I love what occurs in this passage of scripture…

Mark 11:15-17…

15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:
” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[c]? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.”

In His final week as a man, Jesus enters Jerusalem and goes straight to the temple.  There, He finds merchants selling doves, lambs and different items needed for sacrifice. You see, it was Passover and Jewish families were migrating from various nations to sacrifice.  Many of them were not able or chose not to carry their livestock with them so they, instead, would bring money and buy the sacrifice at the temple (at a 300% mark up minimum).  Seemed like a good idea, uh?  People would still sacrifice, and the temple ministry would profit.  It’s a win – win situation; but why was Jesus so upset? Why did he do what He did?

The pursuit of God is never about convenience.  We intend to try to make it easier for people to connect with God.  We alter our services, we become extremely time conscience, and we make our churches to feel more like the mall than a place where we meet with God.

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe in creating a seeker friendly environment and making people feel special.  I want good customer service and excellence in all our ministries; but I am learning that it cannot be at the expense of moving away from a true desire to recklessly pursue God as a church.

I believe Jesus was upset for 2 reasons.  1. The temple was not being utilized as a place of prayer and worship unto God. 2. People were using the temple and a time dedicated for sacrifice and worship as a time of taking advantage and profiting.   With that He shouted, “MY HOUSE will be called a house of PRAYER!”

What about us now?  Do we do the same?  Are we not the house of God? The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19…“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” If we are now the temple of God, the principle must still apply, we must be called a house of PRAYER.

God has been dealing with my ambition to succeed.  Like the moneychangers in Jerusalem, I have been guilty of using what is Holy and trying to make it profitable – all for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  For example, my time; I have substituted precious time that needed to be spent before the Lord, for time spent trying to make a name for myself. I have robbed myself of precious prayer time for time spent to satisfy my flesh; after all, I worked very hard and felt deserving.  We all have a way of justifying things, don’t we?

My point is this.  We are the house of God.  We are His temples. We should be known to be a house of prayer not a den where the robbing of God’s intentions and purposes take place for the sake of conveniences and.  Let’s become a House of PRAYER, both corporate and personally.

18 Comments

  1. mario on August 17, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    We are the temple of God now, we don’t need a place anymore. We have to be holy, and set apart for God to move freely in our lives. The temple was meant for people to come together and seek the face of God. Now that we are the temple we are called to bring together people to get closer to God, because we have the living presence of God living inside of us. We have to focus on the duties of a priest first before anything else, we most minister and honor the presence of God first than anything.



  2. Javier Navas on August 17, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    COmpletely agree on what your saying Pastor,. Sometimes i feel like take a time of my own because i deserve it, but we should spent less time on daily “normal things” in which God is not there.

    We should spend our free time on what God send us to do, and then He and Him alone will give a rest and strenght for our daily labor.



  3. cindy shappy on August 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Miami Harvest Church was the place that first brought the first breath
    into a decayed body, mind and spirit. God and His church started a
    process for me to be born again. Now I feel strongly that IMPACT
    Church will teach me how to grow in my relationship with God. I can
    trust that I will recieve the knowledge and wisdom of his teachings to
    prepare me for this journey in my life guiding me to bring many to
    their salvation.



    • Manny Rivera on August 18, 2011 at 8:13 AM

      Cindy, I love your testimony!



  4. Maritza Cruz on August 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Guilty, as charged pastor… I better get it together before Jesus has to come and put a whooping on me.. Good word!



  5. Elisa Magnan on August 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I really like this blog. When I first started coming to church my prayers were all about what I wanted God to drop into my life. But now my prayers are not directed or centered on myself. But now my prayers are focused on the people I love, my church and for the lost souls that do not know Jesus. What a revelation the Kingdom advances when we take ourselves out of the equation and focus and those less fortunate than ourselves that are hurting and lost. I am not the center of my own universe.

    I have learned that money does not cure your problems that my problems are way deeper the amount of money I have. I have also had a revelation of the importance of embracing your financial position right at the level where it currently is. What I mean is that I have realized one key element that if I can learn to manage well with the little, God will promote me to the next greater level. The accomplishment is in the learning to manage what I have so more can be added unto me.

    Bottom line is that church is a place for prayer not so that God solves our every problem but so God enlightens us in what needs to be changed in us to make us stronger and his Kingdom brighter.



    • Manny Rivera on August 18, 2011 at 8:15 AM

      AMEN!!



    • WB on October 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      Amen Elisa WB



  6. dmcfarlane on August 18, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I have been feeling honored and humble at the same time. Honored that the enemy of my soul has intensified his campaign against my spirit, and humble that God remains faithful…I don’t mean that in a religious or spiritual context.

    Things…no, choices have been happening that have never happened in all my life, and I know it’s really designed to cause me to shrink back, or even turn back. The blog topic is very relevant because the things I it reflects an internal condition.

    I choose the blog to broach this matter as intensified retaliation to the attacks on my soul. If it is true that we battle not against flesh and blood, then it means that the wages of sin take place in the spirit and only manifest in the flesh. I will not relent, because he will not relent. The Holy Spirit has turned over the “merchants'” tables within this temple called ME, and He will restore order for the Glory of God. It’s a mess now, but he’ll restore order.

    All things can be done through Christ who strengthens the mind, body, and spirit of his disciples.



  7. Judith on August 20, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Great word. I have found myself getting sucked in by the daily business and schedules of life, decreasing my time spent alone with the Lord. God help me because the Spirit is willing but the flesh is so weak…… Just like Jesus did when he went into that temple, there is some re-prioritizing and restructuring needing to take place in my temple. It’s a good time for us all to take an audit of our hearts and ask the Spirit to show us where we lack.



  8. januel on August 20, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Where God has place us is a wonderful place. We don’t need a place of our own. Our prayers are being answerd and people will come to get their lives change and people be saved through the temple of Chirst



  9. luis on August 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Amen! Sir I agree. We need to live selfless lives and have a constant communication with our Father. A relationship is based on what you put into it not what you can get out of it. I’ve decided to serve my Lord, even though He is a God of retribution, not putting my focus on receiving but the giving. May the Lord help me to become His house of prayer.



  10. April on August 22, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I think we’re getting there. We’re tapping into it. I had to learn it the hard way but I did. It’s all about where we place our focus. When we focus so much on ourselves we lose sight of the bigger picture. I always remember to redirect myself because you an always get caught up in something. Just when you think you’ve moved past it, it comes at you in a different way. I like the way Smith Wigglesworth said it, you just have to “kick that dirt of your shoulders”. 🙂 He may not have said it exactly like that, but I modernized it bit.



  11. Manny on August 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    We need to pray more because we don’t have own house but we need to keep on praying and let god show us how to be ready.



  12. Jalina on August 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    I agree with you Pastor, Impact Church is called a House of Prayer. We must continue to do what God has called us to do. There will be times that we will not please people by how we run things but it is only God who we need to please.



  13. Jaz Martin on August 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I believe the house shall be called a house of prayer. I think that I am starting to increase my faith when I pray and believe what I am praying for. I know God probably thinks I am crazy when I smile because I see something that I prayed for come to fruition. It can even be little things that some take for granted. I just pray that individually and corporately that we will have a revelation of prayer and see the holy spirit transform us.