The Attitude of Endurance Part I

The Attitude of Endurance Pt 1

John 2:13-22 

As You Journey through this life, may the grace and mercy of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ convince you of the God’s passionate care for His people!

Nothing will stand in the way

Attitude is often the difference between victory, and failure.

For a student, it is necessary, in order to master the material.  Determination makes the difference, far more often than intelligence does.  For some things can only be learned through slow repetition.  Attitude matters then because a determined attitude will see you through the boring times

For an athlete, an attitude of determination can be the difference between victory and defeat.  When an inch matters, determination can stop your opponent.

What about a husband and wife?  Do they need to have the correct attitude to see their marriage survive?

What about a believer?  Does our attitude help us endure, trusting in God

Or an elder or a pastor?  Does attitude have anything to do with how we minister to those around us?

What about our Savior?
If we are to endure this life, and the challenges to our faith, does Christ’s attitude matter?

As Jesus clears the temple courtyard, we see His dedication to seeing us endure.  An attitude we need to imitate, that we all need to model for those who need to know His love.

Why was this wrong?  Some background
As the Passover nears, people gathered from all over the Mediterranean Basin.  They traveled from Rome, from Greece, from Alexandria Egypt and Babylon.  Two parts of their journey that mattered were paying the temple tax, and offering pure; unblemished sacrifices, as important to them as our sacraments are to us

Without doing these things, they weren’t included in the people of God.  Not by their choice, by God’s rules.

So people provided what they needed, the bulls, the sheep and pigeons, and others provided the special coins needed to pay the temple tax and offering. In the process, a business came up, and some people thrived on it, some even made quite a prophet, as people had to offer these sacrifices.

It wasn’t just the extraordinarily high-profit margins that bothered Jesus.  Far more critical was the location for these religious businesses.

The Courtyard of the Gentiles, also known as the courtyard of prayer.

The place set aside, the holy place where the people who were not in Covenant could come and pray.  The people Solomon prayed for at the dedication of the temple, centuries before:

41  And don’t forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation. 42  People are going to be attracted here by your great reputation, your wonder-working power, who come to pray at this Temple. 43  Listen from your home in heaven. Honor the prayers of the foreigner so that people all over the world will know who you are and what you’re like and will live in reverent obedience before you, just as your own people Israel do; so they’ll know that you personally make this Temple that I’ve built what it is. 1 Kings 8:41-43 (MSG)

Imagine the noise of the animals of those people running the coin exchange and the negotiations.

Imagine the noise of Walmart at Christmas time, going on here, as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper!

People, who’ve journeyed days and weeks are trying to cry out to God, and they so need to hear him.  While bath’s and moo’s and the high-pitched cry of the birds and the all the talking is going on.

Don’t you see people trying to pray amid all the distractions?

They will be able to pray soon, for Jesus will make it peaceful, just as soon as He cleans house.

Bring it home

As I read this, I wonder how Jesus would clean up the church today.  It is easy to answer that for the church throughout the world, but how would he clean house here?

What things do we do, that get in the way of people knowing they are forgiven children of God?  What here at Concordia would make it difficult for someone who isn’t yet a believer, find it hard to hear His voice, and see His love revealed?

Maybe these aren’t things we do for money, but that we do for our comfort.  Or things we don’t do, because they would make our lives uncomfortable?

If you think about the church in Luther’s time, it’s easy.

The church did everything in a language that people didn’t understand.  And in order to find complete forgiveness, there was always something attached.  You needed to purchase this indulgence, go on that pilgrimage, be blessed by this relic or that.

They blocked the people from having access to God’s love, to His comfort, to knowing they were forgiven. We do the same thing, perhaps without realizing it, as we cherish our practices, without realizing why they are precious.  We want to keep them, but do we realize they might get in the way of someone searching for God?

The church at large could have a myriad of examples, and that is perhaps the biggest.  We don’t speak with one voice about our World’s need for God, their only hope to deal with the brokenness of sin in their lives.

Some hide the brokenness, others simply condemn it, without sharing the hope God has given us, in our brokenness.   We do the same thing, depending on the sin.  Some we treat as unforgivable, without knowing the person sitting next to us is dealing with brokenness because of that sin.  Other sins, we overlook, knowing that we are struggling with it, or someone else we love is.

And our house needs to be cleaned out.  We need God to come through, and break down the barriers we set up.  We need Him to help us realize that this place is a place of prayer, for Christians, and for those He is calling to, desire that they come to repentance!

Endurance – loving God, loving those around us

 

This is where attitude and endurance come into play.  It is not our attitude and endurance rather it is our Lord’s.

He will do whatever it takes to bring people to the Father.  He will humble the proud and lift up the weak. He will comfort those who need it, come alongside those who are mourning, confront the hard-hearted believers, who believe in God, yet need their hardened hearts broken and cleansed.  He will forgive those who confess their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.  He will also challenge those whose sin is so controlling them, that only He can free them from it.

He will hear our prayers!  The Spirit will reveal God in all His glory, in all His mercy, in all His love.

As we are transformed into His image, this becomes our lives, as we struggle with those things that stop people from knowing His love, His grace, His peace.  Those things will come to bug us, and we will struggle with them but realizing His grace and what it means, and that others know it,

We will endure, we will ask Him to cleanse our spiritual homes, we will ask Him to know His love.  His attitude will become our attitude…

And it will happen.  As we treasure His peace, they will come to know it, and know that He hears their prayers, even as He does ours!

AMEN!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 8, 2015, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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