It starts with His house
Today’s devotional journal leads us to the episode when Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem to chase out the money-changers who had desecrated God’s holy place. Interestingly, it shows us that while Jesus could have gone to the political leaders and demanded that the oppression of His people be ended, He chose instead to go first to His house – the temple of God. Because only when His house was put in order, could the watching and waiting world be transformed.
This relationship between the church and the world struck many chords with me. First, it reminded me of the church themes that were shared by the Senior Pastors at the beginning of the year – how the Church Within must first continue to grow deep roots downward so that we can resolutely bear fruit outward to impact the Church Without and inspire the Church Beyond. Next, it also brought to mind the short video introducing the Global Discipleship Congress where Pastor Ed mentioned that while we often think that the world is in trouble and the church is in need, we got it all reversed. It’s the world that is in need, and the church is in trouble. Finally, today’s devotional also ends with an insightful quote by A W Tozer who remarked that in his time, he saw the world changing the church instead of the church changing the world. Perhaps not very much has changed since then.
But what do all these mean to me personally? It reminds me that before I can start thinking of God’s kingdom, or being of use for His purposes, or leading my CG, I must first start from myself. Cleansing must come from within, because judgment starts first from His house. It reminds me that now is the time to repent in faith, knowing that God is faithful to forgive and to restore me to His unending love.