Life’s Healing Choices: House Cleaning

Life's Healing Choices: House Cleaning

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LHC: House Cleaning

The House Cleaning Choice: I openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

Reality Choice: Realize I’m not God, admit I’m powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.

Hope Choice: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me change.

Last week’s message was the hinge point for the series. Because it was about faith… Commiting ourselves to Christ. It was about surrender. Giving God authority over my life and future.

Commitment Choice: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

I’m taking off this week in order to work in our house on KI. We had renters move out and when I got there the first time, I thought… well OK, it’s not destroyed…

That’s how many of us look at our lives, we aren’t so bad. But as you look closer you begin to notice things… the windows are filthy. The walls are all scuffed up. There is trash around. The blinds need to be replaced. As you look closer and closer, you begin to see how much you really need to do in order to get it right.

That’s what this step is all about. I’m sure most of us feel like our lives are OK. We aren’t perfect, but I’m a lot better than him or her. Well Scripture puts this thinking in it’s place.

Romans 3:23 NLT
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

WE all have some house cleaning to do.

That’s what this step is all about.

House Cleaning Choice: I openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

I believe God wants every one of us to take this step, but it’s one many of us are terrified to take because we want to be clean…it’s just that we don’t really want to come clean with someone else. It’s hard to trust other people with our “junk”.

For me, it was hard. I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family. My dad worked a lot and my mom seemed angry. I don’t remember seeing them ever share much emotion… or signs of affection, even with us kids. There was a lot of expectation… but little recognition. WE were expected to have good grades, but when we got B’s we could have gotten A’s. When we got A-’s we could have gotten A+’s. There was always more I could have done. This has affected me in becoming a bit of a pleaser. I want to meet people’s needs. I look for recognition.

Then my parents got divorced and my relationship with both of them went south. Because of this I’m pretty guarded. It’s hard for me to let people get too close… it’s hard to trust people, in fact I have often told myself, well of course they let me down…. that’s what people do. I’ve got more issues, trust me. That’s what makes this choice so important, because it’s about healing from our past. The things that affected us then and still affect us today.

But I don’t have to accept this as the way things have to be. I have a choice.

Some of you have experienced some things that you wish you hadn’t, just like I have. Divorce, addictions, infidelity, abuse, abortion, you have let people down, people have let you down. Pain and guilt enter our lives in all sorts of ways… it’s one thing we can count on in life.

But just because we go through it, doesn’t mean we have to live in it.

How do we find God when the world us such a mess?

This choice is grounded in the 4th Beatitude:

Matthew 5:8 NIV
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

It’s that simple… have a pure heart. Problem solved… Now let’s go eat.

It is that simple, but it’s not easy.

Pure in heart … sincere… sifted

Sifting is a process

Being sifted doesn’t sound like a fun process, but what if I told you it was a necessary. What if I told you that the sifting was God’s plan for his disciples to live the life they were created?

John 10:10 NCV
10 A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.

Jesus wants us to have this life…

This sifting that Jesus wants to take us through is what we talk about in church world as sanctification. It is a move of God to clean us up, from the inside out.

We call it God’s grace that cleans us up. But too often we don’t want to experience this, instead we settle… for just cleaning up the outside.

We come to Jesus, we get religion. I’m not saying religion is a bad thing, but I am saying that it is a poor substitute for what God wants to do in us.

Think about it… in the Bible, who is it that gives Jesus a hard time? Sinners or religious folks?

It’s the religious folks… those who are bound to their religion who Jesus has a hard time with.

Jesus doesn’t want me to be RELIGIOUS, Jesus wants me to be FREE.

Whether we settle for being religious or we settle by telling ourselves that our hurts, habits, and hangups are no big deal… both of these lead us to being bound to our past. But Jesus wants to set us free.

Galatians 5:1 NLT
1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Jesus set us free from our sins so that we wouldn’t be bound to religion. He wants us to experience true freedom, as John wrote, Jesus wants us to be free indeed.

John 8:36 NIV
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

That was his whole point for coming. to set us free from the penalty of our sin, and that we would remain free, not substitute our freedom for religion.

Romans 5:8 NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Where does this sanctification begin.

It’s God’s grace.. Like all grace, it flows from the heart of God. In fact, this heart cleaning happens as we live into our relationship with God

The basis for a pure heart is not HOW GOOD YOU’VE BEEN, but how GOOD GOD IS.

Our heart… not the one beating in our chest, but our spiritual heart…. our core is exactly what God looks at.

The process of SANCTIFICATION.

Psalm 139:1 NLT
1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

Does that mean that God doesn’t care what we do? How we live? Absolutely not. He cares. He knows everything about you and he loves you… how about that?

But in order to experience life in it’s fullness, in order to be healed from our past hurts, our hangups, our destructive habits, are things we must do in this process of healing. The first is to experience forgiveness.

Confess

This forgiveness comes by the grace of God, in response to our confession.

1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

That’s where house cleaning starts, confession.

Repentence

Then repentence: Turn from our ways, and to God.

Lamentations 3:40 NIV
40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.

He welcomes us back because he loves us… he hates sin though.

Luke 7:47 NIV
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

God forgives in equal proportion to our sin in order for us to experience total forgiveness…. If you have big sins…then you have experienced big forgiveness.

That’s why we love hearing those stories of transformation. People who were drug addicts and prostitutes one day, someone told them about Jesus and BAM their lives were changed. It happens. Big sinners experience big forgiveness when they meet Christ.

So we are done right?

Philippians 2:12–13 NIV
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Grow

The way of salvation…. growing in love for God…. that I begin to love God more than I do myself.

God promises forgiveness. He never breaks His promises. You have His word on it. He will not lie. He loves you. He cares and wants to bring you into freedom. Not just to bring you from death into life, but from death into life in its fullness.

This is the pathway. This is the process to get there. “Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Do you want a pure heart? Do you want to see God at work in your life, in your family, in your household, in your business, in your friendships and relationships? Do you want to see God there? Do you want freedom? Then you have to let the Lord set you free. That’s working out your salvation

Psalm 32:5 NIV
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Getting honest with God.

Forgiveness changes our life…

Many Christians continue to struggle with sins which God forgives them of because we fear anyone else knowing.

So we keep our sins in the dark…. we will tell GOd, but that’s it

James 5:16 NIV
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

To defeat the fear of telling others…

When you say it like this it sounds simple…. and it is, but I also understand how hard it is to take this step.

Pray for yourself as you make an inventory of your heart. Pray for God to show you someone you trust to share your heart with… someone who will ask you hard questions, someone who will know when to encourage you.

As you pray, remember these three things:

Remember God is Good

Romans 2:4 NIV
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Romans 8:1 NIV
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 5:8 NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Remember God is FAITHFUL

Philippians 1:6 NIV
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:38–39 NIV
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 13:5 NIV
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Other people may give up on you. They may walk out the door. But God says I’ll never leave you. I’ll never abandon you. I will not give up on you. He’s not ashamed of you.

Remember God’s PROMISES

1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Not only does God promise to forgive… but he is making us new

Ezekiel 36:26 NIV
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

I want you to take courage. God is at work in you. He’s already started this process. He already sees you as having a pure heart. He has decreed a pure heart for you. He’s got you in a process of becoming who you are. You don’t have to be afraid. Follow Him into it. Expect the freedom that God has for you. And make the Housecleaning Choice

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 9:08 AM October 7, 2019.

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