I was working overseas and I had an ex-pat who I was liaising with to provide Australian government-recognised qualifications to a group of newly arrived ex-pats in the country. When I expressed to him that the qualification they were completing dovetailed another one and that with no effort on his part, and at no cost, I could easily arrange for them to obtain 2 qualifications, do you know how he reacted? It wasn’t one of gratitude for making him look generous, or happiness for the good fortune of these ex-pats who had already paid large sums to him for obtaining a qualification that he insisted on them obtaining if they wished to work in his country. No, he immediately retorted, “What’s in it for me?” He wanted my company to reimburse him even more generously.
When you see the face of raw greed in an individual it can take your breath away. I think this must’ve been how Jesus felt when He entered the Temple. He saw the money changers extorting money from the worshippers, the selling of franchises to the market booths in and around the Temple, the profitable trade in live animals for sacrifice, the fees/bribes paid to animal inspectors, the exaction of money from hapless temple-goers for minor infringements…. all with the family of Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas the High Priest behind the racketeering.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the Lion of Judah that day and used a whip to chase away those who misrepresented God, just like He will on the final Day of Judgment.
The question for us is, do we misrepresent God? Do our actions show who our God is to those around us? The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth”. Some of those attributes are incommunicable: God’s power (omnipotence), presence (omnipresence) and knowledge (omniscience), but there are communicable attributes of God: wisdom, power, righteousness, and truth.
Since the human heart naturally reverts to evil (Mk. 7:20-23) how can we develop those communicable attributes of God? I’d like to propose 3 steps.
1. Know God personally. For 47 years I sat in a church and yet didn’t know God. Actively seek to know Him, repent and ask Jesus to be your Lord. Grow in knowledge and your relationship with God. Tip: by daily meditating on I Cor. 13 and dwelling on the heart of Jesus, your own heart will be transformed into His loving heart.
2. Read your Bible, pray, meditate and attend Bible studies and church services.
3. Let God speak to you and transform you as you put sin to death in your death in your life. God is holy and has set us apart to be holy, also. Press in to the Father 's heart and listen.