River Rock Baptist Church
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
All To The Glory of God

John Lesson #10

John Lesson #10
John 2:12-17
 

"Eaten up". You can be eaten up with a goal. It's when you want something so badly that it 'consumes' you. 

 

ill.--"Hero Worship". This is when you want that sandwich more than anything. [hero!] No. I've noticed that there's a very large crowd that, whenever they hear the President speak, they will eat up anything he says, even if it sounds crazy. I've heard it in churches, when there is a motivational preacher speaking and an engaged crowd amenning and vocalizing. He can say just about anything and they will eat it up. "People are dying and going to hell" [people respond 'hallelujah'!]

 

We get eaten up with something we want. They say in the world of 'sales' that once a person is emotionally attached to that car, electronic gadget, etc., you've got them 'eating out of the palm of your hand'.

 

I wish we had that kind of zeal for the things of God.

 

v. 17 is a quote from Psalm 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;

 

Zeal means passion or enthusiasm. "Zealous" is related to "jealous", in the sense that you are willing to protect something at all costs.

 

After Jesus' first miracle He went by way of Capernaum to Jerusalem because it was time for Passover. And every good Jewish man went there three times a year for the feasts of Passover, tabernacles, and Pentecost. Jesus, being not just a good Jew, but a perfect one, fulfilling the requirements of the OT law so we don't have to [good thing, since we cannot], went to the temple, or, 'house of God'.

 

Upon arrival, He was angered at what He saw...the priests, instead of ministering the Word, had established a money making business right in the temple. They were selling sacrifices like oxen, lambs, doves, for profit. If you don't have a sacrifice, or the one you brought from home died during the journey, no problem, we'll set you up!

 

Or, maybe the priest would say, "This animal you brought is not good enough. You need to buy one of our animals" [wink, wink]

 

Then, there were others making money by exchanging currency. Many would only have foreign currency on them, and the priest would tell them they couldn't use it there. As they exchanged, they would only get about 50 cents on the dollar.

 

The priests were making merchandise out of religion, and charging exorbitant rates. And it's still being done today. What a turn off it must be to our world to flip by a 'Christian' Television network and see people making merchandise out of Jesus, promoting a rich lifestyle of prosperity in His name. And they will pray for you if only you will make a donation. We pray for one another...no charge!

 

Running a ministry costs money...the water of life flows freely at River Rock Baptist, but the plumbing costs money. But we're talking about those who are 'fleecing the flock'...doing it for the money like a hireling. May I say clearly, if you want to make a lot of money at something there's a lot of honest ways of doing it, and the ministry is not one of them!

 

When it comes to the stewardship of God's house and the money aspect of it, there's a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and it's very clear to everyone watching if you are about money or about the Father's business. It is obvious to observers whether you are about getting out the Word of God or if you are all about lining your own pockets.

 
vv. 15-16 'scourge' is a whip.       
 

This is one of many Bible events which I want to watch someday on the universe's largest flat screen which I assume will exist in heaven!

 

Here is the meek and lowly Jesus, of whom John has just said, Behold the Lamb...the hair stands up on the back of His neck and His heavenly blood boils and He fashions a whip and goes 'Indiana Jones' on these reprobate bad guys who are turning His house of prayer into a den of thieves! 

 

So much for the idea of Christians being peacemakers who always turn the other cheek. Why is this kind of anger ok? Because it was zeal for the things of God, which trumps all other concerns. It was a righteous indignation which led Jesus to take a stand for the right! He literally, physically drives them out of the temple. "Yah! Get out!" He flips the tables, money crashes to the ground, and fur and feathers are flying everywhere. 

 

Jesus has a justified, holy fit, and the disciples say, "He has zeal for the house of God." Ya think?!

 

Do you have zeal for the house of God? Are you zealous about your church? Consider our ATM:

Attendance
Tithing
Ministry
 

I am zealous about the house of God, are you?

 

"You don't have to go to church to be a Christian." True that. But if you are a Christian you'll want to go to a good church. If you love Jesus, you'll love what He loves, and Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it!

 

Some are saying, "The church is on its way out."

        I guess in a sense that is true. We have been bought out by the blood of Christ, called out to be separate from this world, and at the rapture we will be taken out...so in the meanwhile, we ought to be sold out!

 

It's not "Christ OR the church" but "Christ AND His church!" The true believer is eaten up with zeal for the house of God.

 

When you hear someone say they are saved, but they are not zealous toward a local assembly...something is wrong.

 
v. 17        Why be eaten up with the church?
 

 

1.     Because you know it pleases the Lord.

It pleases the Lord that you are here today. You are giving the first day of a new week to the Lord...it's the Lord's day...all day long by the way!

Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Is that a suggestion or a command? Well, the true believer DELIGHTS in obeying God's commands. 

 

And obey His command with love. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Talk is cheap. Prove your love by keeping His commandments. "Tithe if you love Jesus, any fool can honk."

 

 

2.     Because you know it is a good testimony.

When you look at me right now, what are you looking at? Is it Jerry Shirley? Wrong! This body is just a shell in which JS lives. The real JS is my soul, made up of my heart [with which to feel], my mind [with which to think], and my will [with which to act.] When I look at you, all I'm seeing is your 'soul-holder'. I'm looking at a space suit your soul wears so it can function in this atmosphere.

        Anything we know about one another is manifested thru our bodies. So, how do you know what I'm thinking? The only way you can suppose to know what's going on up here, if anything, is if it is manifested thru my body in some way. Maybe I voice it, or my body language conveys it. How do I know what you are feeling? How does a man know what his wife is feeling in some moment? Does her face reveal it? Her posture? The frying pan in her hand?

 

My body is the outward manifestation of 'the real me.' And the church is the body of Christ...the only outward manifestation of Jesus on earth today. Are you part of the body? Are you performing your bodily functions? Do you stay connected to the nutrients which flow, or are you disjointed, paralyzed, or atrophied?

 

All you know about me is what is outwardly manifested thru my body...and all this world knows about Jesus is what they see in you and me...His body on earth!

 

If we manifest forth grace, then they know God is gracious. If we show love, then they know He is loving. If we demonstrate patience, then they know He hasn't given up on them. If we exude hope, then they know there's hope for them in God!

 

Jesus is the invisible part of the visible church...and the church is the visible part of the invisible Christ!

 

I hope you get the magnitude of this, for the concept of identifying with a local church is much more important than people assume today. When a believer says they don't want to identify closely with a church, they are unwittingly insulting the Christ who died for the church, married them as His bride, and is building their mansion in a mansion that is out of this world!

 

We should have zeal for the house of God because it is a testimony to the world around us.

 

A major mark of a child growing up and maturing is discovering the importance of their body. Isn't it fun to watch a baby discover its body? One day it discovers its fingers and will play with them all day long and will suck on them. Same with the toes! Then one day it learns its legs are good for something and they can walk, and its tongue can make it talk. And we were so eager for them to walk and talk and then we want them to [sit down and shut up!]

        It's a mark of their maturity that they recognize the importance of their body. And the older we get, the more we appreciate and try to take care of our body...it's a mark of maturity...and so, maturing Christians recognize their importance as the body of Christ, and appreciate the rest of the body, and do their part to take care of the body!

 

And so the person who places no importance on the church is likely not saved...or at least very spiritually immature.

 
Why be eaten up with zeal?

 

1.     Because you know it pleases the Lord.

 

2.     Because you know it is a good testimony.

 

 

3.     Because you will experience fellowship and discipleship.

We have common fellowship here...a bunch of fellows in the same ship. We are much stronger together than apart. 

 

Also, it's a place to learn, a means to grow, and an opportunity to serve.

 

Why does my body to exist? To serve me! Why does the body of Christ exist? To serve the Master! He is the head of the body. We seek out the mind of Christ and then serve its commands.

 

"I love Jesus, but I don't need the church."

        We shouldn't just come for what we can get, but what we can give. Don't just have the consumer mentality, but the contributor mentality.

 

"I can worship God on the lake."

        Not if you care about sitting in a nursery so someone else can go to church.

 

"I can worship God on the golf course."

        Not if you play like I do. If only I could swap my golf scores for my bowling scores I would go pro in both sports!

 

"The Lord encourages me every day, not just Sunday."

        But did you know that you discourage fellow believers when you miss church, and leave them sitting in a half empty pew?

 

Every time you darken the door you are saying, Jesus, I love you, and thank you for making me part of the church. Pastor, I love you, and appreciate the work you put into sermons, even the EVENING ones. Fellow members, I love you, and will show up and do my best to do my part!

 

Don't be like a tick on a dog...just 'in it' for what you can get 'out of it.'

 

I so appreciate the faithful people of Grace for all you do...you are eaten up with zeal for the house of God. And you do what you do, not for this appreciation, but for the Lord!

 

If you are not eaten up with that same zeal, if you are unfaithful, in and out--do you know why you feel that freedom? It's because of the faithful who do their best to make up for it by pulling double duty, and by giving over and above what they have to so that in every service God will be glorified. And on those occasions when some 'holiday' attendees take a notion to grace us with their presence we will be here for them, the doors will be open, the building will be clean and warm, the instruments will play, ushers will serve them, sound engineers will leave their spouses sitting alone for them, and hopefully the pastor will say what they want to hear. 

 

Nothing can be built, not a business, not a sports team, not a club, without faithful involvement from a body of people. God give us zeal for the house of God!