I work at a home for troubled boys, and it’s operated only by donations from individuals and an occasional grant. When we apply for a grant for Youth-Reach, it’s usually accompanied by representatives of the organization that creates the opportunity coming to our facility to see what we do in person. Since a site visit can make or break the chance for us to receive the grant, we are very intentional to have our facility looking top-notch. The grass must be manicured to perfection, the driveways clear of leaves, branches, and debris, and all signs must be straight and clean. Even more important than the grounds, are the insides of the homes. Together with the boys, we ensure that the common areas, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms are not only presentable but impeccable. We do this because we understand that the impression that we make on the grantor will influence how they view our program. We want them to see that we care about the resources that we are given. However, our grantor could come by our facility and find that have a great upkeep on the property, but it’s the relationship that we build with them through the application period is paramount in receiving the grant.
We should celebrate Advent in the same way – we should prepare our hearts to receive the King of Kings. In the same way that we are careful to divest our homes of unnecessary clutter when a VIP comes over, we should divest our minds and hearts of superfluous things. We are meticulous not to simply sweep dirt under the rugs of the home, but dispose of it. Likewise, we should not seek to hide our toxic sin, but throw it away and rid our lives of it.
We clean our hearts for the coming of Christ, not as though we earn God’s love for putting sin to death, but knowing that we will receive a blessing for our faithfulness and we honor Him by doing so. God is all about the relationship. Building our relationship with God and causing him to be there center of our purposes will shape so many aspects of our lives. Take the time to redirect your thoughts to be focused on Christ. We are created to be worshipers and when our activates are centered on Jesus, we allow our lives to worship him in all things. Choose to prepare yourself for the coming of Jesus, Advent.