A Rare Image of Jesus

What would you do if you came home and someone was in your house hosting a wild party? And it was someone you had trusted to watch your house while you were on vacation. Would you be mad? Of course, you would.  Trust was violated and your house was being used for a purpose you hadn’t intended. .  Imagine how Jesus felt walking into the temple

Mark 11:15

This is not a portrait of Jesus many are familiar with and it is probably not thought all that often.  We are used to seeing Jesus teaching,  laying hands and healing,  having little children gathered around him.  But we don’t expect Jesus to use a whip and chase people out of the temple. Our present culture is more comfortable with a kinder gentler Jesus, not one who is on fire and chasing away those who use his father’s house as a means for running financial scams and treating the temple as common. Jesus said this was to be a house of prayer but uneven scales and all the merchants using the temple as a place of commerce infuriated him.  I wonder if Jesus confronted the church today what tables would he overturn who would feel the whip first?

  • Stop conforming to the culture- the temple had become a common the church today can easily become enmeshed in marketing its ware,  promoting fellow servants to celebrity status and justify its extravagance by saying we have to be relevant to the world if we want them to hear the gospel. But is this attempt to attract the unbelieving world by copying its methods really helping to further the kingdom of God or is it hurting the church?
  • Bait and switch- many years ago I worked in the retail industry. We would put out these adds that had giveaways and super discounts on computers but the store sometimes didn’t have enough in stock and there would be panic because we didn’t want to be accused of bait and switch that is where we had a different product than that which was advertised with fewer features.   I’m afraid the church in an effort to gain followers has engaged in bait and switch where the pastor may avoid certain difficult,  controversial or unpopular positions in order to get seekers to stick around in hopes of later on them becoming a disciple.  While I know that there are many who believe in this model of church I think we are doing a great disservice to the kingdom of God at large as well as the one seeking the truth. If we are deliberately ambiguous on the details of the gospel message and the need for repentance from sin if we only focus on love an not only holiness and how God sanctifies than we are being less than honest and leading on those who are not ready to give their lives to God. We also end up filling our ranks with people that have no intention to live the life of a follower of Christ. Jesus never minced words he didn’t nuance the truth on by leaving out hard to swallow teaching or promise us s life without troubles, in fact, he warned that life will have its trouble. I believe in being honest about what the Bible teaches and letting people make an informed choice. People don’t go to church to receive what they could get in any business seminar or late night infomercial they need something different.  They need to hear from God.
  • Profit or prophet- we are warned in scripture of those who will use the church as a means of financial gain- they teach a prosperity doctrine that is all about worldly wealth and does not focus on spiritual growth. In these days the prophets must arise.  Those who speak the uncompromised word.  Preaching is prophetic by nature powered by the holy spirit. Prophetic preaching isn’t popular it doesn’t attract crowds looking for a light feel-good message. It points the way to God and warns those who will listen to turn from sin
  • Transformational truth must be taught- why are so many professing Christ but remain unchanged? Why do we Christians settle for managing our sin rather than exercising authority and power over it? Yielding to sin enslaves us. Refusing to yield breaks its power.
  • I was listening to a touching testimony by Jeffery McCall. A man who for many years identified as gay and who also identified as z Woman who was known as scarlet. He tells of his many struggles and how he had started taking hormones to begin to transition himself into a woman until he discovered the power of Jesus Christ who gave him the strength to break free to renounce his lifestyle and leave scarlet behind re-identify as a man.
  • 100s of testimonies like Jeffery’s exist that destroy this idea that one cant leave the lgbt life. Go to voice of the voiceless Facebook page.
  • The same power that delivered Jeffry can deliver you from a life that has been under the power of sin whether it be the power of addiction, the power of rage or anger,  the power of lust.
  • Jesus died to break the power sin has over us but we must exercise that power by not yielding to it and enslaving ourselves to it. By resisting sin we gain strength and break the power it had over us. By learning the scriptures we learn to defeat the lies the devil tells us to convince us we not free.
  • We are living in times were people think that truth is relative, flexible,  that it can change.  Truth has not changed but people seem more willing than ever to believe lies.
  • 2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV): But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
  • Doesn’t that sound like today? The problem is not that Jesus cant break the power of sin, it’s that too many are lovers of self and lovers of pleasure but put on the mask of a Christian and play the part.  There is s form of godliness with no real power. To say that we have no choice in how we act out and what lifestyle choices we embrace is to claim that the redemption power of the cross is only limited to a small list of sins and to make God small in our lives.

Power of prayer-just this week there was another mass shooting in New Zealand in a mosque while we grieve for the loss of life and show compassion to those who grieve some took the opportunity to mock prayer by saying prayers don’t stop bullets. While prayer alone may not eliminate evil from a fallen and corrupted world neither will some law stop demons from using people to steal kill and destroy other people.  To mock prayer displays an incredible ignorance of the spiritual realm which as believers in Christ we draw our power from. If we are going to see revival gods people need to turn their hearts toward prayer. And not just 5 minutes of god protect my family.  There is much going on in the world that deserves my attn that though I might not be in a worldly position to do much about I can pray as if I believe that God is attentive to my prayer. I consider George Mueller who ran an orphanage for children would be running out of food and would pray than shortly after someone would come knocking on his door asking if they needed food.  Daily these kinds of prayers would go up to God and be answered. jesus said his father’s house should be a house of prayer. That is how chains are broken,  needs are provided and the victory is won.