Sunday, December 18, 2016

"A Clean Heart" - 12/18/16 - I Peter 1-5

"This is The Word that conceived the new life in you.

So clean house!
Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk.
You’ve had a taste of God.
Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness.

Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God." (I Peter 1:25-2:3)

It isn't a coincidence as I have been cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff in our physical home, He has also been helping me clean my spiritual home - me - my heart. 

Our bodies are The Temple He lives in when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  His Word has/is helping me see how I have neglected His Temple over the years.  I have added to it stuff which only served the purpose of junking things up and collecting dust. 

It took away from the beauty of His Temple. 

Some of the "stuff" I had housed in The Temple were malice, pretense, envy and hurtful talk.  I had to be willing to throw it out - God won't come in and force His way - He wants our hearts to be willing to live His way.  He will show us things we need to be rid of, but it has to be our free choice to do so. 

Otherwise, we will look past Him, out the door to the stuff in the dumpster, clinging to it and wanting to bring it back into The Temple - our hearts. 

Our hearts have to want to be free of the stuff.

As I walk through this world, there will be many times I have the choice to respond with a Christlike attitude or lower myself and respond as the world would.  He keeps a quote from a book I recently read running through my brain, and changing my heart, "regardless of the type of actions toward Christ, He always - always - responded in kindness". 

This has become my guide to the trials and tribulations I will walk through.  I also stand on His promise that The Truth will prevail.  When I am living my whole life "in" His Truth, when it does finally prevail - I will not have moved.  I no longer have to worry about defending my actions, my thoughts, my way of living.  He is in control. 

His Word is also helping me to see that each of us "cleaning house" is on our own time schedule.  Just because I am getting my "Temple" in order, doesn't mean everyone else is. If I go in and "make" someone get their "Temple" in order, they will only hide the things they aren't ready to throw out.  And eventually everything we have hidden in our hearts, our Temple, come out into the open.  It is seen in our faces, our fruits, our responses. 

In preparation for the coming week when our family is under one roof I am letting go.  The home may not be decorated top to bottom.  Spotless and organized.  Food may not turn out perfect.  But I am resolved to the fact, "What will be - will be".  It isn't about celebrating as the world, but in and around our Savior.   

Because I am throwing out the "stuff", His beautiful furnishings are able to shine.  How my heart does sing! Because I am not having to dig through all the stuff to find them, I am able to totally delight in The Fruits of The Spirit. 

"But The Fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by The Spirit, let us also walk by The Spirit." (Galatians 22-25)

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