Friday, October 14, 2016
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Our son had just moved to an Indian reservation to work among the young people there, and for a short time he stayed rent-free at the home of a Native American family. Well, sort of rent-free. One day the man of the house asked our son to help him with a little plumbing problem. Our suburban boy said, "Plumbing? Sure. Where can I find the plunger?" He was informed that no plunger would be needed, so apparently it's going to be easier than he thought. Right? Wrong. His host took him out in the backyard and introduced him to a septic pond where his job was to try to clean out a stopped-up pipe. In order to find it, our son had to reach into the gross stuff up to his shoulder. Then he got to experience the contents of that septic pond splashing all over him as he hung over the water, pushing a rod up and down through the blocked pipe. Yuk! He said when he was finished, he had one thing and only one thing on his mind-a shower. He called and he pretty much summarized his experience, "I have never felt so dirty in my life, and it's never felt so good to be clean."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Feeling Dirty, Getting Clean."
Feeling clean; that's a feeling someone who's listening right now could use because you've felt dirty long enough. We all know those feelings because we've all done things we're ashamed of; we've done some things that we thought we'd never do, we've failed to do some things we should have done. Too many times, the people we've hurt the most are the people we care about the most. There are these dark secrets that haunt us and even some things that we're hooked on that we cannot stop doing. We feel dirty inside, and we don't know how to get clean.
That is why our word for today from the Word of God is such awesome good news. It's written to people who know what dirty feels like. In 1 Corinthians 6, beginning with verse 9, the writer describes people who have messed with sex, both heterosexual and homosexual, people who have ripped off others, who've been selfish and greedy, who've had drinking problems, along with backstabbers and cheaters. Then comes this startling statement: "That is what some of you were." Were? How does that happen? How do dirty people get clean?
Here's how. It says, "You were washed...you were justified (that means made right with God) in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." God gave them a spiritual shower because of Jesus. How can a God whose perfect just erase all my sins from His book? It says, "In the name of the Lord Jesus."
That's because Jesus had all the dirt of my life dumped on Him when He died on the cross. In the Bible's words, "He carried our sins in His body on the tree." (1 Peter 2:24) Just think of Jesus absorbing all the guilt, all the shame, and all the hell of every angry thing you've ever done; every dirty thing, every selfish thing, every deceitful thing, every hurting thing. That's how much He loves you. That's how much He wants to forgive you so you can have the unspeakable joy of being clean and the guarantee of being with Him in heaven forever.
As Jesus was dying on that cross, He said of those who nailed Him there, "Father, forgive them." That's what He wants to say to God about you today, "Father, forgive him. Forgive her." If you will take what He died to give you. No religion can erase your sin from God's book. Only Jesus can do that, because only Jesus paid the death penalty that we deserve. The sinless One became dirty so you could become clean. He took your hell so you could live in His heaven.
The man on the cross next to Jesus, hearing His offer of forgiveness, said to Him, "Remember me when You come into Your kingdom." (Luke 23:42) That's what you need to do-to reach out to the Great Forgiver and ask Him to forgive all the sinning you've ever done. If you do, He will say, "I will remember your sin no more." (Hebrews 8:12) You grab Him in total faith as the only One who can rescue you from your sin.
If you're tired of dirty, if you're ready to finally be clean inside, tell Jesus that. You know, the day I opened my heart to Jesus, someone took time to explain to me exactly how to get started in that relationship with Him. I would love to do that for you through our website. It's ANewStory.com.
There's nothing like a shower when you feel dirty. And right now Jesus stands ready to wash away the dirt of your lifetime. It feels so good to be clean!