Posts Tagged 'cleaning'

Holy Week Thoughts: Monday’s Cleansing

Mark 11:12-19

Every week over 8,000 Americans die of heart attacks. Far more of these deaths occur on Monday than any other day. When you know that the coming week is going to be stressful, facing Monday can be tough. It certainly was for Jesus. As we consider Jesus’ last week before the cross, notice the Kingdom values He demonstrated on that Monday so long ago.

In verses 12-14 of Mark 11, we see that Jesus curses the fig tree. The lack of fruit leads to Jesus’ disappointment. The first Kingdom value we want to remember is that bearing fruit in our own lives is expected. As we keep reading in verses 15-17, we see Jesus clearing the Temple. Specifically, He’s clearing the Court of the Gentiles, the outermost portion of the Temple Yard, about 18 acres in all.

Christ is upset at the religious leader’s choice of displacing the Gentiles with animals. That outer courtyard was designed to let non-Jewish people see the wonderful worship of Yahweh. This leads to Jesus’ anger, and our second Kingdom value: replacing ministry with profit is wrong.

As Jesus’ righteous indignation is shown, a less-than-righteous response of anger is also seen in verses 18-19: the chief priests want to kill Jesus! Confronting the power structure leads to Jesus’ arrest; the leaders aren’t going to stand for the change in the status quo. This shows us that the events in Jesus’ final week are incorporated into God’s plan for humanity’s rescue. In other words, nothing thwarts the Lord’s ability to bring about God’s plan.

Using the Law to justify lawlessness is hypocrisy. That brings to mind a Kingdom value as well: we are called to be consistent people in God’s grace. It invites us to consider this question as we join with Jesus during His Lenten journey: Are there any misplaced motives in our lives that need to be driven out?

Lord, we’ve all faced tough Mondays. Remind us by Jesus’ example that our week is so much more than just what we face, but HOW we face it. Plant Your Kingdom deep in our hearts this day, and every day.

Amen.

Blowing Out The Dust Within

The Backell family suffered a tragic, yet completely preventable loss this last week…

a very dusty computer

a very dusty computer

Our living room media server died. It was a slow, lingering, complication-filled battle that led to its demise.
Why am I bringing this up here? Because when I opened up the computer box, I discovered that it was full of dust. Such a simple, small thing… but left unchecked, it choked the life out of our computer. The fix would have been simple – take the computer outside, blow it clean with fresh air, and make sure that all its parts are well-connected.

Are you seeing the correlation between my media server and our spiritual lives yet?

All too often, we let little things, small things, pile up. We think, “oh, that’s not that important, I’ll deal with that later”… and then, before we know it, we’re getting clogged with the little things and we’re unable to breathe.

Please note – I don’t have anyone specifically in mind, but the warning is sound: if we allow little things, small sins, to accumulate in our lives, they cause more and more complications. Those little things can grow to have devastating consequences.

I was reading the Desiring God blog, when I came across this quote:

“We sin because we forget God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. When we are not ravished by him, we forget the superior pleasures that there are in God and give ourselves to the inferior pleasures of sin. And this is why David says, “Against you God, you only have I sinned.” He goes deep with his confession because he knows repentance is the way back to fellowship with God.” (Rick Gamache, from his sermon “Whiter Than Snow”)

As we wrap up the summer of 2014, please take the time to deal with the simple things, the small things that might be accumulating in your heart. Bring them to God and ask the Spirit to blow fresh air through your life so that you’re renewed and ready for however the Lord calls you.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:10-12

Keep Following Jesus,

Pastor Ed


Pastor Ed Backell

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