Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year"1 (Lyrics)
I think that I'm a good housekeeper. My house is always neat; cabinet tops aren't cluttered; I vacuum and mop on a more-or-less regular basis. But in November, I was seized by the urge to do what is usually called "spring cleaning".
I have a small house, just four rooms; it didn't seem daunting. I live alone, so I'm the only one to make messes. I started with the main bathroom, then the bedroom. As I got down on my knees or stretched high to look into corners, I found dust in places that I never suspected: on top of moldings, in crevices where cabinetry isn't smooth, and oh my! the ceiling fan in the bedroom! I could swear that I had just cleaned that a few months before.
Three rooms are done — swept clean. Other events have filled my days recently; I'll get back to it soon. But I couldn't help think of the parallels between my "spring cleaning" and my Christian life.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV)
As I was on my knees scrubbing corners and ledges and getting rid of dust, I thought about the corners and ledges full of the dust of sin in my life. Some of these are hidden; others, I tend to ignore, not willing to confront attitudes and actions that need confessing and changing. I need to be on my knees talking to God, confessing my sins, asking for forgiveness, and accepting His cleansing of my life — perhaps, even while I'm scrubbing, since I'm on my knees anyway!
Psalm 51:7 – Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (NIV)
We live in a fallen world, much like the dust and desert of Arizona where I live. Sometimes, we have to clean the effects of that world out of our lives, whether it's activities that we participate in which take our focus away from God, or media — television, Facebook, movies, or literature — with content which is not God-honouring.
Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (KJV)
As we move into a new year, let us make a clean sweep! Let's look closely at our lives and start 2019 with cleansed hearts.
Prayer: Father, help us to be open with You, to come to You on a daily basis as we search our hearts. We want to stay close to You, to have You know our thoughts, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Amen.