Text: Matthew 21:12-13
“but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
(I Tim 3:15 ).
Anything set apart for God is holy unto Him and must be taken as such. To abuse or to profane it is to turn dedicated things to common uses. According to our text, abuse attracts the wrath of God. Jesus would have observed the temple smelling and littered with papers, leaves, dungs, feathers, and sand; and dust on the pews, pulpit, curtains, windows and the altar. These people didn’t come to church to worship but for business and social reasons, just as some do today. They turned the sacred temple to a common place; the house of prayer into a den of robbers.
Our God is clean. Ritual purification was a matter of extreme importance in Israelites’ worship (Isa 1:16). God had given them specific instructions concerning hygiene and cleanliness .
Although, through Christ, we have become God’s spiritual house to offer spiritual sacrifices, yet God’s principle of cleanliness remains (1 Pet 2:5). We still meet physically and in physical buildings (Matt 18:20). God doesn’t dwell in dirty environments.
Let’s consider how the house of God is abused today.
Firstly, when you turn the holy altar into a playground, allowing children to run around on the altar without restraint and comedians using the altar to profane the name of the Lord.
The physical altar represents the place of the Lord’s sacrifice and our place of worship. It should not be treated as an entertainment podium.
Secondly, littering the church and its environment does not honour God nor portray the holy and clean God we proclaim. Use trash bins, don’t write on chairs and walls, don’t chew gums and paste it on or under the chairs, etc. Keep the church and its environs clean, serving as examples to the world (Matt 5:16).
Thirdly, the way we use the restrooms can make guests go with wrong impressions about our God. Think of others who will use it after and be guided by love (Matt 22:39). And since our God is everywhere, you can also encounter Him right in the restroom. Flush properly, use tissue to wipe clean the toilet seat and the washbasin edge after use.
Lastly, handle God’s resources with utmost care (Gen 2:15). Leaving items in the rain, sun, and dust after a program is an act of dishonour. Keep items from being damaged, avoid wastage, and return to the right places.
Friends, honouring God and His possessions, attract His blessings. Parents must train their children early in this regard. The attitude of cleanliness honours Him, but uncleanliness and abuse of His possessions attract His wrath.
1. Father, please, help me to love and honour You by keeping Your church clean in Jesus’ name.
2. Father, let me not do things that will make others have a wrong impression about You and Your church in Jesus’ name.
1. As a mark of honour to God, I treat God’s possessions with utmost respect.
2. I am God’s ambassador of cleanliness in the house of the Lord.