Trash: My Pet Peeve

I have a pet peeve and it has to do with the trash.  When my family throws away trash they just lightly set it on top of the trash and it fills the trash can up quickly. When it fills, the lid will not shut but my family will continue to set it lightly on top and then the smell begins to linger as well as trash ends up being set on the floor.  My wife will say I need to take the trash out at this point.  Instead of taking the trash out, I will come along and push it down and the can has plenty of room for more trash.  If others would just push it down we would not have the issue of lid not closing, no linger smell, and no trash on the floor.

But there is also the fact that I will push it down and push it down.  Soon I can not get the trash out of the can without having the bag break and getting trash everywhere.  I push it down so much and try to wait too long to  take it out that when someone goes to throw something away that you can not even get the lid close to opening and so you have to take the top off can to try to fill it in.  By my pushing down the trash so much, I end up making things so much harder.  I end up having more trash in the house than I should.

I am reminded of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29 where he has the trash cleaned out of the temple.  2 Chronicles 29:15-16  15 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Jehovah, to cleanse the house of Jehovah. 16 And the priests went in unto the inner part of the house of Jehovah, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Jehovah into the court of the house of Jehovah. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron.

In my own life I need to not push the trash down and fill myself up with it but I need to take it out daily because otherwise it just fills up with too much junk.  I am temple of God and I need to be cleaned out and not filled with trash and junk.  I need to have all the junk in my life carried out.

Let me ask you today: Are you guilty of pushing trash down in your own life?  Do you have any pet peeves?

Reaction (Part 3)

Isaiah 38:1-8 –  1 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, `Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ “ 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Now how would you like to have Isaiah’s job here.  He has to go to the King and tell him that God has told him that He is going to die.  Now in this statement from Isaiah: Thus says the LORD, `Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ There seems to be no discussion here or bartering with God, he has sent the message and it is a flat out statement as to what is going to happen – Hezekiah is going to die.

God was remarkably kind to Hezekiah, telling him that his death was near. Not all people are given the time to set your house in order.  Because not all are given warning about this we should be living our lives in a way always that our houses are in order.  We need to always be ready because life is like a vapor that appears for a short time and vanishes away.

Again we see the reaction of Hezekiah.  Before in the desperate situations we saw Hezekiah seek God in those times and again we see it here.  Again we see that he turns his face to the wall and prays.  Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall: This shows how earnest Hezekiah was in his prayer. He directed his prayer in privacy to God, and not to any man. He is deeply moved by this news as all of us would be but he reacts in a God honoring way – that God honoring way is prayer.

Again – we have seen in all types of situations that Hezekiah goes to God in prayer as his immediate reaction.  We have seen it with things happening in his leadership and his country and now with health.  What is going on in your life right now that you need to take to God in prayer?  For me, I pray that in every situation in my life that I would take it directly to God right away – I am not there yet but it is getting better.  How about you, are you taking everything directly to God right away?  Are your reactions God honoring?

Share your thinking and thoughts on this?

Reaction (Part 2)

Today we are going to look at part two of Hezekiah’s reaction to what life throws at him.  Hezekiah gets a letter from the King of the Assyrians named Sennacherib which says the very same things that the message he sent through his counselor earlier which is that Hezekiah will get no help from Egypt and God is unable to help.  Sennacherib continues his  assault on Judah and Hezekiah with words.  So with with that – let us look to the reaction of Hezekiah after he receives a letter: Isaiah 37:14-20 14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the LORD saying, 16 “O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 “Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God. 18 “Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20 “Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, LORD, are God.”

We see first of all that Hezekiah gets the letter and reads it.  What is his reaction again?  He goes to the house of the Lord and spreads it before the Lord.  He lays it all out before God literally.  He lays this letter out before God.  In this, Hezekiah boldly and effectively fulfilled the later command of 1 Peter 5:7: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. So, let me ask, do spread everything out before the Lord?  Is your reaction to go and spread all your problems before the Lord or do you just want to deal with them on your own?  Do you case all your cares upon Him or do you walk around anxiously trying to work out everything instead of allowing God to work it all out?  God cares for us, He is a Big God, He can handle anything you cast upon Him with great ease!

Something else here that we can learn from Hezekiah spreading this all our before God,  by spreading this out before God Hezekiah realized it really was not his problem to deal with but it was God’s.  Sometimes we make things our problems that are really God’s to deal with, not ours at all.  There is no way we can carry the weight of the problems around and we just need to lay them out before him.  Do you have problems that you have been trying to deal with that are really God’s to deal with?  Let me be honest, in preparing this message, I examined my life and found that I have been doing this.  Thing today are much lighter because I am letting God deal with them.  What about you, are you carrying and dealing with God’s problems?

So two questions today:  Do you have things you need to spread out before the Lord and cast on on?  Are you carrying around and dealing with things that are God’s to deal with?  Share your thoughts.

Reactions?

Isaiah 37:1 – 2 – 1 And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the LORD. 2 Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.

When Hezekiah the King faced an enemy that was much stronger than Israel, what was his reaction?  His reaction was to humble himself before God.  How did he show this humility?  He did it by tearing his cloths which is a sign in the Jewish culture showing sorrow.  Then he did not just pray but he went to them temple and prayed.  You see in going directly to the temple was his showing that in the midst of this terrible situation he wanted to hear directly from God.

When you are facing rough times and when you have a situation that seems overwhelming – what do you do?  Do you react with what one could call a godly reaction.  As soon as we realize that we are in the middle of a difficult situation we should confess our sins which I posted about last week and then seek wisdom directly from God.  These are two steps that are weapons that we have in dealing with spiritual enemies.  You are never stronger than when you repent and seek the Lord.

Reactions speak volumes to a person’s character and to a person’s walk with God.  Those people who at first sight of a problem that get angry or yell and scream and lose their minds in a situation are generally those who do not have a firm grip in their walk with God because that is not a God honoring way of dealing with any situation.  Those who react by seeking to find out the whole truth of the matter, what part they played or did not play in it, those who seek God right away, those are the people who are showing a God honoring reaction. They are in a position to make a difference because God can and will use them.  If you are angry, yelling, and over-reacting – you have just marginalized yourself and have put yourself in a position where you can not rightly speak for God or His ways.  Again, your reactions to what life throws at you whether in your personal life, work life, or church life speak volumes to your character and relationship with Christ.

Let me ask you these tough questions – how do you react?  Do you react to hard and difficult situations in anger or do you immediately seek God and His wisdom?   I beg of you to begin to work hard on reacting in a Godly way because you will give opportunity for God to use the situation and you.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts.

A Clean Shed/A Clean Life

I mowed my lawn on Monday.  When I went into the shed to get the riding mower out I notice how terribly messy the shed was.  So as I rode around the yard mowing and I was thinking about how much of a mess the shed was and how much I needed to clean it.   So I made the decision that when I was done mowing, I was going to clean it.  So when I finish mowing I parked the mower and  proceeded to then to take almost everything out of the shed.  I worked hard to get all the dirt and junk cleaned up and in order.  When I was done – it looked real good – I felt real good about it.

One of the things I kept thinking was “how in the world did it get to this point”.  It did not seem that messy each time had gone in to get out the mower but then all the sudden I noticed the dirt, dried grass clippings, dead bugs, spider webs – well you get the idea.

I was then reminded of the story of Hezekiah in 2nd Chronicles 29:3-19 (if you are unfamiliar you can read the whole story here).  To sum this up you basically have Hezekiah goes in a cleans the temple – he cleans out all the junk and restores it back to what it should have been.  This verse gives us a great idea of what happened:

2nd Chronicles 29:16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron.

When was the last time you really checked out all the inner parts of your life?  When was the last time you went in and cleaned it all out?  Have you been looking closely at all the mess or have you been looking past it like I did in the shed?

Thinking about all this I was reminded of this song by Shaun Groves (One of my all time favorite songs).

If you cannot watch the video – here are they lyrics:

Take, me, make me
All You want me to be
That’s all I’m asking, all I’m asking

Welcome to this heart of mine
I’ve buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I’ve made
Inside of me
Come decorate, Lord
Open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remain
Spread Your love upon the walls
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded
No more doors are barricaded

Chorus
Come inside this heart of mine
It’s not my own
Make it home
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own
Welcome home

Take a seat, pull up a chair
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning
Every closet’s filled with clutter
Messes yet to be discovered
I’m overwhelmed, I understand
I can’t make this place all that You can

repeat chorus

I took the space that You placed in me
Redecorated in shades of greed
And I made sure every door stayed locked
Every window blocked, and still You knocked

repeat chorus

Take me, make me
All You want me to be
That’s all I’m asking, all I’m asking

Again when was the last time you cleaned out your inner part and then had the Lord come in and redecorate?