It’s Time to Change! (Part IV)

Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him,  and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.Luke 19:45-48

After weeping over the fact that Jerusalem was missing its moment of visitation, Jesus walked into the temple and what He saw there was very distressing to Him! The very temple that was built to be used as a place of worship and prayer had turned into a market. People were making profit out of religious duties and holidays by marking things up and selling them to the people who were visiting the temple.

Jesus was not against buying, selling , or even making a profit, but He was against using the temple of God for selfish gain. The sellers were opportunists who wanted to gouge people on the way to worship, so Jesus sternly turned over the tables because! They were there for their own benefit and not to honor the Lord or worship Him. In reality,  there were plenty of places where they could have set up shop and sold their merchandize, but they were using the name of the Lord and the temple of the Lord to get better profit by being strategically where the worshippers going to show up.

The church is not a place to make profit or make our name be known. We don’t go to church to show off our gifts and abilities and ensure that we get placed in the ministry of our choice and desires. The church is a group of people who are called out from the world, and they assemble for the purpose of corporate worship, teaching, prayer, fellowship, and exhortation. We all are there to honor the name of the Lord and magnify Him corporately. However, sometimes we lose focus of why we are there and what we are to do in the church.

Unfortunately, there are those leaders who use the name of God and manipulate the people of God to give more money to their church or their ministry. Sometimes as church members, we forget the purpose of the church and its value, and we begin to focus on other things. We may go to church with an attitude because we are still mad at somebody from the last time we we were there. We’re even hoping that we don’t have to see them or talk to them. There are some who may only show up on the days they serve and prefer not to go to their church when we are not serving. Others are still stewing over why their friend had a solo part during worship, but they never get a chance to do it. Some are too focused on who is wearing what and who is sitting with whom. There are a few who go to church trying to sell their products or recruit people to sign up with their business. There are a few who come with their title of evangelist, preacher, or prophet and expect someone to quickly place them where they feel are called. When that doesn’t happen, they take off and go somewhere else.

If Jesus were to walk in our church on a Sunday, what would He find? What is the condition of your church? What is the condition of your heart when you go to church? Is He still the main person of the gathering!? Is He still the focus!? Jesus turned over the tables, so His Father’s house could be clear from anything that defiled it. Is there anything that defiles your house of worship at a personal level and the corporate level? It’s time for the people of God to be about the Father’s business and let go of all the carnality and distractions that derail the body of Christ and defile His house of worship!


Image by Tom Gordon from Pixabay

Success in Relationships (Part III)

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20 (NLV)

Having success in relationships is not easy, and we all have to do our part to ensure our relationships are thriving. In addition to being wise with our time and being thoughtful, the scripture tells us that we should be filled with the Holy Spirit rather being drunk with wine. Being drunk with wine does not help our relationship with the Lord or with others. As a matter of fact, it opens the door to the enemy to tempt us in variety of ways. However, being filled with the spirit makes us more aware of God’s purpose and will in our lives, and it helps us to remain in tune with Him!

The truth is that man in his carnal nature continues to crave for things that feed his/her flesh.  Our flesh is satisfied primarily with worldly things such as food, alcohol, sex, and entertainment. People out of boredom or curiosity crave various experimentations that lead them to alcohol, smoking, drugs, and pornography, and many find themselves bound to it. The things that feed our carnal nature do not feed our spirit man, and as a result we don’t have anything spiritually valuable to give our loved ones!

A lifestyle that feeds the flesh does not produce any good fruit, and it certainly does not provide the opportunity to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Instead, an atmosphere of worship fills us with His spirit, peace, and joy.  This gives us a greater desire to remain in His presence and continue to worship Him and sing songs to Him. Our flesh continues to be weakened the more we feed our spirit man and allow Him to rule and reign in our lives!

In an environment that people are under the influence of worldly vices, the relationships are not only weakened, but they can also be fractured because people speak and act in foolish and hurtful ways. On the other hand, when we are singing psalms and worshipping the Lord together, it allows us to keep our focus on Jesus and takes our eyes off of each other. This brings greater clarity to the issues at hand, and we no longer are bound by the dictates of our soul because we have been in the Lord’s presence! This is the environment that helps us to renew and reconcile our relationships with one another!

In the above passage, Paul ends by telling us to give thanks in everything! Giving thanks allows us to change our negative perspective and see God’s blessings and provision in our lives! One of the main areas of giving thanks should be for our loved ones. Imagine if you gave thanks to the Lord for your spouse everyday and actually mentioned the specific things that they bless your life with!  How about if you reached out to those that you have a difficult time with and told them that you love them and thank God for them!? How often do we give thanks for our loved ones especially when we are frustrated with them?

When we put the above passage to work in our lives, we will see change and transformation in our attitude as well as our relationships! Subsequently, when we focus on the passage in (Ephesians 5:21-33) about husbands and wives and how they should relate to one another, it’s a lot easier to live it out. We are not resenting the fact that we have to submit ourselves to our husbands or that husbands need to lay down their lives for their wives. Our marriages have a good foundation by using time wisely, being thoughtful about our choice of words and actions, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and continually giving thanks to God for everything including one another.  

Mediate on the above scripture and use it daily for a week or a month and be amazed at the results in your spiritual life as well as in your relationships!