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We should not put our trust or find our security in possessions. We should be rich towards God, and generous with our wealth. We should not be complicit in oppressing the poor by our shopping habits. God is not against us having money, but wants us to use wealth for his glory and his kingdom.
The temple, or sanctuary, is where God’s presence is. Jesus is the ultimate temple of God. The church corporately is also God’s temple, as are our individual bodies. Ananias and Sapphira (in Acts 5) and Simon the sorcerer (in Acts 8) are examples where people had to be dealt with harshly by God because they were in effect destroying God’s temple.
Jesus doesn’t say “I will resurrect you and I will give you life” but “I am the resurrection and the life”. He wants to invade our lives now, not just in the future, so that we experience the resurrection and the life today.
Joseph’s brothers have been living with the guilt and shame of what they did to him, and God uses him to bring them to repentance. Jacob thinks everything is against him because he is walking by sight not by faith.
When taking the gospel to people from different cultures, we need to understand whether they come from an “innocence/guilt” culture, an “honour/shame” culture or a “fear/power” culture. We need to be careful of reading “honour/shame” passages in the Bible as “innocence/guilt” passages.
Ruth, a widow from the despised people of Moab, is embraced by the covenant love of God. She finds hope and a future through Boaz her kinsman-redeemer. Jesus is the ultimate redeemer: let us enjoy his wonderful love and faithfulness and extend his heart to the vulnerable.