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DEVOTION OF THE MONTH - AUGUST 2011

Clean On The Inside

By Bill Ballard

There is a story of an old man who lived with his grandson in the mountains of Kentucky. Every morning his grandson would see his grandfather sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bible. The grandson greatly loved and admired his grandfather and wanted to be just like him. Imitating his grandfather, he would try reading his Bible. Then one day he asked his grandfather, "What good does it do to read the Bible? Every time I try I can't understand it, and what I do understand I forget it as soon as I close the Bible. His grandfather turned from placing coal on the fire and handed the dirty coal wicker basket to the boy. He said, "Take this basket down to the river and bring me back some water." The boy did as he was instructed but when he returned the basket was empty. The old man laughed and said, "I guess you better run faster next time." So the boy headed to the river and this time ran even faster home, but again the basket was empty. The grandson said, "Grandpa, I can never run fast enough to get back with any water. The old man said he wanted a basket of water, so once more the boy headed off to prove to his grandfather no matter how fast he ran it would never work. When he returned he said, "There's no use, even if I flew, the basket would not hold water. It is useless. The old man looked at his grandson and said, "So you think it's useless? Look at the basket. The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different, instead of being an old dirty wicker coal basket, it was now clean. "Son that's what happens when you read your Bible, you might not remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.

Jesus speaking to the multitudes in the 5th chapter of Mathew tells us murder begins in the heart. He tells us adultery begins in the heart. In Mark 7:14-23 our Lord tells us defilement comes from within. What we carry in our hearts is what comes out. We are rotten on the inside, we need to be cleaned. We are like that wicker basket, we have been carrying so much coal and dirt that we need to go to the river, and we need to be cleaned.

The only way to be cleaned is to ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins. We are all dirty; we all have sin in us. Read Romans 3:23, Isaiah 59:12, and Job 13:23. But when we ask Christ Jesus to forgive us we are made clean. Read 1John 1:9, John 12:44-50, Colossians 2:13.

When do you take a bath? Do you take one before you go outside to work? No, of course not, you do not bathe and then go out and purposely get dirty and it should be like that in your spiritual life. Once you become a child of God you don't continue to live in sin. You don't shower and then dry off with a grease rag. Once you become a Christian you strive to change your heart, your way of thinking, you strive to stay clean. Yes you will sin, we all do, but when we do, we ask for forgiveness. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, and He guides us. He will lay it on our heart when we sin. So turn right and ask for forgiveness. Just like when you are wearing a clean shirt and you spill something on it, you don't just sit there, you try to clean it right then, and when you sin you correct it right then.

Another way we are made aware of sin is to stay in the word of God. When we spend time with God in study and prayer, our relationship grows and so does our ability to hear Him. Then our faith grows, our priorities change, and we begin to seek God and His ways. As this occurs we get to the point where we hate sin, we hate the filth of sin, and we strive to flee from sin and stay obedient to God.

I had a CT scan today and while in the testing process, I prayed. I asked Christ to help me through it. As always I was comforted and as I left the hospital I praised and thanked my Lord for answering my prayers. I thanked Him for being with me through all of my chemo treatments, the side effects, and all I have been through. I wonder how in the world anyone can go through storms in their lives without Christ. I thought what a horrible thing not to have Christ in your life, what a horrible feeling it must be not to be able to call on God. God hears His children and the only way to be a child of God is to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. This is the only way to be clean and justified before God.

Be washed, be cleaned, and let Jesus wash away all your sins. Let Jesus wash your filth away just as the river waters did the basket. Only with Christ Jesusit will never leak out. You will have eternal life through Jesus, you will be clean. After all, who really wants to live in dirt? Ask Jesus to forgive you and live clean and refreshed.


 

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