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June 16, 2023

BRIDGE OR BARRIER

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

Mark 11:15-17 NLT

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT

We have a great picture of Jesus that contradicts a lot of what we often think. Many want to think of Jesus as always being meek and mild and never hurting anyone or anything. Yet in today’s passage Jesus becomes angry—yes, there is an appropriate time to become angry. He causes a scene in the courtyard of the Temple. The Temple was supposed to be the place where people came to meet with God. It was the bridge between man and God. But the religious leaders of the day had developed an elaborate scheme to prey on the people. They were teaching that you should not purchase animals for sacrifice in the Temple with Roman money. So, you had to exchange your money for Temple money and that could only be done in the courtyard with the Temple money changers. Of course, the money changers and religious leaders made a profit on the money exchange. Then you used the Temple money to purchase your sacrificial animal form the Temple. There were animals that were “approved” for sacrifice to God. Once again, the religious leaders got a profit off the sale of these “approved” animals. Jesus was angry that instead of the Temple being a place to welcome people into the presence of God they were keeping people away from God. This was because many of the poor could not afford to worship in the Temple. He wanted them to know the Temple was to be a place of prayer not of profit. What a message for us today. I personally get a little concerned when we start selling stuff in the foyer of the church. I know there are occasions to have a bake sale or something to raise money for a special mission’s trip, but I sometimes wonder if we go a little overboard. I don’t want the church to ever be viewed as seeking to make money. While it takes money to accomplish the ministry, we should be careful that we properly steward the money.

 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Holy Spirit help us to be bridge not a barrier. Help us to seek Your kingdom and not our own.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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3 Comments


I never want to put up any barriers for people that hinder them getting to God.

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Help me to be a steward of the blessings you provide every moment of my life

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chermyworld
chermyworld
Jun 16, 2023

Lord ,


Please help us to not be superficial. I want to live a life of secureness. I know it can only be done with you and through you.

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