Fall is here and I thought about all the things that fall stands for. One of them is pumpkins and our favorite tradition during this time is carving pumpkins as a family. Pumpkins are a great illustration of God’s love for us.
First it takes picking out a pumpkin and my kids love to pick that perfect one from the patch. It reminds me of how God chose us to be in His family and we are His precious one. Then we have to wash that pumpkin off from all the dirt and grim they get from rubbing up against the ground and other pumpkins. The same with God, He brings us in and washes all that dirt off and wipes us clean on the outside from the pressures of this world and the people we surround ourselves with that are the wrong influences. God has to gently remind us to clean up but that is just what the outside is and what people see. Because the next step is working on the inside and for a pumpkin you have to carve out the top and get all the yucky stuff out. Our lives are so similar because we need to work to get out the filthy stuff inside and what is in our hearts. God is in the business to change our hearts and He cares more than this world what is going on inside. “Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
How can we get rid of that yucky stuff inside our hearts? The answer is simple, it is God and a belief in Jesus who died for us to wipe us clean and make us new in Him. But we have to be willing to let Him in so He can scoop that stuff out of our hearts like clearing out a pumpkin and removing all the seeds of hate, bitterness, anger, doubt, greed, pride and all those impurities. Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” This verse shows us how much God cares for us and wants to remove all those impurities and idols in our lives. That sin holds us down in life and experiencing all that God wants for us. He desires to give us a new heart and put a new spirit in us. Ezekiel 36:25-27 sums it up best of what He wants to do in our lives, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and (you) will be clean, your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with right desires and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.”
This is a life changing process as our hearts get clean and sometimes it doesn’t happen over night. It takes dedication and hard work to transform our hearts to be more like Jesus. As we become more like the image of Christ our light can then shine for Him. Just like a pumpkin, we put that light in after we have carved it out, and we can see a glow that lights up the darkness. Our light for Him is even brighter and as we move closer to Him we allow light inside of us to shine for the entire world to see. Shine your lights this season and watch how God will use you in mighty ways to be the light in the darkness.