Summary: Message about the importance of Prayer in the church and Jesus in the temple.
Note: The introduction I got from Jim Cymbala - Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, and other sources from years ago about importance of Prayer.
Title: Prayers of a Christian
Opening scripture James 4:6-8
James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray (Luke When you pray) you: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The Day Jesus got Mad – Mark 11:15-18
Do you remember the day that Jesus got mad? I mean rip roaring mad. Now you are probably like me and most Christians, I like to think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. You know putting his hands around the lamb on his shoulders and carrying him to safety.
Or what about the innocent baby in the manager.
I love the story of Jesus feeding the multitude with the fish and the bread. The Bible says that he had compassion on them.
Even the love he had when he died on the cross brings me to tears.
Or the resurrection, bursting out of the tomb and meeting with the disciples.
Yet there is one picture that seems to be out of place. It is so shocking you almost wonder why God put it in his Word. Oh not just once but twice. Once in John 2 and then here as we read from
Mark 11:15-18 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; (16) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. (17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (18) And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
The twelve disciples must have been as stunned as the crowd; notice nothing is said about them helping their master clean house. All by himself Jesus started pitching over the tables, blocking people who were carrying things, and saying,
“Get out of here with that! You can’t bring that through the courts.”
He stormed over to the merchants of oxen and sheep and doves, saying,
“Out! Get your business out of here!”
What happened to the loving Jesus? Anyone who gets that irate and physical surely must not be walking in the Spirit, right? But this was Jesus Christ. In fact, the first time he did this a couple of years before (John 2) he even made a whip out of cords. He was physically thrashing people out of the temple.
JUST DOING THEIR JOB
THE ODD THING ABOUT this event is that if Eyewitness News had interviewed any of the merchants that day, each would have vigorously defended the right to be there.
“We provide an essential service to the worshipers,” they would have said,
“How else are people going to get the required animal to sac¬rifice? If you live any distance away, you can’t be herding your sheep and cows through the streets of Jerusalem. We’ve got to help the program along....”
But, of course, they had added a gouging surcharge to the price. (“We got to make something.”)
Jesus is not terribly impressed with religious commercialism. He is concerned not only whether we’re doing God’s work, but also how and why we’re doing it.
The money changers would have said the same.
“Every¬body has to pay the temple tax, and people can’t be walking in here with Greek or Roman or Macedonian money. They’ve got to use the special coins minted here in Jerusalem. We help people with their currency problems.”
But once again, they were tacking on big-time profits. (“Man’s got to make a living.”)
Jesus is not terribly impressed with religious commercialism. Even for a good cause.
For all of us involved in preaching the gospel, performing music, publishing Christian materials, and all the rest, there is an uncomfortable message here: Jesus is not terribly impressed with religious commercialism. He is concerned not only whether we’re doing God’s work, but also how and why we’re doing it. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, his main questions for me will have to do not with the growth or the budget of the Clifton Church of God, but with why I pastored his church—in what spirit.