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Listen while you read: "When Morning Gilds The Skies"1 (Lyrics)
Ezekiel 37:23b – I will wash away their sin and make them clean, and I will protect them from everything that makes them unclean. They will be my people, and I will be their God. (CEV)
There is a major house renovation going on close to where we live. Actually, it has been in progress for weeks and weeks — new roof, insulation, siding, windows, doors, sunroom, and storage addition — a complete overhaul! I don't know, because I have not seen inside, but I have to assume that there is a great deal of updating, repair, and cleaning being addressed inside the home too, and I assume this due to the time that it is taking to complete the work.
I recall that when my husband and I were looking for a home in this park, we viewed one particular unit which was in a beautiful location. The price was amazing — it would have left a great deal of spare cash for renovations. But the condition inside was nothing short of disgusting. How anyone could have lived in the home in the condition it was in was beyond our comprehension.
We had agreed that we were willing to move into a house of our choice and do work while living there, but the filth and the updates needed in that particular house were way too much for us to even consider moving in and living there.
When some people are challenged to give their lives to God and to invite Jesus into their hearts, they recognize the truth that they have sinned before God. As a result, they want to clean up their lives before they issue an invitation to Jesus. They don't yet understand that God comes into our lives to clean us up, precisely because we can't do it for ourselves.
Isaiah 64:6a – But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. (NKJV)
The good news is that God loves us just as we are. So when we become willing to accept God into our lives, thankfully, He does not shun our dirty lives like we rejected that dirty home. He welcomes us and cleanses us. He does not leave us as we are, with our disparaging thoughts, our criticism of others, our idolatry of all things material, and all our major and minor sinful ways. This process is called "sanctification".
Isaiah 1:16 – Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong. (CEV)
Just as the house we viewed had much to clean up before being habitable, so God needs to clean up our lives, thoughts, and actions, so that we become a true reflection of His Son, Jesus, in our hearts, minds, and spirits.
James 4:8 – Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can't make up your mind. (CEV)
Prayer: Abba, make us aware of all that is in our lives — our thoughts, and our deeds — that are unworthy of Your presence within us. Wash us clean, and renew our spirits and hearts so that we are wholesome, presentable, and welcoming to all who look at us and the ways that we live. We want to be acceptable to You and winsome to them. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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