Friday, July 6, 2012

Small Treasures, Large Lessons

I enjoy finding small sections of Scripture that turn out to be real gems after studying them. Sometimes I hear a verse in a sermon. Sometimes I read the verse in a Bible study. Other times I’m searching the Bible for a different purpose and out pops a surprise.

Recently I’ve had a few I’d like to share with you.

Luke 2:15 (NIV) says, “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

The shepherds went to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. This I knew. What I didn’t know was that the meaning of the word Bethlehem is House of Bread. Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. So, the Bread of Life was born in the House of Bread.

There are so many things to say about this idea. And perhaps someday I will write about the meaning of this analogy, but for now just think of how amazing God is. To make certain from the beginning of time that these two elements fit together perfectly. Our God is an awesome God!

A second verse is 1 Kings 1:1 (NIV). This is what it says. “When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him.”

Just a glimpse into David’s later years, but it touched me to know that this great king of Israel was cold. I don’t like being cold. It takes so long for me to regain my warmth. I think that is what David was experiencing.

If we think of this in terms of our spiritual lives, we must not allow our hearts to grow cold. We must not allow our spirits to be away from the heat source. Because it takes a long time to warm up again.

Satan knows just how to keep us in the cold. Let’s not allow him to gain any ground in this area.

The third verse I’d like to share with you is also from 1 Kings. 1 Kings 9:3 (NIV) is a verse where God is speaking to Solomon after the temple was complete. “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.”

God would reside in the temple. In that place. But it would be more than that. He was claiming it as His own. His Name would be there. His presence would be in the temple. His eyes would keep watch. And His heart would remain in this location.

This was important to the Israelites. To know their God was in their presence. To know His temple was His dwelling place.

We, as New Testament Christians have taken on a special role. We are the temple of God. “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:16b – NIV)

Just as God was among the Israelites in the past, He walks and lives among us today. Within us. And since we are His temple, His Name, eyes and heart are within us as well.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – NIV)

My body houses the living God. The Spirit of God. Why would I choose to defile it? What am I doing that would cause harm to my body?

These are questions each of us must answer for ourselves. I know for me, I allow my laziness and lack of self-control to affect my physical body (the temple of God) and that in turn affects my spiritual life.

Three different ideas. Three moments of spiritual growth. Areas where my heart and my mind need mending. I am so thankful that God has placed these treasures throughout Scripture. It’s up to you and me to find them and store them in our hearts.

I would love to hear from you! What spiritual treasures have you found recently?

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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