Monday, March 16, 2015

A Clean Cup

If any of you use a dishwasher perhaps you have experienced this also. Water collects on top of the mugs or rims of things from the last rinse cycle that does not get washed away. Then when you go to remove the item the wash drips down the side of the thing and gets whatever is under it wet also.

My habit, if I remember, is to open the dishwasher and find those little puddles of water and absorb them with a paper towel before I remove anything. But, If I forget I end up rinsing the whole mug off again because I don't trust that the collected water is clean and I don't want anyone in the family drinking dish washer residue.

That thought made me think of this verse.

"You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean." - Matthew 23:26 ESV

I don't know about you but I am very aware of the fact that I am a depraved person. I am not just partially bad or mostly good with some bad parts. Without God I am a utterly depraved, bent, soiled and insane person and everything I do or think is marred somehow because of it. I may not appear to be that way in that same way that others do. I may not have explored darkness in ways that others have but at my root I am as bad as anyone that ever lived. I was born to be bad.

That fact could give me a terrible self image but it doesn't. I have discovered a cleaning agent. It is wondrous and effective. I trust it fully.

"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." - Isaiah 1:18 ESV

"For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." - Hebrews 9:13-14 ESV

God has cleaned the inside of my cup. I have not cleaned it myself. I am not dripping questionable dishwater water on myself or bringing the grim of the outside inside in the effort to clean myself. No. Because of grace I have left those practices behind. They don't work. My own efforts could not remove those stains. God has made a way for me to be as pure as fresh fallen snow. I will go to Him and reason with Him.

I have left behind the illusion that I can trust myself but I have other divine provisions I can trust. These things can never be taken from me and that gives me great joy and great rest. God doesn't want me to do something that I am to broken to accomplish. His will is that I live in a thankfulness for what He has done.

"What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD," - Psalm 116:12-13 ESV



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