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Cleaning Up One’s Act: We All Need to Do It!

John kiev

John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, rightfully as a reputation as having been a bit of a firebrand. In fact, he likely was more than a bit of a firebrand. His words in Matthew 3:1-12 are far from comforting, but they weren’t intended to be.

Prophets weren’t known for accepting the status quo and making religious or political leaders feel good. Going as far back as the time of prophets like Isaiah, they often stood up to leaders who misused their power to oppress God’s people. Out of this tradition that looked to a coming Redeemer, we’ve learned that there is always a message of hope, even if it doesn’t come in the nice, tidy package that we prefer.

One thing that we, as part of the human race still need to learn after all this time, is that not a single one of us is so perfect that we don’t need redemption. It doesn’t matter what your “spiritual pedigree” looks like or your station in life – all of us, from the least to the greatest, need that redemption that God alone provides. Maybe if we all kept this in mind, this world’s brokeness might not seem so bleak.

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


December 1, 2016 Posted by | Devotionals/Meditations | , | Leave a comment

Decluttering: Physical and Spiritual

I’ve been going through a period in my life lately where I feel the need to declutter. It’s the same for all of us: clothes that definitely don’t fit anymore, books that we’ve read but might not read over and over, and items that don’t really have any use. Having “stuff” is well and good, but we need to make sure that it doesn’t control things for us, either.

One of the best things about Lent is that it gives us a good opportunity to reflect on the spiritual clutter in our lives. Sure, you can think about decluttering at any time, but Lent’s message of repentance provides a perfect opportunity. There are numerous distractions that can hinder us from clearly seeing what God wants us to do.

Before you begin your spring cleaning, take a few minutes to reflect on any of the spiritual clutter that may exist in your life. What’s standing in the way of taking up Jesus’ invitation, “follow Me”? Next, think about what you can do about these things that stand in the way. Some thoughts to ponder:

  • Do you have an issue with someone that’s yet unresolved? What might you do to make peace with them?
  • Is there a friend you haven’t been in touch with? Give him or her a call, they’ve probably missed you, too.
  • Think of someone who’s going through a difficult time, and what you can do to help them.

These things may seem small, but they can certainly help give your life a new spiritual focus.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , , , | 2 Comments