Sunday, February 25, 2024

A Clean House

By Ron Thomas
The unclean spirit when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places,
seeking rest, and finding none, he saith, I will turn back unto my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more evil than himself; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first (Luke 11:24-26, ASV).
    “A clean house needs to be occupied.” Satan says. As he looks over his prospect, he sees there is an opening, so he slithers to a perching place, hides, then slips right in. As the now occupied house looks over the horizon, not aware of a dual occupant, he thinks his life is where it needs to be. Then he hears this constant reminder, And it came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it (11:27-28). As he hears he replies, “I’m not going very far, I just want to see what is around the corner.” As he looks, an interest catches his attention, then he follows it. Before long, he has followed long past the “around the corner.” He has wandered far enough away from his starting point he knows not where he’s at; he recognizes nothing. He flounders here for a while, that “for a while” turns into then a good while. The floundering didn’t seem so bad, but then it turns bad, even worse than bad. What he thought were friendly circumstances he learned had vipers perching behind a façade. He slumps down, then recalls the words of Jesus. And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, he began to say, This generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah. For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here (11:29-32).
    “Am I looking for a sign,” he asks himself. If so, what is the sign I’m looking for? How many signs have I seen that I just moved on past?” Then he remembers earlier when he started out, how he thought his life was solid, straightened out, looking good. But as he thought this, he saw something that moved around the corner and he just had to see what that was, so he followed it. “Why did I look?” he angrily says to himself – then he remembered: the lamp of the body is the eye. No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, neither under the bushel, but on the stand, that they which enter in may see the light. The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness. If therefore thy whole body be full of light, having no part dark, it shall be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining doth give thee light (11:33-36).
    An “innocent” look turns a clean house into a dirty one.

- Ron Thomas preaches for the Church of Christ at Rio Grande in Bidwell, OH. He may be contacted at

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