Matthew 21:12-16:

And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.  He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.”

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?”  And Jesus said to them. “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has brought perfect praise’?”

 

Cleansing the Temple of God

The account of Jesus cleansing the temple always causes my soul to stand up and applaud.  Doing his Father’s will, Jesus’ actions startled and angered many.  Tables toppled, money clattered to the floor, feathers flew, and the temple’s unjust money-changing system, that robbed God’s people, was disrupted.  The fervor and boldness of Jesus’ stand against the corruption in God’s temple, pumps courage into my being. Sin was exposed. I find myself pointing a finger of indignation at the wrong doers of this world, and shouting, “Repent! Shape up!”

Then the Spirit of God quietly whispers to the depth of my being, “Remember, ‘your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’ (I Cor. 6:19).  Can you truthfully say it is a place of true worship and fervent prayer?”  Suddenly, I’m aware of the debris of wrong attitudes that has piled up in the corners of my mind and heart; attitudes that hinder heart-felt worship, effective prayer and the accomplishing of God’s purposes.  Words and actions that were not guided by God come to mind. My feathers are ruffled, as I realize what spirit sometimes takes over.  Only after repentance, does self-righteousness topple and idle words clatter to silence.

The process of confessing the areas in my life that need cleansing is disruptive and painful, but so necessary to see things clearly. The plank must come out of my eye before I can receive God’s vision.  Sheer honesty and acceptance of God’s forgiveness brings peace.  Only then, will my heart yearn and pray for the salvation of souls, for the healing of broken relationships, for those who oppose godly principles, and to act against injustice with faith and trust in God’s guidance.

Prayer:  Dear Father, Thank you for your word that is like a mirror to my soul and heart, revealing my true spiritual condition.  I need your cleansing, your vision, and your boldness to speak the truth with grace and love to those with whom I come in contact—especially those who do not know you.  May I embrace life in child-like faith, realizing that I can do nothing to further your kingdom in my own strength.  Come Holy Spirit, come and fill the empty places in my heart—as I trust that your ways are far above my ways.  Amen.

Betty Long

 

 

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