Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Keeps Me Singing"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (ESV)
My oven has a triple-glazed oven door. Over time, the weekly routine of cooking fish and chips, cakes, and various roasts accumulates residue on the inside of the glass door. Whilst we may easily clean the outside of the glass daily with a quick wipe, eventually the innermost glass requires a more determined effort to remove the hard, baked-on crud. It needs the use of heavy-duty caustic cleaners to soak and soften, and the application of elbow grease to aid the removal of the deep-seated residue stuck fast. Then, we can see through the glass again. Since Caroline is a bit splash-happy, it is safer if I use the chemicals. Besides, I'm the man with the muscles, or at least I used to be!
Like the muck on the oven door, life happens. Some sins get stuck to us but are only superficial, being removed with a quick prayer for forgiveness. Others that accumulate over time are more deep-seated and become hard-baked. They require a more concerted effort to permit Jesus access into the innermost recesses of our being, maybe through finding the time for quiet reflection. If it is too hard for us, maybe we can seek the advice and prayer support of trusted friends around us — those people who are able can stand with us as we get to the heart of the issue with Jesus.
If we ignore Jesus' desire to clean up, we reject the love and grace of God to make us spotless. It is only as we allow the deep-clean quickening of the Holy Spirit to work within in us that we receive, hear, and know the love of God more sincerely.
We are created for communion with God and with others, in His image. It is a two-way thing. The muck of life — untreated — influences how we perceive and do life: how we receive from, or give to others. Sin hard-baked also diminishes, obscures, or removes from our hearts an acceptance of the overwhelming love that God has for us.
True, one day, we will see Jesus face to face, but in the interim, if we ask Him, Jesus will change who we are. He wants to aid us in this change as we allow Him into the mucky parts as we walk with Him.
When God cleans up, more light comes in, and more light is evident in us, because His love and peace will naturally spill out through what we do.
Prayer: Lord, hear our prayer for those of us needing more than a quick prayer today. We ask for Your forgiveness and restoration to bring us back into communion with You. As we wait on You, we rejoice in the grace that You give. We thank You for a willingness to set us free from our crud as we lay down the stuff of our life. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.