Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 41
     Job 7
     Mark 11
     Romans 11
''Then He taught, saying to them, ''Is it not written, ''My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.  But you have made it a den of thieves."(Mark 11:17)
            Remember the Temple? It is that magnificent building of three rooms that the Divine Architect used as an analogy of His present Temple - you and me.
            How Israel gloried in that building! It represented to a pagan world the glory of Jehovah God. It was the center of Israel's purity and ceremonial worship.  This Temple is where God revealed Himself in His Shekinah glory.
Thousands were gathered in the Temple area for celebration and sacrifice. The moneychangers and the sellers of sacrificial animals were in their place. They were a part of a religious mafia under Annas and Caiaphas, organized to rip off the people during the religious festivals. Jesus confronted this scene as He came to the Temple.
            Here is Jehovah incarnate walking into this hallowed building. It was built for Him and by His plans. Now He was walking on these sacred grounds. What a sight met His eyes!  The house of prayer had become a house of commerce.  The holy place had become a den of thieves.
            In the midst of this atmosphere He would not minister. Jesus did some thorough house cleaning. After Jesus got through with those people I doubt if a single soul left church that day singing, ''there's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place."
Jesus cleansed His temple that it might once again be clean and a house of prayer. What about your temple today? That's where God lives now. Is it clean, and is it a house of prayer?
            You are His house, but are you a clean house?      
            What about your eyes?...the books, the movies, the TV shows?
            What about your lips, your tongue?...the gossip, backbiting  and subtle innuendoes.
            What about your ears? Have they become garbage cans for the trashy conversation of others,
             the gossip, and the shady jokes?
You are His and He has the right to demand that you are clean.  It is the right of ownership.
After the cleansing of the temple...the blind received their sight...the lame walked again...the children praised Him there!
The temple is still here and the temple is still in need of cleansing.                                                                                                                   Why not take the steps today to be a clean temple .
            In the years 1999 and 2000, I had the privilege of taking groups of adults and youth to the Island of Barbados in the Caribbean.  This is one of the most beautiful places to visit, and many tourists do. Most of the people there profess to know Christ as Savior. There are many groups and the majority of people profess Christianity.  There are 39 missionaries representing 6 agencies from 6 different countries.
            It is my strong feeling, however, that the majority of people on the Island of Barbados are Christians in name only. Many of them, especially among the youth and young adults, have turned against the organized church. Frankly, it is hard to blame them since it is one of the most divided churches in leadership and worship style anywhere in the world. For example, there are four different Baptist groups on the small island of Barbados. I point out to the shame of Christians who would allow their own petty disagreements to prevent them from being strong leaders and fervent witnesses to win their place to faith in Christ. Pray today for a unifying spirit in Barbados so that the anointing of God might come upon the church and enable them to reach that island for Christ.
''Our praying  needs to be pressed and pursued with energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied and a courage which never fails."     E. M  Bounds