Ok. So, this is kind of strange, but I really hate squeezing lemons. I love lemons! I love everything that has lemons in it and I put lemons in my water, but to actually squeeze the lemon seems like so much work to me. I try everything in my power not to let the seeds spill out. I’ll roll the lemon on the kitchen counter with pressure. I’ve even microwaved a lemon so the pods would pop inside and the peal would become softer so I could accomplish this. I’ll stick a fork in the side of the lemon with one hand and squish with the other just so I can squeeze a little juice with no seeds, especially when I’m baking. Cookie or cake recipes usually only call for a few tablespoons at most, so this lemon madness does the trick. Shamefully, I then throw the lemon away. Such a waste! I’ll tell you, it’s ridiculous! I know what you’re thinking… get the lemon juice in the little lemon bottle and there ya go! Juice! Woo Hoo! But, here’s the thing. I got so very sick off of fake lemonade when I was probably 13 or 14 years old and my stomach turns, to this day, when I even think about that little yellow bottle of fake lemon juice. Gotta have the real deal, the God made kind that grows naturally.
I was thinking about this the other day. Clay and I have started eating much healthier, mostly veggies (No! We are not vegetarians, just cutting back). I knew I would need to buy lemons for our 3 gallon jug of water we’ve started keeping in the fridge. Thankfully no weird fork squeezing had to take place. I just decided to cut the lemons and throw them in rather than juicing them. By the way, the water is so refreshing and on a side note, lemons are great for weight loss. Anyway, I started thinking about my crazy lemon squeezing issue and I realized something very profound.
We do this very same thing with the Word of God.
We grab the Bible only when we need it. We take just enough out to get us by. If we take too much, our seeds of sin might find their way out and we might have to deal with them and repent and make changes. So, we stick a fork in it and let just enough seep out until our problem goes away or just so we can say we spent time with the Lord or we forgave somebody or on and on.
Today, January 1st, 2016, we are beginning a new year. To some the sun has risen once more and that’s that. No changes will be made, it’s just another day. To others, it’s the end of an era and the mark of a new beginning. Some of you are leaving family behind in 2015 with sadness in your hearts. Some of you have ended relationships that need to stay back in 2015. Some of you plan to make changes in this new year and you plan to travel, lose weight, find a husband, clean out your house, print those pictures, … Whatever your goals or resolutions are, I’m challenging you to put Jesus first. Don’t just squeeze enough lemon juice out to keep the seeds from spilling too. Open that bad boy up, dig in, take all you can and go back for more. Get rid of those seeds of sin, worry, discontent, anger, or whatever those seeds are that hold you back and say “No More”!
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite scriptures before we pray: Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”
In 2016, allow our great and mighty father to create in you a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within you. Allow Him to renew in you a passion for Him that will not waver.
Father, I thank you so much for your goodness and your mercy. This is your grace, that you are ready and waiting on me to come to you again. Lord, give me the strength to look past the clock and the to do list and spend time with you first. Bless me with your conviction to remind me to put down what I’m doing and pick up your Word, to talk to you, and to worship you daily. Lord, I don’t want just enough anymore. I want all of you. Help me get rid of seeds of sin and doubt and help me draw closer to you. In Jesus name. Amen.