A House of Prayer Renovation -Part 3

As we read Matthew 21:12-16, it reminds us that there will be challenges facing us as we follow the call of being God’s house of prayer.1 We can’t remain the same if we are to go the next level with God.

Change Is Strange

The first challenge that faces us, according to Matthew 21, verse 15, is that it may not be what we’re used to. It says the chief priests became angry because the children were saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

Some would argue that these kids didn’t know what they were talking about. They probably were just repeating what the crowd was saying earlier outside. Jesus affirmed their praise, because these children were open to see what God had really come to do.

Not some political thing, not some political deliverance. People were being healed inside the temple. The priests were thinking, “We’ve never seen that before.” Like the priests back then, we will need the faith of a child to see the new things God is doing and will be doing.

Change Is Hard

Some of you may know this already, but this is the second time Jesus comes in the temple and cleanses the temple. According to John, chapter 2, he had done this before earlier in his ministry. Before we judge these people and say, “Uh, these people can never learn,” let’s look at ourselves.

It is so easy to go back to business as usual. It is so easy to fall back into our destructive patterns. It is so easy to settle into apathy. So what are we supposed to do when fear and habits pull us back into stuff away from what God has called us to be?

The Hope of Change

Most of us who have had some life-changing experience with God want to be the kind of people God has called us to be. We can’t do it by ourselves. That’s our heart cry. It’s a deep desire for God’s healing. The heart cry is a deep desire for our relationships to be healed. We can’t do it by ourselves.

So what do we do?

We cry out, “We need you, God.” When we cry out to God and tell him, “We need you,” it allows God to drive out the things that stand in the way of his blessing. It allows God to drive out the things within us that stand in the way of the supernatural blessing He has for each one of us.

Verse 14 of Matthew 21 says the blind and the lame came to Jesus at the temple and Jesus healed them. The noise of the moneychangers, the buyers and the sellers, and the noise of the cattle is gone. Now there’s room for the people who need Jesus. What does it sound like? What’s the sound of people set free and healed? It sounds like the laughter of children from verse 15, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Translated it means, “Yes, God is healing us. Yes, God is saving us.”

It’s the sound of the joy that God has promised in his house of prayer. God wants all of you, not just the acceptable part of us, or what we think is the acceptable part of us. God is searching and looking for people who are broken and people who need Jesus and who know they need a Savior. If that’s you, He makes room for you. He makes room for true worship in His house. He makes room for the prayer of our hearts,”I need you, God.”

A House of Prayer Renovation Part 1 Part 1 of 3

A House of Prayer Renovation Part 2 Part 2 of 3

Get out there and M.I.N.G.L.E !

As  followers of Jesus, we’re focusing on His way of reaching people.

We’re tackling each part of this insight by Ellen G. White on page 143 of Ministry of Healing. It’s a book  she wrote in the late 1800’s, but so applicable for our modern time:

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

As an equipper of young adult leaders, minister and through his work in publishing, Les Mccoy knows a lot about  “mingling”!  He also credits his wife Pastor Barb for inspiring him to come up with an acronym as a teaching tool. He shared  M.I.N.G.L.E with us. We started off with a prayer and meditation on Matthew 28:11. Here are my notes from this evening about Jesus’ example, and our guide as  Christians for interacting with the people we’ll meet:

M is for Meek

Jesus was kind. Too often, we associate meekness with weakness. Jesus was far from being weak. Real men are meek, Les said. He also shared that he had a grip strength test he once used as illustration during a speaking engagement. Most people could reach 40 on it. One man in the audience came forward. With one hand, that man’s grip measured 70! He happened to be a carpenter. Jesus as a carpenter and very most likely a strong man. According to the Gospel writings,Jesus treated people with kindness.

I is for Inclusive

Jesus embraced people. He in fact went looking for the outsiders such as the poor and the marginalized. I can’t help remembering how He included the children that His  own disciples pushed away.

I’m reminded that SMALL is big in God’s kingdom. No matter their role in society, people matter. Show them they matter by acknowledging them in some way.

N is for Needy

Jesus took the time to notice people and their needs. Les’ point here is that people need God whether they realize it or not. Never give up on people or believe that your story couldn’t reach them.  I love Les’ emphasis here, on being other-focused and not worry so much about how we appear to people.

I would also add this:  never be afraid to be needy yourself. Don’t be the one with the ready answer and dare ask for help. Jesus asked the woman at the well for water. He invited Himself to dinner to Zaccheus’ home. My takeaway?

Be humble enough to give  people the blessing of blessing you.

G is for “God with us”

We don’t go at it alone when we interact with people. God sends us forth into the world with His power!

And you know what else “God with us” reminds me of? That we ought to approach people within their context, and try to understand their point of view, not impose our own. Jesus came as a human being to be with us and never lost sight of His Mission. Let’s be incarnational.

L is for “Learn of me”

Christ’ invitation is to join Him and be equipped for heaven. When we say yes to Jesus, we have opened our being to redemption and to be prepared for a lifetime in His glorious presence. Christ says that “His yoke is easy”. This means that will gently lead us and help us to live our best life in His power.

God with us helps us.

E is for Eternal Life

Les quoted another Ellen G. White excerpt: “Heaven is a ceaseless approach to God through Christ.”  We have good news to share with people. To quote Les: “Eternal Life is today!”  …because of Jesus.

Through our living, they can access this relationship with Christ. What a great reminder my friend inspired me tonight: Heaven is a relationship. Not a place where we play harps all day.

I mean…think of the person you long for and dream of spending eternity knowing. Heaven like that, and better than the deepest passion we can imagine.  “Eternal Life starts now.”


What do you think? What would your acronym for “Mingle” look like? How has God led you to mingle with people in Christ’ Name and where? Who is God leading you to get to know better and pray for especially this week?