Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wrong clock? Clean cup?

The question at our house this morning is: Who changed the time on the clock in our bedroom?!?!?

Before I had the horrible realization we were functioning as if it was 6:45 when it was really 7:45, before I threw on my coat over my pajamas and got in the car with morning/coffee breath, I was having a very sweet time alone with the Lord. (Sigh, pant, pant!) I raced off to get Jo to school, hoping I wouldn't get into an accident in my "please don't see me or smell my breath" state. Thankfully, there was no incident, and she just might've made it to class under the wire.

But before all that I was reflecting on scripture I shared last night with 3 of our Awana clubs (K-6). I was sharing about who God uses and what He wants from us. As I've been studying in Matthew I have seen a lot of "me" and 2010 Christians in the characters of the pharisees and scribes. Religious people. Temple goers. Robe wearers. Many heard Jesus say in chapter 5 that He values and blesses the "pure in heart;" those are the ones who truly "see" Him. But all the way in chapter 23, they still aren't getting his point, and He paints profound word pictures to help them see their state. I chose one picture that's close to home for gals like me who have intimate relationships with dirty dishes, dishwashers, and cups left on coffee tables, for gals like me who are trying to set perspective for a new year.

"First clean the inside of the cup and plate, that the outside also may be clean," Matt. 23:26.

Jesus just told the religious leaders that their outsides may look sharp, but inside they were full of junk, like greed and self indulgence. They were unworthy to represent God in their dirty state. They needed His forgiveness and cleansing, His mind about what matters most. Maybe they focused all of their new year's goals on how they looked on the outside, but they ignored their heart's condition. Cleaning the inside of "my cup" doesn't mean I won't ever drive to school in my jammies, have morning breath, or have a daughter labeled tardy (groan ... sorry, Jo!), but it means that in the circumstances of my day I will "see God" (Matt. 5:8). That's sweet peace in the midst of chaos, and that's motivation for doing some deep cleaning!

Lord, show me the dirty spots I have overlooked inside my heart. Please make me sensitive to see what offends you in my life and cleanse me, so You can use me to represent you well. I want to be a cup You will reach for to fill with Your living water to be poured out on others. I know my efforts can not make me or keep me clean, but I trust Your Spirit and Your Word to clean out my flesh spots and make me pure.

5 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Cindy Bultema said...

Love it!! I'm sorry you were late today (glad to know I wasn't the only one driving my kid to school today in my jammies. I brought my coffee along!)! Love the picture too!! Sure you can't come to Michigan soon?? I'd love to sit in your presence and hear more of the thoughts God has been giving to you. Such great stuff ~ keep it coming!! :)

Margaret said...

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

Michelle said...

It's rather interesting that the Lord made sure you spent a little time with Him BEFORE you realized what time it was!

Your prayer was so beautiful and insightful. Thank you for sharing!

Kristi_runwatch said...

Reflecting on the Pharisees is always so convicting to me. I wonder if I would have been alongside them, rejecting Jesus because He didn't fit into my predetermined box for God and wasn't following the rules the way I wanted Him to.

May God remind us daily how dirty we truly are without Him!!

Heidi Pocketbook said...

Very good post, Julie. Hope this morning was "on time" ;-)