Clean [new blog]

by Joel Howard

The need to be clean is more of a fundamental necessity than we might first confess. This is true for us as individuals, as couples, as families as well as cities and nations.  In Psalm 51, David cries, "Cleanse me...and I will be clean" (v. 7, NIV).  Jesus, in John 15 comforts his disciples saying, "Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you" (v. 3, ESV).  Isaiah needed to be touched with a coal from the altar after which the seraphim declared, "your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for" (Isaiah 6:7, ESV). The reality of humanity's need for cleansing and a covering is etched forever in our hearts and minds through the Old Testament story of the Exodus, when the Israelites were mandated to place the blood of the Lamb on the doorpost and frame of each home. This was their ticket to safety in a land where death was passing by.  

Today, and as the return of Jesus hastens, the need to be "clean", safe and covered are just as critical as always.  As families, how can we hold fast to the cleansing that is ours in Christ?  What is the hope for our households today?  

Scripture prescribes just how to hold fast to the hope of our being covered and cleansed: 

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:22-23, ESV)

It is our confession of hope to which we must hold fast.  As we gather together as families - at the breakfast or dinner table, as we go about our day together, we must verbally remind each other of these truths. During the ins and outs of our mundane and busy moments, let us look to confess to one another that Jesus is our hope. Like an anchor for a storm-tossed boat in the darkest of nights, Christ's Word must be on our lips. Because "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21, ESV), we must use our words in the proper direction. If used well, what we say to one another can help solidify for us the truth that as believers, we are each clean and covered by Jesus' blood.  Thus, as individuals, couples and families in this hour, we can conquer the accuser "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of (our) testimony" (Revelation 12:11, ESV). 

Are you wondering how to survive in these difficult times? The deep in our hearts is crying out for the deep cleansing of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives, marriages and homes.  Take time today to collectively confess the testimony of our God who has made us clean! Look to him together as you daily break the bread of his holy word. Tried that already?  Do it again - and all the more as you see the Day approaching!

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