04 May Open Space
Read: Acts 16:11-15 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: What in my life is getting in the way of Jesus?
Several years ago (before I had any children of my own), a friend of mine called me up and asked if I was willing to help him get his house ready for the arrival of his first child. After eagerly agreeing, I drove right over in a wave of excitement at the prospect of painting the nursery and putting together new furniture. While I am not exactly ‘handy’, I pride myself at being an above-average painter. But, once I arrived, I quickly learned that I was not there to build Ikea furniture or paint walls. Rather than being ready to be painted, the new nursery was filled with boxes and junk. My friend had asked me over to help him clear the space. So, we got to work, and by the end of our time together, the room was cleared out. As I left, my friend thanked me and said he was now ready to begin setting up his daughter’s nursery.
One of the great heroes of the Early Church was a woman named Lydia. In an act of courageous faith, she put her trust in Jesus and this led to her entire household following her example. But what is most amazing is that Lydia lived her life differently. She loved God and sought to live a faithful life, knowing that she did not always have all the right answers. Instead, when the Apostle Paul came to town, she was willing to listen. She did not assume that all of her life experiences up until that point were sufficient. She didn’t say, “I’m all set.” Instead, “As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.” Lydia was willing to let God clear out the junk in her life and do something new!
It’s important to learn the lesson of Lydia. How often do we live with closed hearts, convinced that we know best? How often do we ignore the urging of the Holy Spirit and instead live for ourselves? How often do we keep our Bibles closed and turn to other things for inspiration? Put simply: God wants us to remove the clutter from our hearts and keep the space open for Jesus!
Pastor David (and Stan)