and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the benches of those selling doves. 'It is written,' he said to them, 'My
house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.'" Matthew 21:12-13
Cleansing the temple
Those words have been on repeat in my mind for a week now. I keep praying and asking, "What does this mean?. What am I supposed to say about this? What is it You want to say, Lord?"
Last week I had one of those days where I had so much to do, I had to write out my agenda in order to focus on any one thing. After I wrote it out, I prayed over it.
"Okay Lord, here is my agenda for the day. Feel free to change it."
Laundry was one of those things on my agenda.
In my daughter's room, I opened up a drawer to put some folded laundry away. The inside was a mess! Nothing was folded! Pajamas were mixed with school clothes! Some were dirty and everything was wrinkly.
I took two drawers completely out of the dresser and dumped them onto her bed. I had a huge pile to sort through!
This was not on the agenda.
I am thinking that maybe Jesus had a different agenda the day He went into the temple to worship and found it turned into a marketplace.
Maybe He went into the temple to offer some teaching to those who had ears to hear. Or maybe He went in to worship and pray to His Father.
Whatever His one thing was, what He found inside caused Him to overturn tables, hinder the money exchanges and express His dissatisfaction of the activities.
First Corinthians 3:16 says, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?"
If our bodies are God's temples, then I think maybe this lenten season is a good time to assess the activities going on within us.
As I sorted through the pile of clothing, I made smaller piles. Some items went into the dirty laundry pile to be cleaned Some things that were stained or torn were discarded. A few things were not necessary anymore because they didn't fit and were put someplace else. And the things that belonged were folded neatly and put back.
Sometimes our lives get messy too. We get overwhelmed with the activities of the day. Or the storms of the season beat the joy right out of our hearts. Sometimes regrets block the free flow of the rivers of grace. Maybe the pain of the past keeps our eyes shut so tight we can't see Jesus beside us.
Whatever the mess is, some spring cleaning never hurts.
What activities really aren't necessary for today? I didn't get to a few things on my agenda that day because the Lord had something else in mind. And it was okay!
Romans 12:12 says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." We know that storms eventually subside, the sun always shines again, and the rain is necessary for new growth. In the storm of today, what is the one thing Jesus would like to come in and do? Give you joy in your child's laughter? Offer hope through answered prayer? Give you strength to get through one more day? Or would He have you pray instead of react in a particular situation?
Shame and guilt too often turn into boulders that dam up God's grace.
But the Lord says in Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Receive that word! And let the rivers of grace flow.
What is robbing you of Jesus' presence today? Get rid of them and focus on the one thing that will lead you toward prayer, worship, or a lesson Jesus longs to teach you.
"One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple." Psalm 27:4
That is my one thing, my temple cleansing. To abide with the Lord and see beauty in the messes of life through His perspective.
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