God’s Word for Me Today: Cleaning the Crud

Sometimes it amazes me how messy a house can get with only two people living in it. It seems like we constantly have a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry piled knee-high, and junk mail in small stacks on almost any flat surface. It’s the dishes that really get me, though. Not so much that they’re piled up dirty in the sink, but how hard it can be to get them totally clean. Stuck-on grease and other nasty stuff is real. And I can’t tell you how many times we’ve washed dishes and put them away, only to pull them out a few days later to use them to find crud still stuck on the bottom of the cup. We think they’re clean, but they still need so much more scrubbing.

You know where this is going – those dishes are like us. We’re dirty and nasty people. The sin in our lives can be impossible to scrape off. Especially those pet sins – you know the ones; that thing you keep going back to over and over. For me, it’s usually pride. I so easily get sucked into the trap of thinking I’m better. I look for praise and approval from people constantly. When my husband and I argue, I’m in it to win. Because I’m obviously right. Right?

The other day I pulled a cup from the drying rack and filled it with water. It wasn’t until I was halfway through with my drinking that I noticed the brown gunk still stuck on the inside bottom of the cup. Gross.  I dumped the water and threw the cup back in the sink, fairly disgusted by what I had just ingested. The thing is, I’m that cup. Too often I find myself going along thinking I’m doing okay for myself, and then I realize that pride is still gunking me up. Do you experience that, too?

As far as the actual dishes go, I need to scrub harder. Maybe change soap. Maybe use other tools to wash the dishes. Probably just pay closer attention to whether they’re actually clean or not. But what about my pride? What about your pet sin? If we can’t clean ourselves well enough, what’s our answer?

The writer of Psalm 51 understood what we’re going through. He knew what sin was doing to him and he knew he couldn’t get himself cleaned up. So he did the only thing he could do – he took it to God.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!  
Psalm 51:1-2

He knew the answer to his problem was to have God personally wash him clean. The gunk in my cup kept me from using that cup, and the sin in me separates me from my God. Jesus came to change all that. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ death and resurrection, my sin would still be a cruddy mess keeping me from God. But, Jesus took our sin on himself and washed us clean in his blood. That washing, that cleansing, was the complete and thorough cleaning we needed. As redeemed and baptized children of God we have peace with God and a complete relationship with Him again. We’re ready to be filled and used by him!

Of course, we’ll still struggle with our sins. That’s the nature of life this side of heaven. But that washing and forgiveness is real. It’s limitless. It’s for today, tomorrow, and every day until we’re called home to Jesus’ side. What’s your sin that needs washing today? Take it to God and know that his forgiveness, love and mercy is real, full and complete for you! He is always ready to scrub you clean with his life-giving water!

Scripture Reading:
Psalm 51:1-2 (above)

Do you know someone who would benefit from this devotion today? Feel free to pass it on and share it with your friends!

A Wife Like That

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