Encouragement for Today - March 12, 2007
By Cris Perez-Nole, She Speaks Graduate
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson they shall be like wool.” (NIV)
My husband and I just couldn’t do it; it went against everything we had done over the last ten years. It just seemed like we were asking for a bigger mess than what we started out with.
We were standing together in the kitchen staring at our brand new fully loaded 2007 GE dishwasher. We must have looked like two little kids on Christmas morning, opening much anticipated gifts. We had finally broken down and replaced the one that had been sitting there for years. We had never used the dishwasher the way it had been intended to be used. Instead of using it to clean our dirty dishes, we hand washed the dishes and then just put them in the dishwasher to air dry. After years of doing this, the dishwasher was finally overtaken by mold and mildew, becoming an eye-sore and health hazard.
This morning we ran our new dishwasher and were amazed at the results. As I took out the first dish, it was pure white; no food stained the plates, no water marks on the glasses. As I stood shocked with dish in hand, I could hear the Lord speaking straight to my heart saying, “I do for your soul what the dishwasher does for the dishes.”
I can’t believe that for all these years there had actually been an easier way. A habit formed over a lifetime had kept me from looking for an easier way out.
I couldn’t help but think about my relationship with the Lord and how similar my own belief system toward Him was like that of the dirty dishes. How many times had I tried to clean myself up before I came to Him? So many times I thought I had to get rid of the sin in my life, the struggle in my mind, or the habit that held me down. I had this false belief that Jesus wouldn’t have anything to do with me until I was completely clean.
I spent years trying to clean the uncleanable, just like I’d spent years washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. How crazy was that! You are probably wondering why we would do such a thing. The only answer we could come up with was this: we’ve always done them that way. Out of habit we did what the dishwasher was meant to do.
In my relationship with the Lord, I tried to do what only Jesus could do: cleanse my soul. Jesus is the only one who can clean the uncleanable. As I religiously and legalistically performed in my everyday life, the mold of pride took form and almost took me out. I started believing that I could clean the inside of my cup on my own. However, the Holy Spirit gently but firmly reminded me there was nothing I could do to take the sin away.
That’s what the cross is all about. Just like I was amazed at what the dishwasher did to my dirty, filthy, greasy dishes, so am I amazed even more at what Jesus has done with my broken, sinful, prideful heart.
Dear Lord, Please remind me that you are not looking for perfection, just a willing heart. Help me come to you just as I am, flaws and all. Thank you for making me as white as snow and taking all my sins away, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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For the Write Reason Marybeth Whalen, General Editor
Read 2 Chronicles 16:9. God is searching for people who give themselves completely to Him. Are you ready to give yourself completely over to God?
Journal about your past experiences of why you thought you had to have your act together, your “dishes clean,” before welcoming the Lord.
If you’re at a stage in your walk with God where you’re able to come as you are, what then did it take to get to that place? How might you be able to share that with someone else in your circle of influence?
What area in your life are you trying to clean up before you hand it over to God?
What area in your life are you ready to place in the palm of God’s hand so that He can make you white as snow?
Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (NLT).
Romans 10:13, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (NIV)
Acts 16:31, “They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your
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