Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and

choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Matthew 13:1-9

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:1-3

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit …. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:10-12, 17

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

In our day it is quite popular to approach caring for the needs of people in a “holistic” way. While this is a bit trendy, it really is the way to go. God cares about us as whole people and the Scriptures above show this very clearly. So, as we serve God’s kingdom it is very important that we take this into account as we seek to minister to other people. This is particularly true as we seek to be a blessing to succeeding generations in ways that both show and tell the reality of God’s presence, provision, and ways. The reason that this is particularly true for young people is that they are quite literally in a process of development of body, mind, and spirit. The Scriptures above speak to each of these three aspects of being and we must care about our young people on each of these levels if we are to be the blessing to them we are called to be.

The parable of the sower above talks about fertile soil. I wonder if caring for people as whole people and seeking to reach and help them on all levels will have much to do with how responsive they will be to us and the message of faith we seek to offer. I really do think so and we have a lot to learn concerning how to do this effectively in our culture today. Every generation needs a God orientation that leads to embracing the reality that we were meant to be a dwelling place for God. Remember, it is all about living fully for him and not the other way around. The one who lives fully for God let’s their body be a true temple of the Holy Spirit, experiences transformation through the daily renewal of their mind, and maintains a steadfast and willing spirit.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, that’s my prayer right now: I commit to letting my body be a true temple of the Holy Spirit; I commit to letting you transform me through the daily renewal of my mind; and I commit to maintaining a steadfast and willing spirit. I seek to do this for your glory, for my good, but also so that I am a true blessing to the next generation. Amen!