Good morning Church family, as we head into spring and a time of renewal have you allowed him to remove those things that have been smoldering in your heart? Recently I had the opportunity to burn my pasture. Now please understand that I am not a large rancher with thousands of acres of land. Dana and I own 7 acres that has become a haven where God comes first and being a good steward of his gifts is second. If you have been around the burning of pastures you know that dead grass from the winter before burns quickly and if the grass is native grass it burns even quicker. We have a lot of native grass that I thought I could back burn (a section away from the wind) so that when I burnt the rest I would have no problems! Well sometimes things do not go as planned. As I started the back burn it quickly decided to go against my wishes and take off to the north against the wind. My thoughts were that it would burn to the ditch and stop and all would be well. So the drama begins once it jumped the ditch and headed toward the chicken house and I saw the chickens running quickly to find shelter, so it looks like it is gonna be chicken nuggets for lunch! It was not their day to be crispy nuggets so the fire then headed to my propane tank, Oh great how will I explain this to my wife! Past the propane tank (no explosion) onward the flames went to the next fuel it could find which happened to be my compost pile. Constructed of pallets in a square it quickly caught the pallets on fire as well as the wood shavings thrown in with the rest of the garbage. I got a water hose put out the fire while the pasture burnt all the way to the property line and all the way to the highway! Later in the day I happened to see smoke coming from the compost pile, which had never been put out, smoldering under the pile of shavings keeping the fire going without flames. I finally had to tear it all apart and open the pile to put water in the center to get it out.
In our lives what do we have inside our hearts that causes the smoldering to keep the things alive that we thought had been put out. Bitterness of the past, anger in the present, feelings of doubt, hopelessness and rejection. The things that keep us from serving God fully and living our best life for him.
And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession, and he who owns the house comes and tells the priest, saying, ‘It seems to me that there is some plague in the house,’ then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest goes into it to examine the plague, that all that is in the house may not be made unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to examine the house. And he shall examine the plague; and indeed if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the wall, then the priest shall go out of the house, to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days. And the priest shall come again on the seventh day and look; and indeed if the plague has spread on the walls of the house, then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which is the plague, and they shall cast them into an unclean place outside the city. And he shall cause the house to be scraped inside, all around, and the dust that they scrape off they shall pour out in an unclean place outside the city. Then they shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones, and he shall take other mortar and plaster the house. Leviticus 14:33-42
Are we allowing the Lord to scrape the walls of our hearts, cleansing the uncleanness that is blocking us from fully serving Him. Do we allow him to open us up so that the smoldering can stop and the ignition source of our burdens can be removed? We all need cleansing from time to time. Personally it’s every day for me to ask God what David asked God to do in Psalm 51:2
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:5:
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
It’s Holy Week, personally my favorite time of the year, a time of renewal. The grass is growing and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Do you ask for renewal, do you seek Him daily for the uplifting of your spirit by just being with Him? We are in unprecedented times, times that are no surprise to God for he knew this was coming. Face every day with boldness as you step into his will and not your own. Celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior and celebrate the newness of who you are in him.
Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:1-3
Have an amazing day and a blessed Easter!
Notes from the Staff @The Woods