Message: Culture Makers: The Elite
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Paddy McCoy
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 17:16–33 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: I was in fourth grade and my mom had just bought me a brand new pair of sneakers. I had been waiting for these sneakers for months as my old shoes were falling apart. When I put these sneakers on, laced them up, and tied them tight, I felt practically invincible. I could do anything. I remember my mom dropping me off at school one day and I told her to not to pull away until I got to the front door—about a 100-yard dash—so that she could see how much faster I ran with my new shoes. I closed the car door, asked my mom if she was ready, and then tore off towards the school, leaving behind what I’m sure were burn marks on the ground and a trail of smoke. Those sneakers were powerful and I thought they made me better at, well, everything!
In Acts 17:24, Paul makes a startling case to the Athenians, stating that the God of Israel “does not live in temples made by man.” This raises the obvious question from the Athenians, I’m sure: “Then where, exactly, does your God live?” Paul gives something of an answer when he quotes one of their poets, saying, “In Him we live and move and have our being,” but we also know what Jesus taught; that after His ascension He would send another helper to be with us forever, “even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.” He then assures the disciples, “You know Him, for He dwells in you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
Up to this point, the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jews had to make a pilgrimage to the temple to be near the most Holy Place of God, where God Himself was thought to dwell. But when Jesus died on the Cross, the curtain that separated everyone from the presence of God was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). This tearing meant not only that people now had access to God in that they could enter the Most Holy Place, but it also meant that God could come out and dwell in the most beautiful of all the temples He created . . . you! “Or do you now know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Immanuel, God with us. It’s not just a name or title; it’s our reality. I pray you can start knowing that God dwells in you and wants to work through you. That, my friends, is a powerful idea.
Recalibrate: Do you believe that the Spirit of God already dwells in you? If not, why not? If so, what changes have come into your life, or what things have you done that you never thought possible because of His presence in your life?
Respond: Pray for even more of the Holy Spirit poured out into your life and the lives of those around you.
Research: Read Luke 11:5-13, praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
What type of confidence does it give you to know that God is with your child wherever they go? Make a list or a song and tell your child about all the places God is with them: the park, daycare, grandparents’ house, the grocery store, a friend’s house, the church, the doctor . . .
Where does God go with you? Ask your parents to make a list of all the places God goes with you and see if you can make a longer list than they can! Pray and thank Jesus today that no matter where you are in the whole world, in space, or hidden in the very best hide-and-seek spot, that He is there with you!
I was often told that my body is God’s temple when my parents were trying to stop me from a bad behavior. I often ended up associating this statement with negative feelings. How can you find peace and joy knowing God has chosen to live in you?