Sunday, November 22, 2015

Filth Factor

Have you ever considered skin--that outer layer of ours--as a reminder of forgiveness?

We live on a farm--with dirt, germs, yuck. There is clean dirt--grass, dead leaves, and soil that get under your nails and stick. There's dirty dirt--compost, manure, small animal droppings that create clinging aromas. And then there's decay--rotting grain, maggot-infested or decomposing flesh. that ascend one's sinuses and work their way into memory. I won't say more.

Those are the outer pollutants--then there's you-yuck: sweat, emptying pores, and other indiscriminate stinky things we don't talk about.

It happens. So, as soon as possible--especially before joining the company of others--we find a shower, a bath, or some method of removing it.

And that's when I'm particularly thankful that God made skin washable. Do you, like me, marvel in the wonder of disappearing stink? Filth floating down the drain? And fresh-smelling,clean-feeling, wonderful, amazing epidermis? No matter how gross, how overwhelming, how enduring the chore, the stink goes away in a relatively short time.

That's when I was reminded of my sin and shame. It might be brush-it-off, stay-with-you or infused in your memory sin and guilt, but God--through the washing of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ--removes it. He cleanses us. From all of it. All. He refreshes and renews us, gives us the aroma of Christ, sends us back out amidst dust-filled streets and dung-covered walkways and draws us back to wash our feet again and again and again.

Have you showered lately? Or is it time to spend some time being washed with the Word and cleansed by the work of the Holy Spirit? What's your yuck factor? Come to Jesus today. Now. He's all we need.

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

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