Dedicated To The Men of God Who Preach the Word of God As It Is To Men As They Are

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"Preach The Word"


Text: Matthew 21:12-16
Ahhh…spring – that wonderful time of year, the snow is gone, the cold
weather is gone; birds sing in abundance; grass starts growing; and we find
that awful mess in the garage or in those closets that we let accumulate
since last year (or over many years, as the case may be!)
Some folks are disciplined enough to take "inventory" and conduct a good
spring cleaning each year; I am not always that industrious though! 
In our text this morning, our Lord took inventory of the temple – what He
saw, He most certainly did not like what he saw!
My challenge from the Word to you is – there needs to be a spring cleaning
spiritually in our personal lives and in our churches today!
Four areas must be addressed if we wish to have God's power and blessing on our lives and churches…

A. Temple was being abused
1. Buying & selling taking place in temple – oxen, sheep, doves (John 2:14)
2. Money changers – changed money for the "half-shekel"
    a. Loan-sharks – charged exorbitant fees
    b. Every Israelite 20 & up required to pay the half-shekel tax into the
        Temple treasury
3. All this was done with the pretense of being spiritual when in fact it
    was all for commercialism and worldly gain
B. Temple had been abused before – John 2:14
1. Christ had purged the temple once before – what happened?
2. Poor leadership and oversight led to another return to the perversion of
    the temple
C. Bottom line – Christ did not have rightful place in the Temple
D. We often do not allow Christ to take center stage and therefore our          motives become less than godly!
1. Where does He stand in your personal life?  Is He even present?
2. Where does He stand in our church?  I want Him ALWAYS present!  John 15:5

A. Reason for the Lord's Anger
1. Lack of spiritual guidance
2. Lack of moral conscience – moneychangers preying on poor
3. Lack of proper priorities!  Most of all!  Man was prominent in the
temple and not the Lord!  Fits many folks today!!!
B. House of God is NOT for bake sales, car washes, chili suppers, bingos,
raffles – but we so often cheapen His prominence both in the church and in
our lives by doing these very things – Lev. 19:30
C. Our bodies
1. Temple of God – 1 Cor. 3:16-17
2. Folks, we are doing things in and with the temple that were never
designed or intended to go on – we have relegated Jesus Christ to mere
visitor status!!!
3. Romans 6:13, 16, 19; 12:1
D. Our churches
1. Modern day temple – where we meet to worship, praise and adore our       Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2. Churches putting hard Bible preaching aside in favor of "feel-good" pep
3. Churches putting sound, time-tested hymns aside for music of the popular
4. Churches and Christians alike are putting standards of dress aside for
   the sake of packing the house – I am not advocating legalism, just decency
   and modesty among our people!
5. We need lighthouses in this day we live in!  Not Sunday and Wednesday
   adult daycare services!
6. 1 Timothy 3:15

A. Church proclaims Christ through the preaching of the Word!
1. Acts 28:30-31 – Paul preached Jesus!
2. 1 Cor. 1:18 – Paul understood how people felt about preaching!
3. 1 Cor. 1:21 – Paul understood God's plan and pleasure – preaching           saves souls, preaching pleases God
4. 1 Cor. 9:16-17 – Paul understood the misery and judgement to come if       he did not preach!
B. Christian proclaims Christ through many ways
1. Preaching of testimony – your life speaks volumes!
2. Preaching of tract distribution – why so ashamed?
3. Preaching of total submission – quit balking and running and get busy
   telling others about Christ!  Or do you have anything to tell?   Maybe that
   is why folks won't speak up!

A. Never ceases to amaze me how people still get baffled as to why they do
     not have the power of God in their lives!
    1. Backsliding removes God's hand from your life
    2. Unconfessed sin removes God's hand from your life
    3. Pride removes God's hand from your life
    4. Unfaithfulness to God and His work removes God's hand from your life
    5. Failure to support your pastor and your church will remove God's
        blessing from your life!
    6. Resisting God's will for your life will keep God's hand off of you!
B. Daily prayer and cleansing keeps God's hand of power on
     your life!   Daily communication and teaching from God's Word keeps       His Hand of power on your life!
C. Notice verse 14 – blind and lame were healed!
D. Why?  The House was now in order!  Priorities were set correctly;           proper authority was now recognized; the Lord's hand of power was back on that place!

Why don't you let Jesus do some spring cleaning in your life today?
Is He present in your life?  If not, you need to be born again!  If you
don't feel His presence, Christian – you have lost the power of His touch
because of sin in your life!
Is Christ prominent in your life?  Or have you failed to come "out of the
closet" let others know you are a child of the King?
Is Christ proclaimed in your life?  Why not? 
Is Christ's power on you in a mighty way?  If not, you can get that power
right now – confess your sins, repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness –
repentance is mandatory!  Enough of the fašade, game playing, pretending –
get the sin out today!

Lagrange, Kentucky- USA


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