May 11, 2020
Join us as we explore God’s ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.
I hope you will join us every week and be sure to let us know how you enjoy the podcast and let others know about it, too. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
We find it easy to think God doesn't care when we see the devastation man and nature creates around us. Particularly in these times, when we huddle in our homes, afraid of each other. Afraid our neighbor will spread the virus to us. We live in fear today. What happened? In a few short months, we gave up the outdoors. We gave seeing each other. We gave up our extended families. We even gave up our ability to mourn.
I'm not sure God's desire for us to love each other as He loves us looks favorably on what we have done to ourselves in these last several months. Certainly, we need to take precautions against this new disease about which we seem to know very little. But do we let fear stop our relationships? Do we allow anxiety to be the overwhelming emotion in our lives?
I think it is time we allow God's rich legacy of peace to take over in our lives and our communities. As His children, we can offer something the rest of the world cannot. We can embrace life with an assurance of hope that a better day is coming. This short time of suffering is not the end, but the beginning of life. No matter what we might face now, it is so insignificant in the face of what we will enjoy with Christ for eternity if we accept Him as the Master of our lives.
Unfortunately, most people today will not agree with me. As in Jesus' day, most will reject Him. They will call Him a charlatan, a fake, a seeker of fame. That same crowd will declare His followers delusional, gullible, ignorant. But the early followers of Christ held fast for one simple reason. Some five hundred of His disciples saw the physical, resurrected Jesus. Not a ghost or spirit or a delusion, but a physical body. Jesus spoke with them. He ate and walked and touched them. The crucified, once dead, Master overcame the grave and lived. We believe because of the conviction of their belief.
Then Jesus gave those same disciples a mission. The last time they saw Him, He told them to make more disciples and teach them what they knew. Bring them into their fellowship with the rite of baptism in the name of the Triune Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. More than that, Jesus taught His disciples in His last days before His death, that the Holy Spirit would not just come to live with them as He had, but would live in them.
What difference would that make for them? God longs to have an intimate fellowship with His highest creation, human beings. He made us in His image. He touched the earth to walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
He touched the earth in the Holy of Holies, the sacred place in the tabernacle He instructed Moses to build for Him as a dwelling place and later in the Temple Solomon made as a place of worship for Israel. It was the spot God came to bring heaven and earth together with His presence.
Then God lived among us as flesh and blood in human form in His Son Jesus, the second person of the Triune Godhead. How is that possible? He is God, and it is beyond human understanding. If we could understand everything about God, he would not be God, just a super version human.
While He was here, Jesus said something incredible about that third person of the Godhead, though. He said the Holy Spirit would live in us. Think about that a moment—God in us.
God touched the earth again—in us. The Holy Spirit, God, lives on earth now, when we accept Him into our lives as the Master of our soul. When we decide to give ourselves to Him, He lives in us just as He lived in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem or the tabernacle as His people moved across the wilderness. We are His temple.
The Apostle Peter writes to the early church and puts the concept in these words:
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner," and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:4-10 NIV)
We are God's temple when we believe in Jesus for salvation. And when he lives in us, it also makes us a priesthood—every one of us because we are His temple. Think about the responsibility of the caretakers for God's dwelling place; sacrifices, prayers, intercession, care of the temple itself. If I am His temple individually and we are His temple collectively, we have responsibilities to keep ourselves and His church clean and holy, first of all. Then we have a responsibility to minister to those outside this living church; to make disciples and teach them. Jesus commanded us to love each other and love them. He said to make new disciples and teach them.
How do we do that? We love them into the Kingdom of God. And what better time to do that than now. During every pandemic that has swept the earth, God's people ministered to those in need. It should be the same with this one. Be careful? Absolutely. Be fearful? Never.
As the psalmist wrote, "Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?" When we know our destiny, the worst that can happen to us is we wake up with Jesus. Let God's love shine through you as you live each day for Him.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan