Are you robbing God?

March 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying 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 (NIV))

It is easy to turn our worship into something less than it actually is. Jesus took one look at the activities in the Temple and got mad. What God had intended for man to use to turn to God had been turned into a business venture. It was supposed to be a solemn act of reverence and atonement, but it had been turned into a venture that prospered a select few.

Think about that.

Do we still have a tendency to do such things? Do we try to turn what should be a solemn and sincere act of worship into something that will benefit us? I think that we have all been guilty of something like this. It is human nature to try and manipulate every situation so that we come out on top. To put this in context of the church, it is easy to see that we could quickly become focused on receiving a little more than the next person. It may not seem like much, but think about the last time that you tried to get on the good side of the preacher at your church. I bet that you can even think about a time when you needed money for a certain function that you were wanting to happen. When we play these games, is it for the glory of God or is it because we don’t want to lose or appear not to be on top? What about the family in the church that is not as well off as everyone else? Do you try to shun them and block the blessings that God wishes to bestow upon them?

You may not actually be making money on your activities, but would Jesus find you guilty of being a den of robbers? Are you robbing yourself? Are you robbing the blessings from others? Are you robbing God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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A den of robbers?

November 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying 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 (NIV))

Are we any less guilty than the money changers and those selling doves within the temple?

You may ask how can I ask this question? No one actually sells anything within my church. We don’t exchange money and charge a fee. We go to worship!

What I am talking about is not within the church walls. Rather, we have allowed something within our society that reminds me of the money changers and those selling doves. It is not directly related to our church buildings, but it is directly related to the very reason that we have our churches.

I think that this can be clarified by one simple question.

How do you think that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit view the commercialization of the day that we set aside to celebrate the physical birth of Jesus as our redeeming Lord and Savior?

Our society has slowly bought into the idea that Christmas is about buying the latest and greatest things, and we have slowly turned away from even mentioning Jesus or saying Merry Christmas. Too many people simply say happy holidays.

I know that I have said this before, but I feel that it bears retelling. Our tradition of wishing someone a Merry Christmas has a history that many do not know. The word “merry” in old English meant something much different than we think of it today. The use of this word in its original greeting actually had a meaning that is closer to the word “mighty.” The word “Christmas” was actually two words – Christ mass – a church celebration of the birth of Jesus. So, in essence, the saying “Merry Christmas” was a wish that the recipient of the saying would have a mighty and powerful celebration of the birth of Jesus, or a “Mighty Christ Mass.”

Sadly, the only mighty experience that many people have is the retail race that has become like a feeding frenzy before Christmas.

Have we allowed the money changers and those selling to rob us of the true celebration? Have we allowed the focus to be placed on retail sales instead of Jesus? What have we allowed to happen to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you guilty of robbing God?

August 22, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, ” `My house will be a house of prayer’ ; but you have made it `a den of robbers.’ ”
(Luke 19:45-46 (NIV))

Are we guilty of making God’s house something different than a house of prayer?

Think about all the activities that go on in your individual churches. We all have the activities. We fellowship. We enjoy meals with each other. We study and learn about God’s Word. We instruct our children according to what we have been taught.

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

We greet friends. We care for those in need. We come together to live out what we know to be God’s desires for our lives according to the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.

These things are not what makes God’s house a den of robbers. These are the very things that we are supposed to be doing.

It is the other things that we do that makes it a den of robbers. We have all been guilty of these things at one point or another. The things that we do out of greed or selfishness. The things that we do when we don’t give all that we can to God’s work. This can be both through our money and our talents. We cheat God and we cheat ourselves.

No one is perfect. We all have our days when we would rather not do anything. We all have our days when we simply feel the weight of the world upon us and we shut out all that God is offering. These are momentary lapses and are not a believers true self. We rob God when we constantly seek what benefits us. The money changers sought what benefited them. They didn’t care where they were when they took advantage of people. It is this type of attitude that makes us rob God.

Take a serious look at your actions. Are you guilty of robbing God?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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