Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bath Time

My little granddaughter loves "bath time." I don't think she really enjoys getting clean as much as she does playing with those wonderful bath toys. Occasionally I'll have the opportunity as her Grandpa to give her a bath, and usually she splashes around so much that I'm usually soaking wet, but we sure have fun! After her bath she always smells very clean and she seems to feel better as well. Basically she's ready for another day...clean, fresh, and ready to go!

Can you imagine how we would look or smell if we never washed? Over time we would look pretty rough. We'd begin to smell bad, look bad, and feel dirty and filthy. If we didn't wash, we know we wouldn't get cleaner... but only filthier with each passing day until finally we jumped in the shower and cleaned up. I think it's safe to say that everyone understands the importance of taking a bath regularly. It's pretty easy to see what happens when we don't. Well the same is true with sin in our lives. Just as we would wash up with soap and water to clean our bodies, we also need spiritual cleansing as well to remove the filth of our sin.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"

None of us is without sin. We have our old nature and our new nature at war with each other every moment of every day until we have gone to be with the Lord in that place (heaven) where there is no sin that can tempt us. Until then, we will fall into sin. The very moment we confess and repent of our sin, sinful thoughts and actions begin to creep right back into our lives. We all need ongoing cleansing, moment by moment. Thank God that through His mercy we are forgiven when we ask for it. Just as this verse says... Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" None of us that's for sure... the heart can only be cleansed by God, not us. The sad reality is that even when we've been forgiven we still sin again. This reminds me of Paul when he wrote...

Romans 7:19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Paul understood how sin invaded his life everyday. He knew some of his thoughts or actions were not of God, and even though this really bothered him he admitted that he still keeps doing the things he knows he shouldn't. Now I'm not saying we should just sit back and say "Oh well, why try then?" The difference is in knowing that we're wrong and we know better. This was on Paul's conscious just like it is yours and mine. So since we can not clean our own heart, we must seek cleansing at all times from the only One that can cleanse. We know that we do not do the good we always want to do, rather we do the evil that we don't want to do. We seem to keep on doing it.

There's good news for you and I. God loves us and he understands us. We need to make confession and repentance a regular part of our talks with God and rely on him moment by moment for the cleansing we need. So, the next time you get that distant feeling or you feel like you've lost your focus on Christ... maybe it's "bath time."

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