Building this temple or destroying it?

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV

We who are followers of Jesus Christ, those who believe, who repent, who surrender our lives – we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in us. The Spirit of Truth is not for the worldly,  who are blinded by the enticements of this world, and who do not value those things eternal that truly matter. But we who are His know His voice and have a restored relationship with our Lord,  Savior,  creator,  and redeemer.

“If you love me, you will  keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
John 14:15-17 ESV

This relationship is not meant so that we can continue destroying this vessel,  this temple, by participating in sin that leads to death and destruction. His offer of grace is not a license to sin and a freedom from consequences – it is an unveiling of the truth for us to understand that we are holy and set apart for His use as He reconciles us to be more and more like Himself. As we spend time with Him, the very imprint of His nature,  of His glory,  of His ways become more apparent to us and we are drawn closer and closer to Him as our lives are overcome by His presence. It is a process of growing and changing – and the trials and sufferings and persecution that we face offer the opportunity for us to demonstrate His nature instead of our own.

There is a way that we would react to trials and sufferings in our old fleshly, worldly nature – by grumbling, by focusing on material things, by becoming angry or envious if others, by focusing on ourselves. But He gives us this gift of the Holy Spirit so that we might walk in the Spirit,  not in the flesh – that we might demonstrate love to one another,  especially in those c times of v trial. And we demonstrate love through joy which is not dependent upon our circumstances. We demonstrate love through the peace that passes all understanding when the world expects us to be angry or distraught,  but we have our hope in the Lord, and that even this to shall pass and will be for His glory and honor. We demonstrate love through our patience with others and situations that are imperfect just like us.  We demonstrate love through kindness to those who we do not expect to repay us. We demonstrate love through gentleness in sharing truth and accountability with those who are lost and deceived and who have not yet received or yielded to the Holy Spirit of Truth. We demonstrate love through faithfulness to follow God’s will even when it is not the easy choice, or the obvious choice, or what we would choose for ourselves. We demonstrate love through our willingness to be long suffering for the cause of Christ because we know that the temporary sufferings of this world are nothing in comparison to an eternity with our Lord,  our Savior,  our Creator,  or God.

So we must ask ourselves, do we see Him when we read the Word of God and when we speak to Him in prayer? Do we know His nature? Do we recognize Him? Do we know Him?

My hope today is that toot answer is a bold and confident yes,  but for you who are in doubt, who have not yet found your confidence in the Lord – I ask you to call upon His promises:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 
let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord , that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord . 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord , an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Isaiah 55:6-13 ESV

“Ask,  and it will be given to you;  seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:7-11 ESV

“For  God so loved  the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not  perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3:16-21 ESV

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 
even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 
And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;  the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Acts 2:17-21 ESV

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10:9-11 ESV

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:15-20 ESV

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