Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Second Time Around

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2 NLT)

I am a messy person, but the problem is that I don’t like messy environments. So, periodically I will turbo clean and straighten everything out again. Everything looks tidy and wonderful for a while, and then I start messing it up again.

My wife, Cathe, on the other hand, cleans constantly and doesn’t allow messes to pile up. Instead of throwing junk into a drawer, she organizes the drawer that we throw things into. Instead of sweeping dirt under a rug, she washes the entire floor.

While I take the path of least resistance, Cathe does what it takes. And Cathe’s way is the right way to clean things. We can take that same approach to life. We can take my approach to cleaning where we do nominal things and make a few exterior changes without any real change on the inside.

We might say, “I don’t want to deal with that now. I don’t want to hassle with that issue.” Thus, we’re always putting things off. That is how little things turn into big things. On the other hand, we can take Cathe’s approach to cleaning, which is thorough.

For example, when Jesus cleansed the temple after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, it was the second time He did so. The first time He drove the merchants out with a whip.

John’s Gospel tells us, “In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables” (2:14–15 NLT).

The Bible teaches that our “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we first put our faith in Jesus Christ, He cleanses our temple. Filthy habits are banished. A new purpose and a new focus in life grip us. But sometimes as time passes, a few of the old things find their way back in again. And our lives become cluttered with things that don’t belong.

That little sin that had been gone has returned and is starting to grow. And Jesus is ready to clean house again. Even though you’ve been converted and the Lord has cleansed you, you need to say, “Lord, I think it’s time for a little spring cleaning here. There is a little clutter. There are a few things that maybe don’t belong.”

Are there some sins, vices, or bad habits that have found their way back into your life again? Are there things that maybe you stopped doing after you became a Christian but now you’re doing again?

Or, perhaps there are things that you’ve never done before, but you have started to do them, even as a Christian. Maybe it’s time for Jesus to clean house. Maybe you need a little bit of spring cleaning—not just once, but as often as necessary.

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