April 10, 2009
The Washing of Water . . . with the Word
by Charles R. Swindoll
When our four children were young, we often spent our vacation weeks each summer camping together. We owned one of those tent campers on wheels, which we pulled behind our car to various campsites. One of our favorite spots was located in a wooded state park. A river ran through it. Its cool, clear water gave us a place to swim and ride the rapids on old truck-tire inner tubes. A large, natural rock formation rose out of the water on the other side. We'd take turns jumping off those huge boulders into the cold, deep water---talk about fun!
Our kids are all grown now, but those memories of camping together remain vivid in all our minds. The river water served another very practical purpose: by swimming each day, we didn't have to take a shower. I smile when I remember taking a bar of soap with us, as we'd walk down to the river. By the time we'd spent a couple hours in the water, we'd be squeaky clean. It always felt so good when we'd crawl into our sleeping bags in the camper after a long afternoon in the river.
One of the many benefits of water is its cleansing ability---not only on our bodies but in them as well. We read of this in Paul's first-century letter to his friends in Ephesus. In Ephesians 5:25-26, he reminded them of how deeply Christ is committed to the church, the body of believers: "Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word."
Just as clear, fresh water cleanses our bodies, God's written Word washes us clean deep down inside our souls. It purifies our thoughts, scrubs our motives, and cleans our conscience as we absorb it and obey its truths.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.