Soiled

It never fails! It seems like every time I cut my lawn I'm wearing a white tank top or T-shirt, and in the middle of my lawnmowing activities I reach down grab the hem of my shirt and wipe the sweat off my face with my shirt resulting in a dirty, sweaty, grass stained T-shirt.

After I am done I will grab the whites throw them in the washer on the highest heat setting we have, I put extra detergent and plenty of bleach and the shirts come out relatively white.

Compared to a dirty shirt, clean shirts are white, but compared to a brand-new shirt the clean shirts are not quite White at all.

Our lives are a lot like the T-shirt… Circumstances, trials, troubles, tribulations , and suffering has reached out grabbing the hem of our shirts and left a messy stain.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. (Life is messy) When we display our righteous deeds (when we try to wash off the mess), they are nothing but filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6 a NLT
(emphasis is mine)

King David wrote these words after one of the most troublesome time in his life “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalms 51:10 NLT

He discovered as king, even with all his power, a cover up was the best he could hope for. He needed a new created clean heart. He needed his heart RE-NEWED (new again). You see there is no amount of scrubbing, cleaning, bleach or detergent that could take a soiled shirt and make it brand-new!

So we try to live pure lives, and we try to be holy, or if you are not religious you are trying to be good or you try to be moral, and since the very best of our human examples are clean or relatively clean, when we raise our shirts compared to them, we think that we are all right.

Because when I compare my shirt (life) to those of pimps, prostitutes, politicians, actors, athletes and rockstars my shirt (life) seems pretty clean, BUT unfortunately that is not the standard of white that I am going to be held up against eternally.

Jesus Christ lived the standard, and if I continue to try to act like my right doing is the standard I'm going to be in for a rude awakening.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' Podcast today and he said this, "The closer you get to the holiness of God the more you feel the weight of how unholy you and I are."

There is a young man at work that wears white T-shirts all the time. They have got to be at least 10 years old, they are worn for the wear and they are off-white at the very best. If I stood next to him my shirts would glow in comparison. BUT he isn't the standard! I will NOT eternally be measured against him. Christ is the standard and against him I'm dingy and tattered, and it's terrifying.

All my scrubbing is of no value!

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NLT

It's a good thing I don't have to stand against Him, he can take my tired, tattered, worn-out mess of a life and STAND in my place.

Make me new Lord, make me NEW.

-John

Advertisements

God Riddence

     1 Samuel 7:1-2 (AMP) So the men of Kiriath-Jearim came and took the Ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to have charge of the Ark of the Lord. And the Ark remained in Kiriath-Jearim a very long time [nearly 100 years, through Samuel’s entire judgeship, Saul’s reign, and well into David’s, when it was brought to Jerusalem]. For it was twenty years before all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.

 

     If you have been following the story… The Israelites take the Ark to battle, they lose the Ark to the Philistines. The Philistines place the Ark in Dagons temple, Dagon gets decapitated, un-“arm”ed and de-“feet”ed, The Philistines get rid of the ark, and send along parting gifts 🎁 of cows and gold. The Israelites cheer! They sacrifice the cows somehow forget that this thing has POWER. People die and they send the Ark away…
     How long does it take for a people to recognize their sin and turn back to God? I guess they figure as long as they have someone to go to God on their behalf; the presence of God (the Ark) was optional. Every time God shows his awesome power against his enemies the people rejoice, but in their sin when He shows the same fierceness the people recoil as if it is altogether unfair or unwarranted. 

 

     It’s crazy to think that instead of inquiring about how to get things right and make the necessary changes, they instead choose to push God away altogether. If they cared so much about His presence and Holiness that they would go as far as consecrating Eleazar, why didn’t they just consecrate themselves instead? If we are to believe 2 Timothy 3:16 and put its claims into practice. How are these 2 verses profitable to me? It usually comes to me in the form of questions. 
1. At what points in my life do I act like a spoiled child when I receive a rebuke? 

2. When I know I am wrong how long does it take for me to make amends? 

3. At what time(s) have I pushed God away when I do not agree with His correction? 

4. Am I as petty as the men in this story?

 

     Father God, It must be awful to have to deal with the losers you have to deal with day in and day out. In business, we would fire people with those kinds of attributes. I know I have a very low threshold of patience when it comes to whiney-cry babies. So I repent for the times either in word or in deed that I have refused your correction and pushed you away. Contempt and dissatisfaction are contagious so enable me to rid myself of those character traits that I may not start an epidemic of wandering away from You. -John

 

​CURIOSITY KILLED THOSE CATS

 1 Samuel 6: 19 God struck some of the men of Beth Shemesh who, out of curiosity, irreverently peeked into the Chest of God. Seventy died. The whole town was in mourning, reeling under the hard blow from God, 20 and questioning, “Who can stand before God, this holy God? And who can we get to take this Chest off our hands?”

 What kind of fool sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong? This is a classic example of: Mind your own business. Maybe they thought the Philistines loaded the Ark with gold as well? They didn’t know just how dangerous that Ark could be. In my life I have personally been shocked working with, and goofing around with electricity. I have learned the hard way that it doesn’t feel too good getting shocked. I have learned the hard way a reverence and a respect of electricity, which causes me to pause and to triple check an outlet before starting any work. I suppose those nuts thought that because the Ark was not it its proper place; it could be handled in any ordinary way. Perhaps it was the carelessness of Eli and his two sons, and their lack of reverence that cause a trickle down effect within the people. Nevertheless, they learned in a hurry that this thing still has some Power! Yeah, Curiosity killed those cats!
 Again, instead of Repentance and learning how to do it right, the People banish God from their presence, as if saying, “We will teach God a lesson!” I’m pretty sure we do the same thing, when we get a spiritual whoopin’. I’ll show Him! I won’t go to church! I won’t participate, I won’t give! That will teach Him! When we go thru trial, and testing, we blame God. When we suffer loss or tragedy, harm or peril, again He’s at fault. Unfortunately we cast away the only One that really matters, and the only One who can actually rescue us. 
 Father God, Forgive me for the times when I have been carelessly irreverent. You are a Holy God, and I have made you at times my BFF. I repent from the reckless familiarity I have shown on occasion. I know you still love me, and have great plans for my life. 
Heavenly Father, I also pray for the reader, for the times they have been careless and casual with You. For the times in which You were pushed away in protest. God show up mightily, move on their behalf. I pray for a fresh wind of Your Spirit to blow on sails that have hung limp and in turn caused times of stagnation. Bring purpose, and destiny back into their lives. Lord, as we repent and commit to change our attitudes and our behaviors, give us the strength needed to get past those times where we seem to get stuck. Give us the patience to allow each test and trial to teach us what we do desperately need to learn. And enable us to live more holy and pure lives in this dark and rebellious time. -John