Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Meet with Him in the depths of your heart.”
The primary purpose of our theme “Life on this side of the cross” has been to explore the amazing and significant differences between the Old Testament Age and the New Testament Age. The ways in which we experience and interact with God are exponentially different and better now than then. Jesus changed everything!
Perhaps the most significant difference in terms of day-to-day living is the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts (Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who was placed there by God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). In the Old Testament the people of God went to the temple to enter into the presence of God. In the New Testament the people of God are the temple, and rather than us entering into the presence of God, God is present within us. That doesn’t mean that you are God, because of course, you aren’t. But it does mean that the presence of God is in you by means of the Holy Spirit living in your heart.
In terms of worship, nurture, comfort, and peace this is huge! In the Old Testament you went into the temple to meet with God. In the New Testament you plumb the depths of your heart to encounter Him within you. That’s where you meet Him in worship; that’s where your relationship with Him is nurtured; and that’s where you are embraced by the God of all comfort – right there in your own heart!
Today is Sunday, the day in which we typically gather as a church family. In that gathering we bring the worship that is taking place within our own heart and we join with others who are also worshiping in their hearts. Being joined together like that in worship can create a powerful spiritual dynamic.
Unfortunately, we won’t be gathered in the church building today. However, since we live in the New Testament Age, and since you have the Holy Spirit right there with you in your heart, you yourself are the temple! That means that you can experience great worship right where you are; and you can go deep into your heart and embrace the comfort of God, right there, right where you are. Even though there’s great value to our group gatherings, and therefore they should not be missed (Hebrews 10:24-25), you can still have a deep encounter with God this morning right there at home.
This morning I make Paul’s prayer for the Romans my prayer for you: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”