Tuesday, February 7, 2017
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Years ago, I was at a youth conference where we needed to raise some money for a camp scholarship fund. So we challenged the kids to buy their counselor into this Friday night food fight. Well, the kids found the money all right pretty quickly! So, Friday night all of us leaders showed up on the field of battle with the campers watching like sadistic spectators at the Roman Coliseum. Now, for starters, we got hosed down so everything would cling to us. I have to tell you, in retrospect, I'm embarrassed about the food we wasted. But I'm glad we at least got to pay for a few kids to get to camp.
Well, okay we did it, so I’ll tell you about it. Round One was flour. The campers got their money's worth as we redecorated each other with this blizzard of flour, followed by eggs, then fudge sauce. How’s your imagination doing here? Get the idea? The last round was the worst—lard. Yea, from our hair to our toes, we were totally gross by the end of this massacre. Our only satisfaction was at the end when we went after those kids and gave them a big, gooey hug. Yeah, it was great! I couldn't wait to get a shower, though, after that. And I was there for a long time. Ever try to get lard off? Probably not. Well, I have never felt dirtier; but clean has never felt better!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about “Feeling Dirty, Getting Clean.”
If you've ever felt real dirty, you know how much you enjoyed that shower that made you clean again. If only there was a shower that could make us clean on the inside, where we carry the guilt, and the regrets, and the dirt of the things we wish we'd never done, or the things we should have done and we didn't. Unfortunately, there’s no medication, there’s no therapist, not even a religion that seems powerful enough to remove the dirt on our soul.
That's why our word for today from the Word of God is such good news. Acts 3:19, "Repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Now look at this! All the sins of your life can be wiped out, erased from God's records forever. God says you can be clean; that you can have a new beginning. He is actually offering a cleansing spiritual shower for those who repent and turn to Him, He said. That means you acknowledge the wrongness of what you've done and that you're ready to turn from your sin-choices and turn to Him for a new beginning.
Look, we all have things we're ashamed of, things we're not proud of, things that make us afraid of what God will do when we meet Him on Judgment Day. According to the Bible, the sins of our life will, in fact, make it impossible for us to ever enter God's Heaven because there is no sin there. Our only hope is if somehow God will forgive a lifetime of choices that have left Him out.
And there's only one place where a spiritual shower like that is available. It is at the cross of Jesus Christ, the place where every sin of yours was paid for. You carry all the garbage of your life up that hill, you give yourself in total trust to the One who paid for your sin on that cross with His life, and you leave your sin at that cross forever. You may have started this day guilty, but you could go to sleep forgiven tonight and finally clean. God's promise: "Everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through His Name" (Acts 10:43). There is nothing you've done that is so bad that Jesus did not pay for it on the cross.
Today could be the day you are finally clean. If you've never trusted Jesus to be your own Savior from your own sin, would you tell Him you're doing that right now? Your sins will be erased. He promised. And you’ll never carry them again or face them when you meet God. And the only thing that would keep you from heaven can be gone today.
That’s why we’ve put the information at our website—to help you know for sure how to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and to know you are forgiven. And it is rightly named—that website, ANewStory.com. Would you go there and begin, for you, a new story?
That day I felt so gross, it was an awesome feeling to stand in that shower and have all that accumulated junk get washed away. That's what Jesus wants to do for your heart, right now. It is such an incredible feeling to be finally clean!