DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-12
WRITTEN AT: Kingman, AZ
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 21:12-13
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 Jesus went into the Temple area. He threw out all those who were selling and buying things there. He turned over the tables that belonged to those who were exchanging different kinds of money. And he turned over the benches of those who were selling doves.13 Jesus said to them, “The Scriptures say, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are changing it into a ‘hiding place for thieves.’”
APPLICATION: While I sincerely believe that Jesus walked into a sanctuary, or at least the courtyard that led into the sanctuary, upon reading this my mind also went on something else referred to in the Bible as ‘The Temple of God – where the Holy Spirit resides’ – our bodies. In the case of what we call the sanctuary, or the church today, how many of us can say that prayer plays a crucial part in our ministries? In churches that I have attended, we could hardly keep the doors opened on a prayer meeting night, for only the very few faithful ones would show for that meeting. In fact, one elder member told the pastor of one church that he would stop attending on Wednesday nights if he turned it into a night of prayer alone, for he wanted to hear the pastor teach on that night. Friends, when at home we receive instant gratification from turning on the television. If we don’t get the kind of entertainment we want, we simply change the channel. Doesn’t that sound like the same scenario as the real-life example I just shared with you? Many just can’t be bothered to ‘make the sacrifice’ to attend one additional service each week. Oh dear friends, imagine us feeling like we are making ‘a sacrifice’ to join with other believers to praise God, and to thank Him for His goodness towards us? If we were not included in the blessing, one could possible understand the refusal to go and thank God, but no matter how much we want, and how badly we see the need for certain things, yet there is so much that Almighty God has blessed us with. I remember being admitted into my workplace one morning and asked how I was doing after my long drive to work. With a smile. I responded how thankful I was about the awesome day that God had given to us, and for the job He blessed me with! I was quickly shut down, because they were expecting complaints about having to come to work! Here’s a thought to consider: If you added the following words after your church name outside of your church ‘A House of Prayer’, would you be the mockery of the town, or would that attract many others to stop and worship with you? On another note, what if Jesus was referring to ‘the Temple’ as our bodies? Surely our own personal prayer life is well oiled and happens like clock-work, right? Although Jesus could easily see the challenges with the church, He knows how well we do in our personal prayer life, right? Friends, let me be the first to remind you today, that the church/temple prayer meetings suffer because of the lack of prayer in our personal lives/temple. Only a renewed personal/individual relationship with the Creator could solve both problems. Won’t you be the first to do that today? If for no other reason, show your appreciation for all that God has blessed you with. That alone is sufficient to praise Him in the morning, at noontime and evening!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s ‘TEMPLE’ = House of Prayer (Isaiah 56:7).
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very life so that I may live eternally. Thank You for blessing me with good health each and every day so that I might enjoy everything You have provided for Your children here on earth. Please Lord, help my readers and listeners to never think much of bowing the knee in thanksgiving to our Provider of every good gift from above. Please be a motivator for us to leave everything behind and find ourselves in group prayer meetings so that iron might sharpen iron – we might encourage one another in all that You have done for us. Please help us to be a grateful people who are always ready to join hearts and hands in thanksgiving to our generous God! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!