Jesus The Living Temple | Timothy "TA" Ateek

Timothy "TA" Ateek // Oct 10, 2023

You’ve probably heard “The church isn’t a place, it’s a people,” but do we actually live our lives like the Holy Spirit lives within us? This week, Timothy “TA” Ateek walks us through John 2:13-22 and shows us how God cares deeply for His temple, and sometimes that means clearing out distractions and sacrificing convenience so we can prioritize the Presence of God.

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What's up, Porch? How are we doing tonight? Hey, it's so good to see you. If this is your first time ever at The Porch, my name is Timothy Ateek. I'm one of the teaching pastors here at The Porch as well as on Sunday mornings. I'm so glad you made it. If this is your first time, I hope Tuesday nights feel like home quickly for you. There's a QR code that's going to go on the screen. We'd love to connect with you. If we can help make this place feel a little bit smaller and a little bit easier to connect at, then we would love to get in touch with you that way.

Also, I want to give a shout-out to several Porch.Live locations that are watching tonight in different parts of the nation. Say "Hello" to Porch.Live Scottsdale, and new to the mix, Porch.Live Atlanta and Porch.Live Daytona, which is awesome. Thank you for joining us. We are so glad you made it.

I want to start off tonight by sharing something with you that is a little bit embarrassing for me to share, but I'm going to do it anyway. I work from home a lot. Any message that I write, I write from a rocking chair in my bedroom. So, this is me basically all day. If you want to know how the magic happens, this is just me, writing away every day.

To my right, right next to my rocking chair, is this lampstand. It's a big circle with edges on it, so it kind of catches a bunch of clutter. I was looking at it today, and I realized just how much junk had piled up on the table that I look at every single day. Every single day, I sit down, and this is what is next to me. I pulled a bunch of things that have been sitting next to me for a long time.

This is a bag of pretzels from an American Airlines flight, which was just on the table. This is some dental floss. Here's what you need to know: I floss with a passion. I love flossing. It brings me pride when I go to the dentist, and they're like, "Do you floss?" I'm like, "Thank you so much for asking. Let me change your life. Do I floss? I'm passionate about flossing. I floss all day, every day."

But here's what you need to know. I don't use this floss because I'm a particular person. I use this floss, which is also on the table, so I have floss that is no longer in use. Anyone want this floss? Yeah, right there. There you go. Knock yourself out. It's not any good. You're going to find that out quickly, because you want to use Glide. We're sponsored here at The Porch by Glide dental floss. You should check that out.

Also, I have a prescription I don't use. I have an inhaler I don't use. Anyone want a…? No. We're not doing that. I have a $2 bill that one of my kids gave me because he was paying me back for something I think he bought online. He gave me a $2 bill to pay for it with. I have a copy of a DVD of a movie that Watermark produced years ago. It's a modern telling of the life of Joseph. Check that out. I have a medal that a friend gave me. Those are just a few of the things that sit next to me every day.

I realized those things don't belong there. What has happened is I dropped them there at some point, thinking, "They'll just be there temporarily," and they've landed there permanently. They've found a home, and now I just act like they belong there. So, here's what I want you to do. Some of you guys are neat freaks. You're OCD, and you're freaking out right now. Just the thought of this… You're like, "Please let me come over to your house and deal with that table."

But some of you… Here's what I want you to do. I want you to go and get in your car tonight and just look around. Look in the back seat. Look in the trunk at the stuff that has just made itself at home. Then I want you to go home to your apartment, and I want you to look around the kitchen, and then I want you to look at your room, and here's what I want you to do. I want you to find the things that have found a home that don't belong, and then I want you to post about it and tag us so we can see all of the things in your life that have shown up that just don't belong.

The reason I tell you that is because we are stepping back into our series tonight on the gospel of John, and as we look at John, chapter 2, what we are going to see is Jesus Christ is going to step into the temple, the house of God, and he's going to notice some things that have made themselves at home that just don't belong in the house of God, so he is going to bat cleanup, and he is going to do something about the different things that have made themselves at home but shouldn't have.

So, if you have a Bible, I want you to join me in John, chapter 2. The reason this passage is so important is, as we look at what Jesus deals with in the house of God, what it's going to prompt us to do is identify the things in the church and at The Porch that might have made themselves at home but shouldn't have, and then it's going to require us to look internally at our own lives individually and ask the question, "What doesn't belong here? What in my life needs to be cleaned out?"

Some of you guys are going to feel like this message is familiar. It's because I gave this message at Awaken just a little over a year ago. I debated whether to skip over this passage, and I just sensed that God had us here, that this is a message for the people of God tonight, that God wants to do something in this place with this group of people, not just here in Dallas but in every place where people are watching online. So, here we go. John, chapter 2. Let me read you verses 13-17 so you get an idea of what's going on.

"The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, 'Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.' His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will consume me.'"

This is a story that if you're familiar with Dude Perfect and you're familiar with the Rage Monster on Dude Perfect… Jesus basically goes Rage Monster in the temple. He shows up and sees a bunch of things that drive him crazy, and he does something about it. Now, this is just a good rule to live by. Anytime you are reading the Bible and you see Jesus express strong emotion…if you see Jesus weep, if you see Jesus express deep compassion, or if you see Jesus angry…take notice of it, because what you are seeing is what Jesus Christ's heart beats for.

The fact that Jesus gets very angry should tell us we should clue into what angers Jesus, because what angers Jesus should anger us. That's a really interesting day when what angers Jesus actually is completely comfortable for us. We never want to be in that place. So, here's what we're seeing in this passage. What we see is that Jesus cares deeply about the temple, and because Jesus cares deeply about the temple, so should we.

Some of y'all are like, "I have no clue what you're talking about. What in the world do you mean that we should care deeply about the temple?" Well, I want you to track with me, because it actually is going to be very meaningful if you'll follow me and understand what we're talking about. When we talk about the temple, what you need to understand is the temple is a theme from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible.

The temple is synonymous with the presence of God. For example, all the way back at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis, the garden of Eden was known as the garden temple. It's where God walked face-to-face with the first human beings, but then sin entered the picture, and man no longer got to relate to God by sight. Man had to begin to relate to God by faith, yet God didn't abandon his plan to be present with his people.

What you see is God brings the nation of Israel out of Egypt, and he tells them to build a tabernacle, which was a temporary housing structure for his presence. God tells this to Moses in Exodus 25:8: "And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst." So, in Genesis, in the garden temple, God's message to the first human beings is "I'm here." He brings them out of Egypt. He says, "I want you to build a tabernacle." They build the tabernacle, the presence of God fills the tabernacle, and God's communication to the nation of Israel is "I'm here."

Then to Solomon… Solomon builds the temple, which was a permanent structure for God. First Kings 8:10-11 says, "And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord." So, when I tell you that we should care about the temple, what I'm really telling you to do is to care about the presence of God.

So, Jesus shows up, and he cleanses the temple. What's interesting is in the book of Mark, which is a different telling of this story… It says this in Mark 11:17: "And he was teaching them and saying to them, 'Is it not written, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations"? But you have made it a den of robbers.'"

If you're tuned out, tune in. Here's the point. I told you that Jesus cared deeply about the temple and so should we. What was the temple? The temple was the place where the presence of God resided. The nation of Israel would come to the temple to meet with God. Jesus said the temple should be a house of prayer. Why? Because the nation of Israel draws near to meet with God, to connect to God, to pray to God.

We find out a little bit more information in verse 13 of chapter 2. It says, "The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." Follow me on this. What's Passover? Passover was a nationwide holiday where the entire nation… People would come to Jerusalem to remember what God had done in delivering them from slavery to Egypt. It's said that at Passover, the city of Jerusalem would swell to about 250,000 people.

So, I really want you to have a picture of what's going on here. There are people coming from all over the place. They are descending upon Jerusalem. They are coming to the temple, the house of God, the place where the presence of God is said to reside. The temple is to be a house of prayer.What you should picture is this moment where there's this massive gathering. It's like a conference. It's like going to Passion or coming to Awaken or Launch.

People are showing up or should be showing up expectant, like, "Man, we're getting together. The people of God are going to rally. We're going to come together. We're going to worship. We're going to meet with God." People are going to leave saying, "I was so wrecked at Passover this year," and people are going to be posting a bunch of fire emojis. It's supposed to be one of those experiences where people come and meet with God.

Yet look at what Jesus finds. Verse 14: "In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there." I don't know what you expect when you show up to Awaken or Passion Conference. I don't know if you expect to see farm animals there or not, but Jesus shows up to the temple, and inside the house of God there are sheep and oxen. There are pigeons flying around. There are money-changers.

You need to understand why these people are there. The animals are there because people would be coming to make a sacrifice to God. Sheep or oxen or pigeons were animals that would be used in sacrifice to God, which was an act of worship. People are coming from all over the Roman Empire.

So, instead of people having to drag a sheep halfway across the Roman Empire, what you have is you have the leaders in the temple who are like, "You know what? Let us make it a lot easier on you. It's not BYOO. We've got you covered. We'll have oxen here. You can just show up. You can pay for one, and it will make it a lot more convenient for you."

The deal with the money-changers is there was a temple tax that required a certain currency. You have people coming from all over the Roman Empire, and there are different currencies. So, what the leaders of the temple are doing is they're saying, "Look. We're putting money-changers there, because there's only one currency that's accepted, so we want to make it as convenient as possible for you to get the right currency in order to worship God."

Look at what happens in verses 15-16. "And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple…" I love that phrase right there. He made a whip. Like, on the spot. I don't know what he used. I don't know if he was sitting there like, "Just wait till I finish making this whip." I don't know where he got it from, what he made it with. It's pretty impressive. It's kind of a baller move to just make a whip like that, and it works.

"…he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, 'Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.'" Jesus gets extremely angry, and he deals with everything going on in the temple. Why?

The issue isn't what they were doing. I want you to hear this. The temple leaders were offering a nice service. The fact that you don't have to drag your animal across the Roman Empire…that's helpful. The fact that there's somebody who can exchange money to get the right currency…that's a helpful thing. The issue isn't what they were doing; the issue is where they were doing it.

It would be like me setting something up here onstage. Like, if you wanted to give money to the church, it's like, "You know what? We'll just set up a credit card station right here onstage. At any point in the service, you can just come up whenever you want." It would be weird. The issue is where they were doing it. Let me ask you… Has anyone here ever chosen to go and do your quiet time at Walmart on Black Friday? No?

Anyone do your quiet times at petting zoos? Anyone taking your Bible to the state fair, not to share the gospel with people but just to connect with Jesus? You're like, "You know what? Eating this fried Oreo…that's where I connect with Jesus." No. Why? It's not the right place. Can you connect with God anywhere? Sure. He's omnipresent. He's everywhere. At the same time, there are places that are more conducive to meeting with God than others.

The issue isn't what these people were doing; the issue is where they were doing it. The temple was the place where you were to come to meet with God. D.A. Carson, who wrote the leading commentary on the gospel of John, wrote, "Instead of solemn dignity and the murmur of prayer, there is the bellowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep. Instead of brokenness and contrition, holy adoration, and prolonged petition, there is noisy commerce."

What's the point? This was a generation that placed no value on the presence of God. Do you know what's interesting? I hope you don't miss this. At this particular time, the presence of God has departed from the temple, and it is just business as usual for people. The presence of God has departed, yet 250,000 people are coming to Jerusalem and leaving thinking everything is good.

I wonder if that could ever be true of The Porch, that we can come in here, and the band can sing some great songs, and we have a bunch of nice equipment that can make it sound really good. We can fill up this place if 2,000 people show up, and I can put together a message that is fairly coherent, and it'll have some points, and you might laugh at a moment or two along the way.

You could leave, and because a couple thousand people showed up, we could all be like, "Man! That was incredible. The Porch… It was awesome. God showed up," and all along, God wasn't doing anything. Would we know it if God didn't show up? Would we know it? We want to be a place that if the Spirit of God didn't show up and move, we would get on our faces and beg him to come in a new and fresh way, that we wouldn't be content to just show up, sing songs, listen to a message, and leave, having never met with God.

So, the first point was Jesus cares deeply about the temple and so should we. If you're tracking with me, you might still be like, "I think I'm tracking with you because the temple is about the presence of God, but I'm still not completely following you on why you're using the language that we should care about the temple. Why aren't you just saying we should care about the presence of God?" No, we should care about the temple. Why do I say that? Well, look at what Jesus goes on and says in verse 18.

"So the Jews said to him, 'What sign do you show us for doing these things?' Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken."

Don't miss this. Again, I'm telling you Jesus cared deeply about the temple and so should we. Jesus now is saying the temple has moved from a building to a body. So, when Jesus shows up… Not only was God declaring in the garden temple in Genesis, "I'm here"; not only when he showed up in the tabernacle was God declaring, "I'm here"; not only when Solomon built the temple God was declaring, "I'm here"; when Jesus Christ, Immanuel (which means God with us), showed up, Jesus was declaring, "I am here."

The God of the universe in the person of Jesus Christ is declaring, "I am a God who is committed to being present with my people." What's interesting is in the building temple, priests would take an animal once a year, slaughter it, take the blood, and sprinkle it on the altar as a way of making atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. They would do this once a year.

When Jesus declares that the temple has moved from a building to a body, it's as if he's saying, "Yeah, the sacrificial system doesn't exactly work like that anymore, because instead of the blood of a lamb being shed, it's going to be the Lamb of God whose blood will be shed." Jesus Christ's body was broken, and his blood was shed. He has offered himself once and for all. He has made payment for all of your sins and all of my sins. He is the temple that was resurrected on the third day as a demonstration that our sin could not keep him down and death could not win. Jesus conquered the grave for you and me.

Now watch this. If you're tracking with me, what's the point? Jesus cared deeply about the temple and so should we. Hopefully you're getting a little bit more clarity. The temple has moved from a building to a body. That makes sense. We should care about the temple because Jesus just called himself the temple, but after he rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven. So what happens then?

Why do we still care about the temple if Jesus' physical body is no longer present on the earth? Well, here it is. I hope you don't miss this. If you want to know why you should care about the temple, listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians, chapter 3, to a group of people in a church in the city of Corinth. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" So, let's put it all together.

Garden temple: "I'm here." Tabernacle: "I'm here." Temple: "I'm here." Person of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us: "I'm here." Jesus ascends into heaven and sends the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God fills the people of God, collectively, declaring, "I'm here. I'm not just with you; I'm actually in you." In 1 Corinthians, chapter 3, when he says, "Do you not know that you are God's temple?" that you in the Greek is plural. He's talking about the people of God collectively. So, we are the temple collectively.

I have mentioned it before. It drives some of y'all crazy when I mention it. I went to Texas A&M University. That's just the reality. I know several of y'all did. At Texas A&M, the fan base, the student body, is known as the 12th Man. If you don't like A&M, it's okay. We don't have to divide over it. It's okay. It's not my fault that you didn't go there. That's on you. No, I'm just joking. I'm just joking. I'm just making an illustration here. Please come back.

The student body at Texas A&M University is known as the 12th Man. Do you want to know why it's called the 12th Man? It's because in A&M's history, there was one guy whose name was E. King Gill. One day, in a game, he was called to go in from the stands. From that day on, the tradition is now that the student body all stands as the 12th man ready to go into the game. I hope they would never put me in, honestly.

The reason I tell you that is the 12th man went from a person to a people. The same is true in such a more significant way that the temple went from a person, Jesus Christ, to a people, the body of Christ, the church. That's a big deal. Are y'all with me tonight? I just need to know. Okay. I just want to make sure, because what I'm about to talk to y'all about is…

Here's what I want you to know. I believe God wants to do a significant work in your generation. I really believe that. I believe God is pouring gasoline on a fire for your generation, and he wants to use you to take the gospel to different places. God is going to transform people's lives, and he's going to give you the privilege of being a part of what he's doing, but it requires us to have good theology when it comes to who we are as the people of God, as the temple.

The question we should ask is…If Jesus Christ were to walk into The Porch tonight, is there anything he would see that has made itself at home at The Porch that just doesn't belong here? Is there anything that Jesus would see in this room…? I'm not talking about a person; I'm talking about activity that Jesus would see and drive out. Here's what we need to be careful of. In John, chapter 2, the temple leaders prioritized convenience and attendance.

They prioritized convenience. That's why they put the animals and the money-changers in the place of worship. If we're not careful, we will prioritize convenience. It's like, "You know what? I'll go to church when I can go to church." So, maybe we make it once a month or twice a month. We're busy. We're traveling a lot. Sometimes it just feels better to wake up on Sundays and go to brunch. Tuesday nights… We're busy people. So, if we're not careful, we'll prioritize convenience.

There's this belief now that "You know what? I don't need to go and gather with the people of God. I can stream anything I want from wherever I want. I can podcast whoever I want. I can curate my own little personal worship service with the people I like best. I can just do that. I can do it on the treadmill or when I'm driving in my car. I can meet with God. I can have my own little worship service wherever I want."

That's true. You can meet with God individually wherever you want, but let's be clear. You sitting and listening to a podcast by yourself is a terrible replacement for gathering with the people of God. Why? Because we, collectively, are the temple of God. I tell you that just to say I was listening to a church consultant, and what the church consultant said was, "We are headed toward on-demand surpassing live events."

His point was "We are moving toward a point where people attending church online is going to surpass people attending in person." His point, as a church consultant, was "If your church doesn't get on board, good luck. Your church is on a slow decline." I just reject that. I'm going to ask you to reject it too. You cannot replace gathering with the people of God. Look around. What a privilege that there are thousands of young adults. We can gather together, and we can meet with God together.

Do you know what stats say about your generation? Your generation, according to statistics, has the shortest attention span…eight seconds. So, do you know what people are saying? "You know what? We need to make sermons shorter and shorter because we need to make sermons more and more convenient for people with shorter attention spans." I just reject that as well.

It's not that I want to talk for forever. I have a tendency to talk for a long time, but my point is I refuse to sit here and just feed you appetizers when we have a steak right here. I tell you that to say I refuse to water things down for you. I refuse to sit here and give you small portions when I believe your soul is hungry for a feast. So, let me encourage you. Would you lean in and reject convenience?

If we're not careful, our tendency will be to prioritize attendance. It's just that we're here. So, we can show up and just go through the motions and sing songs without actually engaging or, during the talk, we kind of are half listening, half texting with our friends. I would say if God wants to speak to you, position yourself in a place where you're ready to hear from him. I don't care about you hearing from me. I do want you to meet with God.

Then our tendency might be to prioritize our preferences. We have the privilege of living in a city where there are a bunch of different churches. That is not the luxury everyone in this world has. There are people in countries where to gather together with others is illegal, so let's not take it for granted that we can gather together. Let me encourage you. Pick a place and invest. Don't jump from church to church to church, and when there's one thing that bothers you, you bail and go somewhere else.

There is no perfect church because every church is full of imperfect people, including you. I tell you that not to slap you in the face but to say I'm one of those imperfect people too. The reason Watermark is imperfect is because I'm here. That's okay. That's the beauty of the body of Christ, that we can gather together, as imperfect people, and we can all enjoy the grace of God together. Just pick a place and plant yourself there.

I just want you to imagine. Imagine with me. Imagine what Tuesday nights would be like every Tuesday night if every person, the minute they walked through those doors, was positioning their heart, saying, "God is here, and I will meet with him. I don't want this thing to distract me. I don't want her to distract me. I don't want him… He's nice, but I don't want him to distract me. I'll talk to him afterward. God is here, and I want to meet with him."

Just imagine what would happen in this place if we all came in here, and when we began to sing, we were singing with all of our hearts to God. When we opened up this book, the Word of God, we listened to it as if God was speaking to us. Imagine how different we would be tonight and tomorrow morning. Imagine the healing that would take place in the hurting places of our hearts. We would be a different people. This would be a different place. Our apartment complexes would be different places because God is doing a work in us.

But it doesn't stop there. I'll show you one more cool thing. I'm telling you, Jesus cared deeply about the temple and so should we. Why? Because we are the temple collectively, but not just that. Paul then says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Or do you not 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."

The temple moved from building to a body. That's Jesus. Then Jesus ascended into heaven, and he sent his Spirit. The Spirit of God has filled the people of God collectively, so we are the temple of God collectively. But do you know what Paul just told us? We are the temple of God individually. I don't know if you think about things like that, but I just want you to think. When you wake up tomorrow…

If you know Jesus Christ, if you have put your trust in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God… Your body is a house for the living God. He actually lives inside of you, which is crazy to think about. I've used this illustration before, but it seems fitting because we're talking about our lives, our persons, being houses for the Spirit of God. What you need to figure out is whether you are expecting the Spirit of God to rent or to own.

The Ateeks know what it's like to rent. There are a lot of you who are renting right now. When you rent, that place is not yours to do with it what you want. Some of you act like it's yours to do what you want, and you're not going to get your deposit back. Good luck with that. We've rented before, and when we've rented, whatever the color of paint on the wall was, that's the color we got.

In the last house we rented, the layout was not what we would have wanted. If it was our house, we would have knocked out multiple walls. We would have shifted things around. We would have taken the ugly wood paneling and done away with it. We would have made that house something really special, but it wasn't ours to do with it what we wanted.

Then we've owned different houses, as a married couple, along the way. We owned a house in Austin, then in Waco, then in College Station, and now here in Dallas we own a home. My wife loves to decorate. That's kind of her thing. So, she's constantly asking me, "What do you think about this?" And that is not my thing at all, so I'm like, "What do you think? Do you like it? Then I love it. That's great." She has complete freedom to make the house what she wants it to be.

So, if your life, if your person, if your body is a house for the living God, are you expecting the Spirit of God to rent or to own? Are you expecting him to rent, where it's like, "You know what? I'm glad you live in me, and the reason you live in me is because I have put my faith in Jesus Christ who is going to get me into heaven one day.

I'm so thankful he saved me, and I'm glad, I guess, that you live in me, but just don't touch anything in my life, because I kind of have things where I want them. I kind of like the paint that's on the walls, and I like the layout of the house. I like doing what I'm doing in my dating relationships. I kind of like how I'm quiet quitting at work. I kind of like the way I am spending way more money than I actually make. I like doing what I'm doing, and I don't want you jacking with any of it. So you can rent."

Or are you in a place where you say, "You can own. It's yours to do with what you want. You can reconfigure. You can remodel. You can tear down. You can expand. You can do whatever you want whenever you want to do it, because I exist for you; you don't exist for me." Think of the godliest person you know. Who is it? Who's the godliest person you know? For me, I think about friends like Brian Fisher or Gregg Matte or Ben Stuart or Reese Graves, a guy who discipled me in college. These are some of the godliest people I know.

Do you know what makes them godly? It's not because they have these cute little sayings from time to time. It's because at some point in their lives, they all came to a place where they said, "You can own it. You can own the house of my life. If my life is a temple, it's yours." Then they've continued to do that every single day. The result has been they have lived lives of worship to God.

So, how do we respond to a message like this? Well, let me just encourage you, and then I'll wrap it up. If we are the temple of God collectively, let's lean in together. Let's meet with God together. Let me encourage you. When you come to church on Sunday morning or you come back to The Porch next Tuesday night, the minute you walk through those doors, begin believing, "God is here, and I am going to meet with him. Let's meet with God together."

Then, if we are the temple of God individually, it's just a good question to ask yourself. Is there anything in your life that has made itself at home that just doesn't fit? What's the pretzels from American Airlines in your life, that you're like, "What is that doing there? As a follower of Jesus Christ, this makes no sense in my life"? What is that? If something comes to mind, then invite Jesus' ownership into that area of your life.

When I say that Jesus cared deeply about the temple; therefore, so should we, all I'm saying is this: may the presence of God be precious to his people. Do you know what the good news is? When Jesus drove out the animals and the money-changers from the temple, it was an act of judgment, but it was also an act of mercy. Why? Because he cleaned the house so it could become a place of worship again.

That's what Jesus has done for us. When he went to the cross, he was making a way. He was dealing with all of the sin that prevented us from living true lives of worship to God. Through his body being broken and his blood being shed, he has made a way for those who are sinful in God's sight to be made right with him. So, if you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, my hope and prayer is that you would know him tonight. May we be a people who find the presence of God to be precious. Let's pray together.

Lord Jesus, would you come and move in our lives right now? I thank you, God, that you are here and you want to meet with us.

Friends, if you're listening to this, and you've gone for all hour and 30 minutes of tonight and have not connected with God yet, it's not too late. You can still meet with God tonight. As we sing a response song, you can meet with God tonight. In this moment, you can meet with God tonight. If you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you can begin a relationship with Jesus Christ right now. Take a step. Let's do business with the Lord. Let's respond to him.

Thank you, God, that you are a God who's committed to being present with your people. I thank you, in the book of Revelation, when you make all things new, what is coming is a day when the dwelling place of God will be with man. We will spend all of eternity in your presence because you are a God who is present with your people. May your presence be precious to us. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.