If there’s one thing I’ve learned about kids it is they make messes. Sometimes those messes are little. Sometimes those messes are big. My wife and I are constantly saying things to our kids like, “Pick up the clothes in your bathroom floor…that’s why you have a laundry basket in your closet. Put your dishes away…in the dishwasher. Pick up the trash in your floor…it’s not yours?…well, who else lives in your room?”. As a parent, have you ever cleaned up the house only to feel like it exploded an hour later? There are certain things we are attempting to teach our kids about keeping a house clean. Simple things like when the trash is full, empty it. Folded clothes need to be put away. Dishes don’t live in the sink – put them in the dishwasher or cabinets. Now, there are some things we let slide – we don’t make beds every day. Now, we are going to clean the whole house before have company over because that shows people they are important. We want our kids to take care of our things so that later in life they will take care of their own.
Here’s a principle: the house doesn’t clean itself. That laundry isn’t going to fold itself. Cleaning house is something we do consistently a little each day because little messes can become big messes if not dealt with. There are days we clean everything. Here’s the spiritual point. Did you know Jesus cleaned house? Well, at least twice and not in the way you might think. He cleaned the house of God (the Temple) when it was being turned into a den of thieves. Luke 19:45-46 tells us, “Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’” John 2 tells us Jesus made a whip to force the moneychangers out. Jesus was cleaning God’s house of all the corruption. It had become unlivable for God in that condition. Imagine that…a church so messy that not even God can go to it! I love going to church and being the pastor of a church. I sure want God to be pleased and make it a place where we can worship Him. But, Scripture tells us, “God doesn’t live in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). I must remember, “Your (Christians) bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19). God lives in those who believe in Him. We are God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Think about this: If Jesus was coming over for a visit, would you clean your house? Of course you would! Would there be things you would put out of plain sight or even attempt to hide? But, if God’s Spirit lives in us, what can we hide? He knows everything (Psalm 147:5; Hebrews 4:13). Perhaps we need our temples truly cleansed? Maybe it’s time to let Jesus take over the cleaning of our soul instead of sweeping that sin under the rug? When we clean our house, we enlist the help of all the family. Everyone has a task. However, when Jesus cleaned His Father’s house, He did it by Himself. He didn’t say, “Peter, you dust the moneychanger’s tables. James, you sweep up the sheep and bird droppings.” He alone cleaned because He alone saw the mess for what it truly was. We would throw things in the closet, under the bed or shove them in a junk drawer. We would clean around the moneychangers; Jesus cast them out. Jesus doesn’t spot clean – He spotlessly cleans. He doesn’t clean around sin. He eliminates and erases it. Only He can wipe sins away (Mark 2:10). Only Jesus can make things look brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Pray this Scripture to Him: “Create in me a clean Heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me” (Psalm 51:10).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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