"Holy Spirit Houses"
April 9, 2010
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Spirit Houses were one of the interesting features we saw on our mission trip to Thailand. They were positioned in prominent places in yards, homes, and businesses.
Our tour guide said they are set up to provide an appealing shelter for the spirits who were displaced because a family or business used their land. The spirits could either be good or bad and must be respected by the people around them. If they are not appeased, they can cause problems.
Every day, many Thai families offer incense to the spirits and ask them to protect their homes and businesses. Then they give their offerings of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They believe that part of the way of having security, prosperity, and a better future is to appease these spirits that are largely unknown.
When we visited a family that had been struck by the tsunami, I noticed they had a large spirit house in their living room. I wondered where those spirits were when the flood came and killed all the people. What did the victims do to deserve such tragedy? The answer is "nothing." The spirits couldn't help because they do not exist. But there is one Spirit who does. It is God's Holy Spirit.
Apart from Jesus, God's wrath burns against our sins. There is no offering we can bring to appease Him. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, and money are not enough. There is nothing we can do to merit the safety, compassion, and blessing that we desire. This is where the true God separates Himself from all the other gods of the world.
God, Himself, became one of us in the person of Jesus. He entered our world of trouble and lived a sinless life. He became God's offering for us when He died on the cross for our sins. There, He appeased God's anger and set us free. He bought us at a price -- His own death. He offers forgiveness and a better life to all who believe in Jesus.
We don't have to do anything for it. God's Spirit comes to us in His Word and causes us to believe in Jesus. God's Spirit is the only spirit and He is good, loving, and compassionate to all who love and trust Jesus.
Even after disasters like the tsunami, Jesus promises eternal life to His children. The waters that took victims out to sea cannot overpower the waters of Baptism where God gives believers a better, eternal life. God's Spirit gives us Jesus so we become one of His Spirit's houses, a temple where Jesus dwells. There, He makes us holy by His blood simply because He loves us.
THE PRAYER: O Lord, thank You for appeasing God's wrath through Your death and resurrection. Continue to send Your Spirit into my heart so that I always believe and trust in Jesus as my Savior. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion was written by Rev. Keith Ringers of Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in Elberta, Alabama. He and his wife, Diana, have done mission work in Thailand in connection with Lutheran Hour Ministries. Journey Into Light, LHM's ministry center in Bangkok, Thailand, shares the Gospel through Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), print, Internet, and Gospel text messaging.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.