Scripture reading for September 23rd: 2nd Chronicles 34-35, 2nd Corinthians 6
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 6:16-18 “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Under the New Covenant, there is a new temple. The new temple isn’t a building of brick or stone, but it is made up of living stones that are filled with the presence of God. God promised to make His dwelling place among men. He calls men and women to come out from entanglement with the world and it’s human-centered philosophies. No more idols are to defile His temple. God welcomes us as sons and daughters, a living temple where He dwells with us!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, there is no agreement between Your temple and idols! Deliver me from Your wrath. Fill Your temple (my body) with Your Holy Spirit and dwell in me. I joyfully accept adoption as Your son.
2nd Chronicles 34:25 “Because they have forsaken Me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.”
Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Chronicles 29-31, 1st Corinthians 8
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 8:1-3 “Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”
Corinth was a pagan city with an idolatrous culture. Many idol temples worshiping various ‘gods’ were in the city and animal sacrifices were offered to appease these ‘gods.’ Christians knew that these idols were nothing and that eating meat from the sacrifices would not harm them. This knowledge made them proud–‘puffed up’, and lacking in love for those caught in this idolatry whom God loved and wanted to reach. They did not know enough about God’s love and their need to restrain their liberty to reach lost sinners. We should rather have God ‘know’ us because we love Him and the lost than to have religious “knowledge.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with a river of Your love through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me to love others caught in the idolatry of these times and reach them with Your love.
2nd Chronicles 30:8 “Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you.”
Scripture reading for August 21st: Jeremiah 9-13
Key Scriptures: Jeremiah 10:10-12 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King. When He is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure His wrath. “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under heaven.” But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.”
Idols are simply objects made in images but without life. They can do nothing for those who make them or those who worship them. In fact, they are destined to perish, along with those who hold them. But God alone is the living God who made the heavens and the earth. He is the eternal King who rules the nations! In Him we can find true life and One worthy of worship!
Rejoicing in the Living God: “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine Being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all man by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:29-31)
Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Corinthians 6:14-7:7
When one is reconciled to God and is filled with God’s love, the things of this world lose their attraction. The Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctification. This word ‘sanctification’ means being ‘made holy’ or ‘set apart’ for God. The Holy Spirit helps us to separate ourselves from the worldly influences and ways that we had before salvation. When we become a ‘new creation’, the old things pass away and new things come that are from God. (2nd Corinthians 5:17-18)
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-16a) Paul urged the Corinthians to not be yoked with unbelievers. He asked them questions with an obvious answer of ‘none’ or ‘nothing’ to emphasize their need to maintain separation and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
They were now the temple of the living God. God lived in them and called them to be a holy and separated people! God wanted to be their Father and they would be called ‘sons’ and ‘daughter’s’ of God the Father. They would be known as the people of God. These promises of God were “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus! (2nd Corinthians 1:18) These promises should motivate believers at Corinth and everywhere to perfect holiness in reverence for God.
This process of holy separation is initiated by the Holy Spirit living in us. He is the Spirit of Truth who reveals Christ to us. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment. He reveals to us all that we are and have through our relationship with God in Christ. (1st Corinthians 2:10-12) As we study the word of God, we are also required to do our part in a response of faith. We put off the old ways of the world and put on the new ways of the Spirit.
“Do not be yoked with unbelievers!” Paul’s instruction and questions were for self-examination. Take a moment today and ask yourself the questions Paul asked. Are there unbelievers who are influencing you because of close associations? Take Paul’s advice today!