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"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:10-12

Have you ever decided to check the junk that your vacuum clear picks up? In the age of bagless vacuum cleaners, it really easy to do. A vacuum cleaner has but one purpose -- aggressively suck in anything in the surrounding environment. It doesn't matter what it is -- if it is close enough, then its gone! Think of a vacuum cleaner's indiscriminate sucking. The vacuum compartment, that "void," is meant to be filled with dust, trash, potato chips, crayons, pet dander. Once it's filled with junk, it has no more room for anything else.

Our lives sometimes resemble that of a vacuum cleaner -- going about consuming anything that crosses our path slowly filling up the vacuum compartment until there is no room left. SO, the big question we all need to ask ourselves is, "What have I allowed the vacuum to suck into my core, into to save me when I'm in a jam? Is it really saving me? Or is it just contributing to my slow demise?"

Today, do you want to identify what got sucked into your vacuum?

Look at your wrong decision and examine closely why you made those decisions. That is how you will see what got sucked into the center of your heart -- what guides and motivates your decisions. You may say Christ is your motivation. But if you are honest, you'll be surprised at some of the junk you allow to seep in and exert subtle, yet dramatic influence on your decisions. Dump the junk and intentionally allow God's truth to fill you up with his loving grace and mercy.

Whether you let Jesus into your vacuum or you let your vacuum suck in the filthy debris that's laying around will dramatically determine your life course and is your decision, so choose well.


Editor's note: The Rev. Dr. Scott Stewart is the pastor of Pea Ridge United Methodist Church and Brightwater Methodist Church. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted at or 479-659-9519.

Religion on 03/06/2019

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