What’s Piling Up in Your Life? - Mount Vernon Grace Community Church

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18350 Hopewell Road
Mount Venon, OH 43050

  • Sunday Morning Prayer
    10:00 a.m. Prayer time prior to Sundays service
  • Sunday Morning Service
    10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Nursery is available and Sunday School classes are held for children preschool age through 12 during the sermon
  • Wednesday Night 
    Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Teen Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm

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What’s Piling Up in Your Life?

     I am at the end of a very tiring vacation. It was tiring because of a well-oiled gift I have. I have perfected this gift to a tee over the years. It’s not one I am proud of; none the less I am good at it. It is called being disorganized.
     One of the goals of my vacation was to begin to clean up some of my messes. I wanted to eradicate the “piles” I had let accumulate in my garage, basement and yard. (For the record, my wife is free and clear of any charges here. She is a better house keeper than I am; besides I want to eat dinner tonight.) I like to say it all piled up because I am so busy with my “pastoral duties.” While that might sound spiritual it is just an excuse I use to continue to perfect my gift. (It is partially true…)

     Sunday was my last day of vacation and I decided to do what some of you do sometimes and I played hooky. That’s right Pastor Roger and Melodee “forsook the gathering together of our self as is the habit of some of you.” (Rough quote of Hebrews 10:24.) I did what would infuriate any legalist and I “built a fire.” I burnt stuff. (Old Testament law pun intended.) Now my wife is in this thing with me because as I write she is mowing the lawn. (God bless her.)
     Well, as I have been cleaning up my messes created by my gift, (disorganization and did I mention procrastination?), I started thinking. What if our surroundings are directly connected to our spiritual state? Could it be that sometimes God will try to talk to us through our life circumstances? If something in my life is a mess maybe it is a sign of a deeper spiritual problem or maybe it is simply something God wants to teach me about myself.
     You can learn a lot about yourself just by listening to what you say. Luke 6:45 says “for of the abundance of the heart his [your] mouth speaks.”  The words that come out of our mouth reveal what our heart is feeling. We should carry a recorder around with us sometimes and record ourselves so we can hear what we say and how we respond to other people. It would reveal a lot. An example is someone hurt you in the past. You may say you have forgiven them but when you talk about them it is predominantly negative. Your words reveal whether you have truly forgiven them or not.
     We can also get to know our heart by watching what we do. In that same passage in Luke 6:44-45 Jesus says “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil…” In other words if your heart is angry, hurt, lazy, [disorganized maybe]; it is probably coming out in your actions. Your life is going to produce the fruit of your heart.
     So I am burning piles of brush and wood; cleaning out piles of junk from my garage; working my way to the basement and I am thinking; “Is this an example of my heart?” Have I let my life get all cluttered up with stuff? Do I need to do some house cleaning to clear out the clutter in my relationship with God?
     Every now and then maybe the world starts piling up in our hearts and we need to do some house cleaning. How’s your attitude been lately? Is your temper getting short? How are you dealing with adversity? Is it getting the best of you? Is your junk surfacing in how you deal with people or in your language? Are you having a hard time resisting temptation? Do you have some piles that need tended to?
     I know people with good intentions that have let the world get piled up so high around them that they can’t see their way out of the mess they have created for themselves. Incidentally, I went down to start on my basement; I looked around and I turned around and went back upstairs. I’ll get it done, but as I looked at it I was a little overwhelmed and it is difficult for me to see where to begin. It gets that way with our life sometimes. As for my basement, I just need to start in a corner and work my way through. I guess that’s how it is with our lives.
     The Bible is full of accounts of people that let the world pile up and they ended up in the middle of a smelly trash heap. King David got lazy and decided to stay home when his men were out on the battle field. He just wandered around the castle grounds sticking his nose in places it didn’t belong. You know the account. He sees a beautiful woman who just happens to be another man’s wife. (Bathsheba; incidentally her name means ‘daughter of an oath’; so much for living up to her name.)  This is where his trash pile started. He got lazy and he began to wander.
     Then he starts adding to it. He tries to cover the original pile up when he finds out it is growing. Now there is a baby involved. (We would call it an illegitimate baby but in reality it is the parents that are illegitimate.) Next a loyal husband gets thrown on the pile. Maybe your pile’s content isn’t this bad; none the less you get my point, right?
     It would seem to me that this would be a good place to start cleaning up the mess. I can only imagine how overwhelming this must have appeared to King David. Let’s back up. I walked down the steps to the piles in my basement, got overwhelmed at the mess, turned around and walked back upstairs. Now what will happen if I decide to just leave it? More “stuff” will pile up. This is precisely what happened to King David.
     So far we have “innocent” slothfulness in the pile; snooping around other people’s business; adultery; and an illegitimate pregnancy. Do you see how our messes grow? The pile of sin is ALWAYS progressive when not dealt with. It doesn’t stop there with King David. He adds Bathsheba’s loyal husband, Uriah, to the pile. David tries to use him to cover up his mess. (Note: He tries to cover it up rather than clean it up. How about you? Too often we try to cover our messes up with excuses rather than clean them up with repentance.)
     Uriah is too loyal. So when David calls him in from the battlefield to “lay with his wife” so it will appear the baby is Uriah’s, out of loyalty to the other men on the battle field Uriah refuses. So David adds to the pile. He throws lies on the pile and he involves one of his generals in his scheme. Finally, in another attempt to cover this already huge mess up he throws murder on top of the pile. David has Uriah killed in battle and he marries Bathsheba.
     Do you see how our messes begin to pile up and they progress until it seems there is no way out? Maybe you don’t have adultery in your pile, probably you don’t have murder. But is there anything that has begun to pile up in your life that is hindering your relationship with God?
     When confronted, David finally saw his way through this miserable mess. (You can read about this for yourself in II Samuel 11-12) We have a record of his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51. David took responsibility for all of his actions and cleaned up his pile. He doesn’t blame it on anybody else. Listen to how he starts his plea. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge.
     This is a good place to start. I John 1:9 says If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Take responsibility for your own messes. Psalm 51 makes it clear that God is and always has been merciful and kind. Through Jesus he has given us hope of freedom.
     Then David asks for something we should all ask for in versus 9-12: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. When we openly and honestly ask this of God we can begin to unpile the messes that are in our life and in an amazing way God will use you to build his kingdom. Look at verse 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
     Do you have any messes or piles that are growing, maybe getting out of control? Now is the time to start cleaning house. I think I’ll go inventory my life and then clean my basement. Get the point? Then do something about it!