Last week, in Building Solomon’s Temple, Part 1, we discovered the importance of the preparations we do for building our heart-temples. But just how can we prepare to build something as abstract as a “heart-temple?”
We look to David and Solomon for the answers:
“With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God…” (1 Chron 29:2)
The temple was so important to David that he gave of his own resources for its construction: “I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God…” (1Chr 29:3, NIV2)
Herein lies the first important lesson for us in the preparation for our heart temples. The presence of God in our lives needs to be our number one priority, so important to us that, “With all [our] resources [we provide] for the temple…”
But wait. Our heart-temples are not made of wood and stone, and they are not lined with gold and silver. Nor do most of us have gold and silver laying around. What can this mean to us?
In preparation for our heart temples, the things that we have that are precious to us need to be yielded to God. Whether child or spouse, job, favorite activity or possession, these need to be set aside for the building of our heart-temples. Why? Because God cannot have first place in our lives if we hold on to something else over and above Him.
David gives us a clue about how we can set aside “gold and silver” in preparation for the building of our heart-temples: “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.” (Ps 19:7-10, NIV2)
Closer inspection of the text reveals that God’s law is: perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure and firm, and that same law refreshes, makes wise, gives light, and endures. Thus, when we keep His law, when we value trustworthiness and pure living, we prepare a heart that will welcome our Lord and Savior.
What is this “Law of the Lord?” Jesus summed it up in two simple commands: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt 22:37-40, NIV2)
It sounds easy enough to love God, but who is this “neighbor” I am supposed to love?
When asked this question, Jesus replied with the story of the Good Samaritan. A man is beaten, robbed and left to die. Three men find him. Two of them, high officials in the church, pass by on the other side of the road. Only the third, an outsider, stops to help. (See Luke 10:29-37)
Thus, we see that a neighbor is someone who shows mercy to those in need. When we want to prepare for the building of our heart-temples, we can do so by truly loving God, and by caring for the poor in the world.
Another time Jesus was approached by a rich man who asked what he had to do to prepare for God’s kingdom. Jesus’ response is poignant: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matt 19:21, NIV2)
Friends, it is when we follow this very profound instruction that we make the preparations for the building of our heart-temples. It is when we give all that we have, all that is precious to us, to the Lord by giving it to the poor, and then by coming and following Jesus.
But what about the actual temple construction?
Please join us next week for “Building Solomon’s Temple,” Part 3: Of Location and Foundation.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Building Solomon’s Temple” mini-series, please click here.)