Break out the Shop Vac. Advent Week 3

I hope you’ve been enjoying these entries on Advent. We’re almost half way through the Advent season. As Christmas approaches, I really hope that your mind and heart are focused on preparation. Preparing your home for food, family, and fun; but more importantly, preparing your heart. I’ve been reading this blog on Advent called “The Liturgy Nerd”, and two of the thoughts for this week are “Joyful Repentance” and “Fulfillment”.

“OK, repentance I get… but Joyful?”

Let me illustrate.

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Here is the back of my Jeep. And this is actually cleaner than usual…

I can drive around all day long and never notice this mess, except for maybe the rattling and shifting when I turn. But a week or two from now when I go out to the woods to get some of my grandfather-in-law’s free fire wood, I will not have prepared enough room to put anything. And all of a sudden all this junk will be in my way.

Look also at Mary and Martha. They both waited until Jesus got there to start preparing anything. And when push came to shove, they both missed the point.

So we are preparing for the celebration of Christ’s coming, which is the fulfillment part of it. He was prophesied to come, and He is prophesied to come again. Will you wait to clean out the junk until it’s almost too late? Will you walk into family gatherings and parties full of the junk of the year? Or deeper still, what about when He comes again, or you go to be with Him? Will you wait until the last second to take care of your junk? Everyone has it. It’s pain, shame, guilt, bitterness, hurt, anger, sin.

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You know that really good feeling you get when you just washed your bedsheets, detail your car (yourself), or have a spotless kitchen?

The agony of actually doing the work becomes joy as you look at the results and enjoy the fruit of the work. That is the joy. Choose to go through your life, starting with this Christmas season knowing the joy and freedom of a cleaned out heart.

So as you prepare yourself, ask the Lord to give you clean hands and a pure heart, knowing that the joy of the cleaned out heart is worth the process of the cleaning. Like Psalm 139 prays, “Search me, O God.”

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The song I’m uploading this week is a cover of an old Kari Jobe / Rick Pino tune called “We Prepare the Way.”

The lyrics go something like this:

//Oh Lord, Give us new hearts and new minds//For Your glory, may Your name//Be lifted higher, higher, higher.//

//We prepare the way//We prepare the way//We prepare the way of the Lord.//

Oh, also, you can go to my soundcloud page and download these files.

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