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Mark 12:29-31

Object: Picture of a cluttered closet

Objective: Sometimes we must take the time to pull all the "stuff" out of the closet and go through it piece by piece if we want to bring order to chaos.

In my house there is a closet that I call the "junk closet." This closet is rather disorganized. It seems that everything that needs to go somewhere but does not have a place goes in this closet. I stick all sort of stuff in there and it gets pretty full after a while.

After a while I get tired of not being able to find what is in that closet and I take everything out and organize it. Some stuff I throw away. Some stuff I put in a different place ... where it is supposed to go. Some stuff I put back in the closet in an organized way.

While everything is out of the closet I look around and think "It will NEVER go back in there again!" But it does ... and I am able to find it the next time I need it.

Sometimes we have to "de-clutter" our lives spiritually too. That is what we are doing these weeks as we look at the two commandments that Jesus called the "Greatest Commandments." Listen to them:

'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:29-31

We are asking ourselves questions like:

„X Do I love God the way he wants me to love Him?

„X How can I know if I love him?

„X How do I love my neighbor like God wants?

In order to do this we have to take a bunch of stuff out of the closet we call our lives and decide if that stuff is worth keeping or if it needs thrown away. Sometimes we hide stuff in there that offends God or is unloving. By asking God to help us sort through it we can be pleasing to the Lord and our love can grow.

The Psalmist said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139)

That is what we are asking God to do too. We want Him to search us so we can seek Him. As we pray today, lets ask God to show us ways we can love him more fully.

SOURCE: Dr. Kenneth Pell, Potsdam Church of the Nazarene, Potsdam, New York. www.potsdam-naz.org

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