Washed in the blood of Christ, we are clean before God. Yet, despite the fact that we are clean, are we ready to be put into God’s service? Does repentance and a knowledge of our unworthiness make that possible however?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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When my wife Holly washes the bedsheets, she takes a pile of dirty linen, throws it into the washing machine, adds detergent and water and hits the wash button. In time the sheets are thoroughly soaked, but clean. When she pulls them out of the washing machine they smell fresh and look clean. However, despite the fact that the sheets smell and look clean, they are not ready to be spread back over the mattress pad on the bed as clean. Even though the object of putting them into the washing machine was to clean them, the sheets are not ready for the bed until they lose both their dirt AND the water that has cleansed them. To put them on the bed now would defeat the whole purpose of cleaning them, because wet sheets would only attract dirt, the very thing that washing was intended to do. They need to be dried of their water and lose their wetness before they are worthy of being placed back on the bed.
Similarly, like those clean but still wet sheets, you and I are washed in the blood of Christ. Yet, despite the fact that we are clean, we aren’t ready to be put back into God’s service just yet. First, there is the little matter of repentance before the forgiveness can be given.
Here’s a story: Many years ago in Russia, a regiment of troops mutinied. They were at some distance from the capital and were so furious that they murdered their officers and resolved never to submit to discipline. The emperor, who was an exceedingly wise man, no sooner heard of it than all alone and unattended he went into the barracks where the men were drawn up, and addressing them sternly he said to them: “Soldiers! You have committed such offenses against the law that every one of you deserves to be put to death. There is no hope of any mercy for one of you unless you lay down your arms immediately and surrender at discretion to me, your emperor.” They did so, there and then expecting the worst and willing to brave it should it come. The emperor said at once: “Men, I pardon you; you will be the bravest troops I ever had.” And so they were. (W. R. Bradlaugh)
This is just what God does with sinners like you and I; like those Russian troops, we have dared to rebel against God, and God says: “You deserve my wrath. Throw down your weapons of rebellion. I will not talk with you until you submit to my sovereign authority. And then he comforts us by adding: “Believe in My Son Jesus Christ. Receive the fire of my Spirit and know true forgiveness of sins. This done, you’re forgiven and from now on will be the most loving subjects my hands have made.” What a tremendous comfort this is. Therefore, before we find that pardon and feel that comfort, we need to throw off our old self, and cling to the hope of salvation in Christ. Our repentance will earn us claim to forgiveness but not possession of it. Possession comes only with a true feeling of unworthiness because of our sin, as we are filled with the fire of God’s spirit. Until that time, we are nothing but sheets on the line, dirt attracters, clean behind the ears, but not yet dry and ready to serve our Lord as he intends. Cling to the Spirit, know your sin and be ready to serve your God.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for making it possible for us to become your disciples through faith in Christ Jesus and the power of your Holy Spirit. Forgive us, Lord, when, convicted of our sinful unworthiness and baptized by your Holy Spirit, we fail to appreciate your call to discipleship . In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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