Think it on Sunday-Write It, Then Post It- The Power of Clean

Our sermon series on "Jesus Is...." continues. "Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple".  John 2:12-25.
These were my thoughts:

The temple was where the Presence of God dwelled in the Old Testament- pre- Jesus.  Once Jesus stepped into time, He became "the temple".  The Jews and Jewish leaders were staring into the face of God and didn't recognize Him.  Emmanuel-God with us- on earth.  His presence was living among them and they didn't even know it. 

Why was the cleansing of the temple such an important account?  What did the temple need to cleansed of?  The business men in the temple were trying to make the sacrifice for sins more convenient so they were selling animals inside the temple walls.  They were also profitting from the sales.  They were trying to make worship EASY, COMFORTABLE, and CONVENIENT.  This is why Jesus was angry. Sacrifice was never easy.  God had designed specific requirements to follow and He always required the shedding of blood from a perfect animal.  Jesus knew the requirement first hand because He came to earth to become THE sacrifice for sins.  His blood would soon flow to meet the ultimate requirement set by His Father to pay for the sins of all mankind-those who had been born before and for those who would be born after. Sacrifice wasn't pretty, nor was it comfortable. 

The people were so busy with their religious activity, that as the presence of God was in their midst, looking at them face to face, they didn't even recognize Him.  Jesus was angry with the moneychangers who were making a profit on the sacrificial animals, as well as, He was angry that the people were seeking an easy way out to satisfy the sacrificial requirements.  The Father's house of prayer had become a den of thieves.  Jesus' righteous anger caused Him to turn over the moneychangers' tables.

As soon as our pastor started preaching, the Spirit took me to the application of the "Cleansing of the Temple".  We who are believers are now the temple of God.  We are post death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and now we house the presence of God inside of us.  He is called the Holy Spirit.  We are what the New Testament calls The Church- God's presence in this world. Though we aren't required to sacrifice animals anymore, that doesn't mean that Christ doesn't require any sacrifice.  The sacrifice required now is the heart.  Our mind, our bodies, and our souls.  Romans 12:1 says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in the view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship."  WOW.  This is not easy, comfortable, or convenient, BUT nevertheless required. 

When I started thinking that God's temple is a house of prayer, it really clicked with me. To present the sacrifice that Christ requires, I have to be in a constant attitude of prayer.  Jesus said that His Father's house is to be a house of prayer. "Pray without ceasing", the Scriptures say. To be the temple of God, my mind and my spirit should be in constant communication with God's Spirit.  It is hard work to stay focused on Christ.  He says we are in a battle between the flesh and the spirit.  To choose Christ, I'm required to worship in spirit and in truth.  I'm required to take up my cross daily and be crucified with Christ.  That's not easy without the power of the Holy Spirit.  If I'm not listening and talking to Him without ceasing, then I'm losing the battle and the flesh is winning.  When sin creeps inside the "temple" walls, then the "temple" needs to be cleansed.  The Presence of God and sin do not mix.  Therefore, the "temple" has to be cleansed of sin routinely so as to keep our relationship with Christ maintained. Then we can present the image of Christ to the world that He desires.

What makes Christ angry today is when we harbor sin in His temple- our hearts- and try to please Him through easy, convenient, and comfortable shortcuts.  Through religious activities we think we are meeting the sacrificial requirements.  There are no shortcuts to God's requirements.  Only when I am a living sacrifice will this "temple" be righteous, holy, and pleasing to God!   

Let's ask ourselves these questions:  Aren't we doing the same thing today that the people of Jesus' day were doing?  Isn't the Presence of God right here among us-in His people- and we don't recognize Him?  Is this "temple" (our bodies) a den of thieves or a house of prayer?  What does Jesus need to "turn over" in my life to clean out His temple?

Use Psalm 51 to help prepare your heart for the cleansing.  Allow the Spirit full access to all areas of the temple and to allow the power of clean to flow in and through every nook and crany.  Ask Him to look deep within and then confess any sins that He brings to light in your mind. When a thorough cleansing of the temple is done, go forth and make His presence known! 

My Pleasure,