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Jump-Start Your Day

Friday, November 30th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

HOUSE OR DEN, WHICH?

"My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves" (Matthew 21:13)

 

The two images couldn't be father contrasted. A house is a warm, bright, inviting place. A wolf den is a dark, cold, dangerous place. A house is where father dwells and children grow and play in safety. In a den the Alpha Male rules with canine teeth exposed. There is suspicion, intimidation and marking of territory at every turn. A house has rooms lit up with electricity and faces lit up with hope; a den is a hole dug in the dirt or cold damp cave, all the antithesis of hope. When Jesus said "My house" He referred directly to the Jerusalem Temple but it also references our church families, our homes and even the personal temple of the Holy Spirit, our bodies. Activity there is to be constructive not destructive, a "house of prayer". Don't blab about it, pray about it. In a house there is unity. Each family member has a chore to do and each watches the other's blindside. In a den it is each wolf for himself. The pack may work as a team while on the hunt but once the elk is down the chief eats first and the others scrap over the scraps. What a testimony to the community when the dog-eat-dog philosophy of the business world becomes sheep-eat-sheep in the church.

 

It was only fitting that Jesus "overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves" (vs 12). "My house" had no room for thieves then nor does it now. He was quoting from Jeremiah 9:11, "Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?" The dove symbolized the precious Spirit of God and the dove, of course, is not for sale. The church's chief calling is to be a "house of prayer". Now versatility makes sense so we have "multi-purpose" buildings that house lots of different functions. But how much actual church time is spent praying for the lost, for "thy kingdom come" and "thy will to be done" and for the blessing of God on our nation? "My house" is stronger than the congressional house, courthouse, schoolhouse or even the White House. God is serious about a church's corporate prayers. Thursday Night volleyball can't birth a national revival. A church potluck can't fix a nation's hard luck. The house of prayer needs a prompt restoration.

 

House or den, which? Notice it shall be "called" a house of prayer. That implies that the neighborhood has it pegged. "That church down there, it is a house of prayer. We have heard them with our own ears". The usual tidbits that pass around town have to do with party splits, moral failures, pastoral changes or fundraiser appeals. When a church is "called" a house of prayer you can bank on it, needy people will beat down your doors when crises come. Soon the dens will be closed down for lack of clientele. After Jesus cleansed the temple, "the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them" (vs 14). A great revival of miracles and healings always follows restoration of order in the house. One more thought, a "den" can also imply rest and relaxation as one definition for den would be "lounge". Church is not to be a lounge atmosphere, a den-room or place to come stretch out on the couch and take it easy. By "house" Jesus was speaking of an ordered and orderly place. "Set thine house in order" means that we cannot govern our lives just any way we please. Christ is "son over his own house; whose house are we..." (Hebrews 3:6) His lordship requires our surrender. Every room belongs to Him. In a wolf den cleanliness doesn't really matter. In "My house" there is a constitution to abide by and a daily checklist to follow. Submit to that constitution.


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