January 6, 2004
A Clean Heart
1 Peter 2:8
To understand how to have a clean heart, let’s first think about what happens when your hands are dirty: you wash them. In fact, you probably wash them multiple times each day, even if you can’t see dirt on them. You wash them because they feel dirty, or because you just sense that they are not clean.
Once we have received Jesus Christ as Savior, we are clean in His eyes, but that doesn’t mean we have once and for all attained sinless perfection. As we go out into the world, we naturally get a little dirt on us—in any given day, we can say hurtful things, manifest inappropriate attitudes, or think wrong thoughts. We are clean only as long as we are obedient, which means that we can get dirty all too easily. For this reason, Jesus told Peter, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean” (John 10:13).
Ephesians 5:26 speaks of cleansing “by the washing of water with the word.” Spiritually, the way our hearts become clean is by using God’s “cake of soap”—the Bible. A heart must be clean for the Holy Spirit to work in it. God’s living Word has been given to mankind as an instruction book and as a means to keep us clean by revealing our wrong thinking or behavior. As Scripture speaks to our heart, we confess and repent, which is how the cleansing takes place. (1 John 1:9) Have you washed yet today?
To delve deeper into this subject and more, visit the In Touch Web site: www.intouch.org.
For a free online discipleship study from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.