Devotional Readings

We are Not Our Own

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Corinthians 3:17).

It is the will of God that every man, woman, and child should be His living temple. In view of this, our text for today is a double promise–a warning and an encouragement. First, the warning: Destruction is ahead for him who desecrates God’s temple. In all lands, temples are places to be entered with reverence. In Western lands one uncovers his head in sacred places; in Eastern lands he removes his shoes. Any act of sacrilege would be punished by the authorities, or more directly by the worshipers present.

But notice our text–God Himself will punish those who defile His temple. This is as certain as it is serious. God will destroy them. Why? Because “the temple of God is holy.” When holiness is ignored, there is danger ahead. Nadab and Abihu “offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them” (Leviticus 10:1, 2). Uzzah profaned the holy ark and died “by the ark” (2 Samuel 6:7). Uzziah defiled the Temple, and leprosy rose up in the forehead of the angry king, “beside the incense altar” (2 Chronicles 26:19).

Now the encouragement: “The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” We are not our own. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Yes, we are to glorify God in our bodies–in our eating, drinking, exercising, breathing, doing. We are to glorify God in our spirits–in our thinking, planning, meditating, praying. “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

MEDITATION PRAYER: “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).


from The Promises of God
H.M.S. Richards | Review & Herald (2004)
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