it seems many are mainly concerned with what the bottom line is - what will bring the people in - and what will pay the bills? As a result of this, many churches are remembered as, “oh, that’s the church that holds the great brunch during the fair”, or “that’s the church that has a real fun carnival,” instead of, “that’s where you can hear a good gospel sermon and it’s people are devoted to God’s Word.” At a voter’s meeting, members are more concerned with the financial report than they are the spiritual welfare of the church. Was that God’s purpose for the church? It also seems that people are so concerned with getting visitors in - that they will be willing to do anything. If Jayna wants a church that plays rock and roll - then we’ll sing “I wanna rock and roll all night” for our opening hymn. If Jim wants grandpa to be remembered for his card playing, then we’ll talk about card playing at his funeral. If the kids want to use Doritos and soda for the Lord’s Supper, then we’ll do it! Never once do people stop and consider, “is this respectful? Is this giving glory and honor to God?” Hardly ever do you see people become angry because of the lack of reverence for God in a worship service! Instead, we often are afraid to speak up for the glory and majesty of God!
Let’s get closer to home. How do you evaluate your worship? After returning home from church on Sunday morning, do you ever find yourself saying, “I didn’t like that service. None of the hymns were my favorites. There was so much baby noise I could hardly concentrate. The pastor’s sermon was way too long. And, my goodness, I wonder whether the organist was wearing mittens”? Who’s at the center of that view of worship? I am. What I think of worship is what counts. That’s the attitude toward worship that Jesus condemned in ancient Jerusalem and still condemns today. Instead of asking, “what’s in it for me?”, it would be better to ask, “did that worship service glorify God? Did it help me to get a stronger hold on God’s grace?” Could it be that Jesus needs to overturn our hearts and set us straight on what is really important? That’s why Jesus was so angry with what was happening in the temple. It wasn’t giving glory to God in GOD’S house.

II. For our salvation

Earlier I painted politicians as being wishy washy. This isn’t always the case. There are occasions where politicians take a very strong and clear stand against something. This isn’t always the case, but sometimes - maybe he is getting paid by a special interest group to have a certain law pass. So he has a secret purpose for doing something - which is then called a “hidden agenda.” Jesus said what he said and did what he did because He had a great zeal for His Father’s honor. But this wasn’t the only reason he lashed out at the money changers and cattle salesmen. Jesus had what we might call a “hidden agenda” in cleaning out the temple. But it wasn’t for a devious or self centered purpose