In practicing the Presence of God in one’s own life; Jesus speaks of the ‘personal sacrifice’ that is necessary. In reading today in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 23: the Spirit of the Lord Jesus spoke this explanation to me. In condemning the actions and behavior of the scribes and Pharisees He says, starting at verse 16: “Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whoever shall swear by the temple, (your own body) it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, (your own life) he is a debtor! (he is bound or obligated to keep his word!) 17. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, (the life) or the temple (the body) that sanctifies (dedicates) the gold? (through which your life is expressed?) 18. And, Whoever shall swear by the altar, (from the heart) it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift (the sacrifice) that is upon (from) it, he is guilty. (bound by his oath.) 19. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, (sacrifice) or the altar (the heart) that sanctifies the gift? (dedicates the sacrifice?) 20. Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, (heart) swears by it, and by all things thereon (therein). 21. And whoso shall swear by the temple, (the body) swears by it, and by him that dwells therein. (God, as the source of our life.) 22. And he that shall swear by heaven, (where the Divine is present) swears by the throne (place) of God, and by him that sits thereon.” (that dwells in the awareness.) We can see then, that our repentance and dedication to God involves our ‘all’ in the personal sacrifice. Our bodies are just as important as is our life itself. Neither is more valuable; nor is one to be exalted above the other. We are all of one composite Being and glorify God as such. Let us consider taking care of both.
Below is a devotional I wrote for Eastbrook Church Lenten Devotional series. I hope you enjoy it and it blesses you.
Some years ago, my mother gifted me with a handmade quilt. The quilt is a log-cabin design, with rectangular strips representing wooden logs stacked on top of each other. In the center of each quilt block is a small red square, representing the fireplace, the center of the log home. The interesting thing about this particular quilt is that the pieces are made entirely of random scraps and leftover material of varying colors and patterns. These random pieces are cut, arranged, and sewn together, transforming them into a striking, finished product.
Just as the quilt is a beautiful whole constructed of many different individual parts, so are we and our particular gifts. We are all obviously endowed with distinct and various abilities—and this, we must conclude…
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