Saturday, August 5, 2023

Montana Reflections

What a joy to experience summer in Montana. Days filled with blue sky, mountains, good friends and family, precious fellowship as we share God's Word and highlights of our India Mission trip.  Even as fire season starts, and the mountains are obscured by smoke, we see the goodness of God. 

If you are in the area join us Sunday August 13th at 10:30 a.m.  as we minister at The Place Church, 273 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, Montana. 

Looking Back - Love and the Taj Mahal

On our way home from our recent India mission trip, Gary and I spent a couple nights in Delhi and visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal.  

Commissioned in 1631 by Shah Jahan, as a tomb and memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the world, especially its intricate marble and stonework.  Each year, over 3.3 million people from all over India and around the world visit the Taj Mahal.

I was captured by the story – a memorial to love. I was captivated by the detail that went into its construction: a perfectly symmetrical layout, pure Makrana marble hauled from Rajasthan, India, 231 miles by river barge and then on carts pulled by oxen or elephants.  The marble was intricately inlaid with precious stones, finials of pure gold topped every dome.

People are drawn to the Taj Mahal because of its beauty, because of the story. It’s a love story. I was struck by this thought: scripture says that we are the temple of the living God. It made me wonder – does the story of my life, does the beauty of my life, draw people?
That’s the challenge and privilege of having the spirit of almighty God live within us. To be a worthy representative of His great love; demonstrating the love that brought Him to earth to die for our sins.  

The prayer of Paul in Philippians chapter one contains a key to becoming all that Jesus destined and purposed us to be – His glorious church, a pure and holy temple:

I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase beyond measure, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. This will enable you to choose the most excellent way of all —becoming pure and without offense until the unveiling of Christ.  And you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness that are found in Jesus, the Anointed One—bringing great praise and glory to God! Philippians 1:9-11 TPT

When light shines from the inside the Taj Mahal, through the translucent marble, the radiant colors of the precious stones are revealed.  When the light of Jesus shines through us – His glory is revealed.

The Taj Mahal is a monument to love:   The one who built it is dead. The one he loved is dead. You and I are a living monument – a living memorial to love. Jesus is alive. We are alive because of Him.

Let’s make this our prayer today and every day: to grow in spiritual insight so that we will wisely chose the most excellent way of all as we follow Christ.

The Journey Continues ~ Pat