Toys and Sin.. the constant clean up job.
James 4: 7-8 : Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind. (Contemporary English Version)
Surrender to God – wow. To surrender, hypotasso in the greek: to take the step to come under the authority and influence of God. This is massively challenging: I found myself thinking about how much I am coming under the authority of Christ. Is it 100%? No. I need to surrender everything and make a complete commitment to come near to God. Coming near to God means revering and worshipping God. This is me recognising that God is so utterly amazing and awesome and I should praise and glorify Him – literally take time each day to bring to mind how awesome God is. Singing worship songs, praying prayers of immense gratitude, telling those around me why God is so totally awesome. And when I do this it presents the sobering thought that I really can’t deal with my junk, my sins, my destructive behaviours by myself.
Clean up my life! With 4 kids, a good session of play will result in parts of my house looking like a toy junk yard. Toys all over the place just waiting to inflict a painful wound on my soft feet. The key as a parent is to find a balance between allowing my kids to make a mess (known as play) but not allowing the mess to become a permanent fixture. So constantly my wife and I, (and sometimes even our kids) are picking up toys and carefully placing them neatly in their spots; ready to be distributed around the house several minutes later.
It is the same with temptation and sin: I need to constantly clean up, constantly come before God and seek His forgiveness, constantly be on my guard against temptation, all towards making my life clean. Like the inevitable mess made by kids, I will inevitably makes mistakes and be tempted – but I have not failed, I now realise this is part of being human. And part of being Christian is to constantly seek to be pure and clean. ‘Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind.’ literally means to constantly seek to purify my heart.
God I praise and exalt you for this challenge to constantly seek to be pure and clean, and for the death on the cross of your son that can make this possible. Lord I surrender every area of my life, I turn and face the junk and seek your strength and intervention to deal with it. Make my pure Lord. Amen.
Rev Mark Brown
NOTE: I am going on holiday for four days with my family and will be unable to post.. so please find below four days worth of readings. Catch you in a few days!
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The Portion for today: Genesis 4-7; day two of my holiday: Joshua 6-10; day three of my holiday: Psalms 3-5; day four of my holiday: Job 3-4
Also I have set up a place on my FB page where your can discuss, make observations and ask questions about these readings. Check it out by clicking here.