I was scanning through my emails when I noticed one I had overlooked. I opened it briefly just out of curiosity – and concern. Sure enough, pretty much what I had thought. An advertisement inviting people in ministry to an “expo” focused on “facilities” and help for “houses of worship” for the “market”. Yes, for the market.
I can’t speak for the Lord, but I wonder this. What must He think when we turn Christianity and church and worship into a “business” and “market” and try to make money helping people with their “facilities” otherwise known as “houses of worship”? Does it bring Him love, praise, honor, and glory? Perhaps it does. Perhaps not. It is not for me to speak for the Lord. Nor to judge and condemn. But I can be concerned.
And I am. The Lord is looking for people to worship Him how? In spirit. And in truth. And this is not bound to a geographical location and building, is it? And when true worship is taking place in a church building, is it to be about the building and technology and show and entertainment and how appealing and attractive and popular and worldly it is? Or is it to be about the hearts and devotion of the people – devotion not to the “market” aspects of Christianity, but utter, sold-out loving adoration and devotion to God almighty in Christ.
Father, forgive every one of us worldwide who has in any way tried to turn Christianity and you into a marketplace. I am reminded, Jesus, of when you threw the money changers out of the house of worship, out of the house of prayer. You were angry! You were emphatic that this was wrong. But what have we done in so many of our churches, dear Father? Oh, forgive us, forgive us. I am heartbroken over how much we hurt you day after day and throughout our lives. Please Lord forgive us.
Please deliver us from darkness, from sin, and from selfishness. Deliver us from any way in which we are wrongly looking at or involved in Christianity. Christianity is a word not even in the Bible, Lord. How much of it is man-mad? We are to be about you, Father, and your ways, not about religion. Not about this world. And what have we done? One person I know called what’s happening in the churches entertainment centers.
Oh, God, forgive us all! For any part we have played in this. Forgive us for making a marketplace out of what should be all about you. Oh, Lord, bring conviction and repentance. And restore us to the way you created us to be. And help us day by day to bring love, honor, joy, pleasure, and glory to your holy most blessed precious almighty forever name, AMEN!
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” John 4:21-24
“And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”” Mt. 21:13-15