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Five Tips for the Temple in 2012

“You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you.  So use your body to honor God.”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CEV)

Scripture teaches us to view our body as a “temple” where God dwells. The temple is the place where God is worshipped, where God’s word is taught, and where God’s work is done. That means that our bodies should have the same sense of purpose as we go about our daily living. Everything that we do should be with an eye towards worshipping God, teaching other people about God, and being a part of ministry that honors God.

With that in mind, here are Five Tips for the Temple in 2012:

Get adequate rest. At his lowest point, Elijah sought refuge with God at the Mountain of Horeb. Part of the refuge that he received was catching a couple of much needed naps under the broom tree. Studies continue to show that most of us don’t get enough sleep, and that our health, our happiness, and our peace of mind suffer because of it. These studies are just a secular means of teaching us a gospel truth: like Elijah, and like Jesus, we all need to get adequate rest if we are going to do all that God wants us to do.

Get regular exercise. Every church has to set aside money in the budget for “maintenance and repairs.” If we don’t pay attention to the condition of our temple, it will deteriorate (and future repairs will cost even more because we did not engage in preventative maintenance). Our bodies need the same maintenance if we want to be in shape to do God’s work on this earth. If you haven’t yet begun a regular exercise routine, make this year the year that you get started. Whether it is biking around the neighborhood, taking a trip to the gym, or jumping rope in your back yard, treat your temple right in 2012.

Eat healthy. Another part of Elijah’s refuge was the “cake baked on hot stones,” and the “jar of water” that God provided him. You’ll notice the text didn’t talk about rib tips, fried chicken, or Diet Pepsi. While God wants us to enjoy life and eat well, God also does not want us to idolize food and worship it more than we do Him. Make a resolution to eat healthy this year: drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables every day, and try to lay off that fried chicken and Diet Pepsi.

Quit any and all addictive substances that do damage to your body (drugs, smoking, excessive alcohol use, etc.). I should not have to say much about this one. Try dousing parts of the sanctuary in your church with gasoline and lighting a match – see how the inside of your temple looks afterward. In one way or another, abusing all of these substances have the effect of turning the inside of our bodies into a charred inferno. Make up your mind to quit THIS YEAR.

Pray on how you can use your body to give God greater glory. These other four tips may mean little to you because you already get adequate rest, go to the gym three times a week, shop exclusively at Whole Foods, and never drank or smoked a day in your life. If all of that is true, then you’re probably in pretty good shape already. But all of us are called to seek greater perfection in Jesus Christ. Be prayerful in 2012 about where your “room for improvement” might be in caring for your temple. God may show you something new along the way.

Posted in Pastor's Blog.

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