What wonderful stones! What wonderful buildings! – Mark 13:1
A church in New Jersey was helping a homeless man find a place to live. After a long search, the church finally found him a place with rent he could afford, but the rent deposit was a thousand dollars. Devastated, the homeless man cried in despair, “I don’t have a thousand dollars!” The church did not have enough money in their benevolence fund to help him.
In the meantime some ladies from the church had decided to beautify the sanctuary. They made flower wreaths and decorations. One woman decided the church needed a rail for the altar and had one made. The cost was one thousand dollars.
When the work was all done, the sanctuary was lovely; but they could not see the Lord kneeling at that costly altar rail as He wept.
A church in California zealously raised one hundred thousand dollars to expand its parking lot. Afterwards they boasted about giving just two thousand dollars to the poor. We need our parking lots, but consider the impact on our communities for Christ, if after having completed the first fund drive, they worked as zealously to raise an equivalent amount of money and seeded it into the needs of the poor in their town.
The scales are out of balance; our priorities are in the wrong place.
Jesus walked with His disciples through the streets of Jerusalem. As they went, His disciples were enamored of the elaborate temple there. “Look at all this expensive stonework!” they exclaimed. Jesus was not impressed. “Do you see all these buildings? There will not be a stone that is not torn down.” (Mark 13:2).
We invest much in efforts that will not endure throughout eternity, yet we neglect that which is the closest to our Lord’s desires. In the time that we have left before He returns, will we let Him adorn the sanctuary of our hearts?
Copyright 2008 by H.D. Shively
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