So Dirty, So Clean!
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It might be the dirtiest car I've ever driven. Someone asked me if I wanted to take a picture of our filthy chariot, and I said, "No, I don't want to remember him this way." We had spent weeks on drought-dry back roads. It was never a secret we were coming. You could see the dust long before you could see our car. It was, in the Bible's words, our own "pillar of cloud." Anywhere you rubbed against this car you picked up dirt from it. I wish more people had rubbed against it! Our car had been driven by several drivers during our summer outreach to reservations, and somewhere along the way, the rubber gasket around our trunk lid had been ripped out. One day I opened my trunk to get something, and I was greeted with a lovely blanket of chalky, white dust over everything. By the time we got to a city with a car wash, the automatic windows wouldn't even open. We wondered if their mechanism could be choked with dust. We managed to find a car wash that used these words to advertise their services - high-powered, and they weren't lying. No, the water from their hoses could be used in building demolition I think or riot control! Their soapy spray seemed to penetrate every filthy crevice of my "dirtmobile." When we drove out, there was no trace anywhere of the dirt that had covered everything only moments before. Oh, P.S. - the windows were working, too!
Our car was dirty on the outside where it was obvious to everyone, and it was dirty on the inside where no one could see - but where it kept things from not working anyway. In many ways, my car was like me with dirt inside and outside that can only be removed by some high-powered cleaning.
The people close to us know the dirt on the outside all too well; the angry outbursts that leave so many scars, the mean streak, the selfishness about getting our own way, the dirty talk, the way we treat people sometimes, the backstabbing, the gossip, the lies, and the deceptions. They don't like it. I don't like it. God sure doesn't like it.
Then there's the dirt on the inside that few, if any, can see. The bitterness we harbor in our heart, the desire for revenge, the dirty fantasies, the self-destructive thoughts, the dark desires and feelings that we hope no one ever knows about. While other people may not be able to see the dirt inside, it's still affecting our lives negatively. Things just don't work right when we've got so much dirt inside.
King David talked about his "groaning all day long," his strength being "sapped," and the weight of God's heavy hand on him until he says, "I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord - and You forgave the guilt of my sin" (Psalm 32:3-5). Life just doesn't work right as long as we're carrying the dirt of our sin. Inside, we carry feelings of guilt and shame and regret, and sometimes anxiety about God. Because our sin means we are nowhere near ready to meet our Creator.
It takes some high-powered cleaning to remove human sin. And, thank God, He has provided it at no cost to you; at a very high price to Him. In 1 John 1:7, our word for today from the Word of God, it says, "The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." That's what we need so desperately. What no religion on earth can do; total cleaning from the guilt and the penalty of our sin, outside and inside.
And it took Jesus shedding His blood for that to happen. That was the only thing that could pay off the death penalty you and I deserve for hijacking our life from the One who gave it to us. And today, Jesus is coming to you where you are to offer His high-powered cleaning to you. Wouldn't it be awesome to go to sleep tonight clean; knowing that you've been forgiven by God for every wrong thing you've ever thought, said or done?
It's within you reach if you'll reach out and claim Jesus as your own Savior from every sin of your life. He's waiting for you to say, "Jesus, I'm Yours." Our website's designed to actually help you get started with Him. A great next step would be to check that out. It's yoursforlife.net.
Look, you know what it feels like to be dirty. Now, it's time to know what it is to be clean.