Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Cleaning


One of the funny things you may notice walking around any major city is a car or truck with the words “Wash Me” written by someone’s finger in the dirt on the body or window of the vehicle. I think that perhaps the Lord might write on our hearts and souls, “Wash Me.” How so?

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(Ephesians 5:25-27)

Jesus gave His life so that we might be sanctified and cleansed by His living water. And that water represents the Word of God. As we bathe our spirits with His holy word, our inward man gets a spring cleaning...

In the natural, we use H2O (water) cleanses our bodies, our clothes... even our vehicles that have that annoying “Wash Me J” message inscribed on it. Cleansing in the natural is vital, for without cleansing:

  1. Your outer garments begin to look dirty and smell funky... which attracts bugs
  2. You become subject to sickness and disease from germs and bacteria
  3. You stink.

In the context of the spiritual, the Word of God cleanses our spirits and souls. Cleansing in the spirit realm is vital, for without cleansing:

  1. Your sins make us look less like Christ and attracts the devil
  2. You become subject to spiritual sickness and disease
  3. You stink.

Washing by Water

2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
(John 15:2-4)

Abiding in Christ is key to our bearing spiritual fruit and not behaving like religious nuts. We can no more bear fruit without a close connection with the Lord than we can drive an automobile without gasoline. The Psalmist noted that the strong and fruitful tree is the one planted by rivers of water. As you plant the Word in your heart, the water of God’s word will wash you and it will purge you (that is, remove those things that are useless and that are holding you back from optimal effectiveness).

Adding Soap Allows More Effective Cleansing

Soap is necessary to give complete cleansing

The word “soap” comes from the Roman mountain “Sapo” from which animal sacrifices dripped fat and ashes into the clay where people washed clothes and bathed. Isn’t it interesting that when God had the children of Israel perform burnt offerings, that He was helping them be more sanitary? The fat from the sacrifices mixed with the ashes from the wood and created soap that got into the water and let people’s clothes become whiter and their skin cleaner and better smelling.

You may want to reference our book, “The Ashes of the Red Heifer,” which you can find online in PDF format at!

In the natural, soap came from sacrifices. In the spiritual, we must mix sacrifice with the word for more effective cleansing. Sacrifice can comprise one or more of the following three components:

  1. Your tithe and offering
  2. The sacrifice of praise
  3. Sacrificial love (agape) towards those who are unlovely

Tithe and Offering

40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
(Luke 11:40-42)

Giving is important, but don’t waste time putting money into the offering basket if you have failed to execute love, compassion and judgment in your life. Do you want to give a Cain offering or an Abel offering? Ask God to create in you a clean heart.

Many people feel that they must pray and consecrate themselves before receiving communion. But, have you considered that it may be valuable to do the same before giving an offering? Some pastors are so greedy for money that they would never suggest what I am telling you. After all, if someone kept their money until they had time to pray... the pastor’s financial goals might not be met.

However, I believe that when we present our money before our High Priest (Jesus) who sits at the right hand of Majesty... we should do so after considering:

  1. Is there any unconfessed sin in our life?
  2. Have we hurt somebody and failed to repent and apologize for our behavior?
  3. Have we held unforgiveness against someone who hurt us?
  4. Have we lost our First Love?

Sacrifice of Praise

15Through Him [Jesus], therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.(1) 16Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church [1] as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
(Hebrews 13:15-16 AMP)

The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength... and that He inhabits the praises of His people. If you are feeling down, depressed, and having a hard time... the secret formula is to praise His Holy Name. However, it is difficult to do so when your heart is heavy and burdened. That is why we consider it a sacrifice of praise... because it costs you something to exit your emotional state to enter His courts with praise. But the good news, what it costs you is to lose your depression, to give up your feelings of loneliness and rejection... and to push past satan’s deception in order to seek the face of God!

When you do that, my friend, you find your troubles melting away like an ice cube on top of a wood-fired stove. Try it! You’ll like it!

Sacrificial Love

13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
(1st Corinthians 7:13-14)

Sacrificial love is to show Christ’s love towards those who are unloving... even to the point of sanctifying them.

In Conclusion

They say that cleanliness is next to godliness. But when you get next to God, drink His living water and eat the bread of His word, you become clean. There are steps that you need to take... but go ahead and take them. You’ll be glad that you did!

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