My Thoughts. . .
Monday June 10, 2019
I overheard two fellows talking. One said he was building a $2,000,000 house on a piece of property that he stole for $3,000. Curiosity caused my ears to join the conversation. The listener must have felt as I did. Either that fellow stumbled upon a prize deal or something is wrong, and he is too blind to see it. Someone in that transaction is getting blindsided.
The listener voiced my question. “How did you get such a low price for that lot?” The builder’s answer triggered the same response in me and his companion. His answer was, “I am building my house in the slums.” My ears did not have to strain to hear the response of his friend. We both thought and he asked, “WHAT? Are you out of your mind”
“You’ve got to be kidding? You are building a two-million-dollar house in a broken down, filthy, smelly side of town where stores and houses are vacant, and windows are boarded? A place where crime is rampant, prostitutes work, garbage is not collected, and the dredges of society live?”
If you were that builder’s friend, wouldn’t you think he had lost his mind? What would a $2,000,000 house, in that location, be worth if you attempted to sell it? What self-respecting buyer would want to live there? Wouldn’t you think he was pulling a practical joke? If not, maybe he was a fool? Would you go to the most run-down area of your city and build such an expensive house to live in?
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16 RSV).
“Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So, use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 TLB).
Didn’t God decide to build His dwelling place in a rundown, dilapidated, cheapened neighborhood and live there (Romans 3:10, 23; Hebrews 3:6)? Jesus made it possible. He paid an even greater price than $3,000 (Hebrews 4:15; 9:28; 10:16-17). God dwells within that individual 24/7 (Hebrews 10:19-23 TLB, 38-39). In spite of outside influences to cheapen or destroy that property, God keeps it in pristine condition, making it shine like new (Ephesians 5:25-27).
God made it possible for imperfect, rundown, dilapidated, boarded up property, destined to be torn down and burned, to be made in His image and raised to His perfection. Man’s success was in creating the slum, Jesus’ victory was in changing it.
“He took his own blood, and with it he, by himself, made sure of our eternal salvation” (Hebrews 9:12 TLB).
We are saved by “faith in his blood” not faith in our accomplishments (Romans 3:25; Titus 3:5). We are saved by “faith in Christ,” not by faith in our ourselves (Galatians 3:26; Romans 7:23-8:1). We are not capable of reaching nor maintaining sinless perfection. All who attempt it create themselves as their own imaginary-savior.
We are God’s house, not a dwelling with a postal address. We are God’s sanctuary, not a room furnished for worship. We are God’s living quarters, not something constructed by man. We are God’s holy place, not one mis-identified by man. We are God’s clergy or priests, not someone appointed to a prestigious office. We are God’s ordained and sanctified people, complete without man’s ordination. We are God’s temple, not one with a street sign to identify it. We do not have to go to the mountain to worship God, He is dwelling in us. Ruth told Naomi, “Where you go, I will go” (Ruth 1:16). God isn’t an external traveling companion. He is an insider!
Is God living in you?
My thanks to Charles McLean for his statement which prompted this article. He stated, “The fact that He (God) would desire to live in such a run-down neighborhood is beyond me, but I’m indeed grateful.”