Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Washed Away by Tami Gilman

Week 7--February 14-20
Scripture Reading: Leviticus 14 – Numbers 6, Psalm 23-25. Key passage for this devotion: Leviticus 16:31

 “You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.” Leviticus 16:31

The other day I was on a tear, cleaning everything in sight. I mopped the floors, washed the dishes, washed some clothes. I washed the car and decided the dogs were due for a good scrubbing while I was at it too. I started thinking about how annoying it was that nothing ever stays clean. You can wash anything, yet soon it will either be dirty again, dusty or look clean, but not smell fresh, like the dogs.

I decided to change my thoughts from a negative viewpoint to a more positive approach. Jesus died to atone for our sins; he suffered so the dirt would be washed from us. Unfortunately, we never seem to stay clean either. Over and over again we make poor choices, wrong someone else, ignore God and the list goes on and on. We get dirty and dusty too and sometimes we look clean, but our attitude smells really bad. Wouldn’t it be nice to say the sinner’s prayer and suddenly become flawless, never having to ask for forgiveness again? We learn from our dirt and the ugly parts of our life and each time we sincerely ask, Jesus forgives us. How exciting! Jesus doesn’t get annoyed each time he has to cleanse us, he is honored we recognize the need for a good scrubbing. If not, his suffering on the cross was pointless.

The day in which we live is much different than that of the Old Testament. In Leviticus there were many definitions of what made a person unclean and many rules on how to become clean again. Being unclean did not indicate a person was necessarily sinful, but, by definition, not prepared to worship the Lord at that time. This could have been from a physical ailment like leprosy or as natural as a woman after childbirth. There were also rules to keep the Israelites from falling into sin with pagans. Much like today, there was not a shortage of opportunities to sin. The difference is they didn’t have the benefit of Jesus being the sacrifice on their behalf. There were different rituals that would reconcile the unclean individual depending on what their situation was. Luckily, today we can go humbly before the Lord and seek forgiveness. The next time you get annoyed that you are constantly cleaning the same things; rejoice in the realization that Jesus does the same for us.

The words of a familiar song rings true:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
My sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
Oh, praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead

Tami grew up on a farm in northeastern Ohio and moved to North Carolina at age 13. She considers herself almost southern since she enjoys sweet tea and has no desire to move back to the midwest or shovel snow. She lives in Kannapolis with her husband, Kevin and two dogs. They have been members of Crossroads Church since 1998.

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