And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.John 2:13-16
We have already seen how God hates it when men mix anything with worship, especially money. This account, however, points to an even more fundamental problem that still exists in New Testament worship today.
People are not coming to worship prepared to worship.
These merchants and moneychangers chose their locations based upon what they felt would be the highest profit for them. A person would not set up a hot dog stand on the convention floor of a vegetarian convention. He would go broke!
My point is this. These merchants set up in the temple because there was a need. The people were not preparing themselves before they set out for the temple to make offerings or sacrifices. It was more convenient for them to purchase an animal on site rather than prepare one before and make the effort to get it there. Never-mind the fact the the animals being sold to them were at best subpar and not fit offerings for the Lord!
They did not have the right mindset when they made their offering. They should have been choosing from the best of their own flocks or seeking to purchase a quality animal before they ever headed toward Jerusalem.
It is the same with us today.
Do we worship God in a manner that is convenient for us or in the highest honor He deserves?
Do we worship God like a last minute impulse buy in the grocery store line or do we spend time during the week preparing our minds and heart with prayer and study?
Do we give to the church what we happened to have left in our pockets or do we prepare to give the first fruits of the natural blessings that God has given us?
Do we simply throw money at the church and feel that we have fulfilled our devotion to God and His people?
If it takes anything other than a thankful desire of obedience for the grace of God to get us to church, then we need to adjust our attitude. And if we are not coming prepared in our mind and spirit, then we need to be thinking about church more than just on Sunday morning when we are hurriedly getting ready to go.