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Cleaning House

Today, my wife, kids and I have decided to go through our entire house, clothes, goods, and all, and set things aside for donations and a Garage sale. All of us can agree that we have too much stuff, and we need to live simply (now, when it comes to actually getting rid of things, that’ll be a different story)! We all also can agree that we gather things for ourselves that, in the long run, just fill our house, and the attachments are not even really sentimental, but come down to “this is mine, that is why I want to keep it.” As a minister, I was thinking about when Jesus sent out the 12, and then the 72. He sent them out with little to nothing, and said “watch God take care of you!” And the 12, then the 72 preached the good news in the Spirit, performed miracles, cast out demons and did what Jesus did! It makes me wonder if this is what holds many of us back from the fulness of God’s blessing, that we keep our eyes on the material and not what God has for us to do.

Make no mistakes, we may not all be ministers, but all of us are called to minister (serve) before God. In our homes, we’re called to serve and love and lead and submit to one another in a Christ-like manner. In our jobs or schools, we’re called to serve our subordinates and lead in a Christ-like manner, or in our submission to our managers, to serve without grumbling or complaining, and serve in a Christ-like manner. Everywhere we go, we’re not to keep our eyes on the material, but on the Spiritual. We should seek to be led by the Spirit, not our stuff. And so, I’ve prayed today to let God clean my house, not just the physical address I live in, but my life as well, to remove that which removes my attention from Him, and to be who He is calling me to be in every facet of my life.

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Ephesians 5:15-6:9

5:15-33 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

6:1-9 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

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