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A Whip of Cords

Daily Reading: John 2

Scripture Focus: Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple. (John 2.15)

Devotional Thought: On two occasions in Jesus' ministry he had to get tough with people in the temple. They had transformed the temple into a place of profits rather than a house of prayer. He was not gentle in his approach.

As I read the story of Jesus clearing the temple, I couldn't help but think of how sometimes we need to get tough on ourselves. We are, after all, the temple of the Holy Spirit. If there are elements in us that detract from the purpose of God, and subtract from the praise of God, then we need to deal harshly with them, just as Jesus dealt harshly with those who profaned the temple in his day:

• Do we display attitudes that are not conducive to the praise of the Lord? We need to make a whip of cords and drive those attitudes - and the display of them - out of our lives!

• Do the words we say enhance or detract from our ability to pray? The Bible says that salt water and fresh water should not come forth from the same spring (James 2.11). The words we speak will condemn us or acquit us, for they show what's on the inside (Matthew 12.37). Let's clean up the inside with a whip of cords to drive all profanity, gossip, and discouraging words from our mouths.

• What about our habits and hobbies? Are those things drawing us closer to God or taking us further away from him? We must deal decisively with those things. Make a whip of cords and drive out all offending actions!

• The Apostle Paul said he 'beat his body' to make sure he was living a disciplined life. Let's make a whip of cords to drive away everything that is not pleasing to Jesus!

Prayer: Jesus, you are so zealous for the temple of God! Help me to make sure that I am keeping this temple - my body, mind and soul - clean before you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 33.1-7

1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. 2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.

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