Holy Ground

Christmas changes us. We join family and friends in festive celebration, of course, and we take time to ponder the reason for the season, but Christmas marks the advent of “God with us,” and both we and our place in the world are forever changed because of Christ.

The Bible teaches that wherever the Lord is, is holy. This is why in the Old Testament Moses and, later, Joshua were told to remove their sandals, for they found themselves standing on “holy ground”—in the presence of God. But now that Jesus has come and redeemed us as His own, He is both with us and in us. We are, says Paul, “a temple of the Holy Spirit.”1 Wherever we are, He is; wherever we go, He goes; wherever we stand is holy ground, for God is present.

So, we live and move and breathe with newfound purpose. Ours is to embrace the grace we have received and to share the love and truth of God wherever we are. For the Lord is present and where He is, is holy.

Ask yourself:

  1. Does sharing Christ feel like an obligation I have to do for God, or a privilege I get to do with God?
  2. Can I just for today offer myself to the Spirit and trust Him to work through an imperfect and awkward me?

Father, thank you for making me a dwelling place for your Spirit. I am humbled by such great love. Where I am, you are, so use me as you will for your purposes and your glory. Amen.

Christ in me is holiness.

1 1 Corinthians 6:19


Singleness of Heart

One of the marvels of this incredible, shrinking world of ours is that we see up-close the incredible, expanding church of Christ. At two weekly Bible studies I attend, believers have come from or gone to places all over the world—Malaysia, Indonesia, Burkina-Faso, Slovenia, Peru, China, Nigeria, Thailand, India, Taiwan and Japan, to name a few. All these faces representing all these nations reflect this beautiful prophecy fulfilled: “I will give them singleness of heart and action” (Jeremiah 32:39). From continents and cultures around the globe, we share in new life in Christ Jesus and the call to reach others in His name.

What’s fascinating, then—and fun to watch—is how God creates a new diversity among a united us, for His Spirit uniquely gifts each believer for the common good. Take Iris*, for instance. Here from a foreign country to study economics, she found new life in Christ. Now from this leader flows a healing compassion for those who hurt, and the gift of intercession as she earnestly prays for them. Then there’s Rhonda—a friendly “force of nature” whose unquenchable zeal for the salvation of souls is sourced in the Spirit of God working through her in power. Eric is a proclaimer, boldly and joyfully sharing the gospel of Christ and letting its truth produce fruit for itself.

I could go on, and so could you, with example after example of how God calls and gifts His redeemed people for His glory and our good. For the one Spirit He has placed in all of us will accomplish His purposes through each of us. It is evidence of yet another prophecy fulfilled in Christ—In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world” (Isaiah 12:4, 5).

And so we have, and still we are.

Father, seeing you at work around me increases my desire for you to work through me. Yet more important still is that you be glorified through the body of Christ, your own people loving and serving with singularity of heart and action. May this be so today. Amen.

Christ in me is holiness.

Read today’s Scripture in Isaiah 12:1-6.

* Names have been changed.


Inside and Out

I must admit, it was an unsettling experience for me. A group of us had gone to a nearby bar after work one evening to visit with out-of-town guests before heading home. For me, personally, it is safe to enjoy an occasional drink, so that wasn’t the problem. What I found disquieting was the fact that this bar had been built 100 years earlier as a church. There we were, sipping on whatever, surrounded by stained glass windows and in full view of an altar. Now, I know and even rejoice in that Jesus’ church is not a building but a “body”—the sum total of all His believers throughout the world. So, while I grieved in earnest at the thought of a once-vibrant, now-stagnant congregation closing its doors, the repurposed use of bricks and mortar, itself, was my little cognitive-dissonance problem to get over. (“Yeah, but still.”)

Not lost on me, however, was the fact that this scenario served as a heads-up for us, the true church, for God inhabits all who believe in Christ, bypassing even the loftiest of sanctuaries to do so. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” wrote Paul to the Corinthian Christians. Turning a church building into a bar creates its own little stir, but how deep and real the dissonance in others when we “repurpose” our bodies—these living, breathing temples of God—for anything less than His glory! People peer into us in hopes of seeing God inside to be true, so why do anything on the outside to obscure their view? Jesus has made us one with Himself in the Spirit; why then would we dishonor Him in our flesh? So, Paul continues, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” For when we honor with our body the God who inhabits our soul, we open the door for all to see the vibrant church of His Son.

Father, thank you for choosing to live in me. Inspire me today, so that my outward actions flow from nothing less than your inner love and grace. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Christ in me is holiness.

See what 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 says about our oneness with Christ.