aside has become the capstone.This is a stone that makes people stumble and a rock that makes them fall. Because they refuse to believe in the word, they stumble. Indeed, this is the end to which they were appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. 10 Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:4-10, CEB)

You are being made into a holy priesthood.

We are all a part of the priesthood of all believers and a part of the building that calls all people to the love of God.

We are a part of this people to bring light into the world. We are called and sent to share the love God has given us. We are needed to help shine God’s light in the darkness of the world.

So go and share the love God has given you!

Love People, Love God.

 

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Follower or church attender?

36 As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light.”After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them. 37 Jesus had done many miraculous signs before the people, but they didn’t believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of the prophet Isaiah: Lord, who has believed through our message? To whom is the arm of the Lord fully revealed? 39 Isaiah explains why they couldn’t believe: 40 He made their eyes blind and closed their minds so that they might not see with their eyes, understand with their minds, and turn their lives around— and I would heal them. 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw Jesus’ glory; he spoke about Jesus. 42 Even so, many leaders believed in him, but they wouldn’t acknowledge their faith because they feared that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.43 They believed, but they loved human praise more than God’s glory. (John 12:36-43, CEB)

There is a big difference between being a follower of Jesus and someone who attends worship.

I say that standing in a garage doesn’t make me a car, anymore than being in worship makes me a follower of Jesus. I stand in a garage all the time and I will never be a car. And just because I go to worship doesn’t mean that I follow Jesus.

There were many who believed what Jesus said and did, but they would not admit it because they like the place the people put them, more than being right with God. You see sometimes in our walk with God we will be called upon to say things that the people around us find offensive and not what we need to do even though it is from God. That is when we show if we are an attender of worship or a follower of Jesus.

Another way to see is if the light shines through your life, and you live in a way that shows Jesus to the world. Now all of us will falter and mess up, but what is the daily way you live?

Do you want the praise of people, or do you follow after God?

Love People, Love God.

 

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Faith

Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith. By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible. 13 All these people died in faith without receiving the promises, but they saw the promises from a distance and welcomed them. They confessed that they were strangers and immigrants on earth. 14 People who say this kind of thing make it clear that they are looking for a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return to it. 16 But at this point in time, they are longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God isn’t ashamed to be called their God—he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham offered Isaac when he was tested. The one who received the promises was offering his only son. 18 He had been told concerning him, Your legitimate descendants will come from Isaac. 19 He figured that God could even raise him from the dead. So in a way he did receive him back from the dead. (Hebrews 11:1-3, 13-19, CEB)

What have you done in faith?

What do you think faith will get you?

Verse 13 says all of these people died in faith, so who are all these people? Well they are those listed in verses 4 – 12. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah are these people. People who heard God and trusted that what was told them was true, and yet they all died. Faith does not make us immortal in the flesh of our humanity so we don’t die. Faith doesn’t get us out of this world alive. Faith makes death a door way to another life, the life we continue in with God for all of eternity. Weird that faith doesn’t make us fleshly immortal, but it does make us immortal.

Faith in God gets us life with God, not as we know life here, but the life of being forever with our creator.

So trust in the promises we have and you have heard, for God is trustworthy.

Love People, Love God.

 

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Same

But he says to his Son, God, your throne is forever and your kingdom’s scepter is a rod of justice. You loved righteousness and hated lawless behavior. That is why God, your God, has anointed you more than your companions with the oil of joy. 10 And he says, You, Lord, laid the earth’s foundations in the beginning, and the heavens are made by your hands. 11 They will pass away, but you remain. They will all wear out like old clothes. 12 You will fold them up like a coat. They will be changed like a person changes clothes, but you stay the same, and the years of your life won’t come to an end. (Hebrews 1:8-12, CEB)

God told Jesus that he would be exalted over all because of His love of righteousness and doing what is right. Everything will pass away except for Jesus, and Jesus will always be the same.

This is good news for us who are constantly changing. Jesus is always the same and we can trust His promises.

Trust in what we have been told and know that Jesus will always be with us.

Love People, Love God.

 

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How quickly we forget…

31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” 34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them.36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives?37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:31-38, CEB)

Do you remember the text for yesterday’s devotion? The text right before this where Peter says, “You are the Christ.” Peter gets it, and then here Jesus tells them what is going to happen and Peter losses it and says that Jesus is wrong, and them Jesus calls Peter Satan!

When we look at how we want things to go and God tells us the opposite it really isn’t our place to tell God that is wrong and the plane needs to work this way. We need to accept that our vision is way to narrow to know the best things and follow God.

Let us not forget who God is and what God has, is and will do for us.

Love People, Love God.

 

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Who is Jesus?

27 Jesus and his disciples went into the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told him, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” 30 Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark 8:27-30, CEB)

Who is Jesus?

Who do people say that Jesus is?

Some people say he was a man who lived many years ago and was killed.

Some people say He is the son of God.

He is not John the Baptist, or Elijah, or just one of the prophets.

Some say Jesus is the Christ, or Messiah, and some still do not.

So who is Jesus to you?

To me, Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior that came into the world to show us how to love and live as God created us to.

Love People, Love God.

 

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