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We come now to add the 3rdcharacteristic of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Again, this characteristic is found in the writings of Paul and the teachings of Jesus. Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in Corinth and shares a revolutionary image. He asks: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”(1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Do you get this? As a follower of Jesus, you are the dwelling place of God on earth! You are God’s temple-God’s sanctuary! Have you ever walked into a building that had a sign, identifying that building as the ‘Sanctuary’? NOTE, the building-no building-is the sanctuary or dwelling place of God today! God’s presence dwells in each follower of Jesus in the invisible form of the Spirit. This is how Jesus can be present with us always, as he promised. You are the temple-the dwelling place!
This is the same promise Moses requested from God. More than anything else, Moses wanted God’s presence to go with him. And God said,”My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”(Exodus 33:14-16)
Having the presence of God is the most important and powerful factor of all. And, today, the very presence of God dwells in you who are following Jesus! SO, wherever you go, so goes the presence of God-the presence of Jesus, in the form of the Spirit.
The 3rdsubtle ingredient is to be Jesus in all you do-Authentic discipleship is learning to re-present Jesus to everyone who comes your way. Why? Because in you resides the very presence of God, Himself! Now, act like it!