How to Get Clean


John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. NIV

Our destination--The campground showers; our purpose--to find out if they were clean and functional. Upon our arrival, we were not disappointed. At least by their appearance! They were sparkling clean.

"This is a good sign," I said. But there was definitely something wrong with the shower--something missing maybe. It took us a few moments to figure it out: There were no taps! Nothing that we could see to turn on the water! Nothing but a showerhead and a big metallic circle!

"Maybe if we push on that circle," suggested one of my sons. He reached up and placed his hand on the ring, but nothing happened. And we spent the next five minutes trying everything we could think of to get the water to run; but to no avail. It looked like we would be staying dirty for the next three days!

When we got back to our campsite, we shared our shower frustration with my wife. "Oh, I tried one out," she responded. "It worked great!"

The three of us stood there staring at her with our mouths hanging open: "It does?"

"Yes!" She replied. "And the good news is, there is hot water!"

"But . . . How . . ."

"All you need to do is push the little circle inside the metal ring!" She explained.

Of course this was the ONE thing we HADN'T tried, and sure enough, it worked just like she said it would. And what a blessing it was to wash away the odors of stale campfire smoke!

It then hit me that some believers spend their time emphasizing rules about how to become clean: "You have to use Zest. No other soap will do. And you need a green washcloth. The red ones tend to loose their colour. For shampoo, you need to use only Head and Shoulders. You can't be too careful about dandruff. Then you need a blue bag to carry your clothes in. Blue is of utmost importance, as it repels any dirt particles. Then you needů"

Salvation to them is a bunch of rules that need to be followed without questioning. All seems easy enough. Until your wife brings home the generic brand of dandruff shampoo, that is. The bottle looks the same, and without even knowing that you are not using Head and Shoulders, you break the law.

"But I couldn't find a blue bag!" You try and explain. "They only had red ones!"

And the finger is pointed directly at you: "What kind of a believer are you, anyway? Only heathens use red bags!"

But amidst this multitude of rules, no one ever bothers to tell you how to turn the shower on. What good is it to have a blue bag full of Zest and Head and Shoulders, along with that green washcloth, only to find out that you can't figure out how to turn on the shower ? You leave the shower frustrated, but worse yet, you still feel dirty!

Other believers encourage people to take a shower, and they even show you how to turn it on; but then they wander away from the shower never to return. They think that once they've washed the dirt off of themselves, they will never be dirty again. "Once washed, always washed!" Then they go and roll in the mud, swim in murky water filled with algae, and fill their mouths with melting, drooping chocolate, and though when they look in the mirror and they see their dirty faces, they don't believe any further shower is needed.

Which of these two categories of believers would you like to belong to? Personally, I don't care for either choice, because no matter what, I would still be frustrated and dirty!

It was only when my wife told me how to turn on the camp showers that I was able to get clean, and it was only by going back the next day and the next that I went home clean. As Christians, we are to proclaim the message of Salvation. We are to tell people how to be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. We are to proclaim how forgiveness from sin can be obtained, and we are to share with others how to experience a revitalizing relationship with Jesus Christ. We can assure others that His Word is true:

1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. NIV

Would you like to lead a victorious life? Would you like the dirty details of your actions to be washed away by the showers of Jesus' forgiveness? Come to Jesus and start enjoying His friendship!

In His love,

Rob Chaffart

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