Spring is a time of renewal, new birth and HOPE. During this Lenten season we are often challenged to examine our lives and our hearts.
Winter is receding, days are longer and buds are forming on the trees and bushes – a sign of beauty and or bounty coming soon. I look in my garden for signs of growth – the fulfillment of hope when I planted bulbs in the fall. We (especially in the North of America) long for warmer weather and look forward to shedding layers of clothing. Our furry friends are shedding too!
I’ve begun my “spring cleaning” and maybe you have too. The heaviest of coats and sweaters are cleaned and packed away as well as winter boots. Soon it will be warm enough to clean up the gardens.
What about some spring cleaning in my heart? Maybe it’s time to get rid of the old dead leaves of discontentment or disappointment. Over in the corner are cobwebs of unforgiveness that need to go. Maybe underneath the furniture there lurks some bitterness, jealousy or fear.
The word spring, besides being the name of a season, is an action word meaning to leap. You can only spring up or open and you fling things away from you. The apostle Paul wrote a long practical list, in the book of Colossians , about negative feelings and actions to get rid of and positive ones to “put on” or into our lives. He used the analogy of taking off clothing like our Winter to Spring/Summer wardrobe. He uses terms like “put to death” and “get rid of”’. That sounds like serious business to me!
TAKE OFF: *sexual immorality, impurity, greed, anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, lying and dirty language.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. Col 3:10 (NLT)
PUT ON: *hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, make allowance for other’s faults, add forgiveness and love
Jesus said, “18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander . Matt 15:18-19 (NLT)
After reading verses like these we tend to think, “Oh but not ME– I’m a good person.” But honestly, we all have evil thoughts, we tell little white lies or share gossip and put others down so easily we don’t even call it what God calls it – sin. If we could be clean enough on our own then Jesus would not have had to die.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)
This is our promise of renewal and cleansing from within! God promises to make us a new creation. I can clean my house and change my wardrobe but I need God to clean my heart! It’s time to do some spring cleaning!!!
Change my heart, Oh God. Make it ever true,
Change my heart Oh God, make it be like You!