Verse: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
The temple doesn't mean much to us today, but when Paul wrote these words, the temple was the center of the Jewish faith. It was the epicenter of their entire religious life, and it housed the very presence of God. It is where they went for forgiveness, purification, worship, and more.
This statement, in context then, is radical. The temple was the most sacred place for generations, and now Paul is claiming that the church (the people, not the building) was the new temple. While we can't fully understand it, it's important we see the significance, and then understand our role in it personally.
You are, personally, as a follower of Jesus, a crucial part of the new temple. Peter tells us that each of us are "like living stones" and are
"being built into a spiritual house" together for the world (1 Peter 2:5). Paul tells us that we are "being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22).
Please hear this: you matter. Your gifts matter. The temple is no longer a static building, but a living body. And you are a crucial member of that body. Wherever you go, you bring the Spirit of God to people. Think about that! It used to be that in order to go to the temple to be near God's presence you had to do a pilgrimage. Now, the Son of God made the pilgrimage to us - and then put his Spirit in us - so we can continue bringing the Spirit to others.
You are God's message to people about his love. You are his light in their darkness. You are his hope in their despair. You are his grace in their struggle. You matter and you are needed. Don't let the enemy whisper anything other than that into your ears. You carry the Spirit of God with you, and together we create space wherever we go for others to encounter the living, and loving, God.
I pray that you'd help me to remember that you are with me at all times!