Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daily Devotional November 17 - Sell, sell, sell, but in inside the sanctuary?

"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, take these things hence; make not My Father's house an house of merchandise." John 2:13-16 And in Matthew 21:13, Jesus said, "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."

What has happened over the years? Have not our pastors read this verse and many others just like it? Oh, I get it. Since the body is now the temple of the Lord, whatever we do in church is OK. The church, since it is not the temple is exempt from the selling goods rule.

What do you think? The tabernacle of the Old Testament, the temple of the New Testament, the synagogue, the church, the temples; aren't they all meant to be a place of prayer/worship? Of course the church is to take the tithe if that is their policy and to take offerings for use, but not to sell goods inside the church. It is irreverent to have book sales and video sales and crosses and earrings and any other Christian paraphernalia for sale in the church. No one should have to be told that. Jesus has set a precedence and it is that precedence that we must follow, not rules of our own.

That's what the Jews did prior to Jesus coming in the flesh; they made rules to accommodate themselves. They had made rules for everything, about 100 rules for every God breathed rule of scripture. They placed a burden on people that was not scriptural and they made allowances for themselves that excluded them from scrutiny. They added, turned and twisted the Word of God to meet their own evolving needs. Are we doing the same thing again as the church?

Please dear pastor or leader, be careful about the church that was given to you by God. Be careful for the things of God that take place inside those holy walls. Be careful not to think wiser than the scripture. Be careful to fulfill your calling and your calling is not to sell goods inside the sanctuary. That's not your platform. It is the pulpit of God and you are a steward and the church is an holy place. Keep it that way. This is not just one more rule to add to the others; this is a direct message from Jesus. This story is found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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