God also has intense purposes for His church. The gathering of baptized believers is the go to tool in the hands of God to accomplish His work and win the victory against the gates of Hell. Each one of us is called in accordance to how we were created by God to serve Him alongside one another. Just like the disciples in the Gospels, they were unique and hand-picked by Christ to accomplish great things. The disciples needed to abandon their own desires and uses for gifts and abilities and brings these things with them as they followed Christ. The church is a group of people who have done this as well. We have left our own individual plans and purposes in and of themselves for the sake of joining, with our lives, alongside one another, the great purposes of God. But what becomes of the church when it is distracted from the purposes it was meant for? How destructive is the gathering of sinful people when their attention and focus is on something other than the God-given mission? I believe it was this exact situation that sparked the anger of Jesus more so than any other story recorded for us in the Gospels. The difference is the difference between the house of prayer and the den of thieves. I pray God will enlighten us, as a united Church, to the schemes of the Devil and give us the strength to, alongside one another, “stand firm in the Lord”. Truly we are able to do this better together than on our own.
1) One line or verse that stood out by the power of the Holy Spirit and why it was significant?
2) What is one area in your life that needed the message today?
3) Specifically, how has God given you more than enough to accomplish what He is asking you to do? What dangers exist, like the Jars filled with wine, (Jeremiah 13:12-13) to take what God has given and waste it on things not productive?
4) Has there ever been a time when a brother or sister in Christ needed to hold you up because you were too weak to stand on your own? How important is it to the mission of God for His church for believers to act this way? (1 John 2:10-11)
5) Do you think it is possible for the church to become as distracted from its purpose as the temple was in the days of Jesus in Mark 11:15-19? What causes this and what can be done to protect against it?