Romans 8:1-17 (NRSV)

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit  of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,  he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.   5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit  set their minds on the things of the Spirit.   6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit  is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,  since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit  is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ  from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through  his Spirit that dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers and sisters,  we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba!  Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness  with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.   

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NRSV)

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?   17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.   

DEVOTION -John Clendenien (Pennsylvania)

Years ago when I was a seminary student serving a church, I was approached by a 15-year-old boy who belonged to another congregation.  He wanted to know if it was all right to smoke.  I asked him, “What does your minister say?”  He answered, “That’s just it.  He tells me not to smoke but doesn’t give me a reason.”  We talked about how scripture proclaims that we are God’s temple and that he would have to decide whether or not he would destroy God’s temple by smoking.  Two weeks later he came to tell me that he had decided not to smoke.

Each day we are faced with decisions regarding our relationship to God.  These decisions may not be a physical issue such as smoking.  They may relate to our Christian stewardship, our relationship to others, or a similar issue.  The decisions we make determine whether we are building or destroying God’s temple.  “What would Jesus do?”  is a question for each od us to ask as we determine whether our decisions will destroy or honor God’s temple.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We support – or destroy – God’s temple by our daily decisions.

PRAYER:Dear God od mercy, give us guidance as we make decisions.  Amen.