Tag Archives: stain

Deep to-the-Core Cleaning

Father, I am thankful for Your presence this morning and through the night. I was up and down a fair amount but I feel rested and ready to go for the day. May we be attentive to what You would have for us today as we gather for times of worship. Amen.

Matthew 3:1-6 (<<click the green)

John the Baptist, a man whose personality seemed as coarse as his attire, was the forerunner of Christ. He got the ball rolling, by calling people to “repent from [their] sins and turn to God…” and then gave them the opportunity to publically proclaim their repentance by being baptized in the Jordan River.

He was swayed by no one. Everyone was called to repentance from the lowliest of the low to the highest of the high – religious and public leaders included. Much as his attire would have been, he was abrasive.

If I was trying to clean a well-used shower, I wouldn’t go about cleaning it with a handful of tissues. They would not be able to handle the job, they would just fall apart. I would use a stiff scrub brush or a sturdy wash rag of some sort.

John the Baptist was out to bring people to repentance. He wasn’t a warm and fuzzy kind of guy. Sin is not something that can be handled with a “tissue”. Only God, the most powerful being in the entirety of all that is, can eradicate its stain. And John was His front man. John set the stage for who was coming. And he wasn’t out to tickle anyone’s fancy – he was prepping for a deep to-the-core cleaning that only Jesus could bring about.

Lord, I am grateful for the sacrifice You made so that I could be made clean from the stains I placed upon myself. I could in no way apply that deep to-the-core cleaning to myself. Only by repenting of my sins and turning to You did that take place.

Yes, I am grateful that even today when I get myself into things that require Your cleansing touch, that You do not hesitate to offer to scrub me clean. Help me to submit to You. May I not put it off. Make me clean even now. Fill me. Use me. Amen.

Sept 24th, Sun, 6:29 am

Down the Front

Father, it is a joy to be with You this morning. May I be attentive as I see what You have for me. Draw me close to Your side. Give me a heart that wants to be like You more than anything else. Amen.

Revelation 3:4-6 (<<click the green)

One of my biggest challenges in life is keeping food off the front of my shirt. Inevitably something of vibrant color will do so, especially when I am out in public.

It happened a couple of Sundays ago. We decided to run into town after church and grab a quick bite at a well know Mexican food place. I kept my burrito in the wrapper for extra protection, leaned over the tray in a precautionary move…but to no avail! One bite and a chunk of tomato covered in meat sauce fell to my thumb, rolled down my hand and tumbled over the front of my shirt! So for the rest of the afternoon, I walked Napoleon-style with my hand over my shirt trying to cover the stain! And of course, we ran into people we knew…no surprise there!

Verse 4 here speaks of the few in Sardis who had not soiled their clothes with evil.” Sin leaves a mark, stains are unavoidable. Trying to cover them up is futile. Lord, You see it all. You witness the act and You are keenly aware of the aftermath. The older I get the more I realize that I, in and of myself…I, in my own strength and power…I simply cannot stand against sin. Inevitably I will take a bite out of something I shouldn’t be biting and it will roll down the front of my shirt and my clothes are soiled. Only in You, Lord, can I be victorious! Only in You can I avoid the temptations. Only in You can I stand strong against the evil that wants to entrap me.

Lord, may I be faithful to You. May I be victorious so that I too may “walk with [You] in white” for only because of You will I be found worthy. Amen.

July 21st, Fri, 6:49 am

Dribble Down the Front

Father, I am so grateful that You are here with me. I struggle sometimes to get here, to think, to pray, to write, to stay awake even. But You? You are rock solid. You never give up on me. You are my biggest cheerleader. You want me to succeed. Plain and simple – You love me! Thank You…

1 Peter 1:4-5 (<<click here)

Sometimes, Lord, it feels like we make a mess of everything we touch. And then that voice (not Your voice but another) pops in our head and says, “See this is why you can’t have nice things!” It’s like getting a nice, special shirt from a loved one and the first time we wear it we dribble spaghetti sauce down the front of it.

Now of course, before we even really know what we’re doing our lives are soiled by sin. But we learn of Your love for us and the forgiveness that is extended and when we embrace it we are clean…really clean – only because of You… And what a glorious time that is! But at some point, sin makes itself available and before we know it we bite off a chunk and it dribbles down our freshly cleaned soul. We may fail but You, Lord, are always at the ready to clean us up again. Talk about a stain buster! Lord, thank You for Your “indescribable gift”! 2 Corinthians 9:15

I am so grateful that my opening prayer is true but Peter’s writing brings a new thought to mind. For those who choose to embrace You,

“…we have a priceless inheritance…that is kept in heaven…pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through Your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

Lord, we may struggle. The very nature of our lives is a constant battle against getting down and dirty… and sometimes it feels we are dirty more than we are clean. But those who love You, have an inheritance, kept in heaven “pure and undefiled.” All praise to You, Lord and Savior. Jesus, thank You for my inheritance! Enable me to stay the course. Strengthen me to live for You every moment. Amen.

Oct 17th, Mon, 6:12 am