I grew up in a family where there was a lot of love, and that included hearing how much Jesus loved me. My parents never taught me how to be naughty, but I seemed to be pretty good at it anyway! I knew how to lie, take money from my mother’s purse, get others to buy cigarettes for me, do a bit of shop lifting – and I was doing that as an 8 year old! I knew how naughty I could be. If my parents only knew, they would have been so disappointed. If God only knew … but he did!
Then came change! Just before I was 9, our family moved to a small village in the north of England for a year. It was a new experience - a small village school, a small chapel and many new friends. I loved it. There were some special meetings at the village chapel our family attended and I realised I needed some big help with my “naughtiness.” I knew Jesus had taken my punishment and I needed to walk on the right path in life.
And so began my Christian life.
Almost 50 years later I was in the same area and decided to visit the village. What had happened in the intervening years? What had happened to the village school, the chapel and other haunts? The village had gone up market. The chapel had been converted to a home.
Earlier that morning I had read “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen…. therefore stand in awe of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5.1 and 7) I had reflected on how essential it is to keep a daily walk with God through life and to constantly watch how I walk each day with God. As a Christian we are a house of God because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Daily, I need to guard my steps.
And now, here I was in front of what had been the village chapel and it was no longer a house of God. Overtime changes had taken place and now it housed other things. To me it was a vivid lesson of the verses I had been reading in the morning. How important for me to daily guard my steps and be the person God wants me to be.
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. Therefore honour God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6.19-20)