A Clean House

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In my first pastorate I was also the custodian for the church. I discovered that the work of the custodian is often taken for granted unless something wasn't done properly. It then seemed that everyone noticed and many complained. I found it was very difficult to please everyone.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 a job description is given for Spirit filled followers of the Lord Jesus. We are to be custodians of our part of God's house. We are to keep the temple of God's dwelling place clean.

God is holy! He will not live in a dirty house. He will never inhabit a dwelling place where sin abounds.

In the Old Testament God gave detailed instructions for the building of the temple that was to be His dwelling place on this earth. It was a magnificent and impressive facility. The significance and uniqueness of the temple over all other beautiful structures was the presence of God. This was the place where God would meet with His people. So the Israelis took great care to protect its purity.

Now, God has relocated. He no longer dwells in magnificent buildings. When Christ came to the earth He created a new relationship between God and man. Now God's dwelling place on this earth is in the hearts of those who believe on His name. We are His temple. He dwells within us. 2 Cor. 6:16 declares, "For we are the temple of the living God."

The job description for Spirit filled believers is to keep His temple, our bodies, clean. When the temple is cluttered with unholy attitudes and actions His presence dimishes and vanishes. If we could just grasp the significance of a Holy God dwelling within us it would revolutionize our lives. Remember, God will not live in a dirty house.

We live in a filthy and perverse world. Sin is rampant all around us. It's not easy to keep the temple clean in a world like this one. If we are undisciplined we can get caught up in the ways of the world. When we do, God's house gets cluttered and contaminated. We begin to think and act like the world and adopt their values and priorities. It seems to me that the world is doing a better job corrupting the church than the church is doing in evangelizing the world. Surveys reveal this sad reality; there is very little difference in the lifestyles and values of those who go to church and those who rarely attend church.

In this scripture we are exhorted to refrain from being unequally yoked with unbelievers. We are directed to separate ourselves from the sinful ways of the world. Whenever we ignore scriptural directives we do so at our own peril.

In Deuteronomy 22:10 we are instructed to refrain from yoking and ox and a donkey. They are not compatible. They will want to go in different directions and at different speeds. The concern here is that wrong relationships often end tragically in compromise and defeat.

We must ask ourselves, "Can I take Christ into this relationship or into this activity?" If not, we must steer clear of such relationships and practices.

Living a holy life in today's world requires a great deal of discipline. We must always keep the principles and commands of God's Word from being swallowed up by the declining moral values of our society.

How well are you fulfilling your custodial responsibilities by keeping God's dwelling place clean? Are you willing to pick up a mop and bucket and take responsibility for keeping your life clean?

Is there anything in your life that is cluttering and defiling the temple of God? Such as habits, attitudes, relationships or activities that are diminishing the sense of God's presence? Look, you are the custodian of God's dwelling place. How well are you doing your job? Are you keeping God's house clean? He will not live in a dirty house.

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