Dirt and Sweat
Read: Ephesians 4:17-24
My grandmother recently planted her annual vegetable garden. My uncle plowed the ground and worked for hours helping her arrange each tomato and bell pepper plant in just the proper place. Hours passed as the sun beamed down upon my uncle's forehead. He worked hard to make sure the garden was planted just right. When the job was finished, he was covered in dusty brown dirt and dripping with sweat. My grandmother brought him a tall glass of water, but all he really wanted was a shower and some clean clothes.
Can you remember a time when you worked so hard that all you really wanted was a shower and some clean, dry clothes? When you find yourself filthy from sweat and dirt, being clean again can be the greatest feeling in the world. While a day in the garden, an afternoon under the hood of a car or an evening spent scrubbing the kitchen floors leave us feeling physically dirty, our pasts can often leave us feeling the same way mentally and emotionally. We try to use good works, church attendance or rule-following to scrub ourselves clean of regret and guilt, but we never manage to remove all of the "dirt."
In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul compares the Christian life to stripping off the “dirty clothes” of a sinful past and putting on the crisp and clean white robes of Christ’s righteousness. Paul instructs Christians to turn from the sinfulness of the world in which we live to become the “new man which was created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” By accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we experience the grace and mercy of complete forgiveness. It is only through Christ that we are truly clean, and His forgiveness is a gift that we do not have to work for.
- Do you know that Jesus loves you, no matter how “dirty” you are?
- What parts of your life are you trying to clean up by yourself? Allow God to clean up the mess for you.