Us or Them?
We are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Are you an ‘us’ person … or a ‘them’ person? … Let’s explain what we mean!
I was once at a church meeting where I asked everyone to write just one sentence about ‘the church’. Most people began their reply with the word ‘It’ or ‘They’. They got it wrong! If they were being truly biblical in their thinking, their answer should have begun with the word ‘We’ (‘We are God’s people… We are the bride of Christ…). The church is not ‘them’, but ‘us’!
While ever we think of the church as something ‘out there’, separate from us, we will miss so much – and be far quicker to criticize what is wrong than to play our part in putting it right. (For who in their right mind would criticize themselves without doing something about it?) God wants us to understand that ‘we are the temple of the living God’; that it is among us that he has promised to live and work. Changing our mindset on this would bring about some amazing changes in our personal and corporate life!
The prophet Zephaniah has a beautiful picture of this corporate togetherness that God promises for his people. He saw God’s people as standing together ‘shoulder to shoulder’ (Zephaniah 3:10). This is the sort of intimacy, the sort of togetherness that God has promised to his people; so to settle for anything less is to miss out on his promises and our birthright.
So today, remember that you are not destined to live as an isolated believer (even though the devil may have been trying hard to make you feel isolated). The church is not ‘them’ but ‘us’ – and you are part of that ‘us’ – an ‘us’ that is the very temple of God where he promises to come and walk among us.
‘Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.’ (Zephaniah 3:9)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont