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A Temple in our Hearts

…..In Isaiah 66, the Lord says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place?”
As I ponder about how we can even fathom creating a physical temple that is worthy enough to honor our Father, I soon realize that God isn’t talking about constructing a physical temple, but He is talking about the building temples in our hearts.
…..The Lord says, “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine.” In the Old Testament, believers offered animal sacrifices and lavish jewelry and riches to God. People gave up these offerings to please God, but our Father foretells of a time where all the extravagant offerings will no longer be needed. No, He does not desire these lavish riches of the world, because He OWNS everything in the entire universe. He wants something more, He wants us. God wants us to consecrate a temple in our heart, that is wholly and fully devoted to the Lord.
 …..The Lord speaks to the people who give Him their hearts. The Lord explains that he will “bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who will tremble at [His] word.” People who have humble and contrite hearts are people with repentant hearts-who knows the weight of their sinful flesh, who gives up pride and all control to God, and who fear Him.
…..On the other hand, in 66:3, God speaks of people who stubbornly choose to hold onto control over their own lives–who reject giving their hearts to God.” When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. When they sacrifice a lamb, it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog! When they bring an offering of grain, they might as well offer the blood of a pig. When they burn frankincense, it’s as if they had blessed an idol”. When we offer things/complete actions that are meant to glorify God without giving Him our hearts first, all these actions are meaningless to God. God already has everything in the world, He doesn’t want our grand sacrifices. He wants us, He wants our hearts.
…..The Lord then foreshadows the wonderful coming of Jesus Christ, “Before the birth pains even begin, Jerusalem will give birth to a son.” In the Old Testament, believers had to give up physical offerings as temporary offerings because of the weight of our sin. However, with the coming of Christ and His death on the cross, we ourselves can be pleasing offerings to God by bearing humble and contrite hearts–hearts that are fully devoted to Him.  Because of Christ, we can be adopted into the Lord’s Holy kingdom by simply consecrating our hearts to God.
…..And when we are adopted into God’s kingdom, we will be His people. His citizens, His sheep, His children. “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear”. When we are adopted into His kingdom, we are granted everlasting life–a permanent home, permanent identity, and permanent peace.
…..Everyday we are given opportunities to give ourselves up to God. We can glorify God not solely by our actions, but we can glorify Him by giving our hearts to Him first. We can dedicate a temple in our hearts for our Lord.

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