June 20, 2019
Volume 23, Number 22
A news story about a house break-in is nothing new. Sadly, such events are common in our world. But the story Nate Roman told – Have you heard this one before?
On May 15 Nate returned to his home in Marlborough, Massachusetts. He immediately knew someone had been there while he was away at work. Nothing was missing, he told police, but the beds were made, the rugs were vacuumed, and the toilets had been cleaned. Origami flowers were made and placed on the toilet paper holders.
Roman admitted he may have left the back door unlocked, and he suspects a house cleaning service may have come to his address by mistake. The police in Marlborough have received no other reports of houses getting “cleaned out” in this way. (We doubt that Roman actually filed a complaint.)
The report reminds me of the fairy tale I heard as a child, “The Elves and the Shoemaker”. The old man in the story would wake up to find that someone had repaired old shoes and made new shoes for his shop while he slept. Eventually the culprits were revealed to be elves. How we have often wished for those elves to visit us!
Jesus told a story about an unclean spirit (a demon) who had been cast out of a man. After wandering through dry places for a time, finding no rest, he resolved: “I will return to my house from which I came.” Jesus then commented: “And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order” (Matthew 12:44).
That house didn’t get swept and ordered by accident or by elves. Jesus had power to cast out demons (see Matthew 12:27-29), but it was then up to the individual to fill that empty house with good things. In the story Jesus told, that last step was neglected.
A real-life account of such an event can be found in Matthew 5:1-20. Notice the state of the man in the early verses: living among tombs, crying out night and day, cutting himself with stones – who would want to live such a life?! But after Jesus casts out the demons, look: he was “sitting and clothed and in his right mind” (Matthew 5:15).
Jesus can bring order to our tormented and cluttered lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says this beautifully: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Would Christ be willing to bring order to your life? Yes, but He won’t break in; He has to be invited. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Free “house” cleaning?! What an offer!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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