Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Devotion 3.22.16

The highs and lows of life unfold in our lifetime in different ways.  Joy and celebration in the mountaintop experiences and depression, anxiety, fear in the valleys of life.  How do we respond to these events as they present themselves to us?  How does our response speak to those around us who either witness it or hear of it (or in this day and age watch it captured digitally)?

Christ's week, Holy Week, see the highs and lows of life caught in one week.  Within a seven day period he goes from being treated as royalty (Palm Sunday) as the people of Israel seeks their earthly king, to his arrest, "trial," beating, crucifixion, and finally his resurrection. 

On Monday, we observe an interesting occurrence:  that of Christ being demonstrably angry in the temple.  What makes it interesting is Christ is angry at the religious leaders of that day for allowing trade and commerce into the temple which, in his words, should be a "house of prayer" rather than a "den of thieves."  He overturns the tables of the money changers and those who sold pigeons for sacrifice to people who did not have the ability to bring a sacrificial offering to the temple (Matthew 21:12 - 13).

Mark and Luke add to this account that the religious leaders of the day (the chief priests and the scribes) would "seek a way to destroy him because they feared him." (Mark 11)

Christ's righteous anger used to "cleanse" the unrighteousness that existed, namely the unrighteousness of those who supposedly believe.  How does that speak to the condition of our own hearts?  Our own motives and desires?

When confronted with his the sins of his own heart, David speaks these words, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51)  That is our prayer as we seek to understand our own hearts and actions that come from the heart.

Hope Men's Ministry

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