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Excerpt for Dearly Loved Exile by , available in its entirety at Smashwords







By Janell Mellish




















ISBN: 978-0-692-84354-3


COPYRIGHT © 2017 Janell Mellish


Cover Design: Chiara Pennella Edited by: Patricia Green

Published by: RWB Publishing


Also available in ebook publication PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dearly Loved Exile

A Journey to Find the Temple of the Most High

By Janell Mellish


Personal accounts throughout, are used with permission.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, resold, or distributed by or through any print or electronic medium without written permission from the publisher. This book is licensed solely for the personal and noncommercial use of the original authorized purchaser, subject to the terms of use under which it was purchased. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.


All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise marked, are taken from the New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc ™. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked ASV are from The American Standard Version. (Public Domain.) Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.




Contents

DEDICATION 1

ABOUT DEARLY LOVED EXILE 2

FOREWORD 9

PART ONE 11

YOU. 12

A TEMPLE BUILT BY A DIVINE DESIGN 36

EVERYTHING CAN BE TORN DOWN 58

COURAGE TO REBUILD WHAT WAS ONCE BEAUTIFUL .. 92 PART TWO 130

REBUILDING 132

TAKE IT TO THE ALTAR! 156

LAYING THE FOUNDATION 196

FINDING OUR STRENGTH 224

BETTER THAN BEFORE 238

WAIT AND WATCH 262

CELEBRATE THE VICTORY 276

AUTHOR’S NOTE 290

ABOUT JANELL MELLISH 294


DEDICATION












This book is dedicated to Charleigh Nicole Mellish

“All God’s grace in one little face”




ABOUT DEARLY LOVED EXILE


As a new day dawns, there remains an underlying truth for each of us to reconcile. Each of us faces the chance to doing everything by our own power, exactly right. We face the chance to find ourselves in the middle of tragedy, heartbreak and on occasion, stuck right in the epicenter of our own worst nightmare. Our world changes from a life of freedom to a life of captivity within our own soul in a mere instant. Not everyone understands what this looks like, but we all face the possibility that it could be us next time. Next time could be your time.

In this heart wrenching chronicle, the author shares her experience of finding her own soul after walking through tragedy. The hope she found was buried deep in the Old Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament is a portion of the Bible that is often overlooked, yet walks us through the turmoil, heartbreak and devastation the Israelite’s experienced as they watched their beloved temple ravaged. Their future was to become enslaved as a group of broken


exiles. A covenant with God meant meeting with Him in the temple, but it lay in ruin. It is through their 70 years of captivity and heartbreak that their level of devotion grew to a God that loved them beyond any earthly measure. A new sense of devotion and understanding emerged out of their disaster. That beautifully orchestrated, divine plan of provisions is the same truth the author discovered through her journey.

Janell will warm your heart no matter what season you are in as she walks you through the words of the Bible that bring hope, confidence, and an understanding to a love incomparable to anything you have ever known. She may not answer your questions of why, but she will reassure you that in the midst of the darkness there is a light that is waiting to reach into your soul and fill it with the beauty of the temple. Your heart is what God longs for. He has proven His dedication to you before. If you can find the courage to allow Him to fight for you while in your heartbreak, you will be amazed by His goodness, grace, and His unfailing love.


The Israelites remembered their temple. They remembered the beauty of what once was and they mourned their loss. A future without the temple seemed a wasteland. As we watch our own lives and everything we valiantly built in those lives fall apart; we remember. We remember our innocence that is lost. The only future possibility that stands confirmed is that there is absolutely no going back. As we genuinely offer our hearts to God, our exiled hearts begin to treasure once was and we find new hope for an even more loved and cherished future. Our temples begin to resemble more of a pleasant offering to God as our dedication grows and a sincere beauty emerges. This is the journey of the exile to find the temple.

You are the temple, dearly loved exile!

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR

DEARLY LOVED EXILE


In Dearly Loved Exile, a deeply personal acknowledgement of tragedy, Janell Mellish leads us on a journey toward embracing our captivity and brokenness. Most of us want to run away, hide, and find fault or justification in our circumstances. Janell help us see God’s purpose in all of it, and how He guides, not around the pain but through it. The book is inspirational and a true gift from God.

Shawna D.

I recently had the privilege of reading Dearly Loved Exile. I am honored that my feedback was solicited for this book. I believe the strongest part of the book for me was the way the author paralleled her own healing/rebuilding after tragedy with the Israelites healing and rebuilding. It allowed me to look at that period of history for the Jews in a different light and it was very helpful, beneficial for me. A few other things I liked were the author’s honesty, the use of Scripture and her vulnerability.

Laura W.




The book was amazing. I knew Janell and her family for a short time, she has a heart to minister to ALL. I believe this book will touch many lives who are hurt, broken, and worn out from circumstances they can't seem to get over. How she exposed her heart and her emotions are really remarkable. It takes a lot of guts to put it out there for the whole world to see. I have already recommended this book to a friend whose husband committed suicide, and she found him.

PastorJT



I like the weaving in and out of the two stories of captivity. There are many great insights. Janell is allowing others to benefit from her deepest pain, something most people hesitate to do.

Miriam C





I enjoyed the book and found the concept of looking at ourselves as Temples to be a different insight and also very powerful. There were a lot of things discussed in the Old Testament that were presented in a new and different way.

Brandon A.


Dearly Loved Exile is a must read! In a place of devastation, how does a soul find healing? How does a person reconcile a God who loves and a life that is broken? Janell gives a voice to the crushed soul and hope to the broken because… She has been there! Not only has she been there but she has also gone through the wilderness and is speaking from a place of victory! Her words strengthen the heart and call out to join her in what can be! Following God is rarely easy and pain is a part of the journey. But take heart, Dearly Loved Exile, reminds us that though we may feel exiled… the truth is, we are dearly loved!

Pastor KW



This book is a biblically sound book that lays out a practical way of turning Tragedy into Triumphant. It will bring you face to face with the hurts of life and reveal how to turn it into a victory of celebration of joy. Janell, shares her personal walk with God and how she and God got through such a great and difficult experience. I highly recommend it to all who have experienced a great tragedy in life, you will find a welcome friend as you read this book. And thank you Janell to be willing to open your wounds to share in your victory, God Bless this book!

Pastor John M.


FOREWORD


There are moments in each person’s life that alter the course of our life forever, and then there are the moments that change us forever.

Several years ago, I was blessed to have one of those forever moments when I met Janell Mellish.

I was standing in the lobby of a church when Janell walked over and we talked about the women’s boxing gym that she had recently opened in Cheyenne, Wyoming called Pink Gloves Boxing. She shared her warrior’s heart, drawing me into a conversation about how any workout can alter not only the figure but also the outlook and the life of the participant.

Janell is passionate about her love for God, her husband, and her two children. She is passionate about helping others to reach their full potential. This passion was tested to the limits, however, on a very ordinary morning when she was confronted with a moment that changed her forever.


A man stepped in front of her car on a major interstate in San Antonio and was killed. In that moment, her life, as she knew it, was also killed.

Dearly Loved Exile is Janell’s walk through that forever moment. We accompany her and glimpse the injuries, setbacks, and heartaches that she experienced. Nothing could have prepared me for the visceral reaction I had to the pain and truths she reveals in her book.

As with all things that have God's hand on them, the rays of light begin to shine again, and Janell starts the arduous task of rebuilding her life. First one stone and then another, and soon a Holy foundation is laid, and a temple of God’s making rises again, more beautiful than ever before.


Brad Enzi

Founder Leadership 3D







PART ONE


YOU





The Temple of the Most High

The most beautiful place on earth is highly debatable. Some would likely argue it is somewhere in the Caribbean ocean, with the crystal clear blue waters. Others might conclude that the most beautiful place is the Grand Canyon, where you can witness the results of the mighty hand of God. Or, maybe some would argue that it is Yellowstone National Park, amid wild animals that give evidence of the things God created in Genesis. Perhaps an ocean view with a spectacular sunset, or the enormous hills found through the peaceful Rocky Mountains with nothing else to quite compare to the grandiosity. Although these are some


of my personal favorite places to witness how big our God is, they still lack something. God’s Word tells me exactly the reason for this lack of ultimate fulfillment. When God created all these things in Genesis,

He saw that it was good. But then in Genesis 2:31, after creating man, He saw that it was very good. Places on earth witness about God, but people are His reflection. This explains why I would argue that the most fulfilling, awe inspiring, beautiful place I have ever been is with my grandparents. There seems to be a greater reflection of God shining brighter here than anywhere else. They understand life beyond anything else on earth. They have seen the atrocities of war, rebuilding of economies, the death of loved ones, burying of spouses, heartache incomparable to what I can’t even imagine, the beauty of a grandchild and so many other experiences that have built in them character that no book or school could teach. This knowledge is just a small reflection of God, yet it shines brighter than anything else on earth.

Recently, I stood beside my husband’s grandmother as she said her goodbyes to her husband


of 68 years. As he hung on to those last, precious moments, she spoke the words that every wife dreads to the man she loves. God designed the husband to be the head of the household, but there comes a time for some wives to let their leader go. As our dear grandmother encouraged him to run into the loving arms of his maker, she did it without breaking down. Somehow, her small 86-year-old body reflected a courage and strength that transcends human strength and understanding. Her beauty was more apparent than ever in those moments. In my eyes, she became the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Through her, there was an enormous amount of love that filled the room, as a reflection of God’s love. She became a living reflection of Jesus’s sacrificial, unselfish love. This supernatural love she demonstrated proves we have a God. It proves that we were never designed to live on our terms, or according to our own strength. At that moment, I realized that we truly can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength.

Grandpa’s last words came from a divine strength as well. His concern was not for himself, but


for his wife, and to make sure his Easter offering was taken care of (and to make it a little extra this year). His love for his wife and for God’s mission on this earth was greater than any selfish concern over the fear of death. Although his body was failing and his appearance weak, his beauty was greater than ever. This type of beauty surpasses anything this world could offer or give.

We spend our lifetimes building our character, whether intentional or not. Every lesson, each failure, every memory is used to build this body, mind, and spirit. We take the steps necessary to grow into people who have a more advanced understanding of this world just through experience. The deep creases and lines on our face and, perhaps for some of us, a head lacking the hair it once had, have a deeper meaning behind it. Perhaps it reflects heartbreak, or a sleepless night watching a precious newborn staring innocently back at you, or a tiresome week spent in a hospital watching a loved one fighting to live, or perhaps a knock on the door that changes your life. This shell that we see staring back at us in the mirror is what God said was


very good. At some point, instead of staring back at the reflection with pride we tend to look with a quick glimpse simply because we must. Somewhere along the way, we forget to appreciate the road we have walked. Why do we struggle to accept ourselves as what God made wasn’t only good, but very good?

The apostle Paul asked each of us in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you”? Again in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God?”. This word temple (Greek translation of naos) is the same word Jesus used when He was questioned by the Jews. They wanted to know what authority He had to demand them to stop exploiting each other under the name of proper worship in the “Naos, the temple.” He responds to their question in John 2:19 by saying:


Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple and you are


going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”


The same word “Naos” is used after Christ died on the cross in Mathew 27:51 (Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45). The verse(s) say that after Jesus had taken his last breath, the “curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Do you see a connection yet?

If we are a temple, then it’s important to stop for a second and distinguish the difference between a temple and a building. When Paul asked the people if they knew they were a temple, it meant something more in that day than it would to us today. I believe we often mistake this to mean simply a pretty important building. However, typically when we talk about a building, we are merely talking about a hard shell of materials used to enclose an area to be used as protection from the elements. In the Old Testament, a temple was a unique building containing a Holy place and the Holy of Holies. This is the place where the image of God dwelled in the Old Testament! This is also referred to as the “divine dwelling place and the


place of divine manifestation” by Helps-Word Studies. Strong’s Concordance refers to this part of the “temple where God himself resides.” We don’t have buildings like this today. Is it possible that we miss the true meaning when Paul tells us (believers) that we are the temples?

So, we must ask ourselves again, do you see yourself as a temple? Not just as a shell, but a place where the Creator of Heaven and Earth dwells? A place in which El Elyon (The Most High God), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah Shalom (The Lord is Peace) resides? Is this the place that Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is There) can be found?

When we base our worth on who we think we are, chances are most of us will lean towards an unsatisfactory rating. I’m not a believer of magic, but a magical thing happens to my soul when I think of myself not as a sinner who is always struggling, but as a temple of Adonai (My Lord, My Master). This body that typically feels like an empty shell suddenly becomes a living, breathing, reflection of our God. We


begin to grasp the fact that we were created in the image of God. This changes everything about what we do, how we treat ourselves, what we choose to do with our time…those mundane minutes become precious moments to draw closer to our God, to get a taste of our eternity as we serve Him wholeheartedly.

Is it no wonder why the Apostle Paul asked the question twice within several chapters, “Do you know your body is a temple of God?” I imagine if Paul roamed this earth today, and we brought our problems to him, his response would again be that question. As we devalue ourselves and struggle with addictions, sinful activities and unhealthy pursuits, I see Paul asking, “Don’t you know…?” with a confused look on his face. I can imagine myself explaining to Paul how unsatisfied I am with my body. I would sound like a broken record player going through all that I’m not without even allowing him a moment to ask if I realize that I am more than just that. Well, don’t we know?

Leaning on our own understanding of who we are, mere survival will be a challenge. Without understanding our purpose on this earth, we are left


without hope. We become lost in a selfish pursuit of finding the worldly promise of happiness that leads to chasing our own tails. If you let the world speak its truth into you, you are setting yourself up for a fall. If you rely on the worth that the appearance of your body will bring, prepare for disaster. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could convince your mind that your value is much higher than what you tend to believe?

On a recent trip from Salt Lake City, Utah to Great Falls, Montana during a cold February day I happened to notice the beatings that the concrete barriers through Salt Lake City took. You can see the black tire marks from where vehicles have made contact. Some tire marks appear to have left the ground to touch a part of the barrier. That seems to be impossible if the vehicle was traveling in the designed manner. About the time you forget about the evidence from an obvious horrible accident, you come upon another set of reminders something horrible happened at a different location. This is the view repeatedly throughout the hour-long trek on I-15 through the Salt Lake area.


If I could see the evidence of my own past, would it show the same evidence as the carnage on the interstate? How about you? There have been times that my heart felt comparable to the carnage left on the wall. Would your track record be similar?

Most likely, a good portion of these vehicles that hit the concrete barriers paid the price for someone else’s misfortune, bad driving or simple lack of paying attention. Through no fault of their own, they paid for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can assume one fact from the evidence left behind. At some point, these vehicles had some sort of help. People arrived to help them clean the mess, get medical attention and figure out how to move on. I know this to be true because there are no vehicles on the side of the road, nor any people sitting waiting for medical help, nor any other evidence that there was an accident there.

At some point, every accident was cleaned up. We can assume that some took longer than others. All that is left to testify of the accident are the marks left on the barrier. We can also deduce from the evidence,


some accidents were worse than others. Some can make you cringe thinking of what a vehicle had to do to make those kinds of marks.

If you don’t believe me, look at the concrete barriers next time you drive through a city. Pick any of them, and you will see the same evidence.

On that February day, as I drove through Utah, Idaho and finally Montana the weather continued to get worse and colder. By the time I was within an hour of Great Falls, I had come upon a single vehicle accident. Despite the weather, the roads were clear until you came to the point that the road circled around a great valley that follows the Missouri River. I was traveling along at 75 miles per hour and came upon a huge curve. As you entered the curve the road was completely clear, but as you turned the road became progressively icier until the road was completely covered with snow and ice. A truck that was probably a half hour ahead of me had probably thought the curve would be clear and so didn’t see a need to slow down. The same thoughts I had as I made the turn, but as he rounded the


corner, went into an inevitable slide that sent him straight into the concrete median.

Comparatively, many of our knocks come from a slow slide that sin sends us into. By the time we recognize what is happening, we are already feeling the collision.

Lucky for me, by the time I came upon the spot of the accident the First Responders were already there, slowing travelers down and warning drivers of the threat. As I rounded the turn and witnessed the smashed truck at the barrier, I was overly grateful for the warning.

How often this happens in our own lives. We are warned of danger, and sometimes we heed, while other times we don’t slow down and around the next turn we learn the hard way. It makes me think that maybe my life really is “a Highway,” like Tom Cochran sings about. A song, once an adult hit, became popular to little boys and girls around the world through the cartoon “Cars,” sung by Rascal Flatts. Particularly the part that says “Knock me down,


get back up again,” but a life with Jesus is why we can agree with the part that says,


There ain't no load that I can't hold Road so rough this I know

I'll be there when the light comes in Just tell 'em we're survivors”


I love traveling some of the country back roads in Montana and Wyoming seeing some of the old, abandoned farm houses, churches, and schools. It makes my mind wonder what used to be there. I can imagine the kids sitting in an old-school house, or the families working in the old barns. In the same manner, I have looked at myself in the mirror and remembered what used to be. Like many of you, I’ve wondered what will come when the innocence is lost. Being beat down by the world can lead to feeling like an old shack that used to be something beautiful. The innocence and simplicity of life seem to be gone.

There is an important distinction that must be made between a building and a temple. For the


Israelites in the Old Testament, the structure of a temple wasn’t what made it valuable. It wasn’t merely a building that they enjoyed being in. The difference was what dwelled inside those four walls of the temple; the presence of God. That mere fact made it critical to rebuilding the temple.

Often, we view ourselves as merely a structure. We would likely agree that our bodies are essential for survival. We all know that we need to take care of it to live long, healthy lives. However, when we allow ourselves to be continually beaten down and trampled by sin or by others, that may be symptomatic of viewing ourselves as a building instead of a temple. Many of us would agree and describe ourselves as resembling an old, abandoned house. That isn’t what Paul told us we are. That isn’t how God views us either. So, why it is that we allow the world to dictate our importance?

Happily-ever-after tales are hard for a lot of us to relate to. Our life often resembles something very different, leaving us jaded at the mere idea of a happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, the Guide to life


(the Bible) never says happily-ever-after either. I firmly believe the greatest lessons learned are those hard ones that we must struggle through.

The words that are laid out in front of you wouldn’t be attractive to those who lead perfect, comfortable, unchallenged lives. Which begs to answer the question, does that even exist? I’ve recently met a group of people that spent all their time trying to convince each other of their perfect lives. Yet, when looking at the whole picture, it was obvious things weren’t perfect. My life and openness about it absolutely freaked them out. In fact, the word they used for where I need to be to minister to others is in a clinic. As I’ve met more and more people along my path, I’ve realized that the world I walk in is a clinic of many broken hearts. For those people, often until their brokenness reaches a level deeper than the need for perfection, they will refuse to acknowledge anything different. On the contrary to allowing ourselves to become abandoned houses when Paul tells us we are temples, he doesn’t mean that we will be perfect either.


As we face the trials of our life, we long to have a story that we can relate to. We often look for someone else’s story to bring us hope. We want to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We want evidence to reassure us that God will bring us through. We want outlined steps to direct us how to get there.

It should be of no surprise that tucked in the middle of the Old Testament, we find such a story. Would you be surprised to hear that it is the beautiful story of the building, destruction, and rebuilding of the Temple? This story shines a light on how we can build ourselves to withstand the beatings of this world.

Here’s my disclaimer. This story isn’t a story without heartbreak. You will witness victory and beauty, and then you will see that all torn down. For this story to take root in your soul, you must remember that this is more than a fictional story. This is a real story. Not only is it true, but it is also part of our story. It is our story of why we can live in the freedom that we have. This story explains why we live differently


from those who don’t know our merciful, loving, and all-knowing, all-seeing Creator.

Perhaps you are reading this and do not believe in the Bible. My hope and prayer are that you may put this to the test.

This story, I have found, brings us hope that is incomparable to anything that this earth can offer. Not only does it offer hope, but also an example of courage to face the struggles and hardships of this world.

So many books and expert advice is centered on living a happy life, being the best you, and ultimate success. They lead us to believe that we can accomplish all that using our own will power. Unfortunately, we try this every day and discover that it’s just not how the world we live in works. We are never promised these qualities in describing our life. We are left to search for the strength to be the light of the world amongst the darkness. Through this journey something beautiful happens, we begin to discover a deeper meaning and purpose in this world.

Some people, even other Christ followers, will read that paragraph and not understand what I am


speaking of. I can’t explain that. I don’t know why some of us struggle so hard, while others skip through this life. These are usually the people that say things like, “can’t you just get over it?” or “one of these days you will forget about your struggle and focus on better things” or “just hand it over to God, what’s the problem.” The ignorance of some Christians is disheartening for me, and yet I still can’t explain it.

Christians can be shallow, naïve, judgmental and very hurtful to those amid struggle. Ultimately, this judgmental attitude reflects horribly upon the Christian faith to those standing on the outside.

If we were to view each other as the temples that we are to God, we would be more willing to walk through the fire with one another. We would love each other more, forgive easier, and be more strongly connected through the spirit. And yet, what we normally do is try to fix each other.

There was a period of my life that people either had all the wrong answers for me or they avoided me because of the circumstances of my life. It explains why we have a saying that we often use during a crisis,


that goes like this, “you’ll find out who you real friends are.” We say that because it holds so much truth. Social media reinforces this day after day to me.

This morning I saw a picture on Facebook of a horse stuck in mud up to its chest, exhausted from trying to get out it couldn’t hold its head up, so a lady had jumped in and was holding it for the horse until help arrived. This picture makes headlines because it doesn’t happen every day that someone would jump into the mud and keep a head above the mud. Yet this is precisely what a good friend will do. They will jump in with us and help hold us up until we get our strength back. We all know that it isn’t a fun or easy path by any means. When we walk it, we discover that it is a path with meaning. Only God can give us the strength to walk that path.

A pastor, whom I deeply admire, said in one of his latest sermons that “my job is not to coddle you but to help push you into the truth. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, but I sure can hold your head under the water until you change your mind.” While I know he wasn't being literal, I loved


that he was willing to step outside of his comfort zone to help someone else. Loving each other in this way is the hard way. This is the way that Jesus would have responded. Instead, out of our own discomfort, we often respond by turning a blind eye.

There’s a short story in the Bible that speaks of how Jesus stepped out to help others. This story is found in three books of the gospel (Matthew 12, Mark 3, and Luke 6). It is a story about a man with a shriveled hand. All three accounts point out that the Pharisees were watching Jesus to see if He would heal this man on the Sabbath. If Jesus did heal the man, it would give them a reason to accuse Jesus of a crime. Luke 8:8 tells us that Jesus knew what their intentions were before He did anything. To heal this man would mean giving these people a reason to plot to kill Him. Not helping this man would be the safe and easy way out for Jesus. Many of us today would likely pretend not to see the man out of our own selfishness. Instead, Jesus responds with this:


If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” Matthew 12:11-12


Jesus was making a point here about the Sabbath, but helping this man cost Him something, and it isn’t just a little something. In all three accounts, the story ends by telling us that the Pharisees leave to plot to kill Him. Jesus was telling us that helping others is worth the cost. Not just on the Sabbath, but every single day, every single time. Those around Jesus were focused on all the wrong things. It was easier to judge Jesus than it was to deal with a man with a shriveled hand.

Jesus saw a temple. They saw a shriveled hand. The account in Mark tells us how Jesus responded to their misdirected attention:


He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said


to the man, “stretch out your hand.”” Mark 3:5


That word distressed is translated in other translations of the Bible that Jesus was deeply saddened and grieved. Strong’s Concordance gives the definition of “being moved to grief by sympathy.” Can you imagine Jesus looking around Him and seeing the judgmental, disapproving faces around Him and being moved and deeply saddened?

I can imagine this. I know you can too. We have all seen it. I’ve experienced looking around me in my brokenness to perceive only judgment towards my lack of perfection at that moment. I must admit that I have likely been on the other end of it as well.

The point is that we can’t allow others around us to convince us that we aren’t worthy of help, or that our shriveled hand isn’t a problem in the first place. So many people walk around with a shriveled-up body (temple) lacking the spiritual nutrients needed to be healthy, yet claim to be completely holy, perfect, and sin free. We are instructed by the living Word of God


to deal with our problems. Take your shriveled hand to Jesus and find those spirit-fed friends that will jump in the mud to love you through it.

The story about the temple will help us learn to unveil our brokenness to the One Healer who can heal it. We will be privileged as we witness the character of God unveiled. We will see the steps to rebuild a broken soul. A temple will be rebuilt. We will understand the purpose of being rebuilt is that there may be light amid a broken world. There is a purpose for each of us, and time in this world to fulfill the great commission, so instead of fighting the pain, let’s see it rebuilt.

Let’s ask the question once more before we let God convince us of the Truth, “Don’t you know that you are a temple?”



A TEMPLE BUILT BY A DIVINE DESIGN




The Desert Tabernacle

I often wonder if the Israelites knew just how amazing the tabernacle was. Were they able to grasp the majestic beauty of it? They couldn’t have possibly understood the incredible story God was creating amidst their journey.

In the first four books of the Bible, we discover Moses’ incredible trek through the desert. This journey began after God freed the Israelite people from the harsh slavery of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Through trials and tribulations, God brought the people through the desert after 40 years. At the end of those 40 years, they are delivered directly to the land that had been promised to the generations before them.


If you have ever read Exodus, you’ll remember that a huge portion of the chapter is about the detailed instructions on how the Israelite people were to build their tabernacle. It was in this tabernacle that God would dwell with them. His Holy presence filled the tabernacle. When it was time for the Israelites to move, God would lead them with a cloud and fire. During the day a cloud would rise above the tabernacle, and at night a fire would rise above it. These elements would guide the people in the direction that God wanted them to go.

The story of the Israelites wandering in the desert is such an incredible story from start to finish. If you aren’t familiar or maybe haven’t read the story in a while, let me give you a quick reminder.

It all begins with an Israelite baby. In the time of this baby boy’s birth, the Egyptian Pharaoh demanded that all the Israelite baby boys be killed. This baby named Moses should have been killed. Instead, he was hidden in a basket, floated down the river and found by none other than the Pharaoh’s daughter. She adopted Moses, and he grew up in


Pharaoh’s house. Moses began to understand his situation and what his true heritage was as an Israelite. He witnessed the harsh treatment of his people by the Egyptians and eventually took matters into his own hands. In a moment of rage, he killed an Egyptian guard who was beating one of his people. Instead of thanking him, his people turned against him and sent him fleeing the country. This story, however, is far from over.

God eventually responds to the cries of anguish from the Israelite people. He calls Moses to lead them to freedom. At the time, Moses was 40 years old and so broken he questioned God. God appeared to Moses as a burning bush and yet Moses still questioned God. Moses used every excuse that we still use today as to why he couldn’t lead God’s people. You know, all the typical excuses like “I can’t,” “It’s too hard,” and “I don’t know how.” Isn’t it interesting how we claim to trust God to know more than we know, but when He calls us, we doubt the calling? We doubt our capabilities when it isn’t our abilities that we rely on, but His.


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(Pages 1-23 show above.)