Summary: The Lord has given Christians their Spiritual gifts, talents and all the resources they need to be a temple of worship. One that expresses to all who see their lives that they are children of God sold out to the cause of Christ and enjoying the abundant life promised by Him.
Title: Temples of Praise
Theme: Four Truths for Living for the Lord
Introduction: Our opening text today is something that every born-again Christian should take to heart. (Thru the Bible) Everything Christians have come from God, therefore they should be bound in their hearts to use it for the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Bishop Patrick said it well; “we ought to acknowledge God in all... things, referring every good thought, good purpose, and good work to His grace, from whom we receive it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
Listen as I read 1 Chronicles 29:16, “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your Hand, and all of it belongs to you.” Before praying we need to realize that the provision of the building of the temple, the material, the finances, the workers, the planning, the order of service, came all from God moving upon people who had the ability, provision and insight to get the task completed. (1 Chronicles 29: 1-20)
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians are the temple that God cares about today. 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 17 says, “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.” The Lord has given Christians their Spiritual gifts, talents and all the resources they need to be a temple of worship. One that expresses to all who see their lives that they are children of God sold out to the cause of Christ and enjoying the abundant life promised by Him.
Interrogative Sentence: Just how can Christians be a temple of praise?
Transitional Sentence: Christians can be a temple of praise by living a life that honor's God's grace. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The Bible teaches that everything Christians have comes by grace. “Grace” (charis) here affects man’s sinfulness, God's perfect will for them and their changed character. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary)
This grace has been seen and experienced by many Christians. God's “Grace” (charis) is enjoyed by that marriage that has Biblical grounds for divorce, but is fully restored to its first love experience and empowerment to serve one another till death do they part. This grace (Charis) opens spiritual hearts to the realization that everything you enjoy, opportunities you have, possessions and wealth come from the Lord. This truth illuminated into the life of Christians effects the way they oversee everything they do. This grace (Charis) restores relationships, influences the way you handle people, it is expressed in words spoken and deeds done before all of mankind.
I love watching The Voice, observing Blake Shelton and Adam Levine; they know raw talent, they are patient with immaturity and they open up doors of opportunity. When they have completed their coaching, we enjoy the voice of new young music talent. God knows all of our talents, abilities, and Spiritual gifts. He is patient with our immaturities and opens up doors for us to mature, making us a voice for Him in a sin cursed world. This is what His grace does.
Do you express God's grace to others? Can you recognize Spiritual gifts? Are you patient? Do you provide opportunities for others to mature in their gifts through Biblical truths?
Transitional Sentence: Christians are a temple of praise when they live out God's grace and when they live as citizens of heaven. The Bible says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious Body.” (Philippians 3:20)
C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” They have the heart of the Apostle Paul, "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (Philippians 1:23)
Christians can praise God, in heaven there is going to be a perfect city where there is no crime, no homeless, no unemployment, no pollution, no corruption in city councils or government. Heaven is victorious with no civil unrest, no terrorism and no more wars. There will be fairness, truth and goodness, and God’s holiness will reign. Everyone will be upright and honest. However, Christians are still here because the Lord has a work for them while they live their lives here and now. Dr. David Jeremiah in Until Christ Returns writes, "It’s only as we fix our anchor in eternity that we find stability for life in these stress-filled days before our Lord’s return. Oh, we’ll still have problems. We’re still in for a bumpy ride along the way. But there is a difference; our problems will finally begin to make sense." (Jeremiah, D. (1999). Until Christ Returns: Living faithfully today while we wait for our glorious tomorrow (p. 182). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.)