Tuesday, September 13, 2016
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Our son had just arrived in the southwestern United States to begin his work with Native Americans there. In fact, his supervisor in his non-profit work was a Native American. And our son was eager to show that he was coming with a servant spirit, you know. He had a tremendous opportunity to do just that. His supervisor needed his help in cleaning out a septic system. The job began with our son's hands having to work in that sewage. But the job got more and more involved and so did his body. Before he was finished, he was in that septic sewage up to his waist! Needless to say, he never felt more disgusting in his life. And then came the shower; that long, wonderful, heavenly shower! He said "Dad, I have never felt so dirty in all my life, and it never felt so good to be clean!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Shower Of a Lifetime."
Getting really clean after you've felt really dirty is a great feeling; one that you might be ready for – on the inside. So many of us carry inside us the awful burden of the mistakes we've made, or the people we've hurt, the wounds we've inflicted, the damage we've done. We've got guilt and regrets that weigh us down, maybe for some destructive choices we've made or some compromises or some sin we wish we could go back and erase. Sometimes it can feel disgusting like all that dirt that covered our son that day. We wonder if there's any way to get really clean, to finally be free of the weight of it all, the dirt, the guilt, the shame.
When Mark Twain was asked what were the two most important words in the English language, he said. "Not guilty." But when we know we are guilty, how can we ever experience the freedom of those two glorious words?
There is wonderful, cleansing news today. Yes, it's in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. God is talking to people who've got a past. He mentions "the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers." And He delivers the bad news that those kind of people will never make it to heaven. It sounds hopeless until God turns on His cleansing shower in the next verse.
He says, "And that is what some of you were." Did you get that? Were? You mean I can be free from the guilt and shame of the past? How? Well, He says, "But you were washed, you were sanctified (which means you were made special), you were justified (that means you were made right with God) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
The liberating message God has for you and me is this, whatever you've done, whatever you've become doesn't ever have to matter again. Jesus Christ offers you the shower of a lifetime, to forgive every sin you've ever committed, to declare you "not guilty," to open the doors of heaven to you as a new, spiritually clean person.
And how can this be? Because, as the Bible says, Jesus "bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). In simple words, you did the sinning; Jesus did the dying for it. It's all been paid for.
The forgiveness Jesus died to give you becomes yours when you tell Jesus that you're trusting Him to be your Rescuer from your sin. And at that moment the shower of God washes you completely clean for the first time in your life – and clean forever.
Don't you want that? The past erased from God's Book? Every sin and a future and an eternity in heaven guaranteed; paid for by the blood of Jesus, God's Son. Tell Him today, "Jesus, I'm yours." And I have wanted to lay out for you in a way that you can look at and think through and make sure it's yours exactly how to begin that relationship with Jesus Christ. It's what our website is for. It's your day to go there – ANewStory.com. I pray you'll go there today.
So many people have told me how they felt when they made Jesus their Savior. They've said, "It's like a huge weight was lifted off my back." That can happen to you right now, right where you are. And you can know how good it feels to finally be clean.