Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cleaning Out Your Temple For God

   Today, we will look at the verses of John 2:12-25.  John 2:12-25 says, "After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."
   As we can see, Jesus was very angry at the merchants and sellers in this passage. They had turned the church into a market place. Jesus knew that God's house was a place for worship and focus upon the Lord God our Savior. The people were full of greed and love for the "world." If ungodly people set up sales stands outside of your church, taking the attention away from the church wouldn't you be angry? So what can we as christians learn from John 2:12-25? We should keep God's temple clean! When the bible speaks of a temple, it can mean a building for God's place of worship or our own souls! 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" So we must keep both of these clean! Is your temple filled with hate, lust, sexual morality, lies, anger, greed, or other sins? God wants you to clean it out! (Aren't your grateful that our God is a forgiving God?) If we want God to be with us and live in our temple, we must clean out or hearts and ask for forgiveness of sins.
   If you met with Jesus today, would he see your heart forgiven and pure? Or would he see sin that you have tried to cover up and have not yet asked for forgiveness? Do you have your heart right with God???

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Race Set Before Us

   Today's post will be based on the verses of Hebrews 12:1-3 which states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
   In this particular verse, we as christians are compared to runners. Why would God have chosen for this certain comparison to be part of His word? Let's state some facts. Runners lose as much weight as they can before they run a race. They don't carry around a heavy book bag as they are running. They also wear light clothing. Too much weight and/or extra clothing can be the difference between win or lose. You might be asking, "What does this have to do with christians?" Well, God was very wise to lead the author of Hebrews to write this. God is wanting us to run the race of faith for him. To do this right, we need to lay aside some things. We need to ask Him for forgiveness (This is essential!) and let go of things like love of the world, forgiven sin that we still worry about (GUILT), and any other distractions. This verse tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. How are we to focus on him if we have things distracting us constantly? It is important to give full focus to him because as soon as the devil knows you are only "half" focused on Jesus, he will manipulate you and tempt you so you will become even more distracted. Soon enough, you will be running the opposite direction! Most people have heard the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water. (If not, you can read the story at Matthew 14:22-33) As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and lost focus he began to sink. And what did Jesus say? He said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" Jesus made our salvation possible! We owe all our focus to him. In the race of faith, endurance is essential! This is a marathon not a sprint! You need more than just one burst of energy. This ties back into one of my recent blog posts about just being a "Sunday Morning Christian." Stay on fire for God and don't let it die down! 
   Having trouble running your race of faith? Spend time in the bible. It is important because through it we learn many things. We may learn things like what we need to lay aside and we can learn about Jesus, what he did for us, and what a great example his race of faith can be for us! Lay worldly things aside, keep your endurance, and most of all focus on Jesus!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Who Is Jesus?

   Colossians 1:18 says, "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." As we read this verse, let us think about who Jesus is as Paul sees him and as how we see him.
   First, He is the head. Basically, He is the one in charge! The head is essential to the life of the body. Who is the body? Well, the church is the body! 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." The head contributes alot to the body. It gives us....

  • Direction...Ephesians 5:1 says, "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children."
  • Goals and Plans...James 4:14-15 says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
  • Usefulness...Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
  • Existence...1 John 5:12 says, "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."
   Second, He is our hope. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ! We will not see heaven if we have not been saved through him and believe in him. So, why is he our hope? 

  1. He is the beginning. He started it all! Jesus was the beginning of the church. Matthew 16:18 says, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." He died to purchase the church! John 10:11 says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
  2. He is the firstborn. The word prototype means the original or model on which something is based or formed. Jesus was first to die, be buried, and rise again to never die. Jesus will not be the last! He was like a prototype. What happened to Jesus Christ will, sooner or later, happen to us!
  Third, He is our heart. The word preeminence can describe Jesus. Preeminent means eminent above or before others; superior. He needs to be preeminent in your life. This means you need to put him first! God has a goal to place Jesus on the ultimate throne of the universe. Philippians 2:9-11 says, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Your job and my job is to set Jesus first on the throne of our hearts. Does he have preeminence in your heart at this moment?

   God bless all who read this and have a wonderful week!