I always read this verse focusing on Jesus’ strength, devotion, and passion for upholding God’s kingdom, but not how He looks on His temple in me. 1 Corinthians 3:16 speaks of God’s temple in you, “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” (NIV) If Jesus was that passionate about a temple of stone, how much more passionate is He about His temple in you! Three things bring a smile to Jesus: 1) Living righteously. 2) The sweet fragrance of prayer in your life. 3) Being fruitful. If you read on in Matthew 21, you see both a parable and an action that reflects Jesus’ concern for being fruitful. In Matthew 21:19 you see how an action by Jesus was meant to stress the importance of being fruitful, “Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ Immediately the tree withered.” (NIV) And then in Matthew 21:43 you hear a parable that again stresses fruitfulness, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (NIV) I do not think it is a coincidence that Jesus stressed being fruitful after His actions in the temple. Jesus went from challenging unrighteousness and lack of prayer to twice emphasizing the importance of being fruitful, which is integrally connected to His temple in you.
God does want a vibrant relationship as well as a sanctified life with every believer, but out of those will flow fruitfulness. You will find it natural to hear God calling you to be fruitful the closer you are to Him. 1 Corinthians 3:9 talks about building the temple through the body of Christ while being a platform (field) for God bearing a rich harvest for His kingdom, “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” (NIV) In 2 Corinthians 6:16 you see how God wants to build a mighty temple on earth through His children, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.’”(NIV) How do you allow God to raise up a mighty temple in you? By being a believer who vigilantly and deeply prays. Be a follower of Christ who cultivates a deep relationship with Jesus, so that the Spirit in you is free to do mighty works in you and in the world.
Ephesians 2:21-22 “In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (NIV)
Do you know someone who needs this message on being God’s temple? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.