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Don't Make My Father's House A Den Of Thieves
By Brian Price 8/10/2013

"17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine." - Mark 11:17-18

Do you serve God, or do you serve money? When it comes to the church, motivation must be carefully examined within the heart. In this passage of Mark, we read that Jesus was greatly displeased with the religious leaders wrongful use of God's house. The religious leaders used religion as a means to make money. They could have cared less about the edifying of God's people, or the salvation of their souls. They were only preoccupied with how much money they could make. In the Old Testament, Elijah said to his greedy servant, "Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?" (2 Kings 5:26). Although Elijah could very much have received gifts at the hands of Naaman the Syrian, he chose to not bring reproach upon the name of God by refusing any gifts. Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service." He was speaking out of shame because he was a man who did not like to receive money from anyone for his service for Christ. He said in Acts, "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me." Paul knew that the Lord had a specific plan for the church and how it ought to operate. And although it was totally in his power to "live of the gospel," he said that he did not do it, "lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ," (1 Cor. 9:15). He later said, "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel." (1 Cor. 9:18). Paul knew that the unbelieving world would not understand how the church operates. Pastors and servants of the church need wages to care for the church. But he refrained from this personal benefit that he might better benefit the gospel. Does that mean it's wrong for servants of churches to receive wages? No, but it certainly should stop and make us think, and perhaps question the motives of our hearts.

If You Died Today, Would You Go To Heaven?