A friend recently lamented his kids growing up without knowing their grandpa. His father had passed when the kids were very young. He said, “If my dad would have minded the temple better, he may have been able to share family stories directly with his grandkids. There is longevity in our genes - his mom and older brother both lived to be 99! But he smoked constantly and drank heavily. It was really a miracle that he reached his 70’s.” It was obvious my buddy had a lot he wanted to share with his dad, especially his legacy.
In the first month of the first year of his (Hezekiah) reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. … so Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how quickly the True God had changed the hearts of the people – 2Chronicles 29:3&36. When Hezekiah became king, the temple of the Lord was in bad shape. His father, Ahaz, had shut the temple doors, set up altars on every street corner and built high places for burning sacrifices to other gods. Hezekiah ordered the Levites to consecrate themselves and the temple. They then purified the temple and all its contents and began offering sacrifices to atone for the sins of all of Israel. The king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped, rededicating themselves to the Lord. Minding the temple turned the hearts of the people back to the True God.
“Everything is permissible for me” – but not everything is beneficial. … Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body – 1Corinthians 6:12&19-20. Paul focuses primarily on sexual immorality through this passage but the bottom line is that when under our own devices, the temple can get in pretty bad shape. What one eats, drinks, watches, talks about and participates in, impacts the body and conveys a testimony. You can succumb to eating junk food at crazy hours, drinking alcohol in excess, watching pornography, talking in a way that tears others down and participating in sexual immorality. It is all permissible but not beneficial to you or those who love you. But if you mind the temple, honor God with your body, heart turning will occur and the resulting testimony will be powerful for you and those who love you.
Tips to Mind the Temple:
- Eat and drink in moderation - seek nutritional value and avoid over eating, especially close to bedtime; Never be under the influence of alcohol;
- Exercise discipline in what you watch and how you talk – involve a battle buddy to hold you accountable for your eyes and tongue;
- Participate in temple repair – establish an exercise routine and activity that will keep you fit physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Prayer guide: Lord, forgive me for not always honoring You in the way I mind the temple You blessed me with. I understand I was bought through the blood of Your Son on the cross where He put death to my sin. You then poured Your love in my heart with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Grant me the strength and discipline to honor You with my body, to mind the temple well. Turn my heart O God to be the man, husband and father You expect me to be. Amen.
A faithful father minds the temple to honor the Father.